Thursday, August 18, 2011
Folio Academy is finally here!!!
I'm so proud and excited to announce our new creation - Folio Academy - online art lessons for everyone. You can check it out here. http://folioacademy.com
Back in October I was driving home from a long day teaching at UVU here in Utah and I heard a woman being interviewed by Dave Ramsey on the radio. I can't tell you her name or the name of her book because I was talking back skeptically and sarcastically. The woman was saying that EVERYONE has something they do in their spare time or professional life that they could use to earn extra income. I was thinking, "I'm an illustrator and a teacher...what else could I possibly have time for??!!!" It bugged me for about a week when a thought popped into my head - I teach...why not teach to the video camera and then sell the videos on my website???...I love teaching and video editing has been a little hobbie - so I did.
And then I heard the voices - "this is a waste of time"..."who do you think you are anyway?"..."you could be watching Flintstones re-runs." But I silenced the voices and forged ahead. In between a book project and some text book covers I grabbed 10 days where I basically didn't sleep. At the end of that torture session I emerged gleaming with my finished product: "How To Illustrate Children's Books". I was so proud. It was a labor of love indeed. I should probably back up a bit - I was lucky in that I have a programmer living with me - my brother in law - and he assured me that he was up to the task of programming my website so that we could sell streaming videos. He would take care of the tech end and I would take care of making the videos.
Because I had to jump right back into illustrator mode I was only able to spend one day marketing my little video series. I contacted a few illustration bloggers like Angela Matteson - Angelato and children's book blogs like Mark Mitchell's How To Be A Children's Book Illustrator and invited them to do a blog post and give-a-way of my video series. They accepted as did about 4 other bloggers and from there I started selling my videos. Every now and then someone who purchased my videos liked them enough to do a blog post on them like Paula Pertile who used the photoshop concepts I put in my videos to achieve an unbelievable digital version of her colored pencil drawings. I know I'm leaving a lot of wonderful people out but there are too many to mention...but Sue from Moab has been a great supporter!
Fast forward through a few more video series and I started getting asked by fellow artists about how my videos were selling and if I thought it was worth doing. Of course I told them I did but the problem most artists have is the programming side of selling videos from their own site. I put my head together with a few artist friends and together we decided to make a site available to artists of every kind. One of my illustrator friends said, "Can you imagine what it would have been like to have a resource like this when we were going to school?"
Artist Greg Newbold setting up for his video shoot
So our goal is to find the best artists from around the world and see what they have to teach. We've partnered with several local video studios like Amber Media Pro and Provo Creative and are inviting artists to come into the studio for a day and do their thang in front of the cameras. Of course not every artist can get to us so we'll also offer their videos if they can produce them themselves. We're of course small now but we plan to release one new video series per week. Over time there's no telling where this will go.
So, woman on the radio talking about monetizing your hobbie whoever you are - thank you! - and my apologies for doubting you.