Archive for the ‘Videos’ Category

Making Our Shop Instagrammable And You Can Too

Yesterday, I uploaded a video to my YouTube Channel. Not a big deal when you consider the fact that 60 hours worth of video are uploaded to YouTube every single minute. That’s a pretty staggering number when you think about it. With that much video to choose from it seems virtually IMPOSSIBLE to get anybody outside of your direct circle of friends and family to watch anything you put on YouTube. In fact, it’s even hard to get those people to watch a video. Anyway…that’s a whole other post that I will probably never write.

So, this video I posted took me forever to finish. It’s the editing and my inner struggle with overthinking, which I guess is not really “inner” since I’m talking about it. I bet there is a lot of people out there that struggle with overthinking, but that’s such a broad term. To really get down to the heart of the matter I’d say the real issue is choice paralysis. You might be familiar with that term already, but if not here is what Wikipedia says about it: “Choice paralysis is the state of over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome. A decision can be treated as over-complicated, with too many detailed options, so that a choice is never made.”

I take pride in my spontaneity and often think of myself as the type of person that jumps off a cliff and builds his wings on the way down. Despite that philosophy, there are some things that creep in under the radar and wreck me. Editing this video was one of those things. Allow me to take you on a journey inside of my head. This will be a glimpse of the inner dialogue I have with myself. Of course, I have it with myself. It’s not like you can have “inner dialogue” with others, but you know what I mean and since I already typed that I don’t feel like crafting a new, more appropriate sentence. Also, the last three sentences were just a way to prepare you for what’s coming ahead. Ok, here we go. The inner conversation I had (with myself) about this damn video.

Just make a video about spray painting the floor. Plain and simple. No, there’s an opportunity here to make a “how to” video and “how to” videos can get lots of views. What am I going to title the video so it gets the most views? Should I talk in the video or keep it strictly just a video of me painting the floor with stencils? Maybe this could be about Instagram. Am I supposed to include a slideshow of what used to be painted on the floor? I should probably not talk. I sound like a total douche nozzle when I talk to the camera. Why am I so awkward in front of a camera? Ok, no talking. Just turn this video into something that is 60 seconds long so I can put it on Instagram. Or toss it into some sort of compilation video like I did at Christmas. Who is this video for anyway? If it’s only painting the floor then maybe only fans of my artwork will want to watch. And if it’s more of a how to video then fans of my artwork will probably have no interest in watching, but it might get some views from people that are totally outside of my circle. Shit, man…I really have no idea what to do with this thing. It’s not like I can upload 4 different versions of the same footage just so I can attempt to please every possible person that might click the play button. That would be stupid. Why can’t I just decide?!?! ARGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

So, that is what was going on in my head every single time I sat down to edit this thing and it reminds me of this painting I made back in 2001.


(This dude’s head is about to explode with all that stuff going on in there.)

I’ve been attempting to edit this video since February. Despite how long it’s taken me you would expect a masterpiece, which it is clearly not. If I could just manage to harness the spontaneity I have with painting and apply that towards video editing, then this would have been uploaded months ago. In the end, it worked out fine and that delay in editing gave me the opportunity to collect photos on Instagram that people tagged Viva Paso on. Because of all of those IG tags and shout outs something really cool ended up happening and that became the deciding factor on what direction to take this video. Well, if I haven’t bored you to tears yet here is what this blog post is all about…sharing this video with you. Enjoy!

If the video doesn’t play for you then try this link.

This is the part where I ask for a little favor. If you know anybody that might find this video interesting or helpful in someway, please share it with them. You can copy and paste the following link into a text message, email or even paste the link onto their Facebook page.

https://youtu.be/y-dQ8ZrAr0w

Any of those things will help spread the word.
Thanks for watching! And reading.

– Jeff

A Little Late, But Here It Is…

I film a lot of video and I’m super good at saving it to my hard drive and then never doing anything with it. And I mean SUPER good. I finally got the idea to put together a compilation video, which seems a lot less daunting than making a video for each separate event I film. I say “film” like I know what I’m doing, but I don’t. I just turn the camera on and hope I get something worthwhile. This video is a compilation from all the stuff I filmed in Decemeber, which is a fun month for obvious reasons. Elliott is pretty much the star, but when you have a 5 year old that’s just what happens. This is also a lot more personal or family oriented than the typical things I upload to YouTube, but there is more to my life than making weird paintings.

Enjoy!
If the video below gives you trouble and doesn’t play then visit: https://youtu.be/MxFNzA-JJ_g

The Newsletter I Just Emailed

In case you’re not on the e-list, here’s what I just sent out.

Hello!

I just wanted to let you know that I’m wheelin’ n’ dealin’ this weekend. Now through Sunday when you order two prints you get a third one for free. This is a great opportunity to start collecting art or to add to your growing collection. There is no coupon code for this deal. Simply add the first two prints to your cart and leave a note during checkout with the title of the third print you’d like. That’s it! Easy peasy nice and easy.

I currently offer 37 signed 8″ x 10″ prints. This is a standard size for easy framing and each print is signed on the back. These are high quality matte finished prints made in a real photo lab using state of the art equipment. In other words, they are not printed on a store bought ink jet printer using that cheap “photo” paper.

You can see all the 8×10 prints here or simply click the above image.

In other art nerdy news:
– Here’s a video of me painting a broken drum cymbal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mQCnkX63q4&t=1s

– I’ll be having a show at Sally Loo’s in San Luis Obispo in April. I haven’t had an official show in years, so this is exciting. I’m making all new paintings for that right now, so it will be a very busy time from now until opening night.

– Coral and I have jumped on the podcasting bandwagon. We launched “Live/Work/Love” in September and have uploaded 8 episodes with more in the works. Check it out on iTunes if you get a chance.

And last, but not least…if you haven’t checked out Viva Paso (my new shop) yet, make a trip to Paso Robles and say hello.

Thanks for all your support!
I hope you have a great weekend!

– Jeff

New Painting – Felix The Owl


“Felix The Owl”
16″ diameter – mixed media on wood.
$200 – available online at jeffclaassen.com or in person at Viva Paso. The address is:
1211 Pine St
Paso Robles CA 93446

I know the title of this post says “New Painting”, which is more like a half truth. To be more accurate, I should really call it newly “finished” painting. As evidenced by the following video, this painting was made back in January.

Why has it taken sooooooooo long to finally be available? Well, if you’re familiar with my work you know about the glossy resin coating I use to cover my paintings. Be warned, I get a little overly-wordy here, but just think of it as a privileged behind-the-scenes look at what goes on in the studio. When I first applied the glossy resin to this I noticed that there was something missing from the painting. This is sort of ridiculous, but I thought it needed a couple of more polka dots, so I scraped off all the wet drippy resin before it got too sticky. If you’ve ever worked with this stuff you can appreciate what a pain in the ass it can be to work with. So, I scraped it off, waited a few days, then painted some more polka dots. Then it was time to resin coat the painting again. After waiting 3 days for the resin to fully harden I noticed a spot on the painting where the resin didn’t quite sit right. Basically, there was a little dimple in the resin. It might have gone unnoticed to some, but it was all I could see when I looked at the painting, so I decided to lay down another coat of resin. But, I waited. Months went by until I finally resin coated the piece for a third time. Now it is ready for the world.

Enjoy!
– Jeff

The Blockhead Owl Time Lapse

A few nights ago I started this “blockhead owl” painting and thought, “Let’s record this shit!” So, I did. I’ve painted a lot of these blockhead owls, but this is the biggest one to date.

If the video below isn’t working for some reason try this link: youtu.be/HfTFVaSUuJ8

Still Talking About YouTube

In my last blog post I stated that I set a goal for myself to make one video a week for three months and I’m happy to report that I am right on track. The first video I made was a late night resin coating session.


See the video at https://youtu.be/SI7AgImogZo.

The second one is a “day in the life” vlog.


See the video at https://youtu.be/pau4Adg3s4w.

Making this video gave me a better appreciation for the people out there posting daily vlogs. It’s a lot of work. It’s more work than you might think. Everything you do takes longer when you’re trying to document it. You have to do things like pull over while driving to adjust camera settings. Then you have to set up your camera in the car so you can still drive safely among so many other things. I know some vloggers just turn the camera on and talk to it for 5 minutes, which is hard, in a way, because being alone in a room talking to a camera feels awkward, but that sort of vlog is still a lot easier than one where somebody is setting up shots. Of course, the setting up shots method is more fun to watch because it plays like a short movie which is usually more engaging than watching somebody talk straight to the camera for an extended period of time. Anyway, blah blah blah…

Thanks for reading (and watching)!
– Jeff

PS. If you like the videos I’m making please SUBSCRIBE to my channel so you don’t miss out on all the new ones I’ll be uploading. I’ll be making at least one a week for the next 10 weeks.

Let’s Talk About You Tube

I started my YouTube channel in January 2007. I didn’t do too much with it until I started selling graffiti supplies in my shop. It’s amazing how many people watch videos of graffiti supplies. In most of the videos I wasn’t even using them. I would just sort of scan over new products when they arrived. I’m sure to graffiti artists it just looked like pure heaven to see 50-100 markers displayed across my table as they drooled over their computer screens.

I’ve uploaded about 60 videos and my second most watched video is a 58 second clip of me scanning over a table full of graffiti markers. There’s no talking or explanation of the goods. I uploaded it 7 years ago and it’s been viewed 44,000 times. There are youtubers that get the same amount of views within 10 minutes of posting their videos, but 44,000 of anything is still a whole heck of a lot.

Although I’ve always loved YouTube it’s been kept safely on the back burner. For one, I am EXTREMELY awkward in front of a camera. On top of that, editing video takes me a long time and I’m not about to pay somebody to do it for me. One of the best things about sharing content these days is the immediacy of it. You can literally record some video footage on your phone and have it on YouTube a few minutes later ready to be seen by the whole world. This is why I want to edit my own videos. It might take me a long time, but I don’t have to work around somebody else’s schedule.

What I’m getting at is that this past December I finally started focusing some energy on my channel. I’ve posted 10 videos since December 9, 2015, which is pretty good for me. I would love to post at least one video a week. I mean, that’s my goal, but goals without deadlines are never met because that’s impossible. You can’t just say “from now on I’m doing _____.” So, I’m stating here that my goal, starting in April, is to make one video a week for the next 3 months. It will be a challenge for me, but I also think it’s attainable and those are two of the key ingredients to setting a worthwhile goal.

Here’s a video I posted almost two weeks ago that I haven’t shown here on the blog yet. This is a road trip vlog from a day trip Coral and I took to San Francisco back in January. Enjoy!

If you’re a regular visitor to YouTube please subscribe to my channel and give a thumbs up to the videos you like.

Thanks for reading and watching!
– Jeff

Painting An iPhone Case

It’s been a long time since I’ve painted a phone case and, in fact, thought my days of painting them were over. But no. Here is the latest hand painted phone case. You could say it’s part vlog, part how to. Either way, I hope you enjoy it. And if you’re interested in getting my artwork on your phone case please check out all the options at society6.com/jeffclaassen/cases.

Thanks!

Polar Bear Dip 2016

I grew up in SLO and had never heard about The Polar Bear Dip in Cayucos until about 10 years ago. Probably because I was off in the mountains snowboarding and snowmobiling. Oh, how I miss those days! The first New Year’s after I met Coral she introduced me to The Polar Bear Dip and we haven’t missed a year yet. The funny thing is we’ve never truly participated in the dipping part, but our kids do and it’s become a family tradition. I think this year was the kids’ eleventh year of running into the freezing surf. Their grandparents even drive up from San Diego every year to join the madness. Also, it’s James’ birthday so it’s just a big party all around.

You can click the photo at the top to see a movie I put together of the event. I also made a short movie documenting Elliott’s first Polar Bear Dip (it’s only 1:29). We did not anticipate that he’d take the plunge so he braved the cold ocean in his Lightning McQueen underwear. Click this photo to see that video:

Enjoy!
– Jeff

Tutorial: Making A Starburst With Spray Paint

As you might have noticed, I’ve been exploring and experimenting with YouTube the past month. It’s been challenging because I’m not a fan of being in front of a camera and it feels really awkward for me to talk to a camera. You could say I am overcoming my fear and connecting with you in a new way. Also, if you’re not willing to embarrass yourself from time to time how can you ever grow as a person? At least that’s what I keep telling myself. Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed the videos so far. Like I said, I’m experimenting…trying out different ideas for videos and checking my statistics to find out what gets the best response. With that said, I recently made my first tutorial. The white background behind the character in this painting is called a starburst.


(This piece is available as a limited edition print.)

I’ve been using this effect since 2004 and it’s so cool and fun to do that I have to limit myself to how often I use it because I don’t want to overplay it like a new favorite song on repeat.

This video doubles as part tutorial and part “making a painting time lapse”. Enjoy!

If you like the video please give it a thumbs up or leave a comment. Making these videos take a long time for me and any interaction will give me a good idea of what types of videos I should focus on. If you have any ideas for future videos or questions you’d like to ask let me know. It just might be the inspiration for a new video.

Thanks for watching!
– Jeff

Art Vlog #2: Five New Paintings

Wow…vlogs two days in a row. I’m an addict! Well, not quite yet, but it’s fun getting better acquainted with Adobe Premiere. This three minute video took about six hours to put together. Not six straight hours, but with Coral sick today and Elliott (our three year old) wanting my attention every 30 seconds it took me all day. And when I say “all day” I mean…All. Damn. Day.

If you’d like to purchase any of the paintings in the video please check out my online shop. “Mystery Owl” found a new home super fast, which makes me feel like a rockstar. The other four are still up for grabs. Since these are newly listed I am offering 20% off as an early bird deal. Use code EARLYBIRD during check out and watch 20% magically disappear. This offer expires Saturday November 8 at 11:59pm.

Thanks for stopping by.

Oh hey, if you have any questions or topics you’d like to see in a future vlog please leave a comment.

I hope you all have a good weekend.
See ya!

– Jeff

Stump Painting Is The New Street Art

One of my new favorite things to paint is tree stumps. As you know, painting on wood is my media of choice and it doesn’t get more raw and natural than painting on a piece of wood that is still connected to the soil. Awhile back I saw a tree with a cut off branch and it looked like the perfect thing to paint one of my faces on.

I think these are a lot of fun to paint, but one really nice thing is to paint for the sake of painting every once in awhile. When you paint for a living it’s hard not to think about selling the things you make and it’s a nice change of pace to paint purely for the fun of it. It makes me feel like a teenager again. Not in a nostalgic way, but more in the “I don’t give an F” kind of way and that’s always a good feeling.

Putting something out in the world for your own personal pleasure and for others to enjoy when they happen upon it is a very good thing.

If you’re in my neck of the woods and have some stumps in your yard that could use a little color I’m totally open to commission work. Let me know!

Enjoy!
– Jeff

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