Video content can be a helpful tool in marketing your surface design business. If you are not already in the routine of creating video content it may seem like a daunting task, but as with any new creative skill, the more you practice the more successful you will be! 

An iPhone sits on a dark red surface. Green leaves from a plant are to the bottom right. A black pen and a tray of watercolors are to the left. On the iPhone screen is the first screen of an Instagram video by Spoonflower artist Danika Herrick. In black text at the top, in a white box, it says “#1 Cypress Cotton.” In black text at the bottom, also in a white box, it says “most versatile, it’s heavy weight works for draperies, Roman shades and upholstery- has a nubby canvas texture, colors print up bright and crisp. It’s the heaviest in the group...” the rest of the text isn’t fully shown as information about the video, including the poster’s name, who has liked the post, the name of the music in the video is over the black text in white text.
As online platforms focus on prioritizing video, sharing your work in a video format offers more opportunities for success.

Why Creating Video is Important for Artists

Jessie: Over the last several years, video content has dominated social media. As it’s become more popular, companies have been trying to keep pace and stay top of mind: TikTok became mainstream and continues to introduce new features, YouTube introduced YouTube Shorts, Instagram created Reels (and later announced that they are no longer just a photo sharing app), Pinterest announced both Story Pins and Pinterest TV and Google started Web Stories. Phew!  

Since social media platforms prioritize their newest features and are currently introducing new video features frequently, your video content has a better shot at being discovered than your static content. That being said, video content is not about pleasing an app or algorithm, it’s what most people look for when they view content online.  

Want some numbers to back that up? According to Wyzowl’s Video Marketing Statistics for 2022

  • People are 2x as likely to share video content vs. a static social media post or blog post 
  • 88% of people have been convinced to buy a product or service after watching a video 
  • People watch an average of 19 hours of online video per week, an increase of 8.5 hours per week across the last 4 years  

What You Need to Film Video

Luckily, you don’t need expensive equipment to get started filming your own video content. The three most important things are a camera, good lighting and something like a tripod to hold your camera steady. 


This one’s easy! All you need is a smartphone with a camera! (And if you don’t have a phone with a camera, many actual cameras these days allow you to shoot video too!)  

Good lighting 

You don’t need to purchase special lighting when getting started, just be sure to film in front of a window or door with good natural lighting. If you do decide to purchase artificial lighting, there are inexpensive ring light options starting at $35.00 or you can go all out with a higher end ring light and soft boxes.  

Pro tip: Investing in a ring light isn’t just useful for filming video content. I use my ring light for task lighting while working on embroidery and cross stitch projects, even if I’m not filming! 


It’s important to have a steady camera while filming to create the best viewing experience for your audience. You may try a few methods before finding your favorite. There are inexpensive options like a gooseneck phone clamp, traditional tripods with a horizontal arm for overhead filming and all in one lighting and tripod options like this Canvas lamp. Whichever option you choose, make sure it is made to hold a smart phone if that is what you plan to film with. 

I personally use a gooseneck phone clamp. I enjoy that I can easily bend it to film from any angle. The one thing to be aware of is that you should avoid clamping this directly to your work surface, since bumping your table or moving it while drawing can cause the gooseneck to jiggle. I avoid this by clamping it onto my ring light which is usually positioned on or next to my work surface. 

My video setup (see image below) includes a ring light, a gooseneck phone clamp attached to that ring light, and Canson drawing papers to add colorful backgrounds to my videos. I keep my stash of craft supplies on the table, but outside the filming area.

An 18” ring light is positioned on a table with a gooseneck phone clamp attached to the base to hold a phone to film an overhead video. The table is covered with light purple paper and craft supplies including ribbon, scissors, faux flowers, floral wire and felt.
Jessie’s video setup

Free Tripod Alternatives 

Even without any equipment, you can use what you have around the house to steady your camera and film a great overhead art video. Here’s a photo showing how I used a stool, some books and my smartphone to capture an overhead video. 

To set up this free overhead filming option, position a stool next to your work surface. Add one book with half of the book hanging over the edge above your work surface and a second book on top to hold that first book steady. This should feel very secure and balanced before you add your phone. Add your phone and start filming! 

A stool is set up on a table next to a worksurface with a sketchbook and markers. One book is positioned with half hanging over the edge of the stool above the work surface and a second book is on top to hold that first book steady. A phone is resting on the first book with the camera positioned over the edge to film the sketchbook below.
If you don’t have a tripod at hand, common household items can work too!

Editing App Recommendation: InShot 

InShot is a helpful video editing app because it has a free version and makes it easy to edit videos on your phone. The app has the basic tools you will use most, like speed, volume, trim and the ability to add voiceovers as well as more advanced tools you can use when you feel more comfortable, like picture in picture. You can add music in InShot as well, but your videos will perform better if you wait and add trending music while posting on TikTok or Instagram. 

It is possible to edit videos directly in TikTok or Instagram, but I recommend editing in another app first. This way you can download your video without a watermark and post to multiple platforms. If you create and edit a video in TikTok then download it, that video will have the TikTok logo on it. Each platform prioritizes unique content, so sharing a video with the TikTok logo to Instagram can hurt your chances of being discovered. 

Ideas for What Kind of Videos to Film

Here’s the fun part—it’s time to get creative and film your work! The key is to always think about the value you are providing to your viewer. In general, you are looking to educate, entertain or inspire your audience. 

Educational content could teach your audience a new skill or an interesting fact. Entertaining content might be funny, satisfying or relatable and inspiring content can motivate your audience to take action or brainstorm a new idea. The ideas and examples below are jumping off points for where you can start, as the possibilities are limitless!  

Educational Video Content Ideas and Examples

Educational videos can be geared towards teaching other artists or educating your customers. Some ideas include:  

  • How to style your products  
  • Tutorials and how to’s 
  • Quick tips 

In this video, Elena Amo of elena_amo teaches other artists how to create a brick repeat. This video breaks down a complex skill into easily digestible steps and is styled in a way that is very satisfying for her viewers to watch, even if they are not artists. 

Sorting swatches can be a tedious task, but Ammie Gomez of ammicreative breaks down her process so that other artists and makers can get organized. 

Spoonflower Ambassador and Muna and Broad co-founder Leila Kelleher collaborates with Spoonflower to create a video educating makers about her favorite apparel fabrics. As an artist, sharing tips like this with your audience will help them make a decision about what products to purchase featuring your designs. 

Similar to Leila’s video, artist and fellow Spoonflower Ambassador Danika Herrick of danika_herrick educates her audience about fabric options through video. By including specific details about each fabric for window treatments she is helping interior designers and customers feel more confident in making a purchase.

Entertaining Video Content Ideas and Examples

Entertaining videos don’t have to just make your audience laugh! This wide-ranging category can also share more about who you are, your work and what excites you about it, through videos that show: 

  • Time lapses or process videos of your art 
  • Unboxing videos 
  • Satisfying before and after videos 
  • Your workspace 
  • A design that “failed” 
  • Instagram vs reality/funny behind the scenes 
  • Trends 

By sharing a few clips of her painting process and ending the video with printed fabric, Shanya Bharti of the_deco_story is able to bring her audience along for a satisfying journey that also shows the process from paper to fabric. 

Entertaining your audience with laughter is always a great way to catch their attention. In this video Adera Brown of aderabrown celebrates a wallpaper sale while sharing her curiosity for where such a bold design would be used as wallpaper. 

It’s not necessary to plan your entire video strategy around TikTok and Instagram trends, but if a trend comes up that fits your brand it can be a perfect time for you to join the conversation, like ammiecreative does with this color palette trend. 

Inspiring Content Ideas and Examples

Inspiring videos help tell your story in a way that no one else can, through leaning into your story, your authenticity and your (little or large) successes through content that shares:  

  • Lifestyle or behind the scenes content 
  • Your story as an artist 
  • Milestone celebrations (no milestone is too small! Celebrate your first Spoonflower sale or your 100th sale, your first time in the top 50 of a Design Challenge or launching a new collection) 

Meghann Rader of meghannrader shares the opening of her Spoonflower shop with this simple video displaying fabric swatches of her designs. Bonus points for including embroidery supplies in the shots, giving her viewers an idea of what they can do with her new fabrics. 

In this video Mathew Boudreaux of mxdomestic celebrates the launching of their pride collection. Showing yourself and your personality through video, like Mathew does here, is a great way for your audience to connect with you as an artist. 

Looking for more video inspiration? Check out Spoonflower on Instagram and TikTok. We’ve collaborated with many artists, makers, interior designers and influencers and have shared tons of video that can serve as inspiration while you create your own video content. If you create your own content based on tips in this video, please tag Spoonflower so we can see it too!  

Want more video tips from the experts?

Check out the How to Make Video Part of Your Marketing Strategy panel from our 2022 Surface Design Symposium, which includes tips from artists Kathy Cano-Murillo, Mindy Young, Mable Tan and Kate Talcott, plus a handy resource list!
Watch the Session