Sam Flax Orlando has partnered with Downtown Arts District to create On the Spot, a video series featuring local artists showcasing their favorite products, with an emphasis on technique. The videos are short and sweet, full of technical information and inspiring visuals—a useful sales tool and interesting watch for anyone interested in art supplies and art making.
Each individual artist and product pairing has four parts. The first three-minute clip sets the scene in the store, where each artist points out specific products that they use, why they love them and what specifically they use it for. The following videos feature various techniques using the products, focusing on a single artwork at different stages in the process.
Fascinated by the collaborative nature of this project and curious as to how it impacted business, we reached out to Jon KenKnight, who has been with Sam Flax for over 15 years managing custom framing and printing, and now is the manager of the store.
How did On the Spot begin?
“I had been looking for something interactive that our customers could see while they were shopping. When I went to the MacPherson’s show in Las Vegas in 2018, the Angelus booth had several screens patched together with their paint dripping and splashing. I was inspired and wanted something as visually captivating in the store.
One of our customers SKIP is also a local artist and producer; he came to me with the idea. He has been involved with our Sam Flax Wall Project for years (an event where 1000 people will come out and watch 12 different artists painting our building). He also happens to have his own little production company.
He had been working with Downtown Art District, which funds CityArts— an arts organization that specializes in new and emerging artists. He came to me with an idea for a video series about local artists, using local art supplies. He told me, ‘We want you to sponsor this, and we want to feature different artists and talk about how they create their work.’ Our tie in is that in each episode starts with in the store, with product we carry.”
How does this project impact the art scene, and the success of your store?
“There is an immediacy to the videos. Someone is in Sam Flax for the first time, they are trying to find inspiration… they can stop and watch. The secret is keeping it short; most of the videos are under three minutes.”
How do you utilize the videos?
“On our social media platforms—Facebook and Instagram— as well as in store with the actual content as well. I have a monitor in the store, about 32 inches, and all the videos on loop (playing via a thumb drive). We keep the volume at medium, within 10 feet you can hear – I see people watching it all the time.
What I really wanted was a cool, personalized video that shows our products and shows local artists. Our big tagline here is art matters, and support local art. So I wanted them all to be local, to talk about their work, and get the benefit of a promotion.”
How did you choose the artists?
“I have no shortage of artists that we can use; some of them that I knew would be willing to do it because I knew they’d be comfortable enough in front of the camera, others I knew through the wall project, others were referred to me by other artists. I would like to utilize On the Spot as a vehicle for all things art.. beyond the individual.”
Inspired By On the Spot?
Creating a video series like On the Spot is a great promotional opportunity for local artists, for the product and for your store! While Sam Flax Orlando connected with a long-time customer and local artist who happened to run a production company, you can create something similar for your store even if you don’t have access to a production crew. Recording videos with a phone is easy and free; you may have a staff member with experience with iMovie or other free editing software who is interested in building their video editing skills. Capturing the story of a local artist in their natural habitat—your store—breathes life into your products, showcasing what they can do and inspiring your customers.
Do you create video content or work with local artists on various projects? We want to hear about it. Let us know what you are up to at artdogblog (@) macphersonart.com!