What’s this? A blog post? Sure why not. For The Mind of Watercolor YouTube Channel, 2020 & 2021 have been interesting to say the least. Challenges continue in 2022 to just maintain my channel’s status quo, and not only because of the “Rona.” New family challenges arose that stressed my productivity bandwidth to the max. I won’t go into the details but suffice it to say a “new normal” had to be adopted. Blog posts are the first thing on my list to suffer neglect and that’s by design. But I do love to write given the chance and that desire bats it’s beckoning eyes every now and then. Landmark events are good occasions to drop a word or two. So here goes.
Revisiting The Brain Child
Quite often beginners ask me where to begin with my videos, how to systematically approach and consume The Mind of Watercolor channel content. To me thats like giving you step by step instructions on how to consume your dinner in the correct order. Any way you want really. It’s up to you and you can’t really make a mistake. Want to eat your dessert first? Go right ahead! That said, it’s important to understand the brain child that was the start of this channel. I decided to write this section because it’s a frequently asked question.
The Mind of Watercolor channel was designed to fill a content niche I only rarely saw on YouTube at that time – sharing products, tips and techniques of interest to all experience levels in a fairly abbreviated but random way, sort of like an art enthusiast’s club or hang out where watercolor and related things are shared and discussed for fun. Instruction was a byproduct more or less. I originally conceived my videos as 5-7 minute quick clips. That proved to be insufficient and has since evolved to 15-20 minutes on average. Now, more creators are making this style of content, but back then, step by step, paint along tutorials, sometimes quite lengthy ones, were much more common on YouTube. Still are frankly. The other commonality was speed painting with absolutely zero instruction. I saw the need for a different type of channel, a less formal, “welcome to my studio, here’s what I’m up to” approach. From the many questions and comments I’ve received over the years, the overwhelming response has been, “please don’t change a thing.” I won’t and I’m grateful for that affirmation.
Regardless, beginners can still learn a quite lot through watching my content but the process is more like foraging and collecting gems where you find them. It’s also a call for artists to stretch, explore and discover. For watercolor, that can be a more effective, even if non-linear way to learn. I’ve long felt there is too much emphasis on watercolor rules, well-defined steps and, “am-I-doing-it-right?” approaches. Um, we’re not assembling furniture here. There are perhaps a dozen ways to paint any given scene or subject in watercolor. The medium has a distinct personality you must get to know intimately and a step by step tutorial just won’t do that for you. I instead love to steep viewers in the experience and possibilities of watercolor painting. It’s important and valuable to watch other artists paint and hear their rationale. However, actual skill can only be attained by playing and experimenting with the medium and observing what it does in given situations, regardless of the type instruction you consume. 90% of what I’ve learned was learned through experimentation and self discovery.
Gratefully Looking Back
Every year I continue to be delighted and a little amazed at the enthusiastic support I continue to receive from viewers. When I launched The Mind of Watercolor YouTube channel almost 8 years ago, I hoped, but did not predict with any certainty where my channel would take me. I’m now on the cusp of 300k subscribers and that blows my mind. It also steels my resolve to keep on making inspiring art content that I love, knowing that my viewers, for the most part, will also share in that love and excitement. That knowledge in and of itself is exciting! So to all my loyal as well as recent viewers who’ve made this journey with me and made it possible, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Looking back and behind the scenes, a person of constant support and one who gave me the initial push to launch my channel has been my wife, Rita. She’s been a loving, dependable wife, mother, grandmother and for my channel, a much needed cheerleader and brainstorming companion, all while maintaining a successful career as a permissions department manager for a publisher.
Excitedly Looking Ahead
Perhaps the biggest news is that the afore mentioned publisher my wife works for will soon lose a valuable manager but I’ll gain a much needed partner for The Mind of Watercolor. In a few days from this posting, my wife will officially retire and join me in running the channel and producing content. I look forward to the help and having you get to know her a little better.
Reaching 300k subscribers also calls for a time of celebration. I’m getting to the point where, for me at least, counting the number of subscribers is not as important as it once was, but I never want to lose the desire to appreciate those actual viewers who continue to watch and have propelled me to this point, regardless of count. I’m planning a big, fun giveaway that will in some small way further express my gratitude. That video will be added to this post when it’s finally added to YouTube.
As I look ahead. I’m excited by sharing three passions mainly. Watercolor of course, mixed media (involving watercolor usually), and drawing (something you may see more of going forward).
So… on to the next 100k!