How One of My Art Tutorials Earned Over 3 Million Views on YouTube.

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September 26, 2020

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

Hello! My name is Rebekah. I am an artist that loves to draw manga-style illustrations and comics. I am a full-time YouTuber. I started my YouTube channel in 2013 but didn’t start taking it more seriously until 2016.

My channel was initially called Learn2DrawManga. I wanted the name to express what my channel content was. My channel used to focus on drawing tutorials mainly. Over time the content of my videos started to change. I still made tutorials, but not as often. My channel is now called Love2DrawManga. 

When it comes to my channel, I do everything myself, so I am a one-person team. However, I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for the support and encouragement from my family and viewers.

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

I have always enjoyed drawing. When I was a kid, I would often draw pictures for family members and characters from the cartoon Spongebob Squarepants. When I was 14, I found the art style known as manga. Some people call it anime. When I saw this style of art, I didn’t know what anime or manga was, I just really liked the big shiny eyes and colorful hair.

When I was learning how to draw YouTubers like Mark Crilley, and Sophie-chan were a big inspiration to me. Because of them, I also wanted to create my YouTube channel. In the summer of when I was 17, I decided to start a YouTube channel because I thought it would be fun. I also wanted to help people like me who were learning to draw in a manga style. 

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

When it comes to video ideas, my viewers are a big help. They often tell me what kind of videos they would like to see. I also usually keep a list of video ideas that I randomly get while working. That way, if I’m not coming up with any ideas, I have a list of them to choose from.

Sometimes if I can’t decide on a video idea, I post a poll for my viewers to vote. Doing so is very helpful and helps me get an idea of what kind of content they want to see from me. 

Another thing I do is take a look at what’s popular. I’ll ask myself questions like: Are there any art challenges that are trending? What are other people in the art community doing? Can I create a fan-art for a tv show or video game series that is popular right now?  

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

For filming my videos, I use the Canon PowerShot SX720 along with Square Perfect studio lights. For audio, I use a Blue Yeti mic. For video editing, I use Adobe Premiere Pro.

I’m on many platforms. I’m mostly active on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Webtoon, and Patreon. I occasionally use Apphi to schedule posts for Instagram and Twitter. That way, my posts go up when many of my followers are online. 

YouTube is where I mainly create content. Instagram is an excellent way to get my illustrations out there for people to see. Twitter is a nice place to post behind the scenes stuff; my content on there is pretty random, to be honest. Haha! 

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

It took me a long time to get comfortable with talking to the camera/microphone. In my first videos, my voice sounds very monotone and kind of sad because I was nervous while recording. Over time I started to get more comfortable. I’ve found that doing vocal warmups before I record helps me get rid of recording jitters. 

I think negative comments are something that all content creators fear. No one likes being told negative stuff about what they create. How I handle negative feedback changes daily. Sometimes I can just brush it off, and other times the negative comment will stick with me in the back of my mind. It’s thanks to the people that give me encouraging feedback that I can push through the negativity. 

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

When I first started, I had a basic set-up. I had my mom’s camera, a laptop, and Windows Movie Maker. I made a camera stand out of a small shelf cubby and yarn, and I still use it. Haha! 

I started posting videos on YouTube, and I thought it was a lot of fun. But it was a little hard at times. I think the hardest part, in the beginning, is staying motivated. The reason being there aren't many people looking or interested in your content. It took about a year to get my first 100 subscribers. I remember being super happy. It’s crazy that my channel now gets thousands of subscribers every month.

Like I mentioned, I didn’t start taking my channel more seriously until 2016. When I began to take it more seriously, I set a goal to upload a video once a week. This is when my channel started to grow to where it is now. 

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

My advice is...

If you want to get into content creation, just start! So many people try to wait for the right timing or the perfect time to start, but there isn’t an ideal time to start. It takes a while to learn the in’s and out’s of content creation, so the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll start learning.

Was I technically ready to start an art tutorial channel when I was 17? No, not at all! I still had so much more to learn. But I am always happy I started when I did because it allowed me to learn and gain experience. 

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

I started my channel when I was in college. My major in college was accounting. I felt like being an artist was unrealistic, so I went for something in business. Once I had finished college, my parents decided to let me take a shot at “this YouTube thing.” I’m thankful they did. I started to take my channel more seriously, and it began to grow. 

Tell us your best milestones in being a content creator.

One milestone that comes to mind is my first video that hit 1,000,000 views. It was a tutorial on how to draw clothing wrinkles and folds. I almost didn’t post that video because I didn’t feel super confident about it. It is still my most viewed video at over 3,500,000 views.

Another milestone that comes to mind is when I hit 100,000 subscribers. Hitting that milestone was always a goal of mine, and it was crazy to meet it. I’m now getting close to half a million. It’s hard to comprehend. 

What are your marketing strategies to grow your brand?

I wish I had a fancy answer for this one, but my strategies have always been pretty straightforward. I just try to post as consistently as I can. I also try my best to post on social media sites like Instagram and Twitter. Using the right hashtags can be helpful if you want people to find your content. 

How do you handle brand deals and sponsorships? 

For sponsorships, companies always come to me. Sometimes they want to pay me for a shout-out in a video or they want to send me products for free. In regards to the ones where the money is involved, I often take how much I calculate my “wage” to be, and then times that by how many hours I’ll be working on the sponsorship. ( Hourly wage x hours worked). I’ve only started doing this recently. Back when I was starting, I just took whatever the sponsors would pay me. 

I only agree to work with companies that I feel are a good fit for my channel and my content. You would be surprised by the random offers I get sometimes.

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