Today I want to talk about YouTube and how to be a YouTube Artist. YouTube could be its own book, really, if we’re thinking about how to use it, how to edit and all of that. (If you’re interested in that kind of series, leave a comment below to let me know!)
So, when I started YouTube, I had been watching other YouTube Artists like Baylee Jae, Drawing Wiff Waffles and Leilani Joy for a long time. Back in 2012 I started a channel and posted two videos. In order to record them, I flipped my laptop over and used the front facing camera to record. I had no lighting in my room, and my backdrop was a folding table. But I still did it. I think one of the biggest hurdles to get over when starting a big undertaking like this is really just GETTING STARTED. I jumped in, did some trials, and realized that I needed to save up and get some better equipment before I tried again.
I waited until the summer of 2015. I had gone through some life changes in that time. I had started working as a waitress again, and I had a little bit of disposable income. I had gotten a new camera for Christmas from my in-laws and I sprung for a snowball mic for myself. I started recording and using the iMovie editor that came with my computer. The first few videos I made weren’t great, but they weren’t that bad either. My best friend made me a theme song and I was ready to post. From then on, I worked hard to bring at least a video a week. Sometimes, I fell off of it, especially when I was busy with art shows during the Holidays, but I did my very best. It has done me well, though. In the last year I have gone from no subscribers to 367 at the time of my writing this. I am far from a millionaire, but I am doing consistent work, I am growing consistently and I am getting more and more offers to do projects and collaborations.
Now, the way that I use YouTube is basically as my primary advertising platform. While, yes, I want people to come to my website, look at my artwork and check out my blog, what the end goal would be is to have artists come and learn something and my fans and followers to buy something. I’m not being crass, that’s just the goal of an art business. We want to sell our artwork and our merchandise so that we are able to make money at what we do. We want to pay our bills. So, what I do is I give out a LOT of free content. I post pictures, I talk about my life, I write these blogs and I do YouTube. All of this stuff is free to the viewer and helps me to build great relationships with people. It helps me to feel like I can get to know my subscribers and I love that about YouTube! Everything in my world links to each other, but they also link to my Etsy page and I make sure that the Etsy page is featured. I talk about how I update the Etsy page on Fridays, and when to look out for new originals being posted to that page. I talk about new prints that are coming in the mail, and about the shows that I’ll be at so that I can meet my followers at those shows. Everything comes back to building a relationship with the people that want to collect my work and want to be a part of my life. I have a long way to go, but YouTube has been the thing that has opened the door for these interactions. I have some ideas on how to go further, but I wanted to test the waters. Maybe the next piece I do will talk about how to do the videos? Or a walkthrough on the gear that I’ve been using to make them? What do you think? Leave a comment below, and let me know if you’re interested in learning more about how to actually make speed paint videos, and how to edit them.
See you next Sunday, friends. Love you lots. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Blessed Yule, and have a Blessed Kwanzaa. The holidays are a time to hold your loved ones tight and remember that you love them. Even when they make you crazy. Give them a smooch for me, see you soon!