My Adventures in YouTube Land

So you want to create a YouTube channel? I’m far from an expert but I hope my experience will help you get started on your own video making.

I didn’t intend on creating It’s A Draw With Natalie Kim, it just kind of happened and unfolded in a way that I couldn’t have predicted.

SUPERTWINS! A super hero web series

In 2011, my friend and writing partner, Josiah Madigan and I created a show called SuperTwins! It was about super hero fraternal twins, Karin and Kai, who were down on their luck. It was our first foray into the YouTube world and we literally had no idea what we were doing, but we had a lot of fun. It got me a lot of meetings and I made some very great friends who worked on the show and also people who  saw the show and got in contact with me.

INKED TV: Quirky Graphic Novel Review

In 2012, I created InkedTV with another friend of mine, famed illustrator and cartoonist, George O’Connor. I loved doing this show because we reviewed and talked about independent graphic novels. I love all comics but I am more of a Small Press Expo kind of gal than San Diego Comic-Con. There’s a LOT of YouTube shows on the DC/Marvel comics but not so much on indie comics.

We had the wonderful opportunity to shoot at the YouTube studios which gave us a polished look (even though in reality I was operating the camera and mic by running back and forth). Unfortunately, George and I couldn’t find the time to shoot the show. Illustrators work their asses off, and I find that everyone gets excited about making YouTube videos but after a certain point feel that it’s more work than was expected. So we decided to end the show.

Hello, Frederator!

While at YouTube, I got the chance to meet folks from Frederator, an awesome cartoon channel (headed by Fred Siebert — producer of Fairly Odd Parents, Powerpuff Girls, Adventure Time and former head of Hanna Barbara. He’s kind of a big deal).

We’d chat about cartoons; I’d run into them at cons. It was good stuff because cartoon people are my kind of people. (LESSON #1: BE NICE TO EVERY PERSON YOU ENCOUNTER.)

Then one day, someone from Frederator asked me to pitch them a show. I chatted with my buds who know a bit about pitches and fleshed out an idea: a show about drawing while interviewing. And they liked it! I shot and presented three episodes and they wanted to move forward.

The problem was that while I could shoot InkedTV by myself, I could not shoot It’s A Draw by myself. The overhead camera set up is a bit more complex, and I didn’t have the technical knowledge or equipment to do the shoot. I got stuck. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it, and the way I dealt with it was by doing nothing for a few months.

Luckily I teamed up with Jason Bruffy and Melisa Briener Sanders of BSB Media, and together we shaped the look and feel of the show. Jason worked to get the totally strange camera angle on the drawing as well as editing the piece so that it was interesting to watch while not losing the drawing aspect altogether. This is not an easy task. Melisa worked tirelessly to get great comedic guests on board. (LESSON #2: UNDERSTAND YOUR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES)

I am so grateful for my team and really grateful to be officially part of the Channel Frederator Network. Yes, the brand recognition is great; however, I have to say that what I truly enjoy is being around the Frederator people. They are extremely supportive, funny, and creative, and I feel pretty blessed to be surrounded by them.

I hope this blog post was helpful and informative to you. While there are no clear cut tactics on how to get started, the one through line seems to be this: create projects that are fun for you rather than predicting what you think the market wants.

I have no idea what the market wants. That’s like trying to mold yourself for a guy that you like. Bottom line: that doesn’t work.

Power YouTubers will often say you must make videos that you really enjoy or it will show, and I have to agree with that. However, the tricky thing about this “do what you love” sentiment is this: even though you love something, you might feel strange doing it at first. You may even feel like you hate it.

Feelings of insecurity and fear can creep in and then you may THINK you don’t like what you’re doing, when really all you need to do is stick with it and push past an uncomfortable phase. You must take action to make videos to experience and understand what you enjoy.

Now go start making videos ^__^