Anime - Art

Talart

How Starting A Drawing Channel For Myself Inspires Thousands of Subscribers.

Side Hustle
October 8, 2020
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Who are you and what kind of content do you create?

Hullo! My name is Tala! Most people know me as Talart on YouTube. I draw Manga and Anime-style drawings on my channel part-time. I occasionally post drawing tutorials, depending on the demand in the comments section. I do everything on my channel by myself, making it a bit harder to post more often, but it’s worth it in the end. Hopefully, you can sense my flavor through the screen. Haha! 


I’ve been doing YouTube for about five years now, and I haven’t made it a full-time job because it is not my goal. I was just doing YouTube for fun, and when I tried to make it full-time, I realized how much pressure it would place on me, and it almost ruined my drive to upload and draw. My brand is basically my name. My channel’s original name was Ur Muther. The reason was that I was a vast troll, and I wanted people to ask me what my channel name was, and I would say, “Your mother.” Being a sophomore in high school, I thought it was the funniest thing in the world, and you can still see the “Ur Muther watermark” on my older videos. 


My parents got annoyed by my YouTube name and told me to change it and combine my name with art. That’s how it ended up. I was using their idea in later years. Unfortunately, my email was permanently stuck as ur.muther because that’s how most companies contact me. *sad*

 

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

I started uploading videos when I was 16 because I wanted to see my drawing process sped up. I didn’t care about having an audience, and I didn’t care who watched my videos (haha), which sounds messed up. I started my channel for me and only me, but I thought it would be cool to see people randomly stumble across my videos. Being a high school student who enjoyed staying home 24/7, I had a lot of free time on my hands, and I used that free time to upload a new video almost every day! Which was wild because I had no goal and no reason to upload that often. I just wanted to draw and then watch me draw. I have no idea why. 


After doing that for a few years and posting my drawings on social media, I began to see my audience grow. That was overwhelming for me because I wasn’t paying attention to the number of subscribers. My brother would come up to me randomly, congratulating me on a milestone I didn’t know I reached. I think the best thing for my growth was not paying attention to the number of subscribers and views because it allowed me to do whatever I wanted, and people could sense my passion through the screen. 


After reaching about 100,000 subscribers, I began to feel the weight of what having such a large community was like, and I started taking requests. This put a lot of pressure on me, but I didn’t lose motivation. I continued to work hard while going to school and working part-time. People would ask me how I could do all of that, and I honestly have no idea how. I think it was the four hours of sleep I have every night. Haha!

Here’s a video to my dark past haha:


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

I used to get inspiration from an anime I was watching at the time, which would work for my channel. But these days, not that often anymore. This is because the YouTube audience has grown and changed so much. Simple speed drawings just aren’t enough. Since my channel is a drawing channel, I usually don’t need to write my ideas down. I just turn my camera on and start filming whatever I feel like filming. I used to force myself to film and draw always, but it would drain me so much, and the videos would turn out almost lazy with a lot of simple editing mistakes. 


As time goes by, I realize how important it is for your channel to grow and change along with your audience. As YouTube becomes more saturated with content creators, it becomes more important to adapt and change. 


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

I use Adobe Premiere Pro for editing my videos these days. The way I learned to use the program was through YouTube videos and trial and error. My favorite part is when my program crashes…*cries*


Filming the art process is super hard, and I tend to get many questions on how I film without capturing my head in the video. I use a reversible tripod to make my camera face vertically. My head doesn’t get in the way, but lowkey, I can’t see what I’m drawing…*shhh don’t tell anyone! I am in almost every social media! I have Twitter, Instagram, and of course, YouTube. I have the other social media platforms for my brand, but I don’t use them frequently because managing them is a lot for one person. 


I don’t schedule my videos, as drawing requires inspiration, and I can’t choose when I have the motivation to film. I highly recommend a schedule for new content creators because it helps build an audience who knows when to look for your next project/ video. I also recommend posting as much and as often as possible!  You don’t need much to get started. When I first started the channel, I had my mom’s camera, desk (no tripod), Crayola colored pencils, and printer paper. Some people say they need a bunch of stuff to get started, don’t listen to them. LOL. Just be yourself and use what you have! 


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

Since I didn’t care about people watching my channel, I didn’t have any fears starting. However, I began having worries once my channel started growing. I would get many friendly, and supportive comments with a few hate comments sprinkled in like “you talk too fast” or “you’re not helping.” These sound like things that could easily be ignored, but over time when you try to improve your channel, it kind of gets to you. I would focus on how to improve my videos and try to be more helpful. But suddenly, I would get comments saying, “you talk too slow!” or “You keep repeating yourself” due to my trying to indulge them. I realized that trying to cater to my audience like that is just hurting myself and ruining my creation process. I highly recommend you ignore most comments if you are affected by them like I am. You may start to lose yourself when you read the hurtful words. 


Since my channel consists of mostly drawing, I rarely have to show my face. I am pretty extroverted, so recording a voice-over and filming myself wasn’t too hard. Knowing that I can just edit out my goofy moments, sure was helpful as well! 

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

When I was starting, I used to post A LOT. It was super tiring, but since I loved it, it didn't feel like work. Being a high school student with no job, I didn’t have any money to fund my hobby and had to figure everything out on my own. I also didn’t have any outside help. It took almost two years to gain traction, but I was drawing trendy anime characters, which was probably why my channel grew so fast. 


After four to five years on YouTube, I can use more high tech equipment and use a digital drawing tablet. It took me years of blood, sweat, and tears to get to this point. Social Media is genuinely mysterious. I have videos that I spent weeks working on, only receiving about 3,000-4,000 videos and videos where I spend 30 minutes drawing receive 2 million views. That’s the sad reality and is something that is not uncommon. 

The video I spent 30 min making…*cries*:


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

If you’re just getting into content creation, I highly recommend not reading any comments or looking at your followers count. These things come with time, and if you pay attention to them, it will hinder your individuality and freedom from expressing yourself. Good comments are lovely, but they still impact you. These days the market is supersaturated, so make sure you have something no one else has.

Be ready to see almost no growth initially (This is entirely normal. It’s almost like a way of filtering out the people who are just doing it for fame and are not passionate). 


If you are already posting and creating, keep going. Make sure your content entertains you, and that it is something you are willing to watch over and over. If you can’t even view your content yourself, how are other people going to watch them? (This is kind of advice for myself too. Haha). Make sure you have a target audience. If you are your target audience, that’s EVEN BETTER! I realized that when I made the videos for myself, rather than other people, my channel thrived. 


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

I think this is super important to say. You do not need to quit school or quit your day job to be successful. I went to university full-time and worked part-time as a math tutor. That meant my hours were 6 am-7 pm sometimes later. I would try to film whenever I could and draw during my breaks (I post on social media when I don’t post videos on YouTube). 


I believe there is nothing wrong with posting on social media and growing your following. I was able to quit my part-time job AFTER I made money from YouTube consistently. Getting one sponsorship cheque or YouTube cheque is not enough of a reason to finish school or work. After getting about five to ten payments is when I would say you can start considering it. 


You can use the valuable time given during breaks (including travel time to plan and come up with ideas) so that you can start right away when you do have free time. There is a rare occasion when someone says, “I quit my day job/ school to pursue my dream,” and it worked for them. Don’t be that guy, haha, I hate to be pessimistic, but it seldom works.



Tell us your best milestones in being a content creator.

My best milestone as a content creator was being sponsored by larger well-known companies. It was nice to see that these companies noticed my efforts and that they enjoyed my work. Another perk is that a lot of companies will supply you with materials for your channel. I started with $1 colored pencils from Target, and now I use $40 gouache for my paintings. All these helped me improve the quality of my artwork on my channel. 


What are your marketing strategies to grow your brand?

Being your own marketer is the best option when first starting out. You control what kind of content you release and how often. I’ve always been my own marketer. It was hard, but it makes my viewers feel more connected to me than some random person promoting my work. I would continuously post and interact on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook (recently on Discord). You can never overshare your content. SHARE SHARE SHARE. Honestly, be annoying. I’m not kidding. I would post on my Instagram feed and story the same post, LOL. Then I would head over to Twitter and post the same thing again. And so on. If you’re not everywhere, then you’re not marketing. That's my motto. LOL 


I never did anything unethical to get ahead of my niche. I believe there is room for everyone in the market. There is no need to do such a thing. I do recommend to collaborate with other creators. It doesn't matter how many subscribers they have or view they get. Make sure you collab with someone you get along with and enjoy their content. Otherwise, there’s no point. Viewers are not dumb. They can sense when you don’t know who you are collaborating with and aren’t interested in the other person’s content. 



How do you handle brand deals and sponsorships? 

I honestly do not like collaborating with other brands. Most of the time, they do not respect the content creator. And a lot of the time, they expect free work (especially from smaller creators). I view that as highly disrespectful and unfair. It is super important to respect yourself as a creator in this case and be straightforward in how much you want to get paid for the collaboration. Most new creators are scared of asking for money. But it’s super important to get paid for your work. The collaboration is called collaboration because it benefits both parties. If you feel like they are the only ones benefiting, its the end of the deal.


I had a sponsorship deal with a well-known company that would not respect the deadlines we set for a video. I had scheduled for the video to be ready for upload by a specific date, and the company asked to make changes the day of upload! That is super disrespectful. I gave them a deadline to request changes before signing the contract. They agreed on the deadline and refused to follow it. Not only that, when I refused to make the changes, they also refused to pay me for my work. Since I terminated the contract myself, I wasn’t able to take legal action. But honestly, no regrets. 


For some reason, this company contacted me again for another collaboration. I refused their offer. My time is valuable, and I did not want to waste my time with them also. It is super important to pick and choose sponsorships. Do not just agree to random brands that have nothing to do with you or your channel. I also recommend looking into the company; if they do respect content creators.

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