Karen Kavett: Getting Geeky With Graphic Design [YouTube NextUp Creator Profile Series]

You were at one time a YouTube employee. How has your experience at YouTube helped you with your series?

I think one of the things that helped me get the job was that I already knew the YouTube community so thoroughly, since I had been a part of it for almost three years. I left that job in September 2012, but I’m really glad I spent a year learning how YouTube works behind the scenes.

How do you feel about being selected as a NextUp Collaborator? What are you doing for the project?

I feel incredibly honored. I’m answering these questions during the second week of NextUp workshops, and I’m just surrounded by so many talented people and fancy equipment that I never would have had access to otherwise. During this week of workshops, I’ll be shooting some crafting collaboration videos and appearing in a lot of my friends’ videos, and I just hope all of our audiences like the finished products, because we’ve had a great time making them.

What do you think you’ll get out of the NextUp program?

NextUp is the perfect program to encourage collaboration between channels who otherwise might not have ever worked together. Going into the first NextUp week, I only knew a handful of the other channels who were part of it, but now that we’re halfway through the second week, I’ve made a ton of friends and know we’ll definitely work together in the future.

What are some of the weirdest crafts you’ve ever done?

I don’t know if I’ve ever done any crafts that are particularly weird. The Doctor Who Guess Who set was definitely one of the nerdiest things I’ve ever made, and the infographic trick or treat bags were definitely one of the most unusual projects I’ve ever come up with.

What are some of the worst mistakes that rookie graphic designers make?

Oh man, where do I even start? Besides the obvious things like stretching typography or not leaving enough white space, one common mistake is adding decoration for the sake of adding decoration, rather than having a reason for every single element in the design. There’s definitely something to be said for aesthetically beautiful pieces, but the strongest designs usually have a reason for every decision that was made in the creative process.

How does your YouTube channel serve the graphic design/creative community?

I want to create a safe space online for people to express their passion for art and design. I always ask my viewers to send me photos if they do their own take on any of the projects I show in my videos, and I’m always getting comments from people saying they had no interest in graphic design before my videos but have learned so much just from watching me. These are the kind of comments I like best, because I’m just trying to spread my passion and encourage everyone to share theirs as well. I try not to forget to be awesome, and I know that my audience never does either.

About the piece:

Out of YouTube’s thousands of creator channels, 30 promising creators are picked every season to participate in the YouTube NextUp Creator program — a sort of Hogwarts Academy for the very best of the YouTube best. They spend a week training at the YouTube Creator Space in Los Angeles, attending seminars, learning advanced filming techniques and interacting with some of the YouTube greats. In short, it’s a pretty cool honor. Since YouTube thinks they’re worthy, NMR thinks you should know about them.

So we’re featuring the Winter 2013 class of Nextup participants — 2 a day for the next 15 days. Learn about these fresh faces, love their content and then subscribe to their channels, because these are the next generation of YouTube innovators.

Follow Karen:

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/xperpetualmotion

Facebook: http://facebook.com/xperpetualmotion

Twitter: http://twitter.com/karenkavett

Website: http://karenkavett.com

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