New Equipment, Brainstorming, and Learning Together


by Clara Lieu

This past weekend, I got together with Art Prof Teaching Assistants Casey Roonan, Deepti Menon, and Lauryn Welch for an intensive weekend of shooting video, brainstorming, and preparation for the upcoming Art Prof site launch.  Thanks to our Kickstarter campaign, we have been able to purchase essential lighting and sound equipment, and most importantly-a new laptop for me which operates at the speed of light compared to my old laptop which had the functionality of a brick.  This equipment has probably quadrupled our productivity level in terms of shooting high quality video footage.


Although we have been working on Art Prof for two full years now, it’s incredible the way the project keeps growing and progressing.  This past weekend, we learned so much about what we are capable of with this new equipment. While we’re far from a Hollywood movie production, we were really pleased with the quality and quantity of video footage we were able to produce in a short period of time.  We shot intro videos for various sections of the new website, Crit Quads, and clips for our upcoming site launch preview video.


The first budget that Tom and I put together over a year ago was $35,000 a month.  At that point we had a very, very different vision of what we needed to produce the content-this included staff like a professional cameraman and editor, etc.  Now that my Premiere skills are half decent, and with my husband Alex Hart on hand for technical support on set, we’ve learned that on the contrary, we can be very self sufficient with producing the videos-priceless.

We don’t have exact numbers yet, but a super rough estimate is that we will likely be able to produce Art Prof for a fraction of that $35,000 per month that we initially projected, which is huge in terms of keeping Art Prof free. That’s still a bare bones budget that is far from cushy, and we will still have to cut corners in many places,  but what that means is that it’s looking really likely that Art Prof will be able to be free much longer than we initially thought.


We brainstormed like crazy all weekend, it was a rare opportunity for a group of us to get together in person and discuss future events, our site launch, and ideas for future content. Most of the time, our communication between our staff is largely online, and it’s incredible how much faster and efficient things go when you can work together in person.


Shooting in a group is terrific, you can bounce ideas off each other in between takes, get feedback, and come up with spontaneous improvements that we could never have anticipated in advance. Most of the time, many of us shoot videos by ourselves, and we had so much fun this weekend working together. And boy, did we do our share of uncontrollable laughing on set.  (keep an eye out for a Casey blooper reel in the near future!)


In other news, our September Art Dare was an incredible success! We had 56 submissions from artists, and 4 art teachers who assigned the Art Dare to one of their classes. Many artists followed my charcoal drawing tutorial and posted their works in progress as they developed their drawings. We are thrilled with this outcome, check out our October Art Dare!  We would love to see you participate.

For those of you in the Boston area, we are hosting a free portfolio review event in Concord, MA on Sunday, Oct. 23 from 12-4pm. Artists who attend will receive several 15 minute, one-on-one portfolio reviews with our staff. Many artists tell me how difficult it is to find trusted, professional feedback on their artwork, so consider joining us!  This event is free, but advance registration is required to be guaranteed a spot. More info here.


ART PROF is a free, online educational platform for visual arts for people of all ages and means. features video courses, art critiques, an encyclopedia of art supplies, and more.

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Prof Lieu offers video critiques on portfolios for students applying to art school and working artists. More info.

Every month, we assign a topic for you to respond to with an artwork. We give out prizes in several categories!  More info.

ASK THE ART PROF was a written column in the Huffington Post from about art related topics. Visit our Pro Development page.


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