Drawing and Animation (and Thoughts on Rebranding) – Day 31

This topic will also likely become a video over on YouTube.

For those who don’t know, in addition to blogging here, I also make YouTube videos (linked here). I’d thought about making videos as far back as 2012, but didn’t actually start until 2016. With the YouTube channel, as well as with this blog, my goal has always been to get to a place of providing educational(-ish) content on current events and relative justice issues. As I’ve grown as a creator, my goal to continue creating that type of content hasn’t changed, but I’ve found myself wanting to try new things and tell different stories in different ways.

Toward the end of last year, I discovered theodd1sout, an animation channel on YouTube (and he makes a web comic). I’ve found him to be very funny, and found that his use of animation helps to tell the stories he tells. The way he is able to tell the story would be affected greatly were he to present the same script sitting in front of a camera.

At the moment, I watch three animation channels: theodd1sout, Jaiden Animations, and CGP Grey. Though Grey’s channel is very different from the other two, he does use animation (in an educational content setting). As with anything on YouTube, I think the personality of the creator plays just as much of a role as their style or content when I decide whether I want to watch them or not, so I don’t know that all animation on YouTube would be interesting to me, but I’ve become attached to these three creators. I appreciate how different they are from each other, and, as mentioned, I like how they use the animations to help tell the stories they are telling.

This is all to say that I think I’d like to try my hand at animation; or, maybe more accurately, at drawing stuff and stringing them together in a video. I don’t actually know how to make the pictures move. I’ve always been interested in drawing, but I didn’t ever think I was good enough of a drawer to ever finish anything. The last drawing class I took was in 9th grade, over a decade ago. I even stopped doodling on the side of notes as time went on because I never liked how something looked or never knew what to draw. At this point though, I’ve gone through enough (public) growth in other creative areas that I think I’m ready to give drawing a try.

Another issue with drawing is in my equipment. I mentioned this briefly in my YouTube copycat video, but to reiterate – I have a free paint app that imposes a mandatory watermark in the middle of the page if the picture is too big. I don’t have any plans to get a new app or to purchase an app, though; I’ve already sunk a fair amount of money into other things I currently have (actually, I may research other free apps, because I can’t turn anything at an angle other than 90 degrees in my current app). Additionally (to the drawing), I only have a mouse to use as my writing/drawing utensil. I already know how long it takes to draw for a video – masquerading as theodd1sout and CGP Grey in the copycat video took almost as much time as editing the rest of the video. Still, I have a couple of ideas that I think would work best in that format, so I’d like to give the animation/drawing stuff a try.

This entire thought process of thinking about content changes has also brought up questions about rebranding. The only reason that everything I post under is mn_mohawk or mnmohawk is because that was my Twitter handle, a handle I chose because I knew my name wouldn’t be available and because the MN and the mohawk were two defining characteristics of myself. I also don’t refer to myself as mn_mohawk or Minnesota mohawk; I call myself by my name. I’ve been trying to decide whether I want to continue with the current name, or try to come up with something that may give a better explanation about the content or issues I’m discussing. The problem with rebranding is that I don’t know what I would change the name to (and I don’t really have a primary focus at the moment). I think that, at the moment, I would still have time to change if I wanted to and not confuse too many people, but something about the handle just seems to fit (possibly because it’s been around since 2011). In any case, the only changes I plan on making are to content, not to any “brand” that I have (to the name; I don’t think I’m anywhere close to being able to call this a “brand”).

The reason I’m even thinking about rebranding (other than because of new content thoughts) is because I realize now would be the best time to do it. The aforementioned thought that fewer people would be confused is something that is central to this thought. I know how big (readership-wise) this channel and everything else I do is, and if things were to get bigger, suddenly changing the name could be a real problem. This is one of the cases where future-oriented thinking may be less helpful for me than at other times; I don’t think this is something that is really a major concern for me. I’ve already done some different things with the content I’ve made, and I probably will continue to experiment in the future. Unfortunately, since numbers, demographics, and statistics are what drive any future of earning money through creating (and because I’d like for people to see what I make), I spend more time than I need to thinking about how the numbers could be affected by changes I make.

With all of this said, the greatest likelihood is that the name will always be the same (but do look for new styles of content in the future).

Also, in other news I put up a new video today, so feel free to check that out; it has literally nothing to do with this blog post.

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