Videos, The Stumbling Block

Everyone is doing videos. Studio videos, tutorials, teaching videos. That’s a good thing. Showing how something works in actual motion is a great help to creativity.

So why don’t I love videos? I’ve been trying to figure it out for years. I have learned the basics, although David Lynch doesn’t have much to fear. Using photographs, using movement, I’ve worked on a few videos. I even admit to liking this one.

So what’s not to like? Unlike a book, I can’t stick a bookmark on a page. I can’t use a sticky note and write “use this glue on photograph collage” and stick in in place on the video. Yes, of course I can open a spread sheet, and keep track of the times in instructional videos that I want to re-watch. That, however, is exhausting me just thinking about it.

I also can’t prop a video open on my desk and follow along, getting my hands messy and then stop it till I catch up.

Yes, of course, a book is not a video. They have different advantages and disadvantages. And yes, I have to make some videos or I’ll be relegated to the dustbin of creativity.

Sometimes when I watch videos or art demos, and the artist spends many minutes at the beginning speaking about her background, her life, her inspiration before she gets around to the doing, I get impatient. In a book, I could flip ahead. Trickier in a video, in which you can skip ahead but not really see what you missed. There is no skimming in a video.

I couldn’t wait to get a Kindle, and it didn’t stop my love of real books. I appreciated the different purposes. But I’m still waiting to warm up to videos, and I know I must.

Quinn McDonald is a creativity coach who wishes she could love videos more.

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10 thoughts on “Videos, The Stumbling Block

  1. I too have been thinking about videos and how everyone is doing them, and I start to feel like I’m being left behind. I rarely watch videos myself, so perhaps that is why I am not as exhuberant as others are about the whole process. I like a book, but sometimes you need to just SEE something to understand it. I believe there is a need for both types of instruction. PS. Love the cute little video above!

    • I believe videos and still images are both necessary, too. The way technology is moving along, by the time you learn one thing, another is coming along. We have to pick carefully.

  2. Why do you think you have to make videos or be relegated to the dustbin of creativity? You don’t think that about making iPhone apps or video games do you?

    p.s. creativity has a dustbin??

    • Many artists no longer can make a living teaching at different retreats. It’s the same thing that happened to artists who do art festivals–a lot of festivals and not enough people to fill them all up. Some good, some bad. Hard to tell the difference. So artists are doing videos as tutorials, as ways of getting a bigger audience. Downloadable classes are passive income. Can be lucrative. So many teaching artists are doing videos. As is true of many ways of becoming popular, the more people who know your name, the more often you get Googled. If you don’t play, you don’t get known and you don’t become popular. Dustbin.

  3. I couldn’t agree more – I avoid on-line courses which are mostly videos. I can’t concentrate on them [wrong learning style], it is more difficult to recheck something I haven’t understood than with print, and, as you say, I can’t turn past the bits I don’t need so easily.

    I don’t watch much TV either!

  4. I have a multimedia player about the same size as the Kindle, and can play my downloaded workshop videos on that, which makes them handy to have close by when doing the project from the workshop or something similar, and means I am not tied to the computer, which is a pain. I can always take handwritten notes if I want to. But what works for me may not work for anyone else, and I have yet to warm to the e-reader part of my little player for exactly the same reason you haven’t warmed to the videos!
    The important thing is that we do have these tools to use in various ways, and they can make up for the lack of other tools or facilities we may not have locally, and be used exactly as we want to use them.
    As for the trend to make videos, Youtube isn’t the only way to demonstrate that sometimes its not a good idea to expose oneself to a wide audience! Better a thoughtfully and intelligently written book, article, webinar or seminar, than a highly promoted video that proves one should not be in the self promotion business.

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