Creating for Creatives
Roberto Blake grew up continuously creative and curious. At 13, his grandmother bought his family their first real computer and he fell in love with the idea that anything was accessible. That idea has stayed with him throughout his life and career. Today, he’s a prolific YouTube creator who gives advice to other creators on business, freelancing, marketing, and design. His toolkit of choice for all of the content he creates is Adobe Creative Cloud.
Adobe: How did you get started creating your own content?
Blake: I blogged for years, and always got a lot of questions about how things were created. I made a few YouTube tutorials and quickly realized that video is a great teaching platform that plays to all of my strengths. I decided to focus more of my time on teaching, training, and giving advice with weekly YouTube content. It lets me use the editing skills that I’ve been mastering in Premiere Pro while still creating thumbnail graphics in Photoshop and Illustrator, and producing simple motion graphics in After Effects. I liked being able to throw all my creative skills into a single creative medium.
Adobe: What is your focus today?
Blake: For the last three years, I’ve been doing educational content on YouTube while growing and expanding my brand, marketing my business, and creatively expanding the diversity of what I offer. I’m ultimately trying to change the culture of creativity, not just by making more accessible, fun, educational, and informative content, but also by trying to motivate people and encourage creativity.
I want to help creatives understand the business and marketing side of what they’re doing so they have more control over their careers. That ultimately became my mission and the message behind all of my YouTube content, the articles I write, my speaking engagements, and how I’m developing my brand.
Adobe: When did you start using Creative Cloud?
Blake: I always worked with Creative Suite through my employers and I also had a lot of single user licenses for individual applications. As soon as Creative Cloud became available as a subscription service I signed up. With Creative Cloud I had access to all of creative tools, things like Adobe After Effects CC, which I hadn’t taken advantage of much in the past, but I’ve found that it really adds another dimension to my work. I’ve also gotten more nuanced with Adobe Audition CC, which definitely helps with better overall audio production. I just introduced a podcast and I’ve used Adobe Audition for the entire process.
More recently I’ve been trying out the Creative Cloud mobile apps for design, photography, and video. It’s amazing to be able to shoot a video on my phone and immediately edit it in Adobe Premiere Clip, using a device I carry with me everywhere I go.
Adobe: What type of content are you creating with Adobe Premiere Clip?
Blake: Adobe Premiere Clip is instrumental in all of my mobile vlogging. Whenever I travel, I use Premiere Clip for editing because it is so easy to use. I’m experimenting with it for creating micro social media content for Instagram and Facebook as well. I create my entire business vlogging series, Dear Entrepreneurs, in Adobe Premiere Clip.
Adobe: What made you start working with Premiere Clip?
Blake: I got a lot of comments on my videos from people saying that they couldn’t get started producing video because it was too hard or they couldn’t afford the equipment. I knew Adobe had a number of mobile apps, so I decided to show people that you can produce high-quality video content with a tool that you already have—your phone. I took on the challenge for VEDA – Vlog Every Day In April/August using Premiere Clip, and ended up sticking with it. It’s really good to have a series and a body of work that’s produced with a tool that’s available to anyone.
Adobe: How long do your videos take to produce?
Blake: I’ve done thousands of videos over the past few years, so if I want to shoot a five- to ten-minute video I’m usually able to shoot it in six to twelve minutes in one take. I use scripts or bullet points, or if it’s technical, I might read off the specs and just edit B-roll over the audio. The editing process for these videos may take fifteen to twenty-five minutes. I’ve set my own presets for color grading and I do simple cuts and transitions.
I often shoot the videos in bulk. For example, if I want to put out a video every Monday, I can shoot two months’ worth of Monday videos in about an hour and a half, and then spend another six hours editing the content.
Adobe: How has your workflow evolved?
Blake: I’ve gotten much faster at editing and I’ve definitely gotten much better at color grading. Creating my own custom presets is a huge time-saver because I’m not starting over from zero every time. For instance, the Lumetri Color panel allows me to easily select color correction options from a checklist and save custom presets to use later. It’s so robust and the workflow is seamless. People underestimate the value of having presets and templates and a defined, consistent structure for how you work.
Learning how to use Adobe Audition and Premiere Pro in unison and using features such as adaptive noise reduction and noise gating has really helped my workflow. I’m planning to experiment with the Essential Sound panel in Audition CC and expect that I’ll get the same kind of value that I get from the Lumetri Color panel in Premiere Pro CC.
Adobe: Who are the people that you admire and follow?
Blake: There are a lot of people that I really respect and admire, especially in the creative community. Chase Jarvis, for example, is a great photographer and entrepreneur who helps a lot of creative people through CreativeLive. Terry White, an Adobe product evangelist, photographer, and online educator, has done a lot of great tutorials on what tools and technologies help creatives be successful. Jared Polin of FroKnowsPhoto is another great online educator and Charli Prangley of CharliMarieTV is a great up-and-coming designer. She started her own clothing brand, Liner Note Kids, from scratch out of her college dorm room.
These are people who are creative, but they’re not one dimensional. They’ve embraced technology and creativity and also understand that having a brand allows you to elevate your message, share it with other people, and help them find their voice and an audience. Creativity drives so much in our society and our society thrives when creatives are encouraged and have the opportunity to grow.
Attending Adobe MAX? Catch Roberto’s sessions at the Make it on Mobile Booth #429 – Wednesday, November 2nd 4:30-5:00pm and 6:30-7:00pm.
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