Steff Does Stuff started as a TikTok account last semester but has grown and changed a lot since. While I still maintain the TikTok account, I have transitioned to focus more to fill a niche with anime related content. As well as this, I started an Etsy account, intending to sell fandom earrings for people with sensitive ears. As someone who is deeply entrenched in fandom culture, I find it difficult to wear fandom jewellery without a negative reaction, so I wanted to create something to remedy this. I also had a third project, the MDZS content warning project, where I aimed to create a comprehensive trigger list for one of my favourite series, however, I ended up dropping this portion of the project due to a lack of motivation.
I got a lot of assistance from fellow BCM students for various facets of the projects, from brainstorming to assessing my work or giving me advice, I’d like to give a huge thank you to Annie, Em, Lorena, Michelle and Samantha.
Producing content shouldn’t be too time-consuming
Originally, I intended to create polymer clay earrings – something I’d seen a lot of other creators make and loved the design possibilities for. However, I soon found that polymer clay was both time-intensive, and costly, so I started working with shrink plastic instead. It is a lot easier to work with, and after a few baking mishaps, I was able to quickly produce a range of different design ideas.
Another instance of this is when making TikTok videos, I had one video (that took around 3 hours to make) completely flop, while another that took a few minutes to produce gained popularity. From there I aimed to make more videos that were less time-consuming.
Content doesn’t have to be perfect
My work on the MDZS trigger project (and dropping said project) led to me realizing that the content you produce doesn’t have to be ‘perfect’. While this project had a slew of issues, I also put a lot of pressure on myself to have amazing results, leading to me procrastinating all of my projects. I found that once I dropped this project, and embraced this concept, I was able to make content a lot more efficiently.
Knowing your audience is key
My audience has changed a lot throughout this semester. While I originally hoped to focus on a pastel glitch aesthetic, through audience interaction (and my own changing interests) I soon learnt that this was not the case. As I fell in more with the BTS fandom and audience, I found my colour pallet transforming to reflect colours and themes associated with the band. I also moved away from my glitch focus, and fully into fandom culture.
In terms of this too, it is important to have solid communication with your audience. This is where the MDZS trigger project failed, and I can see that the Etsy store had started to fall into. To combat this, I grew a fandom Twitter account in hopes gain more attention, however, a lack of sales and user interaction led to earring production stalling. If I could change one major thing about my project, it would be to establish solid ties with the fandom community – and avenues of communication about my projects – much earlier.