On this 2nd episode of Underrated Artists, I present to you: Annabelle Gao, known as CatCreature on Youtube. Gao is a 20-year-old Californian art and fashion enthusiast who has amassed more than 400,000 subscribers on the platform. Gao actively posts regular video blogs displaying her daily life as a fashion student at Rhode Island School of Design and as a young artist. Although she has an impactful community and important following, she still remains, in my opinion, a very underrated YouTuber/vlogger.
A simple formula to evaluate the attention a video maker attracts is to divide the number of subscribers by 10 and compare it to the number of views per video. This equals a subscriber-to-view ratio of 10%, which is seen as below average. With Gao’s following, she should attract at least 40,000 views per video, which isn’t always the case. Aside from statistical facts, CatCreature deserves more attention for multiple reasons:
1. Her Vlogging Style
Nowadays, video blogs vary a lot. Notable vloggers include David Dobrik and Casey Neistat. There is also an array of secondary channels that most YouTubers create alongside their ”main” ones to let viewers see into their daily lives.
That being said, most of them present the same style of lazy editing that is raw and for the most part fun. Annabelle Gao opts for a different path. She displays her daily life through a soft lens. Her vlogs consist of relaxing music tinted by shots of occasional sunsets and a unique narrative. Unlike many, her goal is not to attract more (think clickbait) but is to invite her community to live through her real life by presenting them to her boyfriend and family and therefore making it a more intimate experience for the viewers.
2. The Effort Put into Each Vlog
Again, most vlogs on Youtube present a very lazy style of editing and are loosely taken into consideration by their makers. It’s a rare sight to see subtitles, a detailed description of the video and on-screen links to each item. Well… those rare things are CatCreature for you! As a non-native English speaker, I sometimes seek subtitled videos in order to fully understand all the things said in them, and it’s mostly a neglected factor in this genre. Gao punctuates each of her about 10-minute-long videos by precise subtitles and writes a detailed summary of each of them. And the cherry on top: she links all the items seen on her vlogs for her viewers to be able to purchase them if they want to. Sign me up!
3. The Thumbnails and Titles
This may be a less obvious reason to appreciate someone’s content but it seals the deal for me. Gao’s YouTube channel is undeniably pleasing to look at and to watch because of her thumbnails. After all, Youtube itself says that a thumbnail is a “visual snapshot of [a] video… [and] one of the most important optimizations for attracting views on the platform.”
Thumbnails are what many of her viewers are drawn to when first stumbling upon her channel. Like her videos, her thumbnails are very nice to look at. Most of them ally pastel colored tones to snapshots of her vlogs and are topped by minimalistic writing. Nevertheless, click-baiting is definitely not CatCreature’s forte, and it’s easily recognizable by her titles: they have no intentions of attracting a huge viewership seeking for a crazy content, they are simple and at the same time inviting.
4. Her Aesthetic
It’s a personal preference, but visual appearances are very important for me to fully appreciate someone’s content. As an art student, Gao would of course have a unique, discernible style. From her channel’s icon and banner to her overall content, it seems like everything is put to tie into everything else. The colors, the editing style, the background music, the filming, eventually all combined, form a unique aesthetic.
5. Her Passion
Youtube’s monetization came at a very high price for content creators. Some viewers don’t know if their favorite YouTubers do it for the sole benefits of it or for the passion, but granted, it’s something that is easily detectable. Due to the many reasons listed above, it is with no doubt that Gao is very passionate about the content put on her Youtube channel, and she’s not close to quitting anytime soon (we hope!). We’re here for this, Annabelle!
Featured image via CatCreature on YouTube