How to Create an Animation Channel on Youtube

Rocket Child Youtube Channel Cover Art - Jessica McLeod-Yu

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A few months ago, I started creating Youtube videos. Previously, I only used my account as a viewer, or to upload little animations. However, I’ve been researching how some people have used their channels as their own private TV station in order to make video as their full time jobs. Curiously, I figured that I would give it a go, though I wasn’t sure what kind of videos I should make. 

In my research, I learnt that there is a Youtube Animation Community. However, the irony is, not all of them can actually animate, at least not in the same capacity that I can.  So what makes them so trendy online?

The way people are able to generate an income on Youtube, is often by ads. Every time you’re forced to watch another annoying ad on a video, the channel earns a percentage (a few cents). Therefore, with more views and subscribers, one is able to turn cents into dollars, to potentially thousands or millions.

I remember in 2009 when the kids at school watched “Charlie the Unicorn“. The story was ridiculous, however you could really see the time and work put in by the creator, Jason Steele. Yet, what happened between then and now to cause the qualities of videos produced online to change from animations to moving comic book style?

Footofaferret‘s explain the reason very clearly in his video about the History of Youtube Animators.  It turns out that the Youtube algorithm greatly affects the materials people make, and the ways that they do it. When the Rick Roll meme was popular, a lot people started creating misleading Click-bait videos, causing Youtube to change their rules. The website started to reward the creators who produced more longer videos with a greater view retention.  In other words, viewers who watch the whole video as opposed to clicking and leaving. 

This affected the animation community greatly.  From my own experience, an animated project can take months or longer to create off screen, such as the planning to the laborious task of production. Meaning that one could no longer upload an incredible 3 minute animation every few months and expect to earn. 

These new earning regulations caused the Youtube animation community to adapt and change their mode of production. In order to create more videos, the quality of animation was sacrificed with more emphasis on storytelling and anecdotes. sWooZie is probably the most notable ‘Youtube Animator’ (I’m using the term Youtube Animator to refer to this particular style of youtube videos as opposed to animators in general.) In this early video that he produced, sWooZie uses DeviantArt Muro (a free drawing software), and a video editing program, which I think is incredible seeing that Muro isn’t suited for animation at all. He then uses his expressive personality and storytelling to bring the piece to life.

Since then, many other people have jumped on board creating their own ‘storytelling animations’ for youtube. There are some mixed opinions about it. Some people really enjoy these types of videos, while others feel that it’s unfair that these people to get more recognition than more skilled animators.

For me, I don’t grudge these people for their online success. However, it does perplex me, since I am a traditional animator who likes to create quality hand drawn works.  It’s hard for me to judge what will work or not, since I am new to the Youtube scene… as a creator, as opposed to a viewer. So I figured that I’d just give things a go and see where it takes me.

As a way to learn how to produce quality videos faster, without disrupting my usual work flow, I’ve been creating Speed Drawing videos and Tutorials showing my work process.

As well as a drawn series about how I walked the Camino de Santiago while handling type 1 diabetes. The production for this is slower, since I’m hoping to find funding and support from relevant medical parties to help produce it. That being said, I have already heard feed back from some people saying that the discussed topics have been helpful and interesting. I really hope to continue creating more videos.

The benefits of using Youtube is that it is the 2nd biggest search engine in the world, meaning that as long as some one uses a search term relevant to your content, they can find your video, as oppose to Facebook or Instagram, which are formatted as feeds based on time relevance. (Meaning that your posts will get buried and lost.)

That being said, I don’t know anyone personally who is an experienced Youtube creator to ask for advice. The Youtube website itself doesn’t have an online forum neither, (that I know of), to ask for advice on how to expand my brand awareness and connect to more people. If anyone has any advice on growing an authentic audience, without paid promotions, I would greatly appreciate it.

For you, the reader; do you have a youtube channel or know someone who does? Let me know your thoughts below in the comment box.

Rocket Child Youtube Channel - Jessica McLeod-Yu

How I Became A Citizen Of The World

"How I Became A Citizen Of The World", Jessica McLeod-Yu

"How I Became A Citizen Of The World", Jessica McLeod-Yu

Following my previous articled About how my choice of hair colour responds to my personality, I felt inspired to write another article about a different aspect of myself: How I became a Citizen of the World.

I was born and raised in Sydney, Australia with English as my first language.  I have a very multicultural gene pool. My father is from China, and on my mother’s side, her father comes from an Australian, Scottish, Irish background, and her mother comes from Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean.  We don’t know the much of our family tree on that side. However, Trinidad has a diverse immigration history with mixes from the native people, African slaves, and the Spanish, French and British colonialists. It’s hard to really say what mix I’m made of.  Playfully, I call myself a ‘Whatever’.

When I was younger, I found it hard to fit.  I was proud of who I was and for being so unique, yet many Australians didn’t believe that I was Australian, nor could they believe that I was born here.  Australia has an incredible number of multicultural citizens, and immigrants. However, I don’t think the people were used to having a single person with so much genetic variety, and with that, I felt lost.  I was Australian, yet I didn’t fit in completely.

I remember in high school we had a small homework task to write a report on belonging.  Though it was an easy task in theory, I felt crippled.  I didn’t feel that I belonged, and I was ashamed to admit it.

When I was 14 years old, I started studying Japanese as my compulsory language class. I had always loved Anime and thought that learning the language would let me be able to watch anime without subtitles.  I loved my classes.  The Japanese language was hard to learn, yet it was so different and exotic.  Everything was completely new and so much fun to learn.  As the years went on, I became determined to visit Japan.

When I was 16, I went on my first 2-week overseas exchange trip.  It was a life changing experience for me, and the moment when I caught the incurable Travel Bug.  I can’t begin to describe the joy and wonder I felt learning about the culture of Japan, but most importantly, I found myself in the company of a group of international exchange students. For once, it was ok for me not to be categorized as a specific nationality.  Instead, we were all International and Citizens of The World.  It was outside of Australia that I felt… Australian.

From that trip, I met my first international friend. Eliza was from Canada and we kept in contact as email pen pals for the next few years, and in time, my international friendship circle would grew.

I had always had a longing that I belonged ‘somewhere else’.  I would follow the stars at night and feel home sick for a place that I’d never been.  I was determined to explore the world and find the place where I belonged. Since then, I went back and studied in Japan, France, Italy and Spain to name a few places, where I met so many wonderful people, who would become a part of my life.  It was like a became a different person when I was abroad.  My soul soars when I travel, and I feel a great power and sincerity to connect with others.  Just the idea of it makes me feel so elated to learn of new cultures and to make friends and speak to them in their own languages.

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I’ve come to understand that there is no one ‘place’ where I belong, nor one particular nation that calls to me.  Instead, my heart sings when I connect to all the places that I go.  It is within this international community that I feel comfortable and accepted to embrace and express the multiculturalism within me.  In fact, I consider all of these experiences to add to me and my identity, instead of just identifying with the genetic heritages that I was born with.  I feel that there is a level of importance and kinship that is born through my selection and assimilation from meeting people and experiencing their lives, and with that, I’ve become more.

I call myself an artist and I believe that the arts have a power to emote, question and connect with people beyond borders.  I have always had this desire to connect to the world.  I want to inspire and help people and leave the world better than when I arrived here on this planet.  This is a vocation and personality trait that I have within myself, yet I wasn’t sure what work opportunities exist that would allow me to pursue this path.

This coming year I will be going to the Australian National University in Canberra to study a Master in International Relations.  This will be a new experience for me, but I feel inspired.  My new dream is that I would like to use the skills and knowledge of my artmaking as a vehicle to communicate concepts, ideas and influence on a boarder international scale for the benefit of others.

How Does One’s Hair Affect Their Personality?

Jessica McLeod-Yu

"I am who I am", Photoshop, Jessica McLeod-Yu, 2019

I just wanna be myself
And I want you to love me for who I am
I just wanna be myself
And I want you to know, I am my hair

Lady Gaga

My name is Jessica. I am an artist, storyteller and animator.  I take inspiration from street art, nature, architecture and fairy tales.  My artistic aesthetic is bold, colourful and full of zeal and vitality. Its eye catching, engaging and fresh.  I am so incredibly passionate about expressing myself that it goes beyond the canvas and into my how I dress, and the way I choose to live.

Those who know me will recognise my Blue and Pink hair.  It’s part of my brand and how I choose to represent myself.  It’s such a playful and distinct way to represent myself and make myself memorable when meeting people.  It gives me a lot of joy to express outside, how I feel on the inside.

I’ve always been a tomboy and I’m fit and athletic.  When it comes to clothes, l prefer to wear clothes that are comfortable and sporty and choosing what I like from the Male and Female sections, as opposed to being limited in my gender.

From a young age I noticed that some people judge how one looks without really knowing nor understanding the person, especially towards gender stereotypes.  On occasions when I dressed up ‘fancy’ I noticed some boys would treat me better because I was pretty yet treat others who weren’t as dolled up badly, and on the other hand that some girls would get jealous towards me and treat me badly.  I always wanted to show my worth though my personality and that which I do.  Yet, I found this insincerity disturbing. How these people would behave differently towards me, and others, based on whether they thought we were attractive or not.  Therefore, I found that dressing in a more casual androgynous way allowed me to get to know people better, and to learn whether we liked each other or not based on our personalities and abilities, without the burdens of attraction or jealousy interfering.  Human beings are fascinating creatures.

I feel as though there are contradictions within society.  Now more than ever there are more options for online shopping, and greater varieties of clothing designs, and the opportunities to express one’s self through social media.  There is a greater push and trend to express one’s self, yet at same time I find that the opposite exists.  Stand out, fit in.  Look unique but follow the dress code.  There’s a fear to keep up impressions, to get more likes online.  Then, there’s the fear of being judged for standing out and being the nail that gets hammered down.

It’s such a confusing world for me, and I often find it hard to know where I fit in.

I think a lot of women feel pressure to wear makeup in their lives, and even feel ashamed to go out in public without it.  Or they feel pressured to dress up and be sexy and wear uncomfortable shoes.

I like dressing up everyone once in a while, and I like wearing costumes.  However, I don’t like that it’s an expectation for some people.  This is the face that I was born with.  Even if I was ugly, I feel as though I should be able to go out in public with the face that I have, because that’s the way I am.

I like being different, and like the choices that I’ve made for my personal appearance.  Yet, I still feel the pressure sometimes.  Sometimes I wonder if I get disqualified from job interviews for dressing in a non-conforming way.  I don’t know.  I get anxious when I think about it.  I can’t change myself.  I am who I am, and I can’t pretend to be ‘normal’ or like everyone else, because I am not.  So much of who I am is driven by the desire and will to change the constrains that exist within society that people assume to be ‘normal’.

I sometimes wonder, what would happen if I dyed my hair black again, or dressed differently?  I would still be the same person on the inside, wouldn’t I?

The truth is, I love being who I am, and having the courage to express myself though my own style and artistic creativity.  I think it’s a beautiful thing where one is able to be themselves and to be the change they want to see, and to inspire others by showing that it’s Ok for them to be them.  What I would truly appreciate the most in the world, is finding a place where I have the freedom to be me.

Writing this reminds me of Lady Gaga’s song: “Hair”, I think it’s a good example of how something so cosmetic as their hair can represent so much of who they are as a person.

“Personal Branding; The art of good business”

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“Personal Branding; The art of good business” – Directed Study Reflection.

As some of you may know from one of my previous blog posts, I created this website for one of my university courses (Directed Study).  I didn’t set myself a specific outcome, but rather treated this project as an experiment to try bunch of new things and see the results.

My aim included:

  • Defining myself as an artist by defining my own brand
  • To create a professional online portfolio
  • To create social media accounts and establish a stronger web presence
  • Collaborate with other artists
  • Learn employment skills to use in the work force.

 

Looking back, I have successfully achieved all these goals.

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 6.44.02 pmOne of the obvious outcomes is the creation of this website. I used a visual style template to set everything out and an ordered structure.  Not only that, but the WordPress back room features make maintaining the website easy to use and manage, and the support forum was very helpful whenever I had questions.  I even learned about analysing web traffic and statistics to know which posts were popular, and who my readers are.

What I would change in the future is the web layout.  At first I though that the highly visual and graphic template was a good choice, however I think it’s too confusing.  There are too many elements going on that a first time visitor might not realise what my website is for (to be a portfolio).  So next time I would make the home page simple and to the point was a visible menu bar.

I also learnt that all social media websites function differently.  Some are easy to use, while others are complicated.  Also, each social community has it’s own features and systems which affect the activity and interaction of my accounts.  While I know that all the sites are different, i’m still trying to figure out what makes them different, and how I can use these systems to my advantage.

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I’ll combine these next two points together since they’re so similar.  Collaborating with other artists and defining my own brand.  A few month ago my friend Manon and I collaborated and did a performance artwork together called Kamikaze Sisters, which I wrote about in a previous post.  This work was about showing our creative styles in both our daily lives and through our artistic practices.

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I am pretty versatile and work in a variety of creative mediums ( Drawing, modellingphotos and installations, writing, animations and more), so during this time, i’ve been working on unifying all their styles into a singular brand.  This is also a continuous process since i’m still developing and growing, however this experience has taught me to reflect on what I consider to be my style and which mediums I like using the best.

In some ways I feel as though my art is very scattered and confused like my website layout, yet in others I can see unifying themes.  Because I’ve done so much already, I don’t think the solution is doing something new again, but rather refining what I have.  Picking and choosing which aspects of my art that I like, and discarding what I don’t need.  This is another project that will take some time, but it’s good to keep in mind.

Over all I’m satisfied with all the work i’ve done so far with this project.  Because of it, I’ve been able to go further than I have before by learning more about myself and my goals for the future.

Don’t worry though, just because this class is over, doesn’t mean my blog is.  Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for future updates.

-Jess

27 thank you

Kamikaze Sisters – The Worlds of Two Girls Collide

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It feels weird writing this post so long after the event, but I need to do it for uni, so here I go.

Back in September my friend, Manon and I collaborated and did a performance artwork together in two of the shop window at NANA gallery, Newcastle.  Now you’re probably wondering “what is a performance artwork?”, so i’ll explain that first.  In this particular instance, the artwork isn’t something static like a drawing, but an action; something that only exists within the time its created (it needs to be documented via photos if you want to see it again).

So what exactly was our action?  Well, Manon and I are artists who both have our own individual styles, (she sews and I draw and write), in this artwork we wanted to show how the life style of the artist can be as important as the finished works themselves.  So one of the days we went in and worked within the windows.

This is what the blurb and invitation looked like:

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Manon Marguerite and Jessica McLeod-Yu present:  “Kamikaze Sisters – The Worlds of Two Girls Collide”
Inspired by the movie Kamikaze Girls, a story where two girls of different styles come together and become friends.
These two girls will install their artworks in two shop windows, one representing the artist’s atelier, and the other as a commercial public display.  To exhibit not only the artworks produced by the artists, but also to present the idea of the artists’ image and lifestyle as a part of their discipline.  Both of the artists work in different mediums and have their own individual aesthetics, yet they both work towards a common goal of creating their own brands.  
The exhibition will be on display from the 23rd – 30th of September, however on Thursday the 25th both Manon and Jessica will perform together within the Shop windows from 11am – 12pm

And here are some shots I took while setting up:

It’s was had to take pictures in the day because of the glare, however Manon managed to take a photo at night which I think looks heaps better than in the day.

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For me, this whole project was an experiment for uni to learn new ways of identifying my Artist Persona and discovering new ways of presenting my art in a new spaces, though I have to say that the process was very tiring and time consuming (preparation included).  To be honest, I don’t think the Fine Art world is for me, but at least I can say that I tried it.  As I said before, this was an experiment to see what would happen.

Also, I had a lot of fun getting to know and working with Manon.  She’s an awesome girl who did more than her share of work, especially when she packed up my stuff when I went to hospital, so working together with her was definitely my favourite part =)

TWB Book Opening

 Once upon a time, in a land of crystal towers blue, is a garden known only to those in desperate need. There, lonely souls beseech the help of the King of Wishes only to fall prey to his curse and dance for eternity within his ballroom of dreams. A fairy tale—that’s all it was . . . until now.

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Back in June my family and I held a book opening for the release of my novel The Wish Bringer.  It was a great night celebrating not only the success of the book being published, but also celebrating the people who helped and supported me throughout my writing journey.

The launch was held in the Marian Hall of Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School, which we decorated with framed drawings of the story’s conceptual art, an installation, a selected music playlist, as well as other decorative elements including a banner of the book and decorated cake.

The main idea that I wanted to convey with these props was to invoke the senses.  Many of the people who attended that night had yet to read the book, therefor we wanted to transport everyone into the fantastical nature and environment of the book by appealing to their senses, which I think was quite successful.

 
Video of the speeches
 

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Photos taken by my friend Miguel Zaragoza

 

For anyone interested in getting a copy of the book, you can click here to buy it from the online book store here

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