This week I’ve set myself a personal challenge: To spotlight five lesser-known YouTube creators who shouldn’t be lesser-known. Yesterday, Mystery Guitar Man — today, well, keep reading. YouTuber Week continues!
Not everyone riding the YouTube rails is necessarily earning millions of views, but that doesn’t mean they’re less deserving of notice. Take today’s example, artist and YouTuber Kat Sketch. Having joined YouTube in September 2008, Sketch’s videos rack up viewcounts in the five digit range (with a few topping 100,000 views), which isn’t huge by many standards. Part of that may be down to her being newer to the site than some, and part of that may be down to her not being as prolific as, say, regularly vloggers like Michael Buckley — her updating schedule is much more random and irregular. Which is understandable, if you ask me, because Sketch’s content requires a different kind of muse.
What Sketch does is simple — use a vlog-style set-up to introduce art pieces she’s created using unconventional materials. Just some of her more recent examples include a Toy Story portrait made using plastic army men…
Pictures of Lost cast members created using dirt…
And a tribute to Lady Gaga done with lollipops.
What makes these videos interesting, though, is the use of time lapse and stop motion filming techniques to show the art pieces coming together. There’s something inspiring about watching a confident artist’s hands at work, even more so when you get to see the efforts of six to eight hours come together in a minute’s time.
And it really is usually about a minute; Sketch is one of the tighter and more concise vloggers I’ve seen on YouTube, who’s informal and comfortable in front of the camera but not prone to rambling on — even in videos that are specifically meant to be vlog entries and not art piece showcases. The reason for that, though, is that her focus is on her audience and her art.
On an artistic level, Sketch’s work might not be MOMA-eligible quite yet, but she has clear artistic aptitude and an engaging pop sensibility. In fact, the bulk of her work seems to be inspired by ongoing pop culture trends — which shows strong media savviness, the kind of skill that can’t really be taught. One of her more basic art pieces is a pencil sketch of everyone’s favorite pre-teen lesbian lookalike, Justin Bieber, but it also includes a moment that shows how well Sketch understands YouTube interaction.
While acknowledging that Bieber is not exactly her favorite, she says that she understands why he’s become so popular with the YouTube crowd. “It must be pretty cool to get to see your favorite pop artist grow up,” she says. And then she asks people to comment and say who they wish they could have seen grow up via YouTube.
Kat is currently 21 years old, and has some growing up left to do herself. But hers is an emerging talent watching — if not on an artistic level, then definitely on a media personality level.
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