Recording & Livestreaming in the Art Studio

Since I decided to take my career seriously roughly around 2009, I’ve been trying to keep up with trends in social media and work on my personal strategy in order to boost my follower base and, in turn, improve sales of my work. One of the recent trends that’s taking off is recording the artist’s process and making videos to share. From recording with your phone, a web cam, and even a DSLR, there are numerous ways to get your foot in the game, and it’s much easier than you think!

Before I delve into what I choose to work with and how, let me share a corner of my studio where all the recording and painting happens:


Here’s what you see:

  • My drafting table with a shelf above, my macbook in front of my work in progress, and Marzipan on her pillow to the right.
  • Two swing arm lamps with CFL daylight bulbs.
  • A flexible gooseneck that attaches to my shelf and has a clip on the end meant to hold a cellphone.
  • An attachment for my webcam (meant for a tripod) that the clip holds onto.
  • My Logitech C920 webcam, which connects by USB to my macbook.

Depending on what kind of video I want to produce, I’ll adjust my setup accordingly. For simple, quick videos that are meant for Instagram, I’ll remove the webcam attachment and instead just record from my phone with the camera function. I’ll adjust the gooseneck clip so that the viewfinder shows what I want to record. If I’m planning to do a time-lapse, I use the “time-lapse” function in my iPhone. I’m not sure if this takes up less space, but it does some of the work for me in speeding up the recording. Once I have the recording of my process (make sure your phone has plenty of battery and space!), I’ll open the file in an app called Videoshop and continue to adjust my video from there, whether it needs to be further sped up in order to fit the 1 minute limit on Instagram, or if I want to add music, etc. This video editing app does most of what I want, so having that available in my phone is super helpful! Here’s an example of one such video taken with this method:

If I’d otherwise want to create a simple video recording me working in real time, I follow the same process, but don’t record in “time-lapse” function and instead keep my recording to a minute or less. Here’s an example:

If I’m planning to record for the purpose of sharing a high quality video via Youtube or elsewhere, I skip the phone and set up my webcam (as pictured above. The Logitech C920 comes with software that allows me to record, and when I’m finished, I’ll open the file in iMovie to edit. I know there are better editing programs out there, but this one came with my Macbook and it’s easy enough for me to have figured out on my own! I’ll then upload the file to Dropbox, which I can then download from my phone and share on Instagram. Otherwise, I’ll upload the file straight from my computer to wherever I wish to share it, like Facebook or Youtube. Here’s one example where I’ve done this (and you can see the full video here):

Finally, if I am live-streaming via Twitch, things get a little more complicated. Since I’m fairly new to Twitch, I can’t really offer tons of advice, but there are lots of tutorials and helpful articles available with a Google search the help you get started. After I did a bit of my own research, I found that fellow creatives on Twitch had two screens: one for showing their artwork in progress, and a second screen on their faces to show reactions. While I wasn’t thrilled with this second addition, as this means I need to put on makeup or else look like a troll, I find it really fun to watch on other people’s streams! So, my setup in the photo at the top is how I have it when I’m live-streaming from Twitch: the top-down camera on my work is from the Logitech C920 and the camera on my face is my Macbook’s camera.

When streaming, the screen looks like this:


One really nice thing about live-streaming is that I am also recording all of that progress, which can then be turned into a time-lapse video that can be shared to promote my work as well as the fact that I’m now on Twitch! Here’s one I made from my most recent session:

I’m really excited to see where live-streaming my work takes me, and I hope that this little article gives fellow creatives some pointers on how to take advantage of the ability to easily share videos of your process as well as live-stream it to your fans.

Feel free to share your own tips in the comments!

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