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How to Create and Edit Short Art-Videos such as Reels, TikToks & YouTube Shorts? Complete Guide 🎞 ✨

Updated: Jul 5, 2023

The e-world rushes forward without hesitation. Many of us may not like the fact that the platform on which our main portfolios are located constantly changes the requirements for the published content.

I consider myself quite flexible when it comes to new media, and even if the next change bothers me at first, I usually find ways to adapt to it. Instagram doesn't pay me for what I create there, but it's my main social and marketing tool, so I appreciate the opportunities it gives me.

I know that many people have a problem with the process of making Instagram Reels (or TikToks), so I thought I'd prepare some tips for you on how to create them. Here is a summary of everything that has been most useful to me so far.

I. My set up


I record all short films with an iPhone. Previously, it was the iPhone 8; now, I use the 13 Pro. Although the new model has much better parameters, I think that good reels can be made with most current smartphone models.

I film in a static way by arranging the phone in specific settings. I always lock the exposure and auto-focus before shooting; otherwise, every time I move my hand, the iPhone tries to focus on it, and the drawing becomes blurry.

If there's too little light in the room and I want the image to be brighter, I increase the exposure. This option may not be available on all phones, but it is not a must-have.


I've tried various ways to position the camera or smartphone in a place that would be good for recording purposes and wouldn't bother me when drawing. It was extremely difficult and annoying because it's uncomfortable to draw when you cannot lean over the drawing or when the tripod covers something. Here are my favorite solutions:

  • RØDE PSA1 Professional Studio Arm – the arm, which is sold as a handle for heavy microphones, is suitably static and strong, but also very mobile. You can easily mount it to the table (if it's stable), but in my case, it's attached to the windowsill. Thanks to the additional attachment (which I got from another tripod, but you can also buy it separately here) and the appropriate holder, I can set the phone or camera at different angles and directly above the drawing. The arm is also great because it doesn't get in the way on a daily basis, so when I need it, I just put my phone in it and record. It saves a lot of time because I don't have to set up annoying and wobbly tripods before drawing.

  • DJI Osmo Mobile 3/ Gimbal - I received this device as a birthday gift, and it's great when you want to record smooth transitions in a stable way. Thanks to the additional stand, it can also be used as a small, very stable, and precise tripod. This is a good solution if you want to record while going to a coffee shop or when traveling.

  • Small, affordable tripods – you will find many small, affordable tripods that may turn out to be completely sufficient (especially at the beginning), but make sure to pick one that is stable.

  • Mugs, jars, etc. - this solution is often enough! If you would like to film a close-up of your process, this is a very stable solution. You can always put a mug on top of some books to get a higher point of view 📚


Natural lighting is usually the best option when you want to capture subtle nuances in your drawings. Unfortunately, it cannot be fully relied upon due to its dependence on weather, time of day, and season. I hate having to stop recording and wait until the next day to draw because the sun is setting.

I have tried using many models of lamps...

A good solution is to buy one or two lightboxes, but I don't have room for them in my small studio-slash-bedroom...

I have tested several products, which I saw in online ads, but I wouldn't recommend them. They're usually unstable, the phone falls out of the grip or changes angle, it's unintuitive, and the light is dim or yellowish.


Luckily, a Swiss company that designed a great product contacted me. The Redgrass R9 is by far the best one I have dealt with.

This model has a large surface with two rotative wings, allowing me to regulate where the light falls. It is diffused so that there are no spots of light on the paper.

The color of the light is cool and looks natural, unlike most artificial light sources that appear yellow. It doesn't make any sound when turned on, and believe me, some lamps can give you a headache!

The lamp is placed on a very similar arm to the one I use as my main recording stand - it is stable and solid.


If you want to record a voiceover for your videos, there are two options I know of:

  1. Directly to the smartphone.

  2. Separate Microphone - the model I use is the SPC GEAR SM950, and I'm very happy with it. It is user-friendly, the sound is clear, and it suppresses background noise.

If you already have a setup (even if it's just a smartphone in a cup), let's move on to the process of recording short videos...

II. The process of filming


There are two main schools of thought: some record the whole process to avoid disturbing their drawing process but have more work during editing. Others shoot a few key moments while drawing - they have to remember to take breaks and position the camera, but they're already halfway done with editing. I am in the second group. I usually record the beginning, a few moments in the middle, and the final details.


In addition, I record so-called b-rolls, which are nice transitional shots. For example, spreading brushes on a stand, a drop of watercolor falling into a jar, or removing masking tape - like in >this reel<.

If possible, I record b-rolls several times (for example, taking the markers out of the box) to make the shots as smooth and satisfying as possible. I'm a bit crazy about this point, so I like it when all the pens or crayons are evenly arranged with inscriptions facing in one direction. In other cases (removing the masking tape), I can only record the effect once, so I make sure the camera and focus are right, and the tape is heated to avoid any nasty surprises.

📂 You can record an infinite number of such B-Rolls when the lighting is nice and keep them in a separate folder to use them in different reels.

Here are just a few examples:

  • Taking the sketchbook from the shelf or pile of sketchbooks

  • Opening a sketchbook

  • Flipping through sketchbook pages

  • Pencil sharpening

  • Pencil chips falling on the table or into a nice container

  • Mixing paints on the palette

  • Soaking a brush with an expressive color of paint or ink in clean water

  • Arranging art supplies on the table

  • Fastening paper clips on a sketchbook

  • Opening a box of neatly organized colored pencils

Such transitions will complement your video with a pleasant, cozy atmosphere, and this is something that viewers like to look at. They are not only interested in your artwork, but also in how you work, the tools you use, and the mood that accompanies your process. Because art has therapeutic value, such images are especially soothing and satisfying.

III. Art Reel ideas

What you want to show in the video depends solely on you. It can be a tutorial, a demonstration of your process, or even relatable and funny content. My main and favorite content revolves around showcasing the creation process, and occasionally, I also create tutorials, which I plan to do more often. Sometimes, I include short sketchbook tours or compilations of sketches using a particular technique, such as a collection of drawings made with colored pencils.

I gather ideas for reels primarily by watching other videos on Instagram and TikTok. I believe this is crucial. If you aim to create popular content, you need to see what others are doing, select what resonates with you the most, and create your own unique versions (not copies but inspired interpretations). This is especially important because social media functions based on short-lived trends that can go viral, and it's easy to miss out on them if you're not up to date.

If you don't feel like spending excessive time on social media, which I completely understand, I suggest adopting the "keep it simple" rule. Any content presented in a simple, concise, and aesthetically pleasing manner can be highly effective, regardless of whether it aligns with current trends.

It's crucial not to limit yourself. Sometimes, I may think a video is just okay, but when I publish it, it turns out to be extremely popular. People often notice and appreciate aspects that I hadn't even noticed myself.

IV. Editing

Editing is another aspect that often poses difficulties for many people, but in my opinion, it becomes simple when you establish a specific workflow. Here are some tips presented in a Q&A format.

How long should a Reel be?

If you're a beginner and don't have a large following yet, I recommend keeping your videos no longer than 15 seconds. It may not seem like much time to showcase something, but it's actually sufficient. You can convey a lot within 15 seconds, and it's also a convenient duration for editing purposes.

How do you choose what should be included in the reel?

Have you ever observed how a movie scene is filmed, where a character goes to a bar? The entire process of getting dressed, leaving the house, entering the stairwell, catching a bus or a taxi, driving to the destination, and finally entering the bar?

In just two shots: the first one showing the character leaving the house, and the second one showing the character in the bar.

When creating reels, I always follow the principle of "discard anything that is not essential."

How do you go about it step by step?

  1. First, I upload all the short videos from the drawing process into the editor (usually InShot, sometimes directly to Instagram).

  2. In the next step, I trim and remove anything that is 100% unnecessary, such as empty frames, errors, moments of hesitation, failed attempts, videos with poor focus, and so on.

  3. After that, I eliminate additional shots that are not my favorites – for example, those that aren't smooth enough, don't look aesthetically pleasing, or contribute little to the overall process.

  4. I continue removing content until the video reaches a length of 15-30 seconds, depending on what I want to showcase.

Which apps should be used for editing?

I primarily use InShot, but you can also try CapCut or other editing apps. However, with the recent updates introduced by Instagram, videos edited directly within the application are given preference, although the built-in editor is somewhat limited. Hopefully, they will improve it soon.

While the Instagram editor currently has limitations, using other users' drafts can be a helpful workaround. You can see an example in this reel: if you click on "use draft," you can replace my videos with your own. The draft will automatically cut them to the same length and sync them with the same music. You can adjust the moments you want to show in each frame.

V. Posting Reels

There are a few key things to keep in mind when sharing a Reel:

🎧 Which music to use? It's preferable to use trending tracks as they tend to generate more views. However, I personally like to match the music to the beat as it creates a satisfying effect. You can try both approaches, like I do.

Apparently, Instagram currently doesn't prioritize original sounds, so it's better to use music from their library. Avoid uploading anyone else's music to Instagram as it may result in your soundtrack being removed due to copyright issues.

🍒 Remember to click "upload in the highest possible quality" in the advanced settings of the reel just before sharing it. This ensures that your video maintains its quality.

✍️ Describe your video, as Instagram is now an SEO platform. Use keywords relevant to your niche. For example, if you draw in a sketchbook like me, include words like "draw" and "sketchbook" in your caption.

#️⃣ Use 3 to 5 hashtags. In the past, the limit was 30, then 9, but now Instagram mostly supports posts with 3 to 5 hashtags.

💬 If you need subtitles, add them within the app. This not only helps with accessibility but also improves the search engine optimization and boosts the algorithm.

🍿 If you plan to use the same video on other social media platforms, remove the watermark. You can do this by downloading your video from this page. I've heard that some media can even detect an invisible watermark (how?!), so it's better to edit everything separately for Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. Although, who has time for that, right? 😄

Don't delete videos with fewer views because sometimes they become popular over time. If a reel doesn't fit the overall aesthetic of your grid and you find it annoying, you can remove it from the main page, but keep it in the reels tab.

That's all! 😊 I hope these tips will be helpful for you! If you have any other tips, feel free to share them in the comments. 💬


All the products from my set up:


If you would like to learn more, I invite you to subscribe to my Patreon, where you can gain access to exclusive content. Additionally, you can check out my Domestika courses on Portrait Sketchbooking and Drawing Portraits with Colored Pencils. Don't forget to follow me on Instagram and TikTok for regular updates!


Happy doodling!



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