some artists i love very very very much

I have a handful of things I’ve been wanting to write about for a month or so now. But for some reason my brain isn’t really willing to give them up just yet. I don’t know why, but I guess the thoughts aren’t fully formed. Also I got slightly distracted and found something a bit less “profound” that I wanted to talk about because it makes me happy. I get almost too passionate about this, even though I have to keep telling myself there’s no such thing… SO HERE WE GO.

Social Media jobs in general are odd. The more you think about it, the weirder it gets. It doesn’t always make sense for someone to do something as simple as post pictures of themselves and then bam! money is made.
Now, that’s oversimplifying the situation, it’s a lot more work than that. You have to commit time and energy and be patient, as you can be investing in it for years before you make any type of income. I feel like it can be apparent which creators are doing it because they genuinely love what they’re doing and want to try to share it with others and make make some income from it along the way. And that it can show which creators are using their platforms just for the numbers, not caring about the art.

One of my favorite social media platforms is YouTube. I started subscribing to different people and watching videos almost daily in 2014. I fell down the blackhole that was British YouTubers and eventually expanded on that as the years passed.
To this day I still watch YouTube, finding and falling in love with new creators and keeping up with a few older creators too.

I’ve talked about it a little on here before, but small artists are my whole heart. Whether their art be music, paintings, photography, film, whatever.
I think YouTube has a reputation that precedes it, making most people associate it with drama, clickbait, self indulgent and even vain people. They’re not entirely wrong. Like anything, it can’t be a hundred percent perfect. Everything is abused, taken out of context, and not used for it’s intended purpose. But again, like everything, there’s also wonderful people who bring joy and kindness and use the platform for its intended purposes.

Which is why today I wanted to share some of my favorite peeps from the platform. If you’re reading this when you’ve got an empty afternoon, or maybe you’re reading this in the evening before you head to bed, maybe give one of the following videos a watch. It’s so incredible what the technology we have now allows people to create. I’m aware everyone has different tastes, and this little list is tailored specifically to my humor and my loves. But I do hope you find something that makes you pause, makes you laugh, and hopefully makes you appreciate the different forms art can be presented in.

YouTube Channel: KickthePj – PJ Ligouri is one, if not my most favorite creator on YouTube to ever exist. I love his brain, the way he expresses himself, the ideas he has and brings to life. His humor is literally my own, and if I could be creating anything I would wish it could be everything this man does.
From skits and short films, to Q&A’s with a twist, to drawing videos, experimenting in other areas of art, story telling…ugh LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT THIS MAN’S STORY TELLING. It gives me chills, makes me laugh, and I can’t wrap my mind around the fact that all of it exists in his brain and yet he has the power and endurance to bring it to life for anyone to admire and enjoy.

I thought I’d give you a few examples of his work as there’s really just so many sides to him. One of my most watched videos of his is titled ‘How to Build a Lullaby Cube’ and it’s a whimsical, eerie tutorial on how to create this imaginary object that exists in a world only he knows. I often watch this at night as I just find his voice so calming and the whole thing is just so soothing.

If you’ve watched any YouTube in the past five years, you’ll know that ‘Q&A’s’ became quite the trend. Everyone was doing them, answering fan submitted questions on camera by themselves, or with friends. It did however very quickly become a cliche, something viewers soon deemed far too overdone.
PJ still uploads Q&A’s every now and again, but instead he calls his videos ‘Slurps’ as he drinks a cup of tea while answering fan questions. Except instead of answering questions like “What’s your favorite tv show?” or “If you had to do any other job what would you do?” he began picking questions more like “What metal did you use on your spaceship? Mine keeps burning when I visit earth.” or “Any tips on how to fight off ghosts?” And his answers were just as wild in response. Fans picked up on it, and now it’s very rare for him to get a “normal” question, and even rarer to answer the question seriously.

Like I mentioned earlier, he also does short films. Sometimes they’re animated, stop motion, or even live action. One of my favorites by him is called ‘Forest Kid.’ Part of what makes PJ unique is his love for bright colors in everything he does. What he wears, the inks he draws in, the colors he edits his videos in, everything. And this little short is no different.
He also dabbles in music, and is currently learning piano! If you enjoy his videos do a little search and listen to him play. I find it immensely calming, especially the video called ‘soft tones on a stormy evening.’
He wrote a little song called ‘Ghouls are Cool’ (linked below) and another spoken word tune/poem called ‘Colour Bandits’ which I don’t have linked here but I highly recommend watching it.

Okay, I did not plan on rambling about PJ for this long, last video recommendation from him and then we’ll move on!
As you can tell from the two videos above, he does a lot of hand drawn art! I actually have a little poster of a piece he did to hang on my wall that I adore so much.
When it comes to humor, he has the oddest sense of timing, cutting the camera, slipping subtle sarcasm in, I don’t know why but I love love it. One of his videos that will forever make me cry laugh at 2am (or anytime for that matter) is called ‘flooge’ it might be one of his oddest videos so be warned. You’ll either think it’s absolutely mad or pure genius. And if you can’t tell…I think that means PJ’s succeeded honestly.
But what I’m meant to be taking about is this series where he draws fictional characters from memory. These videos are the easiest, most pleasant watches for me. I put them on while I draw or write, and it’s so comforting to laugh along with him. So have one of my favorites from that series as a final ode to the wildly beautiful art that comes from PJ Ligouri.

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YouTube Channel: Cheyenne Barton – I have never ever enjoyed vlogs so much as I do Cheyenne’s. She’s a small artist who runs her own business out of her apartment in Washington. Her videos consist of days in her life, chatty baking videos, lots and lots of tea, draw with me’s, etc.
I love to put her videos on while I make myself some tea, while I write letters, or put makeup on, it’s always such a cozy vibe and I find it so comforting.
She is the purest and most wholesome person, I can be stressed, freaking out about having to go to work, or just feeling frazzled in general. But watching and hearing her talk about her favorite art supplies while she gets creative is so calming and grounding for me for some reason.
Occasionally she does monthly “plan with me” videos and as someone who’s always wanted to journal the way she does, I find these so inspiring. I also used to prefer videos with just music playing in the background, I didn’t care to hear the person talking and I don’t know why?? Because now I can’t get enough of hearing others talk. Watching her create, while I attempt to create myself and getting to sip tea with her and listen to her chat about what she’s been thinking about recently, or talking about something funny that happened to her…I find so so much comfort in it. I really really love it.

This next video is an older one, but this was one of the first videos of hers I watched, and literally everything she said in this hit me hard. She’s so good at putting her thoughts into words, staying real and unrehearsed while getting her thoughts across so clearly. Not everyone works from home (though a lot of us are at the moment), and not everyone runs their own small business, but that life has always intrigued me. Maybe it’s something I’ve romanticized in my head, but watching this and not even being in that position, it was still all things I needed to hear.
So maybe her words will be something you needed to hear too! If you feel like making a cup of tea (or coffee if you must) then get cozy and hit play.

CAN WE TALK ABOUT THIS WOMAN’S DESK NOOK. I feel like I fall more in love with it every time I see it in a video of hers. I aspire to have a creatively messy nook like this.
This is one of my favorite vlogs, I watch this one often because of the clips when they visit the market. In particular, a little booth that sells ‘pastry pets.’ If you watch ANY of Cheyenne’s video after this post, puh-leeze watch this vlog, at least until they visit the booth. It’s so pure and insanely cute my brain doesn’t know how to handle it. I actually pondered driving up to Washington to visit a friend as soon as possible almost purely for the sake of being able to visit it myself.

Okay, we’ll end with a baking vlog. Seeing other people living their best lives, loving what they do, appreciating the small things, getting excited about childhood video games, or even baking for the pure joy of it… it makes my heart so happy.
And Cheyenne does all of that. It doesn’t feel like she’s trying too hard, not that she’s not putting any work into her videos, but you genuinely feel like you’re in her kitchen or sitting on her couch with her chatting rather than watching a professionally filmed and dialogue rehearsed video.
I recently made two purchases from her art shop, and I almost got emotional when I opened them?? Her art is so precious and so unique to her, it carries the comfy cozy vibes from her videos into whatever room you choose to display the art. I also cannot wait to hang a small piece I got of hers next to my PJ piece!! Ahhhh I just love people who love art and pour themselves into art.
So, without further ado, enjoy this precious baking video!

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Youtube Channel: Doddleoddle + Doddlevloggle – Dodie!! Oh my heart I love this girl so much. I first discovered her and her music in 2015 when she did a cover of ‘Goner’ by Twenty One Pilots. I loved her voice, her vibe too. So I watched a few more of her videos and next thing you know I’m in love.
Her voice is unlike anything I’ve really heard. It’s so soft and almost fragile? But the lyrics she writes are so real and raw but so powerful. There’s so many songs of hers that I adore but I’ll only share a few so as not to overwhelm you.

For only having 16 lines, this song is GORGEOUS. It’s amazing to me that someone can write like this, just pull words that paint a picture that haunts you with how heartbreaking it is. The brightly colored flowers, and how pretty the song sounds is such a contradiction to the song’s meaning and I absolutely adore it.
Dodie has a a few EPs available on Spotify and other streaming services, but this song (among the majority of the rest I’m going to mention) isn’t on any of those, which PAINS ME but I still play it over and over on YouTube when I feel I need to hear it.

I have never ever related to Dodie more so than this fun little tune she wrote. One of the things I love about her is that while she really is the queen of aesthetics, haunting songs, and beautiful lyrics, she’s hysterical.
As a big introvert myself, this video made me laugh and claim it as my anthem for the rest of my existence. It’s only a little over two minutes long, so if you want a little window into my brain, give it a watch. She’s so precious and silly I must have watched this video like fifty times when she first uploaded it.

Like I mentioned, Dodie has released some albums in the past few years. She’s gone on tours (I would love love to see her one day) and made a handful of “professional” music videos to accompany some of her songs. I use quotations on professional because she films all of her own videos and they are STUNNING (as you’ll see from the next vid) but to have a director, to get other actors to help visualize the meaning…that makes it professional. ANYWAYS.
This song immediately became a favorite. An anthem if you will. I just don’t understand how good she is at articulating certain emotions and situations. THE VISUALS IN THIS VIDEO YOU GUYS. Like how the guy never holds her hands, just grabs her by the wrists showing that he’s not in love with her, just wanting to control her. He spins her around and around, confusing her, keeping her from grounding herself. He holds his hands over her ears so she can’t listen to any other reasoning but his own…
This is so gorgeous. But also heartbreaking. I love it so much.

And last but definitely not least, ‘all my daughters.’ There’s so many little tunes she uploads and never adds to an album, and while there are fans that so so wish they would be part of an album (myself included) there’s something magical about a song meant only for some to hear.
This is one of my most favorite chorus’s she’s written, I know I’ve used this word a thousand times already, but it really is haunting. Dodie knows how to make the video LOOK like the words she’s singing. It adds to the ambience, the story. And I’m so in awe of her ability to create that as it just seems to be completely effortless on her part.

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There’s always more creators, always more art to ramble about, but I’ll leave it here today. Maybe now that I’ve written this I’ll be able to go back to the straggly bits and pieces of other posts I’ve got lying around, maybe I’ll be able to make something of them.

If you don’t watch any of these videos, I can’t make you. Again, it’s all my own loves and things that spark something inside of me that make me feel like I need to support these lovely humans as they pursue and do what they love and what they’re clearly gifted at. But I hope you at least take away from this that small artists are to be taken seriously too. Just because someone is making a living off of painting, or singing in their apartment, or experimenting with anything creative that brings them joy and sparks something in them, doesn’t make their career choice any less valid.

Pay attention to people doing what they love. Support them if you can. Whether that be reposting something on Instagram or Facebook, or buying a few things from them, telling a friend, saying encouraging words. It helps to know there are people out there who care.
I’ve said it a bazillion times but I’ll say it again. Seeing other people passionate about the ideas in their head, committing to an idea and putting hours, months of time into it. It brings me such joy and I wish I was a millionaire so I could support all of them and make sure they all succeed.

Find small artists. Support them. Appreciate their art genuinely.

Thanks for listening, hope some of it sticks with ya.

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