KwikDraw 35

How the Marketing Graduate Shows Creativity Through Visual Art.

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September 22, 2020

Who are you and what kind of content do you create?

My name is Josh, and I’m a content creator that uploads art-related content on my YouTube channel (Kwikdraw 35). Since the beginning of 2017, I have uploaded nearly 200 videos to my channel. I have been mainly publishing time-lapse drawings of original characters, completing drawing challenges, sketching celebrities, and, occasionally, making tutorial videos. 

Let's go down memory lane, tell us your backstory! 

I recently graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in marketing, and, at the moment, I’m currently in the search for a job to work alongside YouTube. However, I love the process of creating videos and sharing them online, so, hopefully, I can work my way to a full-time creator. I complete all the drawings on the channel, and I also edit each one of the videos through Final Cut Pro X. 

I thought the creation of my brand name was funny, haha. Earlier in my YouTube career, the videos I uploaded were relatively short- around 1 to 2 minutes long. I wanted the videos to be quick drawings, which, eventually, led to the name of the channel being Quick Draw or Kwik Draw, to change things up. The 35 comes from Kevin Durant, who, looking back, was the first drawing I uploaded on my channel and one of my favorite basketball players too.

I started my drawing channel while I was working my way through college. During this time, I had a lot of free time, and I found myself going through YouTube videos regularly. My video intake included YouTube vloggers, reaction videos, art channels, and more. I noticed that a vast majority of the YouTubers I watched and admired were full-time content creators that seemed to enjoy YouTube. Furthermore, a vast majority of them were around my age, so I became motivated and started uploading my content to YouTube. Seeing drawing is my favorite hobby; an art channel made a lot of sense. 

At the time, I solely uploaded to YouTube (I didn’t have any other social media), and content was uploaded frequently, being that most of my videos were simple sketches that didn’t require much editing. I used my phone to record. More specifically, my phone was placed in a selfie stick propped inside my shoe- giving the phone the ability to record top-down above my desk. I liked this setup and continued to use it well into 2019! iMovie was the editing software I used at the time- I gained experience playing around and making fake music videos with my friends. My earlier drawings were based around my interest at the time and random art challenges I wanted to try out. I was sketching out my favorite shoes, rappers, and more. 

I continued to upload and became more serious about YouTube after discovering some other content creators in early 2017. During that time, I had around 1,000 subscribers. Kasey Golden, Vexx, DDG, and Jazza are other channels that I regularly watched in my beginning phases, and they played a massive part in shaping the structure of my videos and my art style too. Aside from YouTube, a lot of the books I started reading into college fed into my drive to improve, not only my content but also my overall life. Some of the books included “The Defining Decade” by Meg Jay and “The Slight Edge” by Jeff Olson.

How do you brainstorm ideas for your content and your advice in getting the creative juice flowing?

Brainstorming ideas is sporadic for me. In some cases, I’ll think of my best, creative ideas when I’m trying to sleep at night or not even trying to think at all. Other times, I’ll be watching tv, reading a book, or exercising, and then, out of nowhere, an idea will just pop up. Recently, I started listening to music more frequently and letting it influence my art, as in shaping how I draw my original characters and the mood of the pieces I make. My subscribers and friends also help me with the development of ideas. 

I run into mental/art blocks all the time. Just this past week, I couldn’t think of anything to draw or a concept to base my video around. For me, I usually can kickstart my brain into thinking of ideas by forcing myself to sketch. The sketching can sometimes work as a warm-up that often inspires me to try out some more ideas and concepts I can use on the channel. For instance, I like to go to the random object generator website and base my drawings on the suggestions the site offers me. This type of creative exercise forces me to think of new, imaginative ways I can incorporate the objects in my drawings while finding a meaning for them also. Moreover, watching random Netflix shows that I usually would never click or, on some days, viewing different YouTube videos that aren’t in my recommendations can also be beneficial. This helps my mind to think of connections between different worlds and, possibly, look at things with a different perspective. 

What are the tools and platforms you use to help with your brand?

I still record all my videos using my phone. Eventually, I will purchase a higher quality camera to improve quality. As previously mentioned, Final Cut Pro X is the software I use to edit my videos. It was intimidating to learn at first. Honestly, I still continued to use iMovie well after owning Final Cut, just because of the familiarity. However, I went through a ton of tutorials on YouTube that helped me get a good grasp of what I need to do.

YouTube, to this day, remains my preferred platform for my content. I still love watching other people’s videos while making my own. My art is also posted to Instagram and TikTok occasionally. TikTok correctly works well for my art-related content- giving people the ability just to watch a shortened clip rather than a full-length video. This is a lot better for some casual viewers. Also, at the moment, it seems easier for people to discover the content on TikTok. They don’t have to click on a video; rather, it could just automatically play when they scroll.

What were your fears starting out? How did you handle it? 

When I started, I was scared of people not being able to connect with my content or enjoy it. I always worried about putting a lot of time into artwork and seeing that nobody liked it or seeing the video didn’t get a specific amount of views. Checking YouTube subs, views, and analytics can become super addictive over time. 

Through the years, I learned not to seek validation from analytics and numbers. I enjoy the art I make. So, in the chance it doesn’t get well-received, it will still have value to me. Furthermore, it can always possibly inspire other people, even if it’s a small amount.

How did you build your brand to where it is now, take us through your process.

I think building my channel always revolved around having content. If someone discovered a video they enjoyed, I wanted them to be able to find 20-30 videos just like that one. It was essential to have a catalog of videos at my disposal. Youtube can be super challenging, but, in some cases, it can take one video to change the entire landscape of your channel. For me, I had an art challenge video that took off, as in, gaining over 400k views in a week. While that video grew, I had around ten other videos that were very similar in content, so, along with my breakout video, they became too. This resulted in a massive jump in subscribers in a short amount of time. I wanted people to have multiple videos that they could enjoy and have fun with.

The quantity was significant early on, but so was quality.  I tried to improve on each previous video- whether it was the commentary, the actual drawing, thumbnail, title, or more. I aim to be able to post high-quality videos on a consistent, steady basis with an underlining mission of inspiring creativity.

For someone who wants to get into content creation, what is your advice?

For someone starting, I’d say one of the most important things is to have faith in yourself.

I feel like self-belief is super necessary to be able to continue the journey and navigate through the negativity and issues that might arise on the way. 

I like to excite myself up before each video, haha. I worked hard to reconfigure the inner voice in my head always to anticipate and think of the best-case scenario, which, through the years, has helped me a lot. 

How did you finally commit to X platform rather than your regular day job?

I become a lot more committed to YouTube after reaching 10k. I went from around 1600 to 10k subs in about a week, and I honestly thought it was the craziest thing at the time, haha. I started to put more time into my art to improve it- buying a lot of improvement and how-to-draw books around this time. 

Tell us your best milestones in being a content creator.

People always consider 100k or higher to be the most significant milestones, but I honestly thought reaching 100 subscribers and, afterward, 1,000 subscribers was super huge to me. 1,000 specifically was tough to get to because, along the way, my laptop ended up breaking down, so I had to do a large number of videos on my phone. I got a lot of support and helpful comments from my subscribers that helped me keep going forward so, after reaching 1k, it was gratifying.

What are your marketing strategies to grow your brand?

Even though I’m a marketing major, I don’t think I delved too much into marketing my channel. I mainly focus on creating good content at a consistent rate, while occasionally trying to bring in more traffic from Instagram or TikTok.

How do you handle brand deals and sponsorships? 

A lot of the brand sponsorships I complete were from companies that I admire. Arteza is an excellent company that creates quality products that I like testing out- so working with them has been a pleasure. Early on, working with Art Amino was also an outstanding experience because they built an incredibly engaging and helpful platform for artists.

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