Hi, my name is Enrique Plazola. I am based in Southern California. My full time career has been my Youtube channel, “Easy Pictures to Draw.” That’s been my focus. Some other side hustles I do are my second and third Youtube channels (Easy Things to Draw and Halloween Drawings). I also teach on Skillshare and on Udemy. I also do illustration and concept art jobs on the side, mostly for my own enjoyment.
I started my Youtube channel 7 years ago, while I was living in LA. It was done as a side hobby to get side gigs. Everyone I knew had started a Youtube channel. But the difference was that literally everyone I knew has quit uploading after a few months. I was the only one that kept uploading constantly for years.
I’m currently the only one who works on my Youtube, but I do hire people to do web design that I need done. I’m working on a website to connect to the Youtube channel.
My brand name was from looking up popular keywords in art. I took one of those keyword phrases and I made it the title of my channel. I created a bunch of different channels with different keyword names. This was the main one that took off though.
I am a very late bloomer, I would start projects, but I didn’t have the discipline or courage to follow through with them many times. I had to gradually get the ability to learn to finish things through reading books. And through the years I slowly did more and more of the things I needed. I’ve been a content creator online for 7 years. Teaching art was a no-brainer. Drawing I felt was the only thing I was ever good at. The channel making money on its own was an accident. I never knew it was able to make money on its own, I thought it was more of a tool for other things. I used Youtube from the beginning. Even now I don’t stray too far from youtube.
I just kind of fell into the content creation niche. I always wanted to do what I wanted with the time I had. The ideas for the channel were very simple, just draw anything I already liked in cartoon form and make the lessons short enough. There was a time when I was posting videos on every platform I could (daily motion). But I found that to not produce anything in the long run.
An inspirational quote I love would be “People may doubt what you say, but they will believe what you do”. “Finishing what you say you will” is a big deal to me. I have that quote tattooed on my arm.
I have a ton of content creators that inspire me for different reasons. For Youtube channel creation, I love Mr. Beast, Mr. Beard, Ross Tran. For Instagram art, I love artists like Alex Konrad, Evan Amundsen, and Sinix. Motivation came from trying to improve myself as I pass off what I’ve learned through my videos.
My inspirations come from the media that I consume. If I’m watching a series of movies that week, I’ll create a drawing lesson on that topic. I also look at the analytics on my YouTube account and see what’s getting the most views or likes and create more videos on the topic that is hitting the most. I usually decide the topics on the fly that day. The reason I do that is that I want to also play into what inspires me that day.
As far as brainstorming ideas, I don’t really have anything other than playing toward what you enjoy. When you draw what you enjoy, you tend to finish things much faster and more efficiently.
For video editing, I use Adobe Premiere Pro. I’ve used Premiere since High School, so I always felt a need to use it.
When I post a video, I repost it on my Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and more. I do that for every video to give the video some traction to start off with.
I try to set up my files to edit in a template I made. I found out a long time ago that managing my energy is much more important than managing my time. Since I produce three video drawing lessons a day, I send out anything that is hard for me to do. I set up my Adobe Premiere editing file to where all I need to do is drag and drop my new drawing lesson file. I almost have a separate laptop to render the files, so I can still work on things while that’s processing.
As far as habit tools go, I use a Notepad to write out the day's tasks and check them off as I finish so I feel like I’m producing.
I was never scared of what people thought of the channel. I didn’t care too much about putting my face out there. I was a caricature artist at Sea World for 5 years, and I was used to people watching me do art. Then when I started creating videos, I had no concerns with being afraid of that.
I would say the best way to overcome a fear of this would be to continue to create and you get more and more comfortable as the months go by.
Posting consistently was the most important step out of everything I did. No content creator I knew would consistently post for years. Starting the brand was very cheap and inexpensive. Since Youtube was a free platform, there was very little financial cost. I used the Iphone I already had, and I put two chairs up to hold up the camera. My mother would help me with sharing links to other websites. That helps kickstart the traffic on each video. The hardest challenges were understanding how to make my channel different from others. It was extremely hard to brainstorm those types of ideas and then execute them because I was too busy producing videos.
I started seeing money in the YouTube channel in year 2. I started noticing that I could fully dedicate time to the channel. The first 1K followers felt like forever to get. After that, things were much steadier.
While drawing I discover what I really want to say.
― Dario Fo
The first video I remember getting a lot more views than normal was a series of SpongeBob drawing lessons. One of those videos is still my highest viewed video on one of my YouTube channels.
If you want to get into content creation, pick a topic that you could make 100 videos on. A topic that really fascinates you. Don’t make the mistake of thinking it has to be original. The originality comes from your personality while teaching it. A popular niche means that there is a market for it. Something I really regret was, there was an initial surge of traffic I had from a particular video. When that traffic surged, I took a vacation. What I should have done was worked hard to capitalize on that video's success and make a sequel video to it.
The biggest tip I can give is to enjoy the work you are doing, because initially you will have a hard time creating. Creating might seem like a chore and you’ll find that things take much longer than you would expect. What you should do is make the creation process enjoyable. The more enjoyable it is, the better your videos will come out.
I was working as a caricature artist at Sea World. It was a steady job. The first year was scary. I had never drawn in front of people watching me live before.
It was very scary to do that. The second year I worked there was probably the most fun year working ever. The third year I grew tired of it and wanted out. After that job, I decided to put as much effort into my Youtube as possible. And I ended up making more after drawing more among us. In 2019. I ended up catching that wave and that’s where I really started to notice I could do this full time.
One obstacle I couldn’t get through was I had mental roadblocks on Youtube videos. I had a consistent thought of not being able to make a certain amount. The thought was so strong that when I first started to really grow on Youtube, I had anxiety from it. It gave me anxiety to see that things were doing well. So, a mindset shift is something I needed to change, so I could work with myself instead of against myself.
A big milestone was when I first hit 100K on youtube. It was this number I was pushing for, and something I never thought I could get, and I ended up getting it with two youtube channels.
Another milestone was creating savings for myself. I hired a financial advisor and that decision changed everything about my finances.
I start out by researching popular keywords in my niche. I always choose the most popular. I also go onto the Youtube trending tab. I look at what’s trending and I create a type A video that I know I can create a lot of. For me, it was short drawing lessons about 10 minutes long.
I draw the video, then I set up the Adobe Premiere file where I can just drop it in and render it. After that, I schedule it on Youtube. After it's published, I have someone share the video to Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, Live Journal. Any free social media platform I can post it to. This kickstarts the video.
I started growing when a “How to draw Plankton from SpongeBob” video started going pretty viral. One video can really change your entire channel.
Additional things I did to grow the channel were to share videos on Facebook groups, and did a few collaborations with other artists. I credit most of the growth to the number of videos I was posting along with the consistency.
I have reached out to a few brands over the years, but I haven’t really put the time into it I think I could have. I mostly reach out for free art supplies to fuel the channel. I’ve normally reached out for free products in exchange for a shoutout on several videos. My main advice would be not to lose your temper if they offer you something far too low. I’ve gotten very offended and ruined deals that could have really grown my channel. Don’t let your ego get in the way.
As far as deals, subscribers don’t matter as much as daily views. You should use your traffic or engagement as a bargaining chip as opposed to your subscriber count.
Monthly earnings can be as high as $6,000 a month, and during low seasons can be as low as $2,000 a month from Youtube. The Skill Share I have is about $500 a month and that number seems to have been fixed there for the last few years. Udemy is around $200 a month.
The money goes up in the second half of the year. The first half is usually less.