Note: This post hasn't been updated in over 2 years.
Working in motion graphics, aiming for a Top 3 position, valuing uniqueness, and going for two runs a day. This week we meet Matthew Butler (butlerm) from VideoHive… and the Tuts+ Marketplace, and PhotoDune, and ThemeForest.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from, what do you do for a living?
I’m Matthew Butler and I am living in Chicago, IL in the US. Once I graduated from college in 2006 I had a few small graphics jobs until I finally found a good job to start a career, which was around March of 2007 in Motion Graphics.
Since then I have been working full time at a small video studio in a suburb of Chicago. In my spare time at work and at home I usually developing something to put on Envato which has been a blast.
Which marketplaces do you belong to? What types of files do you sell?
I belong to VideoHive, Tutorials, PhotoDune, and ThemeForest. Basically 99% of my time is spent making items for VideoHive in all four categories – After Effects, Motion Graphics, Stock Footage, and Cinema 4D. But whenever I have a good idea for a tutorial or have taken a good picture, I make sure to post it onto their respective marketplaces.
I had a Tumblr theme that was going to be part of ThemeForest, but the reviewer deemed the file not worthy so it is now available for free on Tumblr here.
Hi Matthew, simple question: What are your Goals on marketplaces? (miseld)
My goals in the marketplaces would first off be creating files that are not only useful, but files that I would also picture myself using or needing. Another goal is to be a Top 3 seller on the VideoHive marketplace. Finally, to create a stable enough income from selling files here to be able to do this possibly full time.
Video stock’s pretty new and you’re doing rather well at it. But how do you see the long game? (felt_tips)
Long term I believe it only getting stronger and stronger. I see it as people become more and more exposed to sites like YouTube the demand for people creating their own videos will grow.
How did you get started? Have you had any formal training?
It all started back in August of 2010 when I was featured as one of the 32 inspirational demo reels on Aetuts+ – 32 Individual Artist Demo Reels. I had no idea this was going to happen, so I went out of my way to say thank you to someone that runs the site, which happened to be Adam Everett. He contacted me back asking me if I wanted to make a tutorial for them in which I replied I would love to.
After making the tutorial and learning more about VideoHive I decided to sell some of my stock footage that I had been holding on to for awhile. Once I finally put it on and it started selling, I figured I might as well start making some other content as well and the rest is history.
I have had formal training. In college I studied computer graphics and interactive media, in which my last year and a half I spent really getting into motion graphics, and decided this would be the more enjoyable path to take in the graphics.
Hey, Matthew! You have some very nice items on PhotoDune. Are you/were you ever a professional photographer? How much time of experience do you have in photography? How many cameras did you go through until you got to your current one? (Protest)
No I have never been a professional photographer. I have spent about two years getting into photography in my spare time and started out taking and posting photos on my blog.
I was going to start uploading photos and selling them right off the bat but I quickly realized that I had a lot to learn (and still do). The only camera I have right now is my Leica D-LUX 4 but I have rented the Canon 7D a few times in the past.
Is this your primary job, or you are working here as a “hobby” and you’ve got another professional job? (djordjevla)
This is not my primary job. Currently I work in a small corporate video production company in Chicago while ANY free time I have at work or at home I usually spend working on graphics files for VideoHive. Back in October 2010 I was hoping just to make a little extra income but now that I have become successful at establishing myself here I could easily see myself doing this full time in 2-3 years.
Describe your home workspace.
My home workspace is a 17″ MacBook Pro from early 2008, which has been great to do some smaller work that doesn’t require intense CPU usage. At my work I am on a Mac Pro with 12 cores and 32GB of RAM.
Describe your creative process. What steps do you normally follow to create your files?
I usually have a list of items I want to create, or a style I want to make. A lot of times an idea would just pop into my head, and I have to put it on the list right away or else the idea will never start to formulate, or I would totally forget it.
Once I choose one and figure out the best way to get that accomplished I try to make the file as user friendly so the file could be used in a number of different situations.
What is your advice to other authors regarding how to create a successful portfolio?
Uniqueness is always key. Once you create something unique for the marketplace it will sell and sell again. Also having self-motivation is key to completing projects in a timely manner and stay focused.
What do you do to market your files?
For most of my VideoHive files I post them on Vimeo as well as on YouTube. Sometimes I also mention a new file and post the video in my blog.
What are your three favorite files, and why do you like them?
Assuming I don’t or can’t choose my own files I would have to say Xprmt 01. This file is simply amazing the amount of work that went into creating.
Hands – a great use of footage and use of hands in the same project. I love especially how the hands disappear when they leave get farther away.
The Dream. The overall layout, color, and attention to detail is astonishing.
Apart from yourself, who is your favorite marketplace author, and why do you like them?
This is a hard one. I want to say MotionRevolver because I have been always trying to beat him in the number of overall sales. But I also have to say Yuri_Arcurs and his story on becoming the #1 micro-stock photography seller in the world is very inspiring.
What do you do in your spare time?
Usually make files for Envato hah. Besides that I usually go run twice a day and in the summer go road biking.