iIMAGINEblankā€™s 10 Year YouTube Anniversary šŸ„³

I spent the summer of 2011 immersed in “YouTube Video World” via my stint at the YouTube Creator Institute and the subsequent hours I slaved over turning my channel ideas into reality. So then on July 22, 2011, iIMAGINEblank was born!

It’s been 10 years, 500+ videos, and A LOT of changing, growing, and figuring life out on camera. And what better way to celebrate than with a video! (Especially after a ~7ish month hiatus from uploading. šŸ˜–)

To say I am who and where I am today because I started this channel is an understatement. I’ve gotten jobs, met dearest friends, and had life-changing experiences all because of a little video website and my camera.

I’ve always wanted to make videos (my filmmaking obsession started at 14 when I watched the behind-the-scenes features of The Fellowship of the Ring and I realized people could be creative and create worlds, for their job?!?), but it was during my junior year in college where I went from behind-the-camera to in-front. If you don’t have many friends to star in your films, sometimes YOU have to be the star!

But saying I didn’t have any friends is a great misunderstanding of that time in my life. I *thought* I was alone and lonely, but in fact, it was the Baptist Collegiate Ministries group that rallied around my cause and helped vote my video into acceptance at YTCI. It was my college boyfriend that helped me brainstorm and film the really silly video of me breaking the limits of my 4:3 aspect ratio Canon point-and-shoot camera for my submission. It was my parents buying me a Canon 60D for my 21st birthday, investing in my dreams not just in words but monetarily too.

And that was just the beginning.

From the moment I first pressed upload I knew I was taking a step in a different direction. One that was wholly and uniquely me. While I’m not the most famous person on YouTube, I do like to think I’m one of the more authentic. This channel is a journal. A time capsule. A living museum capturing my 20s. All of my bad advice, biases, weight gain, bad hair days, acne breakouts, ex boyfriends, and chaotic filming setups.

But it’s also full of friends, new and old, adventures, experiments, and LIFE. I cringed a lot while scrubbing through these old videos to add to today’s vlog, but they also made me tear up a lot too. I’ve been silly and naive and trying too hard. I’ve been judgmental and painfully honest and hiding pain. But at the end of the day, I’ve always been me.

And iIMAGINEblank has always been about giving advice for my past self.

So who knows what I will be like 10 years. Or what iIMAGINEblank will be. I hope you stick around to find out though. šŸ˜„

Thank you to all the friends who have endured me popping a live camera on them, encouraged me to keep going when I’m feeling burnt out, suggested video ideas, asked to be in videos, helped hold the camera, etc, etc. You’re all world champs, and you’re a large part of what keeps me creating!

Thanks to all the fans/viewers/subscribers/IMAGINE-Nation who have supported me through the ups and downs. Your kindness and creativity makes the Internet a less scary place.

Thank you to my grandparents and extended family who continually navigate technology to support me in my creative endeavors.

And above all, thanks to my parents who’ve always encouraged me to follow my dreams. They’re the real heroes of this 10 year milestone because they’re the ones that have listened to me complain about algorithms, upload times, and computer issues. They’ve been impromptu camera operators, actors, script supervisors, and manual labor. I love you so much. šŸ’œ

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