Mobile video app Vine is quite popular worldwide, surpassing 13 million users a couple of months ago. While most people simply love playing with the app and creating their six-second videos for personal purposes, a few people are trying to make money out of this new product. Meet one of Vine’s top professional artists, Pinot W. Ichwandardi. His trademark is animated sketch videos. He is an Indonesian guy living in Kuwait and he is earning money by making Vine videos for brands.
Pinot works as a graphic designer at a private TV station in Kuwait. Being a guy who loves everything about audio visual communication, he was already familiar with other social video sharing services – like Viddy, Telly, Vlix, and SocialCam – before Twitter’s Vine came along. But he thinks that those other apps are too similar to YouTube and Vimeo. Vine’s videos are limited to six seconds, and that piqued Pinot’s interest. He tells me:
I use digital tools at work. It forces me to make perfect digital artworks and sometimes abandon the genuine nature of the creative process. With Vine, it forces me do everything manually, in analog, with pencil and papers. Just like children’s arts and crafts.
Because it’s only six seconds, as long as the idea is simple, you can do it whenever, wherever you want. It’s just like doodling on a napkin paper. I love Vine because of its ability to capture the beauty of human mistakes – and it provides space for permissive error.
How did Pinot get to make money from Vine? He says that although the app is only seven months old, brands and users had huge interest in Vine from the beginning. Pinot was one of the few who experimented in creating old school animation with Vine and people loved it. He has also been featured by popular blogs like Mashable, The Verge, and the Wall Street Journal.
Then a digital agency asked him to join the team, and that led him to create Vine video projects for some big brands like Virgin Mobile USA (pictured right). He says Indonesian brands are still at the “testing the water” stage when it comes to such social media marketing.
So how much does a Viner earn from each video project? Pinot answers that he gets around $1,000 to $2,000 for each branded video, depending on the company who commissioned it. He believes that it is considered a small number for brands in comparison to the production cost for TV commercials. We are still at the early stage in the advertising business scheme in social media, there will be more things developing out of the Vine-like projects.
Pinot has been learning about audio/video media as well as 2D animation since he was in high school. Years later, Pinot now turns to his three children for inspiration. He explains:
I get my ideas mostly from my children – eight-year-old and six-year-old daughters and a three-year-old son. They are like my idea generators. Their pure childhood thoughts, imaginations, and fantasies are the vitamins for an adult’s mind. We adults tend to ignore any simple ideas by saying ‘It’s not going to be good,’ ‘Too much effort,’ etc. Children’s imaginations help me and my wife to reduce that noise. When everything is possible, it’s always possible. Just keep the passion alive through six seconds of recording, and voilà!
Lastly, Pinot shared his secret to building good Vines – understand the essence of the message and put a surprise at the end, a punchline. That’s true for personal or professional Vine videos. And when it comes to being a professional Viner, he urges artists to make their vines unique, original, different, playful, and passionate. “Brands love creativity on Vine. They know they’re not hiring a conventional production house crew, they’re hiring artists.”
(Editing by Steven Millward and Charlie Custer)