Today I have a special treat for you. My good friend and fellow fantasy artist Randy Gallegos has offered to share some of his wisdom on the BaxaArt Blog. Randy has done art for Magic: the Gathering, Dungeons and Dragons, novel covers, and so much more. He has 20+ years under his belt and has a lot to offer artists at all stages of their careers. I follow his excellent blog and am proud to have Randy as a contributor to my ebook Get Work as a Fantasy Artist and part of the BaxaArt Academy bullpen!
Have you ever visited a professional artist's studio? If you have, were you allowed to watch them work? How does it just happen that the artwork gets made? It doesn't. Whenever you see amazing art online or in-person, you are missing a broader context: the struggle, the hours, the mistakes, the decisions made usually in private, never seen.
For this reason, demonstration videos are extremely valuable. To the extent that you are able to afford them, I'd recommend every artist make a regular habit of purchasing and having a library of demos. Get a hard drive just for the purpose, even. I know many artists who just pop on Netflix while they work. But your work hours are "free" hours, in terms of being able to soak in information, even passively. Rather than suck down entire television series while you work, toss on one of your demo videos and work alongside it playing. They aren't usually easy to watch and soak in all in one sitting, so instead over time, more passively, allow the information to hit you while you work and watch the video on more than one occasion.
So now I'm offering my own Randy Gallegos: Oil Painting Demonstration, "Alieis" : a 2.5 hour, HD demonstration of me working on a 4x6 foot painting, in oils. That alone is something different among many of the demos I've seen. With 20 years of freelance experience, all of them spent primarily painting, I'm confident that I've made enough mistakes along the way and worked through them to be able to produce a video worth watching.
I hope you'll take advantage of many of the resources available through Baxa Art Academy. When I was starting in my career, there just weren't this many resources available. When I was in college, if you wanted a painting video, it was on VHS cassette, available via mail order, and expensive. But right now, you can download this video while you work or sleep, for as little as $1. One. Dollar. If you think hanging out with me for a couple of hours and watching me paint is worth more than one track on iTunes, then pitch in a bit more. But really, I've set this so that people like yourself can benefit.
Some perspective: A power-school like SVA in NY (2013-14) is $16k per semester, for say 15 units. That comes down to about 70 cents per minute. My recommended price for this video is $19.99, or the cost of half an hour in a class at SVA. I guarantee you'll get more out of that $19.99 through my video than 30 minutes of one course at SVA. At the very least, for the minimum of $1, I guarantee you'll learn more than during the first 90 seconds after class officially starts and people are still taking their winter coats off and you've been charged $1.
I want you to hold that number in your head: $40/hr. As you consider resources like those presented here at Baxa Art Academy, think about your college experience (if you've had some) and what you really actually learned in any given 60 minutes. Cumulatively you'll get a lot, but you'll pay a ton for it. The resources you can get here and elsewhere--whether they augment or replace a power-school is up to you--are usually going to be a better value.
Click this link to pick up my Randy Gallegos: Oil Painting Demonstration, "Alieis" .