Shoo Rayner has been making how to draw videos on YouTube since September 2008, and in 2011 he was one of the winners in the prestigious YouTube NextUp competition, being mentored by YouTube in London with 25 other winners from around Europe – one or two of them have gone on to be major social media stars!
As a children’s author and illustrator, Shoo’s idea was to make drawing videos for children to show how to draw his book characters, but soon requests came in to draw other things.
His first Youtube channel ShooRaynerDrawing has achieved over 200,000 subscribers and over 30 million views. This channel soon began to attract older viewers – picking up drawing where they left off at primary/elementary school. Many were students, empty nesters or retirees. Thanks to this mixed-up demographic, the channel began to lose its way a bit.
DrawStuffRealEasy was set up to prove to a publisher that shorter, snappier videos were not the way to go on YouTube! The channel has not been well cared for over the years!
In September 2019, YouTube introduced new policies regarding privacy for children under 13 following the COPPA regulations agreed as part of a settlement with the US FTC.
Serious decisions had to be made.
According to YouTube rules DrawStuffRealEasy as a channel thad to be set as “made for kids”, but it’s really for everyone. Many adults follow the videos as they fit right about where they left off at school, when they were about 11 years old or so.
A deep trawl through the channel analytics showed that DrawStuffReal easy was actually doing quite well. Even with a lot of neglect, videos did marginally better that the fully supported ShooRaynerDrawing channel. It was around this time that DrawStuffRealEasy gained its 100,000th subscriber and a Silver Play Button Award
It seemed like a good time to try and make something of the channel, to back up Shoo’s beliefs that not only can everyone draw, but that the lack drawing skills being taught in schools, as well as the lack of time and opportunity to draw, explains why it seems so difficult to raise literacy levels.
Drawing is the essential skill of literacy.
Drawing is the essential skill of literacy. Children bring innate drawing skills with them to the classroom, along with a hunger to draw – but they are quickly taught that words are apparently more important than pictures and that drawing is a mere pastime – almost the exact opposite of how they encounter the world outside the classroom.
Words are just a complicated form of drawing pictures. If the same time and energy were put into drawing skills as are given over to word skills – better still, that the two disciplines were co-mingled – literacy results would improve. They would improve even more, were there a concentration on reading books for pleasure and information rather than reading texts for grammar comprehension.
So that is the mission of this website – to encourage drawing as illustration.
Illustration as the first drafts of storytelling and explanation. Drawing as illustration and decoration, to enhance text, to amuse, edify and explain – to be its own statement, instruction or explanation, as important, poetic or prosaic as any piece of writing.
Schools have been starved of creativity over the last twenty years. A generation of teachers have not been taught the skills of drawing to pass on to their students. A whole generation of art teachers are missing – never taught, mentored or employed.
DrawStuffRealEasy, is for the teachers too – so they may learn how to draw stuff and be one day ahead of their students – please make drawing video suggestions!
DrawStuffRealEasy is for everyone. each drawing has a little nugget of drawing insight. do one a day and your drawing skills will soar.