Behind the Scenes: Keeping Up with Technology

Full view image of the textile line art with blue, teal, green, tan and yellow colors
©Christine Hager-Braun, “Breathing Space”, Fiber mounted on stretched canvas, 24 x 24 x 1.75″

Are you on Tik-Tok? Maybe you like Facebook Watch? How about Instagram reels? Did you see Pinterest’s video capabilities? I’m sure you enjoy YouTube.

What do all these platforms have in common? The all offer videos.

BUT

Every platform requires different settings for their still images and videos.

If I want to create a 4k-high-definition video for YouTube then I need to have the settings at 3840 pixels wide and 2160 pixels high. A regular HD video for YouTube is only 1920 pixels wide and 1080 pixels high.

However, if I want a reel (which is a short video) for Instagram then it must be 1920 pixels high and 1080 pixels wide, just the opposite format than for YouTube.

Is your head spinning? Mine, too!

But because video is THE thing nowadays, I try to wrap my head around some of the possibilities. After all, I want you, my dear reader, to see my art in its best light. I want to give you an opportunity to connect with the aesthetics of my art quilts. Photos and videos are the best ways – other than in person, of course – to accomplish exactly that.

But with every platform and video format also comes a different app or software program to create the content. Some basic versions of apps or programs are free of charge, but then the options are rather limited. Upgrading to more capabilities requires monetary investment. Therefore, I need to be aware of what I want to do and what the program allows me to do: turn a still image into a video, edit the length of the video, overlay text, add a final image, do voice-over, or include music.

So, I have been exploring a few free apps and I bought software. But now the biggest investment begins: time.

There is different terminology across apps and software; one program let’s me edit videos exclusively in landscape format, another app supports only portrait format.

How do I add music, preferably free of charge and without violating license requirements?

I can create a great high-resolution video in one program, but then the file size is too large to import the video into another app for further processing.

Details. Lots of details.

Learning. Lots of learning.

Understanding possibilities but also limitation – both the software’s and my own.

I love learning, I love knowledge. But frankly, there are also moments of frustration, doubts about me being smart enough to figure out these technological challenges, and the question, if my approach is worth the effort. In these moments I go back to my always relevant question: why do I do what I do?

In the situation regarding social media and videos, the answer to my why brings me back to you, my reader. Yes, it would be easier for me to spend time exclusively in the studio and create art. But then, you don’t get to see the work I create. You don’t get to watch the process of creating of or learn about the inspiration behind a particular piece.

Art has value not only for the artist but also for the art viewer!

Social media and my website allow me to create a bridge that connects you and my art. For me, this connection is worth the effort!

So, I created a video about my textile painting “Breathing Space”, using only a still image.

Lots of experimenting, lots of notetaking, lots of trial-and-error, lots of googling information. Lots of coffee and chocolate 😉.

After 9 (!) hours, I can present to you a video that’s 1 minutes 9 seconds long.

I know there is plenty of room for improvement, but I’m proud that I didn’t give up on it either. Are there simpler ways to achieve what I did? Most likely, but I don’t want to wield my phone across the artwork because watching quick transitions and shaky images make me motion sick, and I don’t want that for you to happen. I want more control and a somewhat professional appearance. I reached my goal and I’m happy with the result. The next video will be so much easier.

Now, without further ado, I present to you the short clip about “Breathing Space”

Christine

PS: Here is a link to a website that provides a comprehensive list of formats for various social media platforms.