Ep.185: Marco Bucci on teaching art online

By Iva Mikles •  Updated: Oct 25, 2018 •  Interviews

Hey, guys! In this episode, I am chatting with Marco Bucci. We talk about how he teaches art online and how he was able to grow his following on YouTube so much in the past year.

Get in touch with Marco

Special thanks to Marco for joining me today. See you next time!

All artworks by Marco Bucci, used with permission

Episode Transcript

Announcer

Creative, artistic, happy! That’s you. There are endless possibilities for living a creative life. So let’s inspire each other. Art Side of Life interviews with Iva.

Iva Mikles

Hey guys, and welcome to another episode of Art Side of Life. I’m Iva for those of you who don’t know me it, and in today’s episode, I will be talking with Marco booty again, we had the interview with him last year, it has been a year again already, the time flies so much. And in this episode, we will talk about what are his experiences in teaching and what’s changed along the way during this year. And before we start the interview, I would like to thank Astro pad for sponsoring this video, because Astro pad can turn your iPad Pro into virus graphics tablet for your Mac. And you can use Photoshop and Illustrator directly on your iPad, which is super convenient and easy. And I really enjoy drawing on the sofa where I just want to relax. And if I want to add some details to my paintings, I want to still use Photoshop. And I can do it now AstroPad. And using all my custom made Photoshop brushes if I want to add textures and other details to the portraits. And guys overnight, AstroPad gave us a discount with the promo code artside. So you can use your 10% discount for the studio licenses. You can just go to artsideoflife.com/astropad and use your promo code. And now let’s just get to the interview. So hello, guys, and welcome back to the next if he’s another part of life. And I’m super happy to have Marco again here. Hello. Hey,

Marco Bucci

Iva, thank you for having me back.

Iva Mikles

Oh, thank you so much for joining in. Basically this episode will be about what is new with you and like, what is the update? And what’s changed from last time? So kind of yeah, if you want to give the intro to these and then I would like to talk about your YouTube?

Marco Bucci

Sure. Well, it’s I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since we last spoke. I mean, we know we chat with email sometimes and keep each other updated. We still have to get together somewhere in Switzerland or Munich, because yeah, sketching somewhere because my time in Europe is coming to a close very soon. Moving back to my home country of Canada in November, because I’m here I’m here. I work freelance so I can work anywhere in the world. My wife got a job in Munich. And we’ve been here in Germany for three years now. And it’s, we’re, it’s been awesome. But we’re we’re gonna move home in November. So that’s new. And yeah, I’ve been on YouTube. That’s big. Yeah. And I’ve just been doing my thing here working, doing my own art, doing my own teaching, all that stuff that

Iva Mikles

was like kind of the focus change for you a bit or not that much like what is the most time you spend on the project? Or kind of where is the biggest time amount you invest?

Marco Bucci

Yeah, well, I guess the major shift would be I spend a lot more time crafting my YouTube videos in the in the past year, I made a pact I might have mentioned this last year on the podcast that I made a pact with myself to try and get a video out per month. That was like my new goal. I had renewed energy for putting lessons out on YouTube. And I have I think in the past year, I’ve only missed two months. And actually, this month is one of them. I’m missing this month, but I’m just too busy. I got it. I’m going to visit my family back in Canada, I and I have some client like three different deadlines in the month. So I couldn’t do it this month. But I’ve been spending a lot more time on my YouTube lessons. And it’s really been a fun ride to see the progress with people finding my channel a lot more now. And, you know, challenging myself to get out quality lessons every month has been great. So how did

Iva Mikles

you plan the challenge? You know, like, did you do like a planning like, Okay, this month, I will do this type of video then the next month is this one.

Marco Bucci

Oh, so to give you a sense of what it’s like behind the curtain here, I at the first of each month, I panic, because I have no ideas. Nothing. I’m like, because I spend all my energy on the previous month’s video, right? So I’m like, the first of every month, I have a huge sigh of relief that my video has been released because usually I work so much on those videos that I put them out at the end of the month, right like the 29th or 30th or whatever. So then the next like, the next day is like, you know, August 1 or whatever and I’m like, I have no idea what I’m going to do. But so what I the best thing I do is I have a little notebook, little pocket notebook. And I just I mean I just I just fill this thing. You can see it but I just fill it with notes. Yeah, and I I have like tons of these, I just rifle through them. And I just write down anything about painting, like I keep it in my pocket. And I just write down things. So if like I’m painting all the time, right, and sometimes I’ll like, I’ll do something and like with a shadow color, and I’ll say, oh, that might make like a good lesson like thinking about shadow colors. So like, that’s my most recent video is about shadow colors. And, and that’s how it started. I was doing a painting thinking about shadow colors in my painting. And I just started writing ideas down and like fundamentals that I adhere to over and over and that that, you know, 30 hours of editing later, that became a YouTube video.

Iva Mikles

Yeah, because that’s what I was willing to just about to ask you. Like, how long do you spend on editing because you have so many things happening in the video? And they’re like, really tight? And like, on the point? Yeah,

Marco Bucci

like, I, I’m a sucker for punishment, as they say, like, I don’t know why I do this to myself, but I have, I’ve always had a love for performance. Like, I don’t do any performing. Like, I’m not an actor, I’m not a dancer, or anything like that. Although I have played in a few bands, but I have always loved the idea of like crafting, a performance that you give to an audience. You know, like a movie, for example, is like that. But so I try and make my YouTube videos, you know, like, the lesson has to be good, it has to be a good painting lesson. But I also want to have like a performance element to it. So I try it, you know, I’ll write lines like I have a series on YouTube called 10 minutes to better painting. And it’s I’ve got six episodes out now. And I’m working on my seventh one right now. But like, I play a character on the on that series, it’s like, it’s like in spinal tap, it’s me dialed up to 11 is what that character is. It’s not really me, but it’s like the best part of me. I think, I dial it way up. Like in real life. I’m, I have no you can’t tell right now. But in real life, I’m more quiet. I talk to my cat all day. That’s it. But you know, I try and find that part of me. That’s, that loves the performance part. And I write for myself like a character in a movie. So it takes a long time to like, edit that down. So you ask the question, how many hours? I’d say roughly 40 to 50 hours per video.

Iva Mikles

That’s yeah, it’s quite do you do also storyboarding for death? Or some other planning? Or like visualizing it? Or it just how it goes?

Marco Bucci

Yeah. Well, other than, like, little sketches in my Nope. Like, if I have, like, sometimes I’ve characters in my videos, like my intern character, who’s referring now like, I sketch a little poses out like an animator would do and a little book, but I don’t do any storyboarding, or anything. No, I usually create the visuals like as I go. So I’ll be like, oh, I need to, I need a diagram that shows how a color moves from like red to green, or whatever. So I’ll just think like, how, you know, what would people understand? And I’ll start creating it in Photoshop. And it will go through like phases in the moment. So I’ll create in the moment, and I’ll have multiple versions of it. Like, I’ll try something and work and I’ll edit it, or maybe something works right off the right off the first try sometimes, too.

Iva Mikles

And so did you change the strategy from the time like last year, because you didn’t have that you had one or two of these 10 minute tutorials? Right on YouTube at the time? I think.

Iva Mikles

So. My first one was, yeah, sorry. It was just like that. If you thought

Iva Mikles

like, Okay, this is the video we are going I mean, you’re going to do like from now on or the thought like, okay, maybe I’ll implement the other ones or you knew like, Okay, this is working.

Marco Bucci

Oh, yeah. So for the 10 minutes to better painting one, I had originally planned it for like five episodes. And I had and I had ideas for all five is the only time I ever thought ahead in the future. I had like the topics that I roughly thought would be good for five. And but I quickly found out they take me so long to make like those videos are way up. Like that’s like the 50 hour mark. So I realized very quickly, I can’t do that every month. I like I just don’t have enough time. So we can play work freelance as well. And I got to spend time with my wife too. Right. So so I can’t do that every month for those videos, right? Yeah. So that’s right, I need way more patrons. But um, but So I began filtering in other videos in you know, in the cycle. And if you notice, like, if anyone watches my YouTube channel, you notice in in the 10 minutes to better painting. I’m like playing that Marco dialed up to 11 character. But in my other videos, I’m just more just me like, I’m not trying to be funny, or jokey or performing. I’m just talking. I still edit those, though, to make sure my talking is very coherent and precise, but I am not trying to like play a character on those ones.

Iva Mikles

Oh, but that’s really cool. Because actually, I had to tell you because I went to the sketch class and I met this architect guy, and yeah, he was like, Oh, so you do this podcast? Oh my god, I saw a mark of Gucci there and I’m like, Okay, you watch my podcast and you saw Marcos? Yes. I watched you see videos all the time. And so he’s like a full time architect. And then he’s watching older videos. And he was just talking about these like internet guy as well. And I was like, Oh my gosh, so that’s awesome. So

Marco Bucci

that’s awesome. Yeah. What a small world. And what’s funny about that interview, people got mad at me for abusing of me. And here’s the funny thing is that character is me. Like, if I’m lucky, I have like, this curly kind of hair like that the intern is actually me. So it’s almost like the, like, people don’t know that. But, you know, not everyone got mad, but I got a few messages like people actually feeling emotion for this fake character. And it was funny because like, to me. And I appreciate that it means that it means that the performance was like resonated, but or the, you know, the as a short film or something, but I originally thought it was just funny. Like, I thought it was funny. I showed it to my wife. And she was like, she couldn’t believe it. She’s like, you can’t do that. Like, she was almost like, she wasn’t crying, but she was like, I feel so bad for this cartoon character that I created. And I’m like, I’m like, Okay, so like, I want to have that in the video. So what I did was I just rerecord it a little bit because originally my original take on that was I was I was actually trying to play anger for real, like, I was actually angry. So then in the rerecord, I just kind of made it a little more jokey. But still, people were really sad. But don’t worry, folks, he’s coming back in episode seven, and he’s gonna be all happy and everything’s fine. Yeah, in

Iva Mikles

doing so he will be alerting with you not only during coffee, right? And so, when you are planning these videos, then is there something else you do with your community? Then you talk on Patreon, right? So how does it differ? Like, what can people expect if they go and they should probably go to support your Patreon, right? So everyone listening or watching, go check it out, as well. So maybe you can tell us a bit more what you do there and what people can learn from you there.

Marco Bucci

Oh, thanks for the plug in, but I appreciate it. It’s, yeah, patreon.com/marco buchi. I have well, the only thing I do there that’s that’s special for the patrons is I have, you know, like everyone does tier rewards. And I try and make them really good. Like, you get free videos, you depending on where you are, you get behind the scenes, bonus videos, high res art, stuff like that, I also have some higher levels like art critiques. And I even just started a a personal mentorship program on Patreon. It’s my highest tier level, I currently only have it available to two students at a time because it takes a lot of my time, right. So I can only do so many, because it’s just one on one. But I do plan on opening that up to more students in the future. So that’s all at my Patreon. And the Patreon like if anyone if anyone who is listening right now that supports me on there is really thank you. I can’t say thank you enough, because that small little bonus of financial support online really helps me devote the time to the videos that I need to do like I would not, I could not do like I remember someone commented on one of my videos like that I should upload more. I’m like, Well, I physically can’t because like it takes me 30 hours to do a video like I can’t, I cannot turn them out. And yes, I know that it’s possible to just like, do a video in two hours and just upload it but I’m I would never do that. I don’t I wouldn’t be fulfilled if I did that. So it’s one of those artistic problems that we we want things to be perfect, right? So I’m I’m just bitter and bitter. And yeah, of course. Yeah, but you I know that you’ve been doing some videos like your color course, like how do you find making videos? Like how long does it take you to make a class?

Iva Mikles

Well, I mean, the color class took me so long, because I was really inspired by your videos. I was like, they are so good. Because they’re so short and like going to the point. So it was awesome. But then it took me a month to create the whole course. Because, wow, yeah, I did 30 lessons. And all of those lessons are short, and they’re like, really, you know, so you don’t have to spend so much time on it then, like, okay, so you can just move on. And if you feel like you want to learn more, then you can, you know, just go for more videos. But if you feel like you have only a short time, then like your videos, they’re like, Okay, then I mean, it’s and you’re done for today, for example.

Marco Bucci

Yeah, no, I mean, that’s great. And congrats on your new video products. That’s great. Everyone should go and check out this color class. Yeah, video. I mean, it takes a long time, I have this chip on my shoulder where I don’t think I was ever the best student growing up, I always had trouble. Like, I guess understanding things like I would need things to be crystal clear. And then once things were crystal clear, I was really good at remembering it and applying it. So I have a big chip on my shoulder that anything I explained on YouTube, it has to be clear to like, I have a standard that I have to hit like on a clarity level. And that’s what takes me a long time. Like I’ll go through so many revisions of like, I’ll say a line like 20 times like I’ve got my microphone next to my monitor and I’ll just like say that the same line in different ways and I’ll edit together things like you would do with any voiceover and that’s what takes me the longest time I think wow, yeah.

Iva Mikles

And then you do also like some resources and these descriptions or is like the the main focus on the video is the video and then you then you see like, if you need to Write more comments in the description or that’s not usually necessary.

Marco Bucci

Yeah, no, usually my description is not sub where I put any information like my website and Patreon, stuff like that. Yeah, but no, I mean, unless like if I ever actually, you know, what I use more is pinned comments. Like for one one of my videos I mentioned to people that have taught me Morgan Weiss Ling. And I can’t remember the other one. Oh, Joseph Subak pitch. And I wanted to mention to people that they are very good teachers. So I’ve made a comment and pinned to that comment for people to go check them out. So I use pin comments for more crucial information.

Iva Mikles

Yeah, I do that. That’s a good thing on YouTube. Yeah. So people noticed that the comment, and but they also wanted to ask you about the teaching in general, because they don’t like lots of artists, they have awesome skills, right, that they maybe would like to teach, but they feel like they are not there yet. You know, have you ever felt like you are not ready or not good enough to start teaching before he started

Marco Bucci

with teaching, I was kind of thrust into teaching early, like I’ve been teaching for 10 years now. So when I first started, I Well, I was thrust into it. Because I was my very first art teacher was away one day he was sick. So he called me and he’s like, can you substitute for this class, and it was the class that I had just taken from him, like, you know, a month ago, so I was scared, but I was like, okay, and that was my first teacher. I was teaching like gesture drawing to to new to new artists. And at the time, I wasn’t new artist, I definitely should not have been teaching. But it’s because I had just done the class, I kind of remember what my teacher had taught me. So I just kind of regurgitated that. So that was my first time teaching. And I’m, I do like, I really value clear communication. So right from that day one, I tried to make sure I was teaching people the best that I could. So I don’t think I ever felt unprepared to teach. But I do know the feeling of being unprepared for a new job. Like I had a I recently had a big job for Disney. And when they called me describing it, I was like, oh, boy, this is going to be insane. And I don’t like I was scared. I was I had those, you know, the butterflies. I was nervous. But I’ve learned that that feeling is good. That’s what you want. Right?

Iva Mikles

Yeah. So So you were basically pushed into that class? And then you felt like, yeah, it’s okay. And because you basically like, yeah, maybe you were born to do. So? Yeah,

Marco Bucci

yeah. Well, I think it’s in my blood. My mom is a teacher, lifelong teacher, lifelong educator. And I think just growing up, but like I would be surrounded with teaching materials. And so somewhere, I think rubbed off on me. And that coupled with, it’s weird, I think I’m an introverted person. But when I’m talking about art, like right now, with you, I just go, it’s the one part of like, my life where I can actually feel like I’m extroverted. So with with teaching, it’s never been, I’ve never been, I’ve never felt unprepared. But when I make a new video, like I said earlier, just a few minutes ago, I don’t like at the beginning of the month, I’m nervous, because I have no idea what the video is going to be about. Not only do I not know what the video is going to be about, even when I know that I have to be like, Well, how do I possibly present all this in 20 minutes or 10 minutes? So that’s the next challenge. So I definitely feel like the challenge of having to create a lesson that’s always like, at the pit of my stomach. It’s like, Oh, I gotta go through this again, to kind of content, right? Yeah, but but I know, like, I just know, I’ve been through the process enough times, like, you just you start here. And then you stack a block on top, stack a block on top, and you just keep stacking those blocks until you have 100 blocks stacked up on each other. Yeah, that’s how creative creativity works for me.

Iva Mikles

Yeah. But I mean, that totally makes sense. So anyone like watching now? And they’re thinking like, Okay, I will start something, then just start small. Right? And so don’t be afraid to start. Yeah, that would be I mean,

Marco Bucci

that I mean, it’s funny because I, you’re, you’re totally right. But if that piece of advice is almost cliche, because it’s been said by so many people, but it’s really true, like a lot of people look at a finished painting, and they’re like, I want my painting to be like that. But it doesn’t, it doesn’t work that way. Like if when I finished it, for example, me when I finished a painting, I had no idea that the painting would look like that finish. I just started with something. And I just and the one thing I start with is completely unimpressive. It’s a line or it’s a brushstroke. Or it’s a word in my notebook or a sentence, but then you just you know, you leave like I just said you start you put something on top of that and something on top of that. And then when you have enough things suddenly those five things you have on the canvas are five words you have on the page, they they create meaning together and now you can be like Well does that meaning actually support what I want to say or not? And then you you manipulate from there? Yeah,

Iva Mikles

definitely. Because then so everyone should again check your videos and see how it can be done and edited in a short time and a good message. So yeah, so thank you so much again for being here. It went by really quickly, but hopefully people will get to this point as well even though it’s just YouTube videos. I really short most of the time. So thank you again.

Marco Bucci

Thank you for having me. Yeah, just put pencil to paper everyone and don’t stop.

Iva Mikles

Yeah, exactly. And thanks everyone really for watching, and I’ll see you guys in the next video. Bye. Thanks,

Marco Bucci

everyone. Bye Iva. Thanks.

Iva Mikles

So they those guys, thank you so much for listening and sticking around until the end. And if you’re interested in some of the things we talked about, I will put these links in the description so you can check it out. And if you want to watch some of the YouTube videos, you can just head over to artsideoflife.com/youtube or just go directly to YouTube. And you can just let me know what you think in the comments. And if you would spare five minutes, I would really love if you can write a review on iTunes or Spotify or wherever you listen or get to your podcast. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much again for being here and talk to you guys in the next episode. Bye.

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Hi, I am Iva (rhymes with “viva”). I am an artist, illustrator, founder of Art Side of Life®, and Top Teacher on Skillshare. Since 2009 I've worked as an illustrator, character designer, art director, and branding specialist focusing on illustration, storytelling, concepts, and animation. I believe that we are all creative in infinite numbers of ways, so I've made it my mission to teach you everything I know and help either wake up or develop your creative genius. Learn more about me.

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