Official Student Newspaper of Henry M. Gunn High School

Content Creator Alisa Sonehara

Freshman Alisa Sonehara made her debut as a YouTuber in July 2022 and has since been publishing videos on painting and lifestyle content. “I wanted to share my art with other people and see how I can improve over time,” she said.

When she first started, Sonehara was careful to produce content that didn’t overlap with the productivity or aesthetic-life content of many other YouTubers. “I didn’t want to do something that’s going to be really repetitive, because there is so much similar content and it gets boring,” she said.

Since Sonehara started her YouTube channel relatively recently, she attends Zoom classes and watches other YouTubers, such as Emma Chamberlain, for motivation and inspiration. The classes provide different techniques and types of painting styles for Sonehara to implement in her own content. “I’m still looking for my art style,” she said. “So right now I’m just experimenting with a bunch of different ones, and (the classes) guide me on what to do.”

Sonehara mostly films during her free time and is not too concerned about an irregular uploading schedule. Even though she enjoys filming content, she finds it difficult to be consistent with uploading videos when she is busy with schoolwork. Additionally, creating content on top of painting can prove time consuming. “It’s definitely time-consuming to film and edit everything, rather than just paint,” she said. Sonehara also finds being a content creator challenging because there are times when she can feel unmotivated or uninspired.

Sonehara’s favorite video on her channel is “Decorating My Wall with Art I Love,” released on Aug. 14, 2022. In the video, Sonehara decorates a part of her wall with some of her favorite art pieces, which include Monkey D. Luffy (a fictional character from the “One Piece” manga series), a drawing by her grandfather, a framed motivational quote written by her grandfather and photos of different buildings and landscapes. She also puts up a framed handlettering of her name in Japanese written by her grandfather and photos of people who contributed greatly to her life. According to Sonehara, each art piece shown on the video is deeply significant to her life. “The paintings have a lot of value behind them because every piece has a different meaning,” she said.

Another one of Sonehara’s favorite videos is “The Process of Painting for an Art Show,” published on Jan. 21. Sonehara talks about her struggles with mental health in response to the art show prompt of how mental health or race can affect relationships. In the video, she explains how her painting of two linked arms, with one of the arms disappearing at the top, represents the struggle of keeping promises and trusting individuals. Looking back on older videos has provided Sonehara with a new perspective on her art. “I can compare and contrast to see what I could have done better,” she said.

As Sonehara continues to grow her channel, she hopes expand her following and gain a clearer view of what kind of content she wants to make. “Reaching the right audience of people who are passionate about art as well is really my goal,” she said.

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