This semester I thought I’d challenge myself with my DA and decided to work on 3 projects. I found that while each had a differing social utility and purpose, they all unite under a similar audience that can be generally specified into ‘fandom’, from there niche content can be identified for each particular aspect of my projects. A few weeks ago, I produced a mood board to identify the themes and colours I wanted to create through my projects, I also made a ‘starter pack’ to specifically identify my audience.
Since then, through more audience interaction I have been able to shape and narrow down both to more accurately represent my target audience.
The first project has been the continuation of my DA from last semester, a TikTok account Steff_does_Stuff.
This project is aimed towards the fandom and anime focused community on the platform, where I make art, cosplay, and humorous videos – I’m also starting to use it as a platform to advertise my polymer clay creations. To change things up this semester I’ve been prototyping and making a range of different content, to varying degrees of success.
At the beginning of the semester I posted a video showing all of the Harry Potter merchandise I own, since it used a popular audio and was aimed at a large fandom it was fairly popular. I got a lot of positive user feedback showing the series to be popular on TikTok and from there worked to make more Harry Potter related content.
For my next piece of Harry Potter content I decided to post a video showing me making the Privet Drive LEGO set, allowing me to explore the LEGO making community on the platform, this video wasn’t nearly as successful, and allowed for no user interaction. This user observation allowed me to realise that the Harry Potter community on TikTok are not interested in this type of video, so I’m now working on researching and prototyping options for future content.
Since it has been a very popular format, I tried my hand at one of the TikTok anime dances, however found that not to be very popular. I didn’t receive much user feedback about why this might be, whether it was the dance I choose or just the video as a whole. As such I haven’t produced any similar content, however since I am currently working on a cosplay and through research have found that videos of characters doing these dances to be very popular, I may attempt something similar in the future once I’ve reached the target cosplay audience.
This semester I also posted my most popular video to date, showing some places to visit around the QVB in Sydney. Although I’d done some research into the format and knew it was popular, I did not expect the amount of positive responses I got. Many users were excited to learn about these places or had the chance to revisit their experiences in them. However, the production of this type of content is based the ability to explore new and unique places around Sydney – and other areas, and because of Covid-19 I rarely have the chance to visit the city. Due to this I’m currently in the ideation process, researching potential places to visit the next time I’m in the city, I’m hoping to record a number of similar videos that can be posted sporadically to keep up audience attention.
Last semester to further target a niche audience I worked on glitch art. Although this semester I haven’t had the time to sit down and create art, I’m hoping to get back into doing it soon. Based on user feedback I have a list of characters to draw next and have been researching and looking into the best format for art videos on the platform.
In terms of art videos, I am also aiming to participate in InkTober next month as part of a personal project, so I’m hoping to share some of my art to TikTok and see what user response it gains.
Through observing my users, I have also discovered something interesting regarding posting times on the platform. While on platforms such as Instagram or Twitter posts need to be scheduled according to when users are most active, I’ve found that on TikTok this isn’t nearly as important. Looking at my analytics, my followers have similar levels of activity throughout the day and are overall more active during the night. Due to this I try to post around midday or early evening to target them.
However, since the TikTok algorithm works by recommending videos based on their view time and popularity, this means a video can rapidly gain views days or even weeks after it has first been posted. This happened to the video of me showing some areas to visit around Sydney, on the first day of posting (September 2nd) it gained a few hundred views, by the 5th it had jumped to around 1000 and a few days later jumped again to 4000. Now, around 20 days later it currently has over 10 000 views and is still reaching the target audience.
Polymer Clay Earrings
Through this facet of the project I’m currently working to make fandom earrings out of polymer clay, aiming to target people with sensitive ears, offering options made out of surgical steel or other hypoallergenic materials.
I’ve had some trouble with this aspect of my project because I was a bit nervous working with the clay, I didn’t want to mess up and waste clay. However recently I was able to make an Animal Crossing character out of the clay, and while it has some imperfections, I feel it is a great start towards a future Etsy store. I received some positive feedback from fellow BCM students on Twitter, as well as an offer for some help by a fellow creator on TikTok.
I’ve also been researching and observing users in regard to which series to start with when I work on making the earrings. Through some interaction on Twitter and TikTok I was able to identify series such as gravity falls, Steven Universe, Shera and My Hero Academia as areas to start. I am also considering making clip on earrings available to allow people without ear piercings to show off their favourite fandoms.
I have a lot of different ideas as to where to take this project. Although I’m aiming to start by offering earrings I hope to expand into keyrings and working with mediums such as Shrink Plastic to offer different types of charms. Currently I’m working to improve my skills with Polymer Clay and am researching the different types of metals available for people with sensitive ears to find what is both the most cost effective and most long lasting.
MDZS CW Project
Through this project I’m aiming to create a comprehensive list of all potential ‘triggers’ or areas of concern throughout the series. The aim of this is to allow fans the ability to have some forewarning for topics that may cause them distress, I’m hoping to offer both an overview of such areas, as well as the specific lines/pages where they occur so viewers can skip those scenes if they choose to. The final aim is to cover every available piece of media for the series, however due to time constraints I’m working on each part at a time, currently focused on the Manhua.
I’m in a Discord group for the fandom and have been able to also get some user feedback from there. I started by making a google form to gain some insight as to which areas I need to look out for and was able to contact one of the Mods to share the post on Twitter to get more exposure.
I did however get some negative responses to the word ‘trigger’ as it has been overused within the fandom and has negative stigma. As such I decided to rename the project to the MDZS Content Warning project. This negative experience did make me lose some motivation to continue with the project, but recently I’ve been trying to work on it again as I want to do it for a friend.
I also contacted some fellow BCM students Lorena and Michelle who like the series to get feedback on the project. I’ve been working on researching and collating the complete trigger list thus far and have managed to come up with something workable. I have also created a blog for the project, and have gotten some feedback on how to improve the aesthetics to better suit the series, I wasn’t sure on the overall look and am planning to work to change the layout and colour scheme to be more appealing to fans.
From here I’m aiming to start working on starting to go through the series and produce the warnings list. I am also looking for others to work on the project with me so I can have another set of eyes for in case I miss anything but have yet to have anyone contact me.
Credit for header gif: tenor