Creators On The Rise: Jake Fellman’s YouTube Channel Was Supposed To Advertise His Animation Skills. 5 Billion Views Later, It’s His Career.

Welcome to Creators on the Rise, the place—in partnership with world creator firm Jellysmack—we discover and profile breakout creators who’re within the midst of extraordinary development. 

Jake Fellman simply needed to point out potential purchasers what he was able to.

A 12 months in the past, Fellman was on the verge of graduating faculty. But not like a lot of his classmates, who would stroll the stage and go on to take their newly minted levels out for a job hunt, he already had a post-grad place lined up–at his personal firm.

Fellman, a longtime artist, initially began his freelance design enterprise in 2018, shortly after increasing his 2D artwork expertise to 3D modeling and animation. His productions skewed towards (as he places it) “dry, explanatory content material” about manufacturing and luxe electronics–a busy area of interest that he knew would simply quantity to 40 hours per week as soon as he was out of faculty. Despite that assurance, although, he needed to pad his established consumer base to make sure his full-time work would keep full-time.

So, he turned to YouTube.

Fellman launched his channel in September 2020 with the only intention of utilizing it as a portfolio. His earliest movies–quick, typically chaotic clips of cartoony characters he modeled himself–align with that plan.

But then Among Us occurred.

As a lot as Fellman is an artist, he’s additionally a gamer. And like tens of millions upon tens of millions of different players caught inside throughout COVID-19 lockdowns, he grew to become entranced by the multiplayer homicide sport. His fascination quickly crossed into his artwork, and on Sept. 24, he posted his first Among Us animation to YouTube Shorts.

To date, that 24-second video (concerning the comedic tragedy of making an attempt to report an impostor, solely to attract the sus highlight to your self) has amassed greater than 22 million views.


Fellman’s channel development spiked instantly after he started importing content material to YouTube Shorts in September 2020. Monthly viewership knowledge from Gospel Stats.

For Fellman, the success of that single video was an indication to maintain doing what he was doing. He went on to provide 90 extra Among Us-themed movies over the following three months, and dozens of them netted no less than 10 million views every, driving his channel from round 24,000 views in September to greater than 524 million in December.

By the beginning of 2021, the Among Us fever was fading. Fellman, nevertheless, had a backup: YouTube’s hottest sport, Minecraft. Like his Among Us movies, his Minecraft animations give attention to humorous, relatable, or simply plain visually intriguing moments that depict what Minecraft may appear like in “actual life” HD.

Fellman uploaded his (*5*) Feb. 21. In the 4 months since, he’s uploaded practically 70 extra clips that collectively have helped drive his channel to just about 600 million views per 30 days, and from a million subscribers to greater than 6 million. This steadily rising viewers has satisfied Fellman that his channel may be rather more than a demo reel–it may be a profession all its personal.

Check out our chat with him under.

Tubefilter: Tell us a bit about you! What’s your title? Where are you from? How did you get into digital artwork?

Jake Fellman: My title is Jake Fellman, and I used to be born and raised in Wisconsin.

Digital design grew to become a favourite pastime of mine shortly after my first publicity to Adobe Photoshop in 2014. A number of years of enjoying within the land of 2D graphics had me itching for extra as I started to really feel my artistic aspirations capped by the talents of the software program. On a lazy Saturday afternoon in 2018, I lastly determined to leap into the notoriously advanced realm of 3D modeling and animation.

I studied advertising and marketing on the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the place I earned a bachelor’s diploma in enterprise administration in 2020. During my sophomore 12 months of faculty, I launched a contract design enterprise and progressively developed my checklist of clientele. By the time commencement rolled round, this enterprise had turn into my full-time job, because it had blossomed into a snug supply of revenue.

The upbeat, shortform skits that you’ll find on my TikTookay/YouTube accounts are a comparatively new enterprise for me. My expertise creating 3D work for clientele has traditionally skewed towards dry, explanatory content material for industrial and high-tech electronics.

Tubefilter: How did you uncover your love for Minecraft? Why did you resolve to make Minecraft-themed artwork? When and why did you resolve to start out posting your artwork on-line?

JF: I’ve been enjoying Minecraft since its preliminary launch in 2011. At the time, I didn’t personal a console and was caught enjoying the pocket version on my iPod Touch. In 2013, I lastly bought an Xbox (together with a duplicate of the Bedrock Edition) for Christmas. Although the sport’s options again then pale as compared with these it ships with immediately, I bear in mind being very content material simply exploring the land and creating easy buildings. Present-day, the sport nonetheless holds a particular place in my coronary heart, and I proceed to play on a weekly foundation.

My YouTube channel bought its begin off the again of Among Us content material–I produced 90 movies that cumulatively earned round 3 billion views. However, the sport started dropping reputation in early 2021, as many gamers had turn into tired of its repetitive gameplay. I used to be able to pivot to a brand new material, and Minecraft was the right match. Its giant base of lively gamers permits for large potential viewership, and the easy graphics go away loads as much as my inventive path.

I began posting my paintings on-line in April 2020, with the intention of cultivating an viewers to leverage as a advertising and marketing software for my freelance design enterprise talked about earlier.

Tubefilter: Your YouTube channel has just lately seen a noticeable enhance in subscribers and views. Do you recognize which video or occasion triggered this enhance? If sure, what do you suppose made that video significantly standard?

JF: There are just a few elements that created a “excellent storm” for my sudden success on YouTube.

First and foremost is the truth that I used to be one of many earliest adopters of YouTube Shorts as a complete. There was a time when you would have a look at “#Shorts” on YouTube and see my content material virtually dominating the pivot web page. Secondly, I’ve a really distinct artwork fashion that nobody else fairly replicates on YouTube, permitting me to face out in an already small pool of creators actively making Shorts.

The remaining contributing issue is the subject material on which my content material revolves: Among Us was the largest online game sensation of 2020. And now, the Minecraft group is as robust as ever.

Tubefilter: What position has YouTube Shorts performed within the development of your channel? Do you suppose Shorts affords creators benefits that YouTube essential doesn’t?

JF: At the second, there is no such thing as a long-form content material on my channel–Shorts are the one pressure at play in relation to my channel’s development. I don’t have a lot expertise making long-form content material, so I’m not the most effective individual to match the entire professionals and cons that they every deliver to the desk. However, I do know that if I have been to be making 10-minute movies, I might solely be capable to submit as soon as every month as a result of time-consuming nature of 3D animation. Bite-sized content material is ideal for animators as a result of it permits for a sooner manufacturing cycle and thus a extra common posting schedule.

Now is the most effective time to be a Shorts creator, because the Shelf continues to be comparatively uncluttered. Many of the largest creators within the shortform world (Charli D’Amelio, Lil Huddy) have but to submit their first YouTube Short. Inevitably, the area will fill with migrating TikTokers, and it is going to be more and more troublesome to make a major mark.

Tubefilter: On your channel, you point out it takes round eight hours to make the common quick video. That’s wild! Can you speak about your manufacturing course of?

JF: The first (and arguably most necessary step) is discovering the best concept. I devour fairly a little bit of Minecraft-related memes from a big selection of content material creators on all platforms and hold a notepad stuffed with inspirational ideas I see others producing. I combine these notes with random bathe ideas and my very own experiences in-game to make one thing uniquely mine whereas concurrently following the footsteps of ideas which have confirmed to achieve success for others.

Once I’ve a reasonably concrete concept, I sketch out every shot to assist make clear what property I want for the manufacturing. I additionally take time to lock down the digital camera angles that I’ll be utilizing all through. This a part of the method is known as storyboarding. I transfer ahead with creating any fashions that are distinctive to the animation at hand. Since I produce series-based animations, I can reuse the overwhelming majority of my fashions and rigs. The creation course of for brand spanking new property generally is a 10-hour undertaking by itself, so I solely introduce new fashions that I deem important for the animation at hand.

The overwhelming majority of my time is spent animating the video itself, which is completed with “keyframes.” The course of is straightforward–rework the asset barely within the 3D area, set a “key,” transfer ahead in time, rework the asset to the following place, set one other “key,” repeat. Next up, the scene needs to be detailed past simply the shifting elements–I add in lights and environmental property (this consists of issues like bushes, grass, clouds, and stone backdrops).

Once the scene is full, the animation goes by a course of referred to as “rendering;” the pc wants a further eight hours(ish) to run calculations idly. I usually have this lined up with my sleep schedule in order that I can get up and finalize the animation by post-production touchups equivalent to shade correction in After Effects. Then it’s lastly time to submit!

Tubefilter: What do you hope individuals take away out of your content material?

JF: I try to be a supply of completely distinctive content material that’s satisfying, addictive, and mentally stimulating. I need to present my viewers with partaking movies in a method that no different creator produces.

Tubefilter: Has your latest engagement uptick modified something for you professionally? Do you may have any new plans or objectives to your content material profession? Is content material a full-time pursuit for you proper now?

JF: Shortly after reaching 100K subscribers in October 2020, I started to wrap up the relationships I had with my freelance consumer base. By the top of 2020, I used to be nearing 2 million subscribers and had phased out all freelance work, prepared to start out the brand new 12 months as a full-time content material creator. Now, my overarching objective is to construct a sustainable leisure enterprise that I can proceed to develop for years to return.

Tubefilter: What’s your favourite a part of making content material as a complete? How does posting your artwork on TikTookay/YouTube aid you as an artist?

JF: After grinding away at an animation for hours, sharing it with the world offers me a singular sense of satisfaction. My favourite half about creating content material is urgent the “submit” button and being positive that tens of millions will recognize my onerous work. It feels terrific to know that there are individuals on the opposite aspect of the display ready to see what I’ve created.

Tubefilter: What’s subsequent within the rapid future for you and your channel? Where do you see your self in 5 years?

JF: I plan to proceed creating Minecraft movies for the rest of 2021. There is a large replace coming to the sport in December, and I’m constructive it’ll spike a surge of recent viewers for my channel. In 2022, I plan to department out into a brand new online game collection–I’m at present contemplating just a few choices, together with Five Nights at Freddy’s, Roblox, and Super Mario.

In 5 years, I plan to rent extra animators to assist with producing content material in order that I now not have to sit down in entrance of my laptop for 10 hours day-after-day. I’ll step again right into a managerial place and lead artistic path for the studio, and as a crew, we’ll sort out extra vital tasks equivalent to 20-minute reveals or full-length characteristic movies.

Jellysmack is the worldwide creator firm that detects and develops the world’s most proficient video creators. The firm’s proprietary video optimization know-how and knowledge drive social viewers development, unlocking new income streams and amplifying monetization.

Currently residence to over 150 influential Creators together with PewDiePie, MrBeastBrad Mondo, and Bailey Sarian, Jellysmack optimizes, operates, and distributes creator-made video content material to Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTookay, Twitter, and YouTube. Jellysmack-managed content material boasts 10 billion world month-to-month video views and a cross-platform attain of 125 million distinctive U.S. customers, making it the biggest U.S. digital-first firm in month-to-month social media viewers.

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