My YouTube is my journal where I show the steps I take to complete my goal of creating an indie game and an anime, with playlists broken up into “seasons”: kinda like a TV show.
I started my YouTube in January of 2018 to share my journey of one day creating a videogame and an anime with the world: but the story didn’t start there. It started in Summer of 2016, after I had just graduated Film School with a Screenwriting degree, firmly believing the best stories took place in games and anim(e)ation. Immediately after I graduated I launched a (cringe) Kickstarter campaign (that failed) to try to get funding to make an episodic storytelling game. I had a coding friend at the time, and was looking to hire an artist. After the Kickstarter fell through, my friend and I parted ways and I was left alone with my dream. I knew I wanted to make a narrative based indie game, but I knew nothing about art or coding. Determined, I decided I would still make the game and learn the skills myself, and that I would start with art.
A about a year and a half later, at the start of 2018 I was tired and lonely: frustrated with the process of trying to teach myself art online, (much less gamedev) I started my YouTube channel so the next generation of self starting artistic dreamers could find the community and help I wish I had. And in the spirit of archiving, I branded my channel as a time capsule for me (and others) to look back on my journey of chasing my dreams, so that other’s could be encouraged chasing theirs.
My channel serves as a form of video journal where I document what I learn as I learn it: as I set out to make an indie game, followed (eventually) by an anime.
I initially felt like I had to “have it all together” in order to have a channel: to be an amazing artist, or have some arbitrary level of clout. But when I learned about the curse of knowledge I realized that learning is easier when the subject is taught from someone who still shares their mental framework. Since I made the channel to help other people, suddenly what I thought was my biggest weakness turned into my biggest strength and a defining characteristic of the channel.
Sharing what you learn as you learn it has the natural effect of correcting and improving itself over time as you continue to grow. I might not explain it the best today, but give me some time and I’ll eventually explain it better tomorrow. This duality in perspective is not available in most teaching circles, and is something I like most about what I’m doing.
Season 1: The Beginners Guide to Art
My “Beginners Guide To Art” series is my first tutorial series and shares what I learned about art (through a concept art lens) from “ground zero”.
While this playlist can be a bit cringe, I think its value lies in the pure naivete that only comes with inexperience. I don’t necessarily think everything in this playlist is best practice, but I do think the mental framework of how to think about artistic techniques can be extremely helpful to beginners.
If you’re new to art, this playlist will speak your language.
Season 1: Thoughtful Thursday
My “Thoughtful Thursday” series is all about headspace and keeping your head up while you try to (slowly) get better at art. I made this series while fighting depression working full time in the restaurant industry as a server, bartender, and busser.
I released these videos alongside entries in “The Beginners Guide to Art” to serve as a supplemental mental guide to help balance out all the overwhelming new artistic principles, while offering solidarity for beginners who sucked at said principles (like me).
If you’re trying to make art your full time job, while hating the job you currently have and are discouraged with your lack of progress, this playlist might encourage you.
Season 2: Road To Riot
My “Road To Riot” series came out of my belief that becoming a Concept Artist at Riot Games would be my ticket out of the restaurant industry. At this point, making a game felt impossibly far off. It’s a direct sequel to “Beginners Guide To Art”: here I continue my artistic improvement in earnest.
During the course of this playlist, I ended up getting a job at Oculus, which completely derailed my “become a Concept Artist At Riot” plan. It threw my initial motivation for the series into question, while simultaneously providing the stability required to finally start making a game.
The strains of having a full time 9-5 job impacted the quality of uploads, and after a year of artistic striving I ended the season. I put the entire channel on hiatus to figure out my next steps and find a better work-life balance.
If you’re into anime stylization and are curious what it’s like inside Oculus, you’d enjoy this playlist.
Season 3: Gamedev
A month after my “Road To Riot” hiatus, I came back with a new playlist. My “Gamedev” playlist is my journey of trying to make my first indie game. I initially planned to go back and complete my original 2016 project, but that proved to be too difficult at the time. I decided instead to do a practice portfolio piece to get my feet wet, but that also proved to be too difficult for my skill level.
Realizing I bit off more than I could chew, I ended up putting the playlist on hiatus in the short term to further refine my artistic skills, and planned to come back once I improved.
If you’re curious how I set out to make a game without having to code, you might chuckle on this playlist.