Published in the Times & Transcript - Monday March 7th 2016 by MADELAINE KEENLYSIDE (REPRODUCED HERE WITH WRITTEN PERMISSION)
Dieppe painter Remi Boudreau has gone viral on YouTube, and it coincides perfectly with his newest project - building a virtual academy for painters, he says. PHOTO: SUBMITTED BY REMI BOUDREAU
Dieppe painter and entrepreneur Remi Boudreau has received a boost to both business and his dreams following the popularity of his YouTube channel.
Boudreau's YouTube channel reached a million views last week, and it was a complete surprise, he said. Boudreau said the popularity of the videos has increased business for his company Expressions Painting, which he founded in 2010.
"Three-and-a-half years ago I recorded a how-to video series to show people how to paint their room from start to finish" he added. "There were nine videos in the series and I documented step-by-step how to do the [projects]."
One of his videos, How to Paint Baseboards, had 486 580 views as of Saturday afternoon.
It became the highest-ranked search result on Google and YouTube - the first thing people see when they search for that phrase, he said.
"Basically, now, anywhere in the world if someone does a search for 'how to paint baseboards', my video pops up right there at the beginning of the search results."
The video triggered the popularity of his YouTube channel, and inspired him to add more to his series, intended for a local audience of clients visiting his website www.expressionspainting.com last fall.
"Those videos were being watches by 1,000 to 1,500 people (worldwide) every day," he said. "I was like, holy geez, this is a big platform now that I have."
Now he's into his eighth week of posting weekly educational videos and receives more than 2,000 views a day.
"I also have 3500 subscribers," he said. "I've always wanted to improve the industry, because it's an industry that's easy to get in... People don't necessarily have these skills or knowledge, so I find that a lot of my views are coming from painters looking to educate themselves."
Boudreau has been in the painting business for two decades and previously ran a company called Sky Painting, which was a much larger organization. "That's kind of what I didn't want, because we were doing a bit of everything," Boudreau said. "Exterior painting, new-construction - everything."
Now he works as head of his own small company, focusing on interior repainting and the effect colour can have on mood and the feel of a home. Beginning in October 2012, Boudreau started posting a series of do-it-yourself videos on YouTube to host on his website.
"It was a free resource for clients and do-it-yourselfers," he said.
But to his surprise, a year and a half later, those videos had accumulated more than 100,000 views.
"I logged onto YouTube one day and was like, what the hell's going on here?" he said with a laugh. "People are loving it, because that's the age we're in now, the information age. If you're an expert in an industry and are willing to part ways with that knowledge for free, people will be extremely grateful."
Boudreau, a Red Seal-certified painter and decorator, is currently developping a virtual school called Blue Seal Academy. The online academy will be annouced through his YouTube channel in the next few months, he said.
"What I find is lacking in the industry is painters are focusing on the skills aspect, how to paint a straight line and that sort of thing," he said. "Which is absolutely essential, but that's where it begins. To me, it's like a carpenter forcusing on banging on a nail, I find it's the knowledge apsect lacking in our industry because you don't need to go to college."
Boudreau is also the author of The Life Gardener and a singer-songwriter. His career in the painting industry is an extension of his creativity, he said.
"I'm an artist at heart in many different ways," he said. "I'm a musician, I'm a writer, I love graphic design, video production... that's why my company is called Expressions Painting - it's about freedom of expression, getting that creativity flowing, and I've found many ways to do that for myself.
- Remi & Gino
-Remi & Gino