YouTube has always been a big part of Aleks Tutak’s life, starting off as a viewer and now creating content of her own. She tells TenEighty about the importance of creators making videos that they enjoy.
“It started off as a hobby and fun thing to do in my spare time,” explains Aleks, discussing her beginnings on YouTube, “but eventually, when people actually started watching me and talking to me about my YouTube videos, it became so much more.”
Aleks made her first video in 2009, inspired by Shane Dawson, but it was in 2014 that she truly started taking her YouTube videos seriously. “I found a platform [where] I can share my opinions, and the videos I make are videos I really enjoy making,” she says.
When talking about her inspirations for her channel, she says Shane has “hands down” had the biggest influence on her life, and she’s been watching the US-based YouTuber for almost ten years now. While she mentions that she was “probably way too young to watch” Shane’s videos at the time, she nevertheless enjoyed them. Daniel Howell, Phil Lester, Luke Cutforth, and dodie are also among the other creators that have also inspired her over the years.
According to Aleks, her channel doesn’t fit into one particular category or genre, and making whatever video she feels like making is important to her. “I’ve made taste tests, beauty videos, chatty videos, reviews, hauls, and the whole lot,” she lists. “But that’s what I like about my channel. I can make any video I feel like making and it won’t seem out of place.”
Her most popular (and favourite) video on her channel so far is Turning 7-Year-Old Twenty One Pilots Fan Into Tyler Joseph. This was a collaboration with her young nephew, who she loves filming with, in which she transforms him into Twenty One Pilots member Tyler Joseph.
“It was one that took a lot of planning and preparation,” she says, “but once it was filmed, edited, and uploaded, I couldn’t be happier with it.” (Another reason why she loves this video is that it earned her a Twitter like from Tyler’s bandmate Josh Dun!)
The band have been a recurring theme on Aleks’s channel for a while, as she has been a fan of them since 2015. They have since become her favourite band and have influenced her YouTube channel as well as her life more generally.
“They’ve had such a positive impact on me and my outlook on life,” she says. She even has a tattoo of the lyric “the sun will rise and we will try again” from the band’s song Truce, and she says it is a constant reminder that, even if she fails, there is still time to succeed. “Tyler Joseph encourages an attitude to push through the anxieties of being creative, which in turn helps me to keep creating YouTube videos,” she explains.
When asked about her opinion on the ever-changing platform and the YouTube community as a whole, she says her own experiences have been largely positive. “Through the eyes of a small YouTuber, a lot of the changes didn’t affect me,” she explains. “However, I saw how much of an impact they had on other creators – for example, the Adpocalypse, and the demonetisation of videos that didn’t deserve to be demonetised.”
She also mentions the recent changes to the YouTube Partner Programme, wherein channels must have over 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours of watch time in the past year to be eligible for monetisation. However, Aleks has a positive outlook on the future for small YouTubers.
“After the initial uproar about it, I actually came to the realisation that we could turn this into a good thing,” she says, describing “small YouTubers supporting each other more now and helping each other to get back on the YouTube Partner Programme”.
This being said, Aleks says that with all the changes to YouTube over the years, it has simultaneously “never been harder and easier” to grow as a smaller YouTuber. On the one hand, she says that there are more viewers than there used to be, but also so many creators trying to “make it”, making the community “naturally very divided”.
However, she focuses on the positives, including events which help to unite the YouTube community. Mentioning Summer in the City in particular, she says that YouTube events “prove how much the community can actually come together and bond and enjoy an event that exists because we all enjoy the same thing”.
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Want to discover other smaller creators? Here’s our Channel Spotlight for lifestyle and daily vlogger, Venetia Falconer. Alternatively, check out our Channel Spotlight for Emily Eaton, who posts vlogs and LGBTQ+ videos!