It’s still incredible to me how dramatically different our tutorials are than that awkward first tutorial that I shot way back in 2015. I remember being so nervous about covering all the content for the shoot: I wrote out complete sentences that I wanted to say practically verbatim, and memorized specific phrases that I wanted to be sure to include. I checked off each sentence as I went through the shoot and worried about including every idea that I needed to cover.
Not only did I do that tutorial completely by myself, but I was really uncomfortable on set and it shows in that initial tutorial. I was really stiff, my voice felt robotic and monotonous and I cringe so much when I think about the way I came across on camera.
So many things are different today. At a certain point I realized that if I just treated the tutorials as if I was simply in the classroom, I would know on the spot exactly what I needed to say. I stopped fussing over the details and just said what came to me in the moment, which is basically what I do in the classroom.
This freed me up so much in terms of my presence on set and made the process infinitely easier. I stopped scripting myself, and do very little advance preparation. The most preparation I’ll do is perhaps a bullet list of about 10 key points I want to hit, but that’s it.
When we started doing collaborative tutorials with 2 people on set, that’s when the shoots became even easier, more fun, and above all, relaxed and more casual on set. When we did single person tutorials, there was always that awkwardness of whether or not to look directly at the camera or now, and it shows in those earlier tutorials.
We love the different dynamics between the different people on set, and it’s so fun! In the Digital Illustration tutorial above, Cat and I have so many funny moments between the two of us, and that’s a quality that I’ve been really thrilled with. Also, you can’t fake a positive rapport with the other person. All of us genuinely have a great time on set, and I do think that comes across in the videos.