Explore the inspiring journey of Rob, the creative force behind Art for Kids Hub, as he shares his path into content creation and the profound impact his art tutorials have on children worldwide. This interview dives into his pivotal moments as an influencer, the evolution of his platform, and how A3 Artists Agency has transformed his career. Rob also discusses his strategies for audience engagement, diversifying income streams, and his hopes for the future of the creator industry.
Empowering Kids Through Art: A3 Artist Agency’s Rob Jensen And Art For Kids Hub
Rob Jensen recounted his journey into the realm of content creation, with a particular focus on art. As a child, he had a strong affinity for art and pursued a degree in industrial design from a university, eventually working as a designer at Ford Motor Company. After about seven years in this role, Rob felt the urge to return to his hometown, but the absence of opportunities to draw cars there prompted him to explore other avenues.
He delved into painting as a side project, but a pivotal moment came when his kids’ school art teacher was let go. This event sparked Rob’s motivation to spend more time with his children through art. He began recording sessions of him drawing with his kids and posted these videos on YouTube. Rob’s recollection of this time includes, “Maybe there’s a bunch of other kids that would like this too.”
As the videos gained traction, viewers appreciated the inclusive nature of the content. Rob shared, “They’re not worried about making their drawings perfect. Parents and teachers loved seeing that their kids were okay with making mistakes.” The positive feedback from parents and teachers further encouraged him to continue his endeavor.
Rob reflected on the pivotal moments that propelled his influencer journey. Early comments of appreciation and positive responses even with few subscribers, were impactful for him. He recounted the surprise success of a video tutorial on drawing a birthday cake, which indicated a broader demand for his content. Another breakthrough was a video on drawing Hello Kitty, featuring his young daughter, which resonated with audiences due to its endearing quality.
Rob’s Journey as an Influencer and Creator
What were some pivotal moments or breakthroughs that elevated your influencer journey?
Rob shared his experiences with videos that went viral and the impact they had on him and his family. He emphasized the surreal feeling of seeing the staggering view counts in videos like How to Draw Hello Kitty, Birthday Cake, and The Little Mermaid. The recognition and honor of contributing to children’s art learning experiences online were not lost on him. The success of their channel also brought a sense of awe and gratitude to his family.
However, Rob’s most meaningful memories came from touching comments made by parents facing challenging situations. He mentioned, “The comments that always stand out to me are from parents that have children going through difficult challenges.” These comments resonated deeply with him as they highlighted the power of art in helping children cope during tough periods. Rob expressed the significance of these moments, understanding that art could provide solace and inspiration for kids facing adversity.
Can you share a project or content series that you are particularly proud of and why?
Rob expressed his pride in the Funny Food series, a content segment where they embellish food items with humorous faces, such as the Happy Brocolli and Zombie Tacos He also mentioned a festive creation, the Funny St. Patrick’s Taco that he finds particularly enjoyable. This series allows for playful creativity and showcases their lighthearted approach to art.
He then shared an exciting ongoing project related to close captions and voiceovers for different languages, with a current focus on Spanish. Rob elaborated on YouTube’s updated tools, which enable them to upload separate audio and caption files, eliminating the need for a separate channel for each language. This development has fueled his enthusiasm for expanding their content’s accessibility, and he envisioned the potential to connect with diverse audiences globally.
Rob expressed his anticipation for reaching new audiences through this effort, emphasizing that it’s an efficient way to connect with viewers in various languages without completely recreating their content. This approach aligns with his vision of expanding their impact while maintaining the essence of their content.
Being a part of the A3 Artists Agency roster: How has this partnership shaped or supported your career?
Rob discussed his partnership with A3 Artists Agency, emphasizing how it transformed his career. Prior to joining, he handled management tasks himself, which became overwhelming alongside creative work. A3 Artist Agency’s involvement relieved this burden, allowing him to focus solely on creativity while they managed contracts and negotiations.
A3 Artist Agency’s extensive network led to unforeseen partnerships and projects. Rob appreciated their guidance in the business side of his career, valuing their expertise and opinions. The agency’s support made his career more manageable, productive, and successful.
Niche Focus on Art
Your platform, Arts for Kids Hub, serves a unique niche. What do you believe are the benefits and limitations of catering to a specialized audience?
Rob highlighted the benefits of serving a specialized audience. He emphasized that catering to a specific passion, such as art, allows a strong connection with like-minded individuals. This connection goes beyond a general topic and fosters bonding. Rob especially values the interaction with kids, as they bring positivity and joy to his work. He mentioned that seeing children’s artwork brightens his day and brings a smile, making it a rewarding experience.
When discussing limitations, Rob suggested that focusing on a niche doesn’t necessarily restrict creativity; in fact, it can inspire innovative solutions. He believes that limitations challenge creators to find new ways and view constraints positively. Instead of dwelling on negative aspects, Rob encourages looking for the positive opportunities that limitations can offer.
How has your content evolved to keep up with changes in the art industry, especially during events like the pandemic?
Rob discussed how his content adapted to shifts in the art industry, particularly during events like the pandemic. He reflected on the pandemic’s challenging yet honorable aspect of offering resources to families in need and said, “It was a pretty big honor for us because there were so many people and so many families that needed home resources.” As interest in art education grew, Rob experimented with live events, contests, and challenges to boost engagement, and told us, “We tried to do some contests and challenges to try to create more engagement.”
He acknowledged the government’s restrictions on children’s content and emphasized the importance of child safety while acknowledging challenges like losing direct communication due to comment removal.
Moreover, Rob shared insights into industry changes and mentioned the transition to short-format content. Adapting from longer videos to shorter yet engaging ones for kids has been both fun and challenging. He emphasized the ever-evolving nature of the art and education fields and underscored the significance of staying updated to maintain content quality and engagement. Rob concluded by highlighting the dynamic nature of being an influencer, embracing experimentation and adaptation to remain relevant and impactful.
Challenges and Solutions
Could you talk about some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your journey and how you’ve overcome them?
Rob shared his significant challenge as a content creator: maintaining a work-life balance. He noted, “They have a hard time turning it off,” referring to creators’ struggle to disconnect from their work due to constant idea generation. This intensity can lead to burnout if not managed, as he mentioned, “You can turn it off.”
Despite this, Rob stressed the importance of finding equilibrium and acknowledged the need to address other responsibilities. He humorously termed their family channel, Art for Kids Hub, underscoring how their creative endeavor is intertwined with daily life.
What advice would you offer to influencers who are struggling to maintain a balance between authenticity and the business aspect of being an influencer?
For influencers grappling with maintaining authenticity while navigating the business side, Rob’s advice is clear: “Put your audience and your audience’s needs first.” He stressed the significance of prioritizing the audience’s trust, especially for influencers like him who engage with parents and teachers.
Rob highlighted the need to align values when considering partnerships, as any mismatch can affect content and erode trust. He reiterated the importance of keeping the audience’s interests at the forefront and making decisions that resonate with them. Rob emphasized that audiences are perceptive and advised influencers to avoid prioritizing financial gains over audience trust.
Collaborations and Partnerships
When it comes to collaborating with brands, what criteria do you use to decide if they’re a good fit for your platform?
Rob follows a set of criteria to determine the brand’s compatibility with his platform. He places significant importance on shared values and shared, “Making sure that the business that we’re partnering with shares the same values.” This alignment ensures that the collaboration aligns with his platform’s principles and resonates with his audience.
Additionally, Rob evaluates the quality of the products or content being offered, whether it involves selling a product or promoting a film. He refers to their partnership with Paramount Pictures for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as an example, highlighting that his enjoyment of the movie contributes to his selection process: “I actually loved watching the movie myself and enjoyed watching it with my kids.”
Lastly, Rob emphasized the necessity of providing value to his audience through the partnership. He underscored the significance of ensuring the collaboration enhances his viewers’ experience and said, “I always want collaborations to bring added value to our audience.”
By considering these criteria—values alignment, product quality, and audience value—Rob ensures that the brands he collaborates with are well-suited to his platform and resonate positively with his audience.
Can you share an example of a brand partnership that really resonated with your audience?
An example of a brand partnership that strongly connected with Rob’s audience is the collaboration with Paramount for the Sonic the Hedgehog movie. He mentioned, “That one really resonated with our audience. They love that one.” The partnership centered around the iconic video game character, Sonic the Hedgehog, which held personal significance for Rob as he shared, “That was my favorite video game when I was young.” This collaboration successfully tapped into nostalgia and enthusiasm, making it a memorable and well-received campaign among their audience.
Another partnership that Rob highlighted was their ongoing collaboration with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a partnership he enjoys due to his own enjoyment of the content and its resonance with the audience.
How do you measure your audience’s needs and preferences? Any tools or metrics that you focus on?
Rob’s approach to measuring audience preferences has evolved. Initially, he aimed to cater to various art interests broadly. Now, he focuses on specific metrics like watch time and views to assess content success, comparing themes like “cute” versus others. He also emphasizes key moments like holidays and the school year, creating content that aligns with heightened interest during these times.
Your main platform is YouTube, with over 7 million subscribers. You also have Instagram. Do you have any plans to join TikTok?
Rob acknowledged the potential of TikTok but admits it’s been on the back burner. He acknowledged the differences between YouTube and Instagram but is aware of the growth opportunities. He’s particularly focused on improving short-form content, which he sees as a significant shift.
While there have been some experiments with short lessons on YouTube, Rob is eager to explore different content types for TikTok. However, he acknowledges that the transition takes time and effort.
Rob also mentioned that he has hesitated to dive into TikTok because he initially thought the platform’s audience was older, while his content primarily targets younger viewers. He discusses his children’s use of TikTok and the need to understand the platform better, especially regarding child accounts and privacy settings. He notes that kids seem to prefer TikTok due to its shorter content format and hints at exploring it more actively in the future.
The Business Side of Being an Influencer
Let’s talk monetization. Tell us how you have diversified your income streams.
Rob outlined several diversified income streams for Art for Kids Hub. Firstly, they’ve ventured into product sales, including markers, crayons, T-shirts, and e-books. These e-books offer downloadable step-by-step drawing instructions, catering to parents and teachers looking for offline resources.
Additionally, Art for Kids Hub has a membership program accessible through their website and various apps, offering a distraction-free, focused learning environment. The membership allows users to log in from multiple devices, download videos for offline viewing, and serves as an alternative to YouTube for parents and teachers.
Furthermore, partnerships and projects, particularly those through A3 Artist Agency, have contributed to diversifying their revenue. Rob hints at undisclosed projects that will further strengthen their income streams. This diversification strategy helps stabilize their income, mitigating the fluctuations often associated with ad revenue.
What changes do you hope to see in the industry in the future?
Rob expressed his contentment with the current state of the creator economy, especially in the context of creating content for kids. He values the fact that today, creators don’t need permission or connections with television networks to reach an audience. As he puts it, “You don’t need to ask for permission.” The accessibility and openness of the online content creation space have democratized the industry.
He also expressed gratitude for platforms like YouTube adapting to support kid-friendly content. Rob is excited about the potential for future changes that could make the environment even safer and more engaging for kids.
Furthermore, Rob mentioned a potential interest in exploring new ways to connect with parents and adults who are part of the audience. He acknowledged that while YouTube is the primary platform for their content, there might be opportunities for more direct connections or additional channels.
Closing and Future Outlook
Finally, what’s next for you and Arts for Kids? Are there any upcoming projects or shifts in direction that your audience should look out for?
Rob shared that Arts for Kids Hub has some exciting projects in the pipeline. While he couldn’t disclose all the details, he did reveal that they have a new art kit for kids in development. This art kit will be designed for kids to take with them while traveling or on the go, providing them with creative tools and inspiration wherever they are.
Rob expressed his enthusiasm for this project, emphasizing that working on their own line of art supplies and products has been a rewarding way to engage with their audience. He believes that these products allow kids to interact with Arts for Kids Hub in a new and exciting way.