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Matthew White — The Value of Knowledge

The BoldBrush Show: Episode #71

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Today, we sat down with Matthew White, an artist who not only specializes in watercolor but also specializes in teaching others how to paint in watercolor at home through his online course and YouTube channel. On this episode, we talk about Matthew's path in how he became a full time artist, advice for anyone looking to monetize their knowledge, how he manages his time between painting, recording for youtube, and family time, and finally he gives us some amazing tips for anyone who's looking to start a YouTube channel. Finally Matthew tells us about his online course and his upcoming Plein Air Watercolor Landscape Retreat in France!
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Matthew White: 0:00

I always try to come from a place of genuinely wanting to help people. And I think if you keep that your goal, I think people can see that, you know, they can see that on your channel and how you teach. They'll see it instantly. You know, if they buy your course and don't like it, you know, they'll they'll know you. You need to really come from authentic and authentic place of wanting to help people, I believe.

Laura Arango Baier: 0:24

Welcome to the BoldBrush show, where we believe that fortune favors the bold brush. My name is Laura Arango Baier, and I'm your host. For those of you who are new to the podcast. We're a podcast that covers art marketing techniques, and all sorts of business tips specifically to help artists learn to better sell their work. We interview artists at all stages of their careers, as well as others who are in careers tied to the art world in order to hear their advice and insights. Today, we sat down with Matthew white, an artist not only specializes in watercolor, but also specializes in teaching others how to paint in watercolor from the comfort of their home through his online course and YouTube channel. On this episode, we talk about Matthew's path and how he became a full time artist. advice for anyone looking to monetize their knowledge, how he manages his time between painting recording for YouTube and family time. And finally, he gives us some amazing tips for anyone who's looking to start a YouTube channel. Finally, Matthew tells us about his online course. And his upcoming plein air watercolor landscape retreat in France. Welcome, not to the BoldBrush show. How are you today?

Matthew White: 1:32

I'm doing great. Thank you for having me. I really do appreciate it. Yeah,

Laura Arango Baier: 1:36

I'm excited to have you, of course, because I am also really into YouTube. And of course, your work is gorgeous. And yeah, I when I was saying I was this is stunning. This is like the most gentle, careful handling of oil paint. I'm not whipping up watercolor, my bad watercolor that I've seen in a long time, because it's not a medium that that you see very often, in my opinion, I'm sure there's a bigger wad of watercolor community than I know. But since it is such a challenging medium, it's wonderful to see someone who not only handles it well, but also teaches people how to handle it, which I think you're welcome. I think if I get into watercolor, I will definitely be looking at your videos and panicking a little bit, but definitely checking out your videos. So you're welcome. Do you mind telling us a bit about who you are and what you do?

Matthew White: 2:30

Yeah, yeah. So my name is Matt White. And I'm a watercolor artist and instructor. And I live in Kansas City with my wife and two kids.

Laura Arango Baier: 2:42

Wow. very succinct. And, you know, it's that's really all you really need to say like,

Matthew White: 2:51

yeah, I love to paint. Yeah. And yeah, it's great. Yeah.

Laura Arango Baier: 2:57

And actually, I did want to know, first how you decided to become an artist, because you do have a background in actually in editing and video editors. But why the sudden change into painting?

Matthew White: 3:12

Yeah, that's a great question. So I always have been interested in art, since I was a little kid, I've always loved to draw. And it was just something I, I had always been drawn to, and I really enjoyed. But I didn't necessarily I never envisioned myself, being able to make a living as an artist. And so it's something that kind of, you know, I would come I would draw a little bit, and I would kind of get away from it. But it wasn't until I was 30 years old, and had a kid and a family that I was really like, I really want to learn how to paint. Because I don't know if you can relate to this, but I know maybe others can that when life is its busiest, you really have to become selective on how you spend your time. And so I got to this point where it was like, you know, life is really full. And I really, you know, I'm not getting any younger. And I really want to learn how to paint I've always been interested in it and but it was nothing that I had really set time to and really chosen to study until this point in my life. And so I remember my wife was out of town with my son, and I was like, I'm gonna start painting watercolor this weekend. And I went out and I bought a book just I went to a bookstore and bought like one of the first watercolor books I found and got it got some cheap supplies. And I think that's why I chose watercolor because it just seemed like very accessible. And so I got what I needed. And I did a few paintings, I was like, wow, this is a lot harder than I thought it was gonna be. But it is really fun. And so from there, I just, it became this, this outlet for me that I could really focus on, you know, after my son was asleep at night after I was done at work, when things were quiet, it became this amazing escape this amazing creative outlet. And I just fell in love with painting. And I just decided that this is something I want to be really good at. And I made time for it, I really got, you know, dedicated to showing up every evening, and just painting and painting and painting. And the paintings were not very good for a long time. But slowly, they started getting better. And I started seeing more progress. And I got to take a few workshops with some artists that I just really admired. And it just kind of snowballed. And so I found myself, you know, in a in a career doing video editing. And I, you know, I had already had one, I had a son and a daughter on the way. And I was just, I just felt this pole in this urge that I just needed to paint more. And I started exploring ways of, you know, trying to make some income with my art and painting. And that led me to Patreon and down to YouTube and a whole bunch of other things. But that's kind of the short version of the story is that I fell in love with painting. And I really, I really just dedicated myself to it. And eventually, I found a way to leave my full time job and support my family through painting and teaching. And so that's kind of how I got to where I am today. Yeah.

Laura Arango Baier: 6:56

Wow. Um, that's first of all, amazing. And, again, kudos. It's like, you really must love it to make time for it. You know, it's like, yeah, one of those things that you can tell you love something because you can't either you can't stop thinking about it, or you make time for it truly. Yeah. And the fact that it's snowballed, you know, so naturally to is what it seems like, it's like, wow, like, it really can change your life, the moment you decide to pursue the things that you really enjoy. Yeah,

Matthew White: 7:30

and for me, I've always needed a creative outlet for years, it was playing music, and playing the drums. And that's what I really put a lot of my time into. And then, you know, when, like I said, when life got busier and fuller, and I was kind of moving out of that chapter of my life, I really needed something, you know, video editing, creating videos, and editing and doing all that kind of stuff. That's another creative outlet of mine, but having something in front of you, that is tangible. You know, after working on a computer all day long, being in front of a piece of paper, and just thinking about water and paint and brushes and the texture of the paper, there was something so real and calming, and creative and life giving about that. And the more I could do that, the happier I was, and and to see progress in my work after the hard work I was putting into it was really exciting, too. So yeah, that's kind of that was how everything kind of came about for me. Wow. That's

Laura Arango Baier: 8:35

beautiful. Oh my gosh, I feel like if anyone's listening and they're thinking like, should I shouldn't I should I just Just do it. I mean, I'm in. Yeah, I actually recently interviewed someone else who she started when she was 50. And now she's teaching workshops. And she's really living from her work. I'm like, Oh my God. You know what I

Matthew White: 8:56

tell people, I tell people this all the time, it is never too late. It really isn't. Yeah.

Laura Arango Baier: 9:03

And then also just the fact that she actually just started because she loved it. And it was also an escape for her. It was like something to give her I guess. Normally meaning that it gave her something to to want to do you know, something to go up for in the morning. So yeah, I love that. I love people who just decide, heck, I'm just gonna do it. It's gonna be I mean, I'm not getting any younger, and I'm just gonna do it. And I love that. I did want to know, though, when you were in this time period of, you know, watercolor and I'm guessing you got to the point where like, Okay, I kind of get this, you know, this is working. It's kind of coming out the way I want because I feel like it never truly looks the way we want as artists. But when was the point where you said, Okay, I'm going to share this journey on YouTube and I want to teach others when was

Matthew White: 9:55

Yeah, so I started a YouTube channel about five years ago and And originally, I didn't have any goals with it, it was just, you know, I liked shooting videos. And I liked painting. And I thought I really should combine these two things and and just kind of get it out there and see what happens. And so I put a few videos up early on, it wasn't anything consistent. And, and I just, I had a channel, I wasn't really doing much with it for probably the first couple years. And then when I got further down the road in painting, and I believe I'd already started a Patreon account at that point. And for people that aren't, most people are familiar with Patreon. But for those that aren't, it's a way to provide something for an audience and they can subscribe and pay you a little bit a month to get what it is that you offer. And what I was offering was a tutorial of, you know, a demonstration from beginning to end. And I was doing one a month. And that was my first way to try to monetize my teaching. And so that picked up a little bit of steam. But I kind of hit a ceiling with that and I had nowhere to go with it, I had no way to promote it and get it any bigger. It wasn't enough income for me to take a leap by any means nowhere close. So then I started just digging around and researching passive income and searching passive income. I learned about this guy named Graham Cochran. And he talks about monetizing your knowledge. And I was like, okay, so this is this is really interesting. And so I actually took a course from him on how to make an online course. And so that was, this will lead back to YouTube, it's just there's a lot of moving parts to here. Good, I love it. So that showed me how to establish a site, how to build my course out. And then most importantly, how to get leads, or people that you're interested in that might want to purchase your course to find out about you, and how to pitch the course to them. So the the engine for getting leads is YouTube. And so once I understood how YouTube fit into that puzzle, that's when I was like, Okay, I'm not ready to sell anything, but I know that my YouTube channel is important. So I'm going to start making consistent videos, I'm going to make a video a week, no matter what, and put that up on my channel and see what happens. And you're, you're not going to grow YouTube overnight. But it does require that bit of consistency. If you commit to posting in a regular way, and continuing to show up, you're going to have some videos that you aren't expecting, that are going to take off and do really well. And you also have videos that you think are going to do really well they won't do anything. But over time, you are building the audience. And the key to building that, too to all of that is as your audience is growing, you're offering them something free at the end of your videos. And this is called a lead magnet. And this is what I learned through my course with Graham Cochran and this wave of teaching and selling your your digital products, your your courses and things like that. And so you offer something free for someone's email address. And you want to make it something very desirable, something that solves a problem within your niche. So if it's watercolor, if it's oil, if it's pastel, you know, getting plugged in, and understanding what people are wanting to know in that niche and then offering a really good solution as a lead magnet. And when I say lead magnet, it's if you're watching in my YouTube videos, at the end of it, I say I have this, you know this five step system to solve these problems. If you click here, you can download it. So people will click there and have their email address. And they can get this free thing that I made for them, which is great. It's very educational. It's super helpful. That thing in itself has a lot of great reviews from people it's valuable content. Because that's the key is I want to offer value. In every video I create and everything that I give away. I want to be very valuable. So I know it's a long answer, but that is what fueled my desire to really put a lot into my YouTube channel is because it wasn't just because I wanted to have a big channel because I wanted to have a big presence here. It's because it really is a tool to gain leads in my business selling my course. So that's a long winded answer. But hopefully you kind of understand the big picture there.

Laura Arango Baier: 15:06

No, I think your answer was, I think the exact length it should be. Because yeah, there is a lot that goes into, you know, building a YouTube channel. And then also I, I would have thought that it would have been backwards, right, where you start a YouTube channel, and then you make a Patreon, but for you is the other way around, which I think is fascinating. Yeah, because you already knew, Okay, there's a demand for this. So I'm gonna teach. But it's even better, you know, when you have a way to funnel people there with that, YouTube? Yeah. And I really love the point you make about you know, having that lead magnet collecting emails, even with selling artwork on its own, you know, without the YouTube having an email list is one of the best ways to sell. Especially if you have like a newsletter that reminds people Hey, exists in, here's for stuff again, and then they end up purchasing. But it's it's very genius to, you know, first of all, be authentic as heck, right? Because you don't want to, like lure people in and then it's happened to me so many times where like, they're like, oh, yeah, give us your email, and then spam, spam spam, and I'm like, Please, no,

Matthew White: 16:13

yeah, no, I never want to be that I never want to be that way. I always try to come from a place of genuinely wanting to help people. And I think if you keep that your goal, I think people can see that, you know, they can see that on your channel and how you teach. They'll see it instantly. You know, if they buy your course and don't like it, you know, they'll they'll know you, you need to really come from authentic and authentic place of wanting to help people. I believe.

Laura Arango Baier: 16:42

I completely agree. Even though of course, you are now at 100,000 subs, which is amazing. Congratulations. Thank you. You're welcome. It goes to show that you know, sometimes that path to getting, you know, monetized and making you know, maybe some passive income from YouTube really doesn't come from just focusing on that it really comes from focusing on providing that value for people. Yeah. And then everything just flows in on its own. It's like a almost like a, like the end result is that you monetize? But it's not necessarily like you were saying the goal. It's like, Oh, that's right happened on the side like, yeah,

Matthew White: 17:19

right. Yeah. And I would just say that, if that is a goal that you have, it takes time, you know, it really does. And if that is your main goal, you're probably gonna get really frustrated. Because it doesn't happen quickly. You know, some people it might happen faster for some people, but for me, it was showing up consistently, every week, not missing a week for, you know, two or three years. Before you can see larger numbers like that, I wanted to add one more thing about the email list because that's what I tell other artists all the time is that right now at a time when there is so much going on social media and platforms are changing algorithms are changing. Tick tock, you know, Twitter changes to x overnight and in everything is different over there. Now, Instagram favors reels now and video even more so than a photo. So we're constantly trying to regain our footing when it comes to social media. That's why more than ever, an email list is so important. You own that audience. And you know that you could put a lot of content out on Instagram, or tick tock or, or even YouTube. But if you're not capturing that audience, and trying to start an engaged email list, you're really missing out because things can change over time. But that email list is more valuable to me than anything else. So I encourage anyone out there who even wants to sell their art, or some type of they want to have some product in the future. They don't even know what it is yet. When you're at an art show. Put out your little book, say sign up for my email list. When you put things on Instagram, when you put things on YouTube, try to promote people and give them a reason to sign up for your newsletter. If you just say I have a newsletter, you know, nine out of 10 People aren't gonna care. So give them give them a great reason to sign up because you collecting those names over the years is so valuable because your open rate in your emails is always going to be higher than the algorithm that feeds people your stuff on on, you know, Instagram or anything else.

Laura Arango Baier: 19:46

So yeah, yeah, and yeah, absolutely. It's so easy to get buried under the algorithm to and then what happens the moment that you know, maybe Instagram or any of these platforms poufs for Right, because like so many perfectly right? Yeah, they rely on it. It's good to have that email list because it's like, I can fall back on a tangible thing.

Matthew White: 20:08

You know? That's right. That's right. If you really want to have contact, consistent, reliable contact with people that, like what you are doing, that's the best way to do it. Definitely.

Laura Arango Baier: 20:21

Yes. Oh, and actually, you know, there's so many artists that I've interviewed who all say the same thing about newsletters, like newsletters, actually newsletters have artists newsletters have a higher open rate than I think I had heard, like, important government ones, like, we have like a higher open rate, because certainly, yeah, because people I mean, when they subscribe to an artists newsletter, they actually want to hear from the artist. Yeah, it's actually curious, that care, care enough to like write in their email, to technically someone they don't really know. But they love their work, and they resonate. So first, they're gonna open it, they're gonna want to hear everything. And then you also made a really good point about, Gosh, what was it mentioned something earlier, and I was like, it might come back to me later. But I also did want to know, because your work is very delicate. It's very beautiful. But it also is expressive at the same time. And it makes me so curious that you picked a really, really difficult medium. Do you find that watercolor lends itself to that expression of your work that you're seeking, right the way that you want it to be represented? Yeah,

Matthew White: 21:39

I think it does. And I didn't know this when I picked the medium. I really love the immediacy of watercolor. I love how spontaneous it is. And I love that, I'm only going to be about 85 to 90%, completely in control of what happens. Because sometimes the most beautiful parts of my paintings are things I couldn't have planned. You know, it's, it's the way that colors are mixing on the paper, you know, things like that the soft edges, I love the softness of the medium and getting a beautiful contrast between soft and hard edges. It's just it's very exciting. And there might be a learning curve. And it might, it might feel daunting to those that are unfamiliar with watercolor timing and some of the basic rules. But once you get a handle on those, you can unlock the ability to really explore and enjoy the medium, a bit more. So I understand like, I still, you know, I mess up a ton. I have stacks of paintings I'm not happy with. And that's part of the learning and the growing process, always. But yeah, there's something very fluid and organic. And there's just something about it, I really do enjoy. And like I mentioned, the the immediacy, I do enjoy plein air painting, I love to get outside and paint as well. And you can you can just capture beautiful feeling of movement of clouds. It's great for landscape painting. Yeah, so I really do enjoy it. And there's things I love about it now that I had no clue I would love when I first started painting it.

Laura Arango Baier: 23:30

Oh, my gosh, um, now that you mentioned that, you know, what do you feel like your work has? Now that you're more aware, right? Because when you teach, you really have to become double as good, right? Because you really need to be able to explain what the heck is even going on? And sometimes we don't even know. Right? So as you were saying, you know, there's stuff about it that now you love that you maybe weren't even aware of before? Has, do you find that teaching has created that sort of more understanding, and then also has YouTube and teaching, having to explain things? has that affected? How you perceive your work, and helped you improve? Hmm,

Matthew White: 24:14

well, I think that, you know, I'm only nine years into painting. So I am growing, like, I look at some of my paintings from a year ago, and I do things a little differently now than I did even then. My foundation is the same, like values are always going to be values, you know, but some of my techniques might evolve how I some subtleties in my mixing. I definitely am changing, you know, from year to year. So that does correspond with me also teaching. One thing I think that's great about teaching is I have to have a good reason for doing things I have to be able to explain it. And you know, I mentioned value is like, I've really preached doing value studies, and and in preaching that I do a lot more value studies myself, because I'm teaching other people how to do them too. And I think it's great and it goes hand in hand. And I'm becoming a better teacher because I'm becoming a better painter, but I'm becoming a better painter, because I'm becoming a better teacher. So they go together, which I think is really, really a great part of it.

Laura Arango Baier: 25:26

And that makes perfect sense. And I completely agree with the value studies, I think they are very, I think a lot of people underestimate the use of a value study, especially for composition and creating an image that draws the viewer in. I think also because and I have a theory that when the camera was invented, so much of the paintings that were made after are cropped, in a very odd way that sometimes they can be a little bit jarring. And because of that I think a lot of artists now since we're so exposed to like the crop format of images, that when you look at a painting pre camera, you can see that it's a complete image. Sure, they might crop out certain parts, but it's complete in itself. There's like nothing that they don't want you to see. Unless it's like, oh, yeah, well, that's like an extra thing over there. And it just gives depth, right. But I feel like yeah, I, I think in that way, or for that reason, we should really focus on those valleys studies and on those compositions to really like, Okay, this is the complete image, I don't want to confuse the viewer and lead them out of my image. I want to keep them in here. You know, yeah. Do you find that through teaching, it has also made you even more aware of that, you know, of like compositional aspects of organizing, like your horizon line, and where you want things to land? Do you find that that's also been something that you've explored?

Matthew White: 26:59

Yeah, yeah, I would say that composition, goes right hand in hand with the other skills that I've, you know, that I continue to improve on, year after year. But yeah, when you're explaining horizon, line composition, all these things, you start to see it differently, and reexamine why you make the choices that you make, like I was mentioning, you explain it and, you know, I critique students work as as well. And so that's part of it as well, I need to, if I want to give constructive advice, I have to think through it myself. And I have to, you know, challenge myself on my thinking at times. So yeah, all that has been part of this whole season of growth in in learning to teach and learning to paint and how they do kind of go hand in hand and help each other grow together, which has been really exciting. Yeah,

Laura Arango Baier: 27:58

yeah. And again, but that having the YouTube channel and then also, you know, your teaching, main, your main thing being teaching, it also helps keep you consistent with your own work, which is really useful as well, I feel like you know, again, it's like, kind of like a circle where it feeds itself. It's pretty cool. BoldBrush We inspire artists to inspire the world, because creating art creates magic, and the world is currently in desperate need of magic. BoldBrush provides artists with free art, marketing, creativity, and business ideas and information. This show is an example. We also offer written resources, articles and a free monthly art contest open to all visual artists. We believe that fortune favors the bold brush. And if you believe that to sign up completely free at BoldBrush That's BOLDBRUSH The BoldBrush Show is sponsored by FASO. Now, more than ever, it's crucial to have a website when you're an artist, especially if you want to be a professional in your career. Thankfully, with our special link forward slash podcast, you can make that come true. And also get over 50% off your first year on your artists website. Yes, that's basically the price of 12 lattes in one year, which I think is a really great deal considering that you get sleek and beautiful website templates that are also mobile friendly e commerce print on demand in certain countries, as well as access to our marketing center that has our brand new art marketing calendar. And the art marketing calendar is something that you won't get with our competitor. The art marketing calendar gives you day by day step by step guides on what you should be doing today right now in order to get your artwork out there and seen by the right eyes so that you can make more sales this year. So if you want to change your life and actually meet your sales goal this year, then start now by going to our special link forward slash podcast that's and I Just remembered what I was gonna say earlier which is doing watercolor plein air sounds like a triathlon to me. It sounds really hard. So I was gonna commend you for I mean, doing one a hard medium and to a very challenging, you know, act with the media. So yeah, it is

Matthew White: 30:21

a challenge. I'm taking my first international group to France this year in May. And so I'll be teaching plein air painting over there. And that's going to be really exciting. A lot of my teaching is online, I'm really excited to be with my people in person in a beautiful place. So if anyone is watching this and this in they are interested in plein air retreat to France, I think there's three, three spots still open. So they can check out my site and take a look at that. But plein air painting is its own complete challenge. Studio watercolor painting is different than plein air painting. Like it's hard indoors, it's a new challenge outdoors. But what it forces you to do is to get down on idea quickly. And also, I treat my plein air paintings as sketches. I'm gathering information, I'm taking reference photos, but I'm also on location, looking at the light looking at the colors. Mixing, you know, really quickly, you just got to you got to mix and go for it, you can't second guess yourself, you have to paint in a very immediate way. Things are drying faster. It definitely has its own challenges, but it can be very rewarding and very informative to the work that you do indoors as well.

Laura Arango Baier: 31:47

Yeah, you know, I feel like the a lot of the plein air painters that I meet, it seems like they're addicted to it. Because it's such a

Matthew White: 31:54

it's so fun. And it's so relaxing. Well, I say relaxing, it's relaxing, being in a in a nice environment like, also, I think it shakes the dust off of any staleness that you might have in the studio. Like when the weather is nice, and I'm just feeling like, oh, I don't know what to paint. I'm just I need to get outside. You know, because I work here from home. I have kids, and my whole life is kind of in this one house. So when the weather is nice, and I can get outside, man it is it's a great feeling. And it really add some life to what I paint indoors to. So I'll get a lot of reference photos, I'll spend some time on site. I might even redo a plein air painting indoors. If it's something I'm kind of excited about. I want to see what the differences are between my outdoor version and my indoor version. So it's a really fun part of, of painting. Yeah, very challenging. Very fun. Yes,

Laura Arango Baier: 32:56

definitely. And then I did want to bring up something because before I interrupted my own thought with my own thought, I wanted to ask you about how specifically how different these fears are, right? Because we have like an Instagram, I feel like the people who go to Instagram are very different. And they have a very different reason for being there than people who are on YouTube. How have you found that the sphere or the community of YouTube has been different from the ones on other platforms? That's

Matthew White: 33:26

a good question. I'm gonna think about that one for a sec. I'm gonna really, I don't know if I have a clear cut answer. I would say that I feel like people on YouTube, especially since I'm posting consistently, they count on my video every week, you know, people will comment and say, every Monday morning, I'm sitting down and having my coffee and I'm watching your video, I have gotten some of the sweetest most amazing messages from people that have been like, oh my gosh, like, I have created this YouTube channel to not only teach but like be the engine for my business. But there are people that are getting so much life out of these videos that I'm making. And I had this woman email me and say that her mother had just passed away. And her and in the last like months, or maybe even a year of her mother's life, they would sit together and watch one of my videos. And I was like that is the sweetest thing. I was just like, oh my gosh, I've never received a message like this before. So like they your audience builds a relationship with you in a way that they don't through any other medium. I've never received any feedback on Instagram like that, you know, Instagram is you know, people are just scrolling and they're like, oh yeah, that's a nice picture. I like it and move on. YouTube is a place where they feel like they can connect and kind of get to know you a little bit you know, my videos aren't very personal at all, like, occasionally I might mention something about my family or like what the weather's doing or what's going on with me, but it's not really about me. It's more about teaching. But even though people seem to connect with me, and and I think that's really special. So I guess that would be the difference between the two. Yeah.

Laura Arango Baier: 35:22

Oh, my God, that is so sweet. Oh, I

Matthew White: 35:25

know. Like, I don't know, if you understand how much that meant to me. You know, that is so special. Absolutely. Yeah.

Laura Arango Baier: 35:33

And you know what, that's the other difference, I'd say. I mean, also seeing my own reason for why I'm on YouTube, right? It is, you know, I feel like a lot more people are seeking that genuine human connection, especially because like you were saying, you know, when Instagram, you're just scrolling, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, it's like doing scrolling. But with YouTube, when a person picks a video, they want to sit for the whole thing. I mean, when I tell you, I watched a whole four hour video the other day, non stop, just on the pagan origins of Christmas, because it sounded fascinating. Are there other crazy people out there, right, who have 10 minutes to spare on something that they really care about. And I think that's the biggest difference as well. You know, like the people that amazing.

Matthew White: 36:21

Everyone can find their niche, everyone. And I think that's so cool. Like, if you have a specific medium that you work in very specific subjects, there are people out there that love that, and they will find you. So if you get on YouTube, you start making videos, you will find your people. And that's really exciting. One more thing I'll mention, as far as like a business, minded reason for working with YouTube is that the three top search engines in the world, our Google, YouTube, and then Pinterest, which I found really fascinating. And so if you are going to put time into building your email list, or educating people within your niche, or establishing yourself as an instructor in the thing that you love to do, focus on those, those outlets that are evergreen, searchable platforms. So I make a video I spend, I probably spend maybe three to four hours a week on my video between filming, planning, filming, editing, posting, maybe, maybe around five, something like that. But one good way to think about it is that when you put this video into the world, it's almost like having an employee out in the world, acting on your behalf. Because that video is searchable. And it's evergreen. And for I'm using the word evergreen as it doesn't go away. So if you search if someone searches, watercolor landscapes seen in Google, Google will pull from YouTube. And also, if you have a blog, blogs are great websites are great to keep adding into other searchable content, all of that is worth your time because it doesn't go away. So if you do the same thing on Instagram, even if you have a large following, I think I'm around 20k on Instagram, something like that. A small percentage of those people might see your post. And then it goes away. You know, it's it's there if people are searching your past posts, but it's not going to show up in people's feeds after 24 hours or something like that. So finding ways to build good content in these evergreen platforms are in using those searchable pieces of content to build your email list. That right there will build you something over time that is lasting. And so I'm just always preaching, you know, put time into those platforms that that will be there and and provide searchable content in your niche. I think that's the best way to go. Definitely.

Laura Arango Baier: 39:07

Yeah, and I'm also really into Pinterest as well. I actually recently bought a Pinterest marketing course because I Oh, I am an avid Pinterest user. And I also see its potential as a way of you know, getting those leads. Because I myself experienced that when I go on there and I I actually did speak once to a Pinterest business like person where they like try to guide you on how to put your first campaign I didn't get to go through with it because money at the time was very tight. But she did tell me a very fascinating thing, which is that what makes Pinterest different from other places. It's kind of like how YouTube is different but Pinterest is different in the fact that when people go on Pinterest, since it's not a social media platform, people go on there to buy and to get ideas. So it makes it more like you know for sure that A person's gonna buy something like, nine, nine times out of 10. Yeah. So I completely agree. I didn't know that statistic that it was one of the top topics to know that Yeah, yeah. You hear that, folks, Google, YouTube? Pinterest, you got this. And you did mention hours, the time that you spend on this, which I did want to ask you. Yeah, because you know, having so many things going on, right? You're painting teaching, you're editing, it's a lot of stuff on your plate. How do you time match? Oh, my God. And then family? Of course, she's, how do you time manage all of those tasks?

Matthew White: 40:38

Great question. I've gotten faster at creating the videos over time. So I think I mentioned I come from a video production background, I spent a lot of time editing. And so my editing has gotten a little quicker. So that saves time. And, you know, when you first start something new, it's going to take you it's going to be slow at the beginning. And then when you get used to it, you'll get more comfortable being on camera, you'll have to edit less, you'll have a better idea of the type of video that you want to make, you're not reinventing the wheel every time you do it. So I think that's, that's a big part of it. I'm not the most super like, my wife is great at this, she will plan her week out to a tee, she has great lists that she'll check things off, that's not my strength, I've had to become a little bit better in that area, I have a content calendar that shows where I'm at what I'm doing for this month, I can plan out a month or two ahead of time on what the YouTube content is. So that's the YouTube aspect of it. A large part of the rest of my business is as automated as it possibly can be. I've made my course one time. And this is a digital project product that I can sell endless amounts of that I've put the work in one time. Now there always is responding to customers questions. You know, you have that aspect of it. But a lot of the the sales and in the teaching is very automated. Now I do offer, I have two main things. So I sell my digital my online courses. But I also have a membership, a subscription site. And that is where I don't do Patreon anymore, I have my own site, people subscribe, they get a monthly tutorial, I do critique a group video critique every other month. So I've come up with this, this recurring. You know, this other content that I can offer for as a subscription model as well. So those are the two main parts of my business. But it's built in a way that is largely passive, when people sign up for my lead magnet that I mentioned earlier, then they get fed an automatic series of emails that teach, I offer a lot of high value teaching. And then eventually I do come to a pitch for my course. And they can either take me up on that offer, or just stay on my email list. And they get an email every week that talks about my YouTube video that offers good teaching. And I have 1000s of people that just take advantage of my free learning. And I think that's wonderful. Not everyone's going to buy, you have to go into this knowing that about 1% of your leads are going to spend money. And if you can get that number through your head, it doesn't feel so defeating. It's just like that's just kind of the nature of the business. So this if I'm getting this many leads I can I know approximately what that's going to mean for me, as far as sales goes. So to answer your question, I've gotten quicker on YouTube. And a lot of these tasks are automated. But I will say that, you know, I'm starting my third year of doing this full time in February. And one thing that I've noticed, you know, the first year was like, it's kind of like, if you're realizing that you you're not sure if you're gonna fly and you're flapping your wings really hard. And you realize that you are flying. And it's amazing, but you feel like you stuffed it flap your wings really hard to stay up in the air. Well, a year or two I've been like, okay, things are working, I'm paying the bills, everything's gonna be fine. Now, I can enjoy this experience a little bit more and try to like, find ways to automate as much as I can and make things you know, work as well. timewise but one thing I found out kind of in going into my second year is I have to prioritize my painting over anything else, if I'm not prioritized In my painting, things are getting out of whack. I'm not feeling like I'm as good as teachers I should be. And I just, I have to enjoy what I'm doing. Because because that's the whole reason why I'm doing this, the whole reason why I want to learn how to build an online course was so I could spend more time painting. And so I would just give that little bit of advice to anyone who's wanting to take the leap or has taken the leap, or just wants to dip their toe in the water and start a Patreon or whatever, you have to prioritize the part of it that you love. So if I'm painting often, and I'm feeling, you know, engaged in the area, and excited and you're not always going to feel that way, there's going to be ups and downs in your creativity. Excuse me, but if you can prioritize it. For me, anyway, it makes everything else feel so much better and more in balance, if I prioritize, prioritize my painting.

Laura Arango Baier: 46:02

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. I mean, that's also the other challenge, you know, of being your own boss and employee at the same time, is, so much of you know, what you get out is what you put in, quite literally, thankfully, it really does compound itself, when you have things like YouTube and other passive income, that's, you know, coming outside of that just working once really compounds itself, which is so, so useful when you're an artists and, you know, you need to focus on painting primarily. So yeah, I totally agree. And then also, as you work, you're also getting insights from observing yourself work, which then also feeds back into that YouTube or into whatever lesson that you might want to give. So it's like, yeah, it's just everything's feeding itself. It's a very delicate food cycle there. Yeah,

Matthew White: 46:53

that's right. Yeah, the painting and the studying and the learning and the growing for me that I have to keep that central to what I'm doing. Absolutely.

Laura Arango Baier: 47:04

Yeah. Um, and then I also wanted to ask you, do you have any other advice for seen artists who's really looking to dive into YouTube specifically to monetize it? Do you have any final advice or caveats or anything you want to say?

Matthew White: 47:24

Yeah, I would say your first video is going to be your worst one. And that's okay. Think of it as any other skill. You know, think about the first time you picked up a paintbrush, or a pencil. And it wasn't pretty, but you knew that like, you know, there's potential here and just be kind to yourself. You know, you practice you dive in, you'll get better the more that you do it. And yeah, it's not for everyone, but don't be so fast to write it off and then say, it's not for you, if you don't have experience in that way. We're in a time when editing is becoming easier and easier and easier. You know, 10 years ago, or longer when I was first getting into video production that was a very different world than what we are in now. You can shoot on your phone, you don't have to go buy expensive equipment like it's it's an exciting time to be a creator in this way. Because the playing field is so level now as far as like technology goes and and I would just say you know, you can figure it out and you might be really pleasantly surprised at how many people want to see how you create the thing that you create. You know, so be nice to yourself just like you need to be when you are learning painting or struggling and give a shot. Yeah,

Laura Arango Baier: 49:02

I love that. You're motivating me yeah and then also actually I'm I'm actually very curious because there are so many YouTube videos out there of like, oh, this is the equipment you should get and like all of this stuff, do you I mean I'm guessing you probably already had some equipments and maybe you know from before but aside from you know the phone, let's say someone wants to level up a little bit is it worth getting a DSLR or not? Um,

Matthew White: 49:32

I love DSLRs and I have for years and if you have the budget get one you know I'm my webcam I don't know if you can tell right now it's on a DSLR and it you know it if you're shooting in a smaller space, and you want a little bit of depth of field which means you want to blur the background out a little bit aside from I know on on the iPhone, you can blur the background or things like that, but, you know, I like to say DSLR orders have really come down in price. And they're probably a ton out there. You can buy a used one. I buy refurbished equipment. Yeah, any any of that stuff is great. I don't think it's a must. But I also, you know, if you want to play around with it and see if you like it and give it a try, I would say go for it. Because it's all of this is more accessible now than it's ever been before. So give it a shot. And as far as like lighting goes, I'm fortunate here I'm in the front room of my house is my studio side, a big picture window here. I have an overhead light that I don't have turned on right now. But it's my studio lighting for painting. Just nice. Even like daylight on my painting area. That's, that's good for filming. Yeah, so I mean, you can, the great thing is you can go on YouTube and say, simple video setup for you tubing, and there will be more information than you would ever know what to do. There. But yeah, things are more affordable than they've ever been. And there are so many options, too. So great time to get into content creation. Absolutely.

Laura Arango Baier: 51:09

Yeah. Yeah. It's so funny, because like a lot of people they say like, oh, the best time to have started a YouTube was like 2008 or something. And then the other best time is now. Because, yeah, because I mean, 2008 was like when it was really starting up. I remember, you know that time. Yeah. But now it's like, oh, no, now it's one of the best times because there's so many more people who are putting themselves out on YouTube, because they're tired of the whole short format, type of situation going on on Instagram and Tiktok, where it's just like for people who have curious minds, and who want to like actually sit down and enjoy something. You YouTube is really the place to go also because like, for example, I don't know how you feel about this. But I think Netflix and like all of these streaming platforms, I feel like half the time, it's just full of nothing. You know, there's nothing to watch. There's nothing interesting to see. So I've been opting out. And watching like YouTube documentaries, or, you know, people explaining, like art history things are interesting things because like, it's like, it's stuff that's very niche. Like you were saying there's a niche for everything. So you'll probably get even more information, hopefully from people who have researched a lot, of course. But yeah, there's definitely a much bigger market for that. I think there's also a statistic where it's like, the average person spends five hours on YouTube a week, which is a lot of time. If you add it up, you know, to like, oh, I have X number of subscribers, if each of them is watching five hours, my content a week. That's a lot. Yeah. So yeah, I

Matthew White: 52:48

think that's that it's a great point. And YouTube is more relevant now than it ever has been. And yeah, with the I really hope that YouTube continues to lean into their long form content, and not I know they do they have shorts, and they really want everyone to make shorts. And that's fine. I can see I see why they're doing that. But you know, to have a place where you can go, and really taking content with that amount of depth. I really hope that they they stick with that. Not just for me selfishly in my business, but because that's the kind of stuff I like to watch, too. So, absolutely,

Laura Arango Baier: 53:31

yeah, I don't think it's gonna go like, anywhere. I think it's gonna stay, you know. And also, yeah, and also, I did hear that they're monetizing the little shorts as well. So that's something else that, you know, some people might want to consider if they are like, considering YouTube, although it does annoy me that the new monetization requires that you have X number of views on your shorts.

Matthew White: 53:53

They always have a little, a little catch. You gotta get past this point. You know, exactly.

Laura Arango Baier: 54:00

But I think they did reduce. I think they did reduce the other ones. balance it out a bit, which is good, because I mean, I think it's supposed to be 1000 subs, and like 100,000 views or something or hours. I can't remember. But yeah, for anyone out there who wants to monetize? Definitely check that out and like, see what you need. And like you said, it takes time. Yeah, probably triple quadruple the time that you would want. So yeah. So aside from your exciting up plein air in France, do you have any other stuff that's going on any cool workshops, projects that you'd like to mention?

Matthew White: 54:40

Um, that's my, that's my main one. Like I mentioned, I don't I'm not doing a lot in person at this point like I am. This next year. I'm branching out into that a little bit more and I'm excited. But you know, I have two young kids right now and my life is here at home. And that's how I like it to be a Um, but I am excited to head to France this year. I'm also going to South Korea and Japan on a, you know, on a trip with with my brother to do some painting and gather some photos, so I'm gonna have a lot of references and exciting things. But yeah, I don't, I don't have a lot other than that if people are ever interested in in taking a look at what I offer as far as like teaching, if you are a watercolor student and you want to take a look, you can always visit my YouTube channel, you can always go to learn to paint That is my official teaching sites so you can check out my courses and things I offer there. Also, if you're just curious about monetizing your own knowledge, and seeing kind of how I do that, you can check out my website. I also have learn to paint artist and that I recap a little bit of what I talked about here today. And so if you're interested in that, you can always take a look. And check that out too.

Laura Arango Baier: 56:06

Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Matt. I am definitely inspired. Of course. Yeah, I hope everyone out there who's afraid of taking that leap. Just Just do it. You got this.

Matthew White: 56:21

You got this. It might look a little different than you imagine and there's there'll be some ups and downs but man it's it's very life giving at the same time. Absolutely.

The BoldBrush Show. Interviews with today's finest artists and creatives. Watch here or listen on all major podcast services.