Over the holidays, like every one else, I was evaluating the past year and asking myself if there were any fundamental changes I needed to make to Artprof.org. I was talking to a family member about our YouTube channel and he was surprised to hear that our 30 minute portfolio critiques are actually significantly more popular than our tutorials.
The average length of a video on YouTube is generally around 5-10 minutes. We did experiment a ways back with short format video, where we divided up our tutorials into several short segments that were about 2 or 3 minutes long. I was surprised when we started getting comments requesting the tutorials be in a video that was an hour long instead.
However, our audience seems really different in that they seem to like our longer videos more than our shorter videos. Compared to our 30 minute portfolio critiques, our 1 minute Crit Quickies haven’t fared nearly as well. When my family member pointed that out, I started to realize how specific our audience is.
Last week we introduced Live Art Critiques on our YouTube channel, and we have a new schedule so that there will be 1-2 new video critiques every week so that we are consistently uploading new content. Our video tutorials are incredibly time consuming to produce, and there’s no way I can count on releasing our tutorials on a consistent basis.
Another revelation about our audience became clear when the submissions for the Live Art Critiques started to pour in. I’ve watched other YouTube channels of artists who do critiques, and the type of artwork that gets critiqued is really specific. There is one channel I looked at that is all hyper-realistic colored pencil drawings of animals and celebrity portraits that look like xeroxes of photos.
The submissions we’ve been getting of course have a gigantic range of experience and skill, but what is apparent is that our audience is thoughtful, intelligent, and really trying to engage not just with the technical aspects of creating the artwork, but also on a conceptual basis. So many YouTube channels I’ve seen emphasize only technique, specifically photo realism, whereas our audience seems to be really thinking about their subject matter, and making an artistic statement.