It’s My YouTube Birthday

Today is July 15, 2012. I was wasting time, watching some random videos, when something caught my eye; I looked at the side window of my channel, and I realized that I joined youtube on July 15, 2006 That means that today is my 6th anniversary of being a YouTuber.

In the *90 months* that this website has existed, I’ve been around for 73 of them. In that time, I’ve uploaded 248 videos. Those videos have generated over half a million views, which is pretty incredible.

As an emerging artist, fighting my way through a crowded landscape where everyone is now a possible media creator, it’s amazing to think that I’ve been able to have my voice heard this widely. A successful gallery show might bring my work to the attention of several thousand people; youtube has brought my work to the attention of several *hundred* thousand people. When I first signed up to this place, I had just graduated from Art School and received my BFA. I was out of school, working part time retail, with no freaking clue what to do next. For that first year, I mostly wandered around aimlessly. I built a theremin, interviewed some friends about their art projects, and recored some of my musician friends in action. I still loved art, but for a year, I had been producing crap. I felt like I had hit a dead end in a lot of ways, I needed something new in my life, something different. So I packed my bags and ran off to Korea for a year, it was there that I fell in love with vlogging and really started to use this place regularly.

I didn’t feel like typing up a long and detailed email to my mom every few weeks, so I just started making videos for her to watch. And I left it open for the rest of the world to watch, if they really wanted to. And watch they did. It was pretty exciting watching my number of views slowly climb as the series progressed. After returning home, I didn’t want to lose the audience I had built over the last year, so I went back to making paintings, and showing off that in video form.

Then I started showing off my collaborative new-media work, and discovered that the internet loves techy stuff. (But the internet also seems to love cats, and I havent managed to have much luck with that…)

Over the past few years, I’ve noticed youtube becoming less of a speakers corner, less about community interaction and engagement, and more about consuming highly polished videos and music by big established media entities, and it’s kind of sad to see something I’ve been a part of for this long seem to drift away from it’s roots, distancing itself from the very thing that made it great in the beginning, but despite this trend, there is still lots of good stuff out there, and the power this place has brought to independent musicians, artists, commentators, comedians, and emerging videographers is amazing, so here’s hoping that users like myself can enjoy and benefit from another 7 years of YouTube, and not get stuck with a ThemTube.

Here’s to the next 73 months from me.

Cheers.

Published by

Kyle Clements

Kyle Clements is a Toronto-based artist and nerd. During his thesis at the Ontario College of Art and Design, Kyle began working on his Urban Landscapes series, a body of work that aims to capture the energy and excitement of life in the fast-paced urban environment. After graduating from OCAD in 2006, Kyle spent a year living in Asia to gather source material and experience in a different kind or urban environment. His work is vibrant and colourful. Whether painting the harsh Northern landscape, or capturing the overwhelming buzz of life in the city, his acrylic paintings hover between representation and abstraction.

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