Going Live: My Checklist for a Painting Lesson on YouTube Live

I spend part of Monday and Tuesday morning preparing for my live video lesson on Tuesday at noon. I love these free lessons as I get to interact with students in realtime, but the preparation is a bit of a process! I think all week about the next week's lesson, and make a lesson plan. I try to share both useful tips and product information, as these are things I get asked about often. Once the lesson topic is set, I list the products I plan to use and find links for students to order their own. Using Photoshop, I make a title screen and schedule the video on YouTube. With the video link created, I am ready to write my weekly email. Not everyone on my list watches my YouTube lessons, so I try to include useful tips and links in written format in the email. Sometimes writing the email newsletter takes half my workday, as I write and rewrite, double-checking links and checking information sources. Ideally I have the newsletter production scheduled for my Friday afternoons, but I often seem to be still working on it on Monday. (sign up for the newsletter here!)
Tuesday mornings I usually take care of housekeeping; making sure my workspace is tidy and set up for filming. If the lesson is one that requires several stages of painting, I paint my "step-outs" that show the process so I can move from one layer to the next without waiting during the broadcast. I send out video reminders on social media and if there's time, I do my nails and hair, 'cause looking good on camera is kind of nice!
Last of all, I grab a glass of water, and fill my paint water containers, and if I remember, I unplug the phone so we're not interrupted. I double-check all my video and audio settings and thennnnn...take a deep breath and hit "go!"
It does sound like a lot of work, doesn't it? And I do it all myself. I didn't realize when I dreamed of being a professional artist that it would involve so much that isn't actually painting. But God knew that I would need a wide range of skills to be able to do what I do, and when I look back at my life before I became a watercolour instructor, I can see the events that shaped who I am and the skills I have that prepared me to be able to teach online. I enjoy every part of it, and it never feels tedious. I have thought about hiring an assistant to help me, because I do struggle to keep up with my email, and if the right person comes along I will snap her up like that, but for now, my watercolour life is all mine, and it's pretty fun to build a business based on sharing what I love.
My goal for my free lessons on YouTube is to create in the viewer an addictive love for watercolour. One that will, of course, result in them enrolling in all the online classes I offer on my web site. :) But even if that last thing doesn't happen, it's very fulfilling knowing that when people are spending time being creative, the world is just a little bit of a happier place.
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