Photo courtesy Nicole Tong
Jennifer Zhang of JENerationDIYis a 18-year-old YouTube content creator of do-it-yourself and lifestyle videos. They include room design, crafts, and so much more.
Zhang grew up in Richmond and created her channel in 2013, while attending Palmer Secondary. She now has a following of over 1.4 million subscribers on YouTube, which is a highly sought-after accomplishment on this platform. She currently resides in New York City where she attends university, and continues creating and posting content for her viewers weekly.
What’s something interesting about yourself
that not many people know?
From my videos it may seem like I’m always an extraverted person, but I consider myself to be pretty shy.
Why did you start a YouTube channel?
Before I started my own channel I had been watching YouTube for over 3 years. I had wanted to start a channel for a while, so one summer day when I was bored, I just decided it was time. I wanted to find a way to express my creativity and thought YouTube was the perfect place to do it.
Who is your favourite YouTuber and why?
I have so many, but one who has constantly inspired me is Adelaine Morin. She’s the same age as me, and I love how real she is in her videos, which has really helped me be more confident in myself and all my little quirks.
What is the process of making a video?
I first have to think of an idea. I usually will have a list of potential videos on my notes app so I would choose one and start brainstorming what I would do in my video. If it’s a DIY video, I would start looking on pinterest for ideas or look at pictures I took of things in stores that I could make myself. Then I would pick up materials if I needed and start filming. Filming takes a lot longer than people would expect because being a YouTuber means you are the camera person, director, producer, and actor. Filming a DIY video usually takes me around 6 hours. Editing also takes a pretty long time. A seven minute video would take me around 8 hours to edit.
What do you enjoy the most about what you do?
I actually enjoy all aspects of making videos. I love being a YouTuber because I don’t have to pick a specific aspect of making videos to focus on. I get to experiment with the whole process and that way I never really get bored.
How did your community influence who you have become?
I consider my community to be my family and friends. I’m so lucky to be able to say that they are very supportive of me pursuing my passions. I always depend on them for honest feedback, and they definitely help keep me grounded.
What field are you pursuing?
I’m currently studying Media, Culture, and Communications at NYU.
What does your average day look like?
During weekdays, I typically have one to three classes each day and once I get home I really don’t have time for anything else other than doing homework and studying for exams, so it’s kind of difficult to find time to make videos. That’s why I pretty much dedicate my whole weekend to making videos!
What are your other interests?
I love drawing, singing, playing piano, and of course hanging out with my friends.
Do you have any advice for students wishing to pursue their passions?
There are going to be many times when you feel like people are trying to tear you down or that everything is going against you, but you just have to believe that what you are doing is going to be worth it in the end. If you seem confident on the outside, it will eventually spread inwards.