Learning how to post professional-looking art videos

Mixed Media Art Series

Back in my college days, I thoroughly enjoyed learning how to edit videos for my Communication major television course and co-curricular.

Those same feelings of accomplishment have returned 20 years later (no joke!) since I’ve been working on recording my art processes to share on my YouTube channel.

You can see it here:

Mixed Media Series on Paper Youtube art timelapse video

There were a lot of moving parts to creating this simple, yet professional-looking video. Part of this video process included the following steps:

  • Setting up my video camera to record from overhead as I painted
  • Taking relevant photos of my tools used for the paintings
  • Using Canva templates
  • Learning video editing in Adobe Premier Pro via the software tutorials as well as searching up Youtube tutorials
  • Creating and adding a voiceover
  • Searching for a music audio service (Epidemic Sound in this case), subscribing and adding the music

For me, learning new skills such as video editing is just as exciting as working on my art. I love learning a new skill and applying it. While it took me literally hours to learn some of the ins and outs of video editing, I feel confident enough now that my next video will take much less time to create and post.

And, on top of that, I can add these new skills to my expanding repertoire of freelance skillsets.

If you are looking for someone to help edit your videos, please feel free to contact me! We can discuss your project and rates.

The starving artist syndrome: overcoming through action

cute abstract art tote

As an emerging mixed media artist and surface designer who grew up in the Rust Belt of Pittsburgh as a Xennial, I find the hardest part in following my art entrepreneurial journey as my full-time career is the internal negative dialogue brought on by the “starving artist” syndrome. The starving artist myth has been perpetuated in so many circles for so long because the Boomer generation didn’t have the same tools we do now.

Without the internet, I could only imagine how hard it would have been for me as a single mother of teens to succeed as an artist. But, today, everything is at my fingertips.

Here are just a sampling of the income-generating activities artists today have as options:

  • ad revenue via content creation on Youtube, blogging
  • TikTok creator – the Creator Fund
  • in-person art workshops and retreats (see ===>> travel opportunities!)
  • online art workshops via Skillshare, Udemy and Teachable
  • Patreon donations
  • affiliate programs
  • sponsorships and collaborations
  • wholesale relationships with retailers and boutiques
  • galleries
  • individual art collectors
  • art fairs & festivals
  • print-on-demand products such as Redbubble, Zazzle, Spreadshirt, Teespring and Society6
    • The cute tote above is one of my abstract digital designs created in Procreate and uploaded to products on Redbubble for sale. Check out my Redbubble shop!
  • publishing how-to eBooks
  • self-publishing actual books

There are plenty of “working” artists out there that aren’t looking to necessarily be the next Van Gogh, Georgia O’Keefe or Frida Kahlo. But, they are thriving in what success looks like for them. A simple YouTube search will show you all of these successful-to-them artists. Following these artists and their journeys via social media gives me the inspiration to keep moving forward with my journey.

Exercise: Define what success in your art business looks like to you. Create a vision board of what your ideal lifestyle looks like.

If you need help figuring out the logistics of building your art business, check out some of these books from my book shelf:

  • Art, Money, Success: Finally Making A Living Doing What You Love by Maria Brophy
  • I’d Rather Be In The Studio: The Artist’s No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion by Alyson B. Stanfield
  • Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days by Chris Guillebeau
  • Traffic Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Filling Your Websites and Funnels with Your Dream Customers by Russell Brunson
  • The Handmade Marketplace: How to Sell Your Crafts locally, globally, and online by Kari Chapin
  • How to Sell Your Art Online by Cory Huff
  • Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon

Also, some of the lessons I’ve learned in the corporate world carry over into my entrepreneurial journey. For example, the corporate world focuses on SMART goals. One way you can use these SMART goals is by entering them into your calendar and check them off as you complete them. Doing this gives me a sense of accomplishment and realization that I am moving forward as an artist.

Another way that artists can overcome this “starving artist” syndrome is by networking. Once you get out and socialize whether in person or online with other artists, you are no longer isolating yourself in that negative mindset. You can collaborate with other artists or venues out there. Make lists of the art clubs and galleries in your area and introduce yourself. One way in which I’m doing that is through volunteering. I’m helping PGHMuseums.org update their website, specifically their gallery section. This not only gives me the opportunity to give back, but also build upon those gallery outreach efforts in my own art practice. It’s a win-win!

Look for those types of win-win situations with your art business and you’ll see your business thrive and grow. Then, you can kick that “starving artist” mindset to the curb for good!

Cat Portrait Art Commission

A coworker recently commissioned me to paint a portrait of her cat, Myrtle. It’s the first painting I worked on since I moved into my new house. It was so satisfying. I have to admit I was a bit intimidated to take on this type of commission because my style is not anywhere near “realistic”. However, my coworker already knows my style and was aware that this pet portrait would be in my particular style.

Myrtle the cat

For some reason, I cannot resist painting with a broad range of colors (basically the rainbow). So, I did not restrain myself to the colors present in the photo provided. My client had very specific requests. She wanted me to capture Myrtle’s likeness in the face, especially that white strip of hair above her nose. And, she wanted me to incorporate her favorite color blue in the painting much like I use in my other paintings.

You see, she had seen my previous “Cat King” painting and that’s what inspired her to ask me for this commission. I painted “Cat King” in 2019. It was a mixed media piece incorporating fine art papers with acrylics. This painting hung in my apartment prior to my move into my new house. Just before I was about to move my next door apartment neighbor and I had a conversation about my art. I let him look at the pieces in my apartment. He immediately wanted to purchase “Cat King” for his friend who loves cats and my type of art style. So, that’s the story of how “Cat King” found a new home.

Cat King

As for Myrtle’s commission, I used acrylics, fine art papers with cats and acrylic paste over a stencil. The result came out with a multi-color mixed media piece which my coworker absolutely loves. She has it perched on one of her wooden shelves in her office at work. She’s already gotten numerous compliments on it which makes me smile. And, she plans to commission me for at least another piece. This was my first real commission piece. And, I’m so pleased with how it turned out not only with the piece itself, but also the overall communication with the client. I definitely plan on taking on more commissions in the future. But, I will make sure to provide them with the disclaimer that they are getting the commission in my art style. If someone is expecting a photorealistic painting, I’m not your gal. But, if you want multi-colored, dynamic mixed media you’re in the right place! Take a look at the completed commission below!

If you want to follow my art on social media, check out my Instagram page Rachael Caskey Art or my Facebook business page Rachael Caskey Studio.


Mixed Media Play: Drawing & Painting Faces

“Beauty is colorblind“
Mixed Media on Strathmore paper

I’m experimenting with my mixed media these days. My newest addition to my art supplies include Tombow mono fineliner pens and Windsor & Newton Brushmarkers in portrait tones. And, of course, I replenished my white gel pens.

I used all of these supplies in the illustration shown above. I’m practicing drawing female faces using the book “Drawing and Painting beautiful Faces” by Jane Davenport. I feel like I’ve gotten better at drawing using this book as a reference. Basically, my Strathmore mixed media art journal consists of female face drawings and a random drawing of the house I’m buying right now.

I’m used to using Micron pens for fineliners, but heard someone recommended tombow. So, I figured I would try them out. So far, I’m impressed. They don’t smudge when you use other products over them. The true test will be when I try them out with watercolor paints, crayons and watersoluble wax pastels.

Oh yeah…I bought those recently, too. I’ve been watching YouTube tutorials on them. They seem pretty versatile.

Here’s a recent mixed media piece I made using these wax pastels.