There is no denying the importance of video these days. Whether you're chasing the Instagram algorithm for reels, streaming live on YouTube, or pulling together a video bio for your website, it's more valuable than ever to make good videos. My guest on The Art Biz is Zach Wolfson, a filmmaker who has seen all kinds of artists' videos—the good, the bad, and the cringy. He has joined me to discuss four of the most common mistakes he sees artists making with their videos, and he also shares simple tips that will greatly improve your videos with just a little bit of tweaking. It’s definitely worth the effort because, as he says, it is so important to leave behind a legacy that extends beyond your artwork.
Zach’s career in filmmaking led to teaching artists how to make mini art videos. (1:50)
Horizontal or vertical filming—which does Zach prefer? (5:50)
Mistakes artists make when editing transitions in videos. (7:38)
Overproducing filters, text, and other distracting elements. (10:52)
Slowing down to capture the perfect shots. (13:53)
The best POV in your art films. (17:52)
Tips for overcoming your fear of the camera. (20:15)
Does Zach recommend time-lapse videos? (23:34)
The importance of sharing your story in your videos. (27:31)
Leaving the legacy of your art through videos. (32:55)
“Too many elements can be overwhelming for both you when making the video as well as for the people watching it.”— Zach
“Just record for longer than you think you should. Your future self will thank you for it.” — Zach
“Your videos themselves don’t need to be art because your art is art.” — Zach
“If you can find ways to include yourself in your videos, it will attach you more to your art so people can connect with you.” — Zach
“Let us into your world and be able to see you in the context of your space.” — Zach
“People aren’t following you because of how well crafted your videos are. They’re following you because of your art.” — Zach
About My Guest
Zach Wolfson is a filmmaker who helps artists make simple art videos to market their art. He is dedicated to empowering artists, and believes everyone can make “mini” art videos that document your journey with ease and joy.
Zach’s greatest passion has always been working directly with artists. He has shared the stories of dozens of artists through his video series, Beyond the Gallery, and taught hundreds more through his blog, in-person training, and now inside his membership community, Ready to Record.
In addition to his work with artists, Zach has made videos sharing human-centered stories for galleries, museums, and companies that include Adobe, Discovery, and Sony.
Artists crave validation by others. You want your work to be appreciated. Being validated by others helps build confidence and shows us we’re on the right path. But are you looking for validation in the right places?
In this solo episode of The Art Biz, I address validation and earning credibility—where you are probably seeking it, where you might want to look for it instead, and what it really means about your art. Ultimately, validation only comes from within, and others are more likely to pay attention knowing that you value your own work. I want to help you realize the various ways it is possible to earn credibility for your art, many of which you will see that you are already doing.
Defining validation, self-validation, and credibility. (2:02)
The wrong places to turn for self-validation. (3:40)
The ultimate expression of validation for an artist. (5:15)
Non-social media examples of validation in the art world. (6:43)
The pinnacle of exhibition venues—the art museum. (9:45)
The value of writing about speaking about your work. (10:55)
Seeking validation from the media on a broader level. (11:45)
Achieving a higher level of self validation. (14:08)
Detour travels to communities all over to paint socially impactful murals, but he also works on canvas, and in music, installation and sculpture. How does he do it all, and do it all by himself?
In this episode of The Art Biz, I talked with Detour about his various income streams from prints and murals to corporate sponsorships and grants. He is adamant that he doesn't want to be limited by what he currently knows, so he's always learning how to use new technologies that will help him land complex opportunities. He's not afraid to admit that the best way to approach an artistic problem is probably something he hasn't done before. And Detour is big on collaboration and presenting himself in the most professional light because, as he says, you never know who is watching. Be sure to listen for the questions he asks himself before agreeing to take on new work. This is an inspiring conversation that you won’t want to miss.
Carving out new and alternative paths in the art world. (5:00)
Merging your career skills with your creative opportunities. (9:09)
How Detour found his artist voice while creating interactive art ‘for the people.’ (11:40)
Detour’s active and passive income streams. (17:22)
Planning for sporadic paychecks in advance. (22:15)
How Detour’s MBA has benefitted his artist endeavors. (25:38)
The importance of building relationships with everyone in your artist community. (28:09)
Collaborating with other artists to add value to your work. (32:24)
Questions to ask when considering—or turning down—opportunities. (34:53)
A look at Detour’s typical week. (37:05)
Finding fun and balance in the work of every day. (40:18)
Why is it important to be an artist who helps other artists? (44:44)
“I want to make sure when I’m presented with an opportunity to solve an idea creatively, I’m not limited by what I’m used to doing.” — Detour
“You never know what will work until you throw something out there and it sticks.” — Detour
“When you do art you never know exactly who’s looking at it.” — Detour
“Everything I do in life is related to art making and sharing.” — Detour
Thomas Evans, a.k.a. Detour, is an all-around creative specializing in large scale public art, interactive visuals, portraiture, immersive spaces, and creative directing. His focus is to create work where art and innovation meet. A born collaborator and “military brat,” Detour pulls from every conceivable experience that shapes his landscapes and perspectives. Explaining Detour’s work is no easy task, as ongoing experimentations in visual art, music, and interactive technologies have his practice continually expanding. With his ever-evolving approach to art, Detour’s focus is on expanding customary views of creativity and challenging fine-art paradigms by mixing traditional mediums with new approaches—all the while opening up the creative process from that of a singular artist to one that thrives on multi-layered collaboration and viewer participation.