We sat down with lettering artist Gadis of @madebymutiara to hear how she creates video to grow and encourage her audience.
How did you get into lettering art in the first place?
I started lettering in 2016 when I was a teacher in Singapore. I actually saw one of my student’s lettering on her homework and I was like “oh my gosh, show me how you do this!” She taught me and lettering became my hobby.
I joined Instagram around the same time. I wasn’t planning to grow an audience, then when I moved to the US I realized most of my audience was already here. I was now able to talk to them more and share the story of my move.
I grew that audience because I shared more of my story—the person behind the creations—and people were able to connect with me. I didn’t just share lettering, I shared things I was experiencing for the first time in the US through my captions and Instagram stories.
Now I’m thinking ahead to what I can provide my audience that’s a little different, instead of offering the same things as other lettering artists.
How did you start incorporating video into your work?
When IGTV came out I loved watching other videos so I wanted to start doing it myself. My lighting was bad at first, then I was able to experiment with better natural light. I learned by watching videos I liked and mimicking their angles and speed.
I wasn’t able to create great videos overnight, I had to try things and figure out what I liked to watch and what I liked to make. Now I try to incorporate something unique and interesting to engage the viewer, like glow in the dark lettering.
Even with so much previous video experience, how has Jumprope changed the way you think about video?
Something I’ve learned through Jumprope is describing steps. I always thought people could watch a video and mimic it, and now I realize people need instruction. I can’t assume my viewers know how to follow along if I’m not deliberate with instructions and steps. That’s a great lesson I’ve learned using Jumprope!
What’s your top tip for artists who are hesitant to start creating video content?
Your first 5 videos will be crap, but that practice will help you discover the type of videos you like making.
Have someone outside of your niche watch your video and ask them at what point they start getting bored. I use my husband, it’s because of his feedback that I get better engagement.
Where do you like to share your Jumprope downloads?
What’s your filming setup?
I use a gooseneck phone holder and film with my phone using natural light. My background is a foam board that I covered with adhesive matte wallpaper. I do have studio lights if needed, but I prefer not to use them.
One tip with the gooseneck: attach it to something other than the surface you’re working on! That way if your table shakes, your phone won’t shake with it.
What’s your process like for planning a new Jumprope?
I’m more deliberate when I plan a Jumprope compared to when I film a time lapse for Instagram. I think more from beginning to end, sticking to one brand of brush markers, staying consistent to let people know they don’t need to buy a lot to get started.
I plan out my steps beforehand and will sometimes take additional footage to show tips, like shaking chalk markers.
I always ask myself if a beginner would understand. If I make a mistake, I show the solution so viewers will know how to fix their own mistakes.
What’s your favorite Jumprope you’ve created?
Tips and tricks for lettering with coffee! It was part of a coffee themed lettering challenge on Instagram and I was like “I need to share this technique on Jumprope!” This was also the first Jumprope I appeared in myself.
Any final thoughts or advice for creators?
If you’ve always wanted to do video or have a YouTube channel, Jumprope is the best place to start. If you’ve never created video content, just know that your first few might not look exactly how you want them to, but they will get better.
Pretend you’re teaching someone who doesn’t know your craft, so make your instructions specific and deliberate. Show them how easy it is, or how beautiful, just get them inspired!