155 episodes

The Create Unknown interviews the most successful online creators to reveal how they got started and how they keep going. iDubbbz. Vsauce. Casey Neistat. iJustine. PsychicPebbles. We talk to the YouTubers, artists, and streamers who exemplify our mantra of “Make Something. Mean Something.” Part high-level analysis, part hopelessly stupid, Kevin Lieber and Matt Tabor from Vsauce2 dissect the complex business, the unpredictable drama, and the uncertain future of creating online. We’ll see you in The Create Unknown, Space Cowboys.
We wanna make the podcast even better, help us learn how we can: https://bit.ly/2EcYbu4 
For advertising opportunities please email PodcastPartnerships@Studio71us.com   
Privacy Policy: https://www.studio71.com/us/terms-and-conditions-use/#Privacy%20Policy

The Create Unknown Unknown Media & Studio71

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.7 • 170 Ratings

The Create Unknown interviews the most successful online creators to reveal how they got started and how they keep going. iDubbbz. Vsauce. Casey Neistat. iJustine. PsychicPebbles. We talk to the YouTubers, artists, and streamers who exemplify our mantra of “Make Something. Mean Something.” Part high-level analysis, part hopelessly stupid, Kevin Lieber and Matt Tabor from Vsauce2 dissect the complex business, the unpredictable drama, and the uncertain future of creating online. We’ll see you in The Create Unknown, Space Cowboys.
We wanna make the podcast even better, help us learn how we can: https://bit.ly/2EcYbu4 
For advertising opportunities please email PodcastPartnerships@Studio71us.com   
Privacy Policy: https://www.studio71.com/us/terms-and-conditions-use/#Privacy%20Policy

    Nerdwriter Escapes into Meaning

    Nerdwriter Escapes into Meaning

    The gold standard of the video essay genre on YouTube is Nerdwriter, and between a decade of videos and a book about to drop, Evan’s got a lot to talk about. We start off with a bit of failure: the novel that got Evan on YouTube in the first place, and we analyze why it just wasn’t very good. It *was* successful in the sense that it kicked off an amazing career of writing for video and now a collection of essays – and he successfully avoided the worst thing in the creative process, which is starting a thing and then giving up.

    Evan’s experienced a nagging voice with his creative work. Matt has a lot more confidence in his writing, and that’s its own serious problem. After film school, Evan wanted to go in a different direction. His point about developing creative taste is important – you know what you like and you know what you want to make, but the only way to close the gap between your vision and your skill is to churn out a massive body of work. There’s really no way around it. 

    After a few deadline foibles, Evan figured out how to complete his book of essays. The Kenmore Square bookstore delivered Ralph Waldo Emerson to him, and Emerson has served as a guide and inspiration through more than a decade of work. Kevin’s Emerson is actually in comedy – he just relates more to the funnier side. But whether it’s comedy or the Western Canon, engagement comes from making the material tactile.

    We discuss the sheer volume of data and evidence blocking the modern historian’s path before pushing and pulling on the relationship between video and scripts. Patrons jump in to ask about Evan’s favorite art movement, the initial breadth of his video essay plan, and the key to being an interesting person. 

    Thanks to Evan for spending so much time with us, and we’ve already pre-ordered his forthcoming book, “Escape into Meaning.” As much as it hurts Matt to be the second most interesting alumnus from Boston University on the podcast, we can’t wait for Evan to come back and talk about the 10,000 different topics we didn’t have time to get to. 

    Everyone who came out to the live show got a good one. A special thanks goes out to the Patrons who make this show happen each and every week – you really are the best. Next week: Rusty Cage!

    You love anime. You love tea. Get 10% off your order with code CREATE at The Dragon's Treasure: https://www.thedragonstreasure.com/

    Buy our T-shirts: https://www.thecreateunknown.com/store/

    Join our Discord to talk with artists, creators, and fans of the finer things in online life: http://discord.gg/tcu

    Apple: http://bit.ly/TheCreateUnknownApple
    Spotify: http://bit.ly/TheCreateUnknownSpotify
    Google Podcasts: http://bit.ly/TheCreateUnknownGooglePodcasts

    CREDITS: 

    Hosts: Kevin Lieber and Matt Tabor 
    Produced and Edited by Ben Webster → https://twitter.com/benwebsterTCU 
    "Created in the Unknown" theme by Basswaite: https://linktr.ee/Basswaite  
    Theme by Mega Drive → http://megadrivemusic.com  
    Opening Animation: Kidmograph 
    City Animation: Eric Langlay 

    "The Create Unknown" is produced by Unknown Media. 

    CONNECT WITH US: 

    » Chat with us on DISCORD: https://discord.gg/qAQV3Jw  
    » Follow us on TWITTER: http://twitter.com/createunknown  
    » Follow us on INSTAGRAM: http://instagram.com/thecreateunknown  
    » Follow us on FACEBOOK: http://facebook.com/thecreateunknown  
    » View our website: https://thecreateunknown.com
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 1 hr 32 min
    PsychicPebbles Opens His Brain For Us

    PsychicPebbles Opens His Brain For Us

    Thanks to MAINGEAR for speeding up everything for us. Check out the VYBE line that’s making up the core of Matt’s new studio: https://maingear.com/vybe/

    Post your first job FREE: https://linkedin.com/create

    We start off our 2+ hour biannual neurological exam of PsychicPebbles’ lizard brain with a grim comparison of the Smiling Friends and Vsauce fandoms – and a realization about the rewatchability of both endeavors. Jimmy Carter is set to trade in the peanut farm and Habitat for Humanity for a brief cameo on the show, but he might be in line behind Putin and Kim Jong Un. Kevin wants Shaq to listen to the podcast, and we unite in our hatred of Big Cheese.

    Smiling Friends has received a shocking level of support online. Its community is huge and active to the point where the tattoos are starting to roll in. A Brian Peppers/Smiling Friends mashup tattoo would be pretty sweet, and probably even better than the RIP Brian Family Guy tattoos from the past. It’s just a different era now – YouTube used to be loaded with all sorts of crazy and edgy stuff, which eventually moved on to LiveLeak and BitChute and who knows where else.

    We start to get deep by probing the value of seeing really awful things online. Does being exposed to tragedy, whether it’s visual or experienced, actually help? Rick Beato had a good take on this, and Kevin’s got 5 sons with the same name. Matt wonders about the future of Choose Your Own Adventure style AI content, and Zach’s living it to some degree right now. What we do know for sure is that the sheer amount of information available to creators, which only seems to be increasing, is going to matter.

    Matt’s got a mystery pipe going back over 50 years, and Zach’s fairly sure it’s the only flow of air directly into the mouth of an underground captive. But the philosophical elements of all this carry weight when it comes to creativity and community – because if you’re bragging about being the biggest guy in the Transformers sphere, you’re severely broken.

    Zach and Matt bond over Milton Friedman, who’s apparently sitting next to Karl Marx in the Pebbles Library. Matt draws value from William F. Buckley’s Firing Line, and it all adds up to a fascination with people, places, and past that the three of us share – and which we use to navigate the present. It shows up in Smiling Friends, Vsauce2, and literally everything we do.

    The Great Ptomaine Panic of 2022 has begun. We’re scared, but Pim is TERRIFIED. Matt quotes the Bible during a full-on Ptomaine Party, and there’s no guarantee of survival – so before we expire, we rush to a lightning round of questions that cover memes in art, Smiling Friends deadlines, Cream the Slug, Pebbles’ worldview, and how to break into entertainment.

    There’s really no one better to learn from regarding creative endeavors and how to work with other people successfully than Zach. That’s why we keep talking to him – every episode mines more and more solid gold, and we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface.

    You love anime. You love tea. Get 10% off your order with code CREATE at The Dragon's Treasure: https://www.thedragonstreasure.com/

    CREDITS: 

    Hosts: Kevin Lieber and Matt Tabor 
    Produced and Edited by Ben Webster → https://twitter.com/benwebsterTCU 
    "Created in the Unknown" theme by Basswaite: https://linktr.ee/Basswaite  
    Theme by Mega Drive → http://megadrivemusic.com  
    Opening Animation: Kidmograph 
    City Animation: Eric Langlay 

    "The Create Unknown" is produced by Unknown Media. 

    CONNECT WITH US: 

    » Chat with us on DISCORD: https://discord.gg/qAQV3Jw  
    » Follow us on TWITTER: http://twitter.com/createunknown  
    » Follow us on INSTAGRAM: http://instagram.com/thecreateunknown  
    » Follow us on FACEBOOK: http://facebook.com/thecreateunknown  
    » View our website: https://thecreateunknown.com
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 2 hr 26 min
    Drew Durnil: Geography Jester and Empire Builder

    Drew Durnil: Geography Jester and Empire Builder

    Thanks to MAINGEAR for speeding up *everything* for us. Check out the VYBE line that’s making up the core of Matt’s new studio: https://maingear.com/vybe/

    Post your first job FREE: https://linkedin.com/create

    Drew Durnil is one of the most prolific creators we know, and he’s dropped over 500 videos since we talked to him a year and a half ago. All that may have culminated in a theory that the next great world event will center on a tiny city-state with a 12-person army. Or maybe not. 

    It’s extremely difficult to slap a label on Drew’s content, because it’s not just geography anymore – his content runs the full gamut of history, current events, and just plain interesting elements of the world. The running theme is the exceedingly rare ‘Jester’s privilege’ he enjoys, which a whole lot of people try to pull off… and fail. But the hidden beauty is in Drew’s efficiency, which extends through editing into sticking to what he does best. All that output can come with a tremendous cost, though, and Drew’s old enough now to be cognizant of how to avoid the pitfalls of becoming too wrapped up in his channel.

    For better and worse, Drew admits that his 20s sort of flashed by, and now he’s looking to take advantage of his time and resources. Germany, Italy, Japan? His travel wishlist is a little bit suspicious on the surface – but he’d like to be a new version of Dennis Rodman uniting the Axis of Durnil. Kevin points out how absolutely incredible it is to be in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language and everyone pretty much leaves you alone. Drew experienced that in Sweden, Matt did it in Israel, and Kevin did it in Kyoto… all of which are much, much better than Los Angeles.

    Drew details his post-apocalyptic nuclear wasteland of a Discord and we reminisce about how hundreds of his devotees jumped into the TCU server, which surprisingly wasn’t a problem at all. Some are still around, and they’re awesome. His audience is rabid in the best and worse ways, and it’s actually a phenomenon that probably couldn’t have existed 5 years ago. 

    Is a fart jar different than a pizza? It depends. But we hatch a plan for Drew’s future endeavors – creating a harem of Geographe-girls to do… well, we actually didn’t figure that part out yet. After a bit of MMA chat, we hit questions about cursed countryhuman drawings, whether Drew would play it straight and become a traditional teacher, and advice to help 16-year old Drew (and everyone listening) develop into an interesting person who’s recession-proof and content evolution-proof.

    We had as much fun recording with Drew as we did hanging out with him at VidCon, and we were thrilled to be able to share that experience with everyone who showed up to the live show. Thanks to the Patrons who make this show possible each and every week – you really are the best. And thanks to MAINGEAR for powering all our PC endeavors. Now that wallpaper for the studio has shipped, Matt can start setting up soon!

    You love anime. You love tea. Get 10% off your order with code CREATE at The Dragon's Treasure: https://www.thedragonstreasure.com/

    Buy our T-shirts: https://www.thecreateunknown.com/store/

    Apple: http://bit.ly/TheCreateUnknownApple
    Spotify: http://bit.ly/TheCreateUnknownSpotify
    Google Podcasts: http://bit.ly/TheCreateUnknownGooglePodcasts

    CREDITS: 

    Hosts: Kevin Lieber and Matt Tabor 
    Produced and Edited by Ben Webster → https://twitter.com/benwebsterTCU 
    "Created in the Unknown" theme by Basswaite: https://linktr.ee/Basswaite  
    Theme by Mega Drive → http://megadrivemusic.com  
    Opening Animation: Kidmograph 
    City Animation: Eric Langlay 

    "The Create Unknown" is produced by Unknown Media. 

    CONNECT WITH US: 

    » Chat with us on DISCORD: https://discord.gg/qAQV3Jw  
    » Follow us on TWITTER: http://twitter.com/createunknown  
    » Follow us on INSTAGRAM: http://instagram.com/thecreateunknown  
    » Follow us on FACEBOOK: ht

    • 2 hr
    Charity Croff’s Infinite Pursuit of Knowledge

    Charity Croff’s Infinite Pursuit of Knowledge

    We met Charity Croff in a really, really strange way – and before we were even out of the car, we’d invited him on The Create Unknown. He represents the new generation of educational/informational creators, and he got started by crushing a million views about a week after one of his first videos.

    He had to jump a few hurdles to get where he is. School wasn’t a fit and people around him didn’t quite understand how online content creation worked. But without defining himself in the face of those challenges, would he be where he is today? Probably not.

    Charity’s YouTube channel touches on all sorts of big questions – politics, religion, race and society – but his main focus right now seems to be shorter-form content on TikTok. The early days of Facebook were absolutely amazing, and we all wish we’d taken advantage of that gravy train of views back when it was easy. But Charity is almost immune to the changing platforms: his strength is synthesis, and that survives every development and evolution in platforms.

    Oh, and he’s a fantastic musician – music production was his early focus and he recorded the podcast right in the studio before working on some tracks. Why are all these young YouTubers so talented with music and the arts, too?!

    Charity is one of the most fascinating people we’ve talked to, and we’ll definitely have him back on the show to follow up on literally everything we talked about. This is what happens when you get stuffed in a black Suburban with strangers.

    Thanks to everyone who came out for a seriously entertaining live show, and a special thanks to the Patrons who make this show happen each and every week.

    And don’t forget, next Tuesday, July 19th at 6pm ET, we’ll be talking to PsychicPebbles for his TCU-record 4th appearance on the show. Get ready to smile, friends.

    You love anime. You love tea. Get 10% off your order with code CREATE at The Dragon's Treasure: https://www.thedragonstreasure.com/

    Buy our T-shirts: https://www.thecreateunknown.com/store/

    Join our Discord to talk with artists, creators, and fans of the finer things in online life: http://discord.gg/tcu

    Apple: http://bit.ly/TheCreateUnknownApple
    Spotify: http://bit.ly/TheCreateUnknownSpotify
    Google Podcasts: http://bit.ly/TheCreateUnknownGooglePodcasts

    CREDITS: 

    Hosts: Kevin Lieber and Matt Tabor 
    Produced and Edited by Ben Webster → https://twitter.com/benwebsterTCU 
    "Created in the Unknown" theme by Basswaite: https://linktr.ee/Basswaite  
    Theme by Mega Drive → http://megadrivemusic.com  
    Opening Animation: Kidmograph 
    City Animation: Eric Langlay 

    "The Create Unknown" is produced by Unknown Media. 

    CONNECT WITH US: 

    » Chat with us on DISCORD: https://discord.gg/qAQV3Jw  
    » Follow us on TWITTER: http://twitter.com/createunknown  
    » Follow us on INSTAGRAM: http://instagram.com/thecreateunknown  
    » Follow us on FACEBOOK: http://facebook.com/thecreateunknown  
    » View our website: https://thecreateunknown.com
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 1 hr 11 min
    No VidCon for Old Men

    No VidCon for Old Men

    We’re alive. BARELY. Did we go to VidCon, an event that Kevin has been featured at for a decade? Or… did we go to TikTokCon for the very first time? The answer to both questions appears to be YES.
    The highlight of the trip was hanging out with the TCU community, from an incredible dinner (and 40oz. steak) with Minty, Michael, and Andy, to a breakfast with Doejens and both past and future TCU guests. The lowlight? WE ALL GOT COVID, and we’re arbitrarily deciding that ManyKudos was the Patient Zero.
    YouTube was just… barely present at VidCon. It’s all TikTok now, for better and worse. We recognized virtually no one at the hotel or at the event – and the event itself was sparsely attended with an anemic main floor. Even the 2nd floor, which is always a buzzing hub of all the YouTubers you know, was nearly empty. Tumbleweeds.
    What’s it mean? For one, Kevin’s got a theory about whether TikTokers actually have real fans. Is it possible to develop a community when your viewers are just Tinder-swiping through content? Even if they know you, is there an attachment to your content? Parasocial communities are bad, but having no connection might even be worse.
    Kevin had a great panel with William Osman, Allen Pan, Michael Reeves, and more, but that turned out to be an accident. Matt had a grueling travel schedule from LA to Austin, where he spent 8 hours on stage moderating panels at Glink’s LightWave. And from the Covid to the hangouts, it all raises questions about what we do next year. And the answer right now? We don’t know. Maybe the future is Creator Clash. Maybe it’s Light Wave. Who knows?
    It was incredible meeting people from the TCU community, including everyone mentioned above and Cheesy. It really, truly was the best part of the whole trip. 
    Thanks to everyone who came out for the live show here, and a special thanks to the Patrons who make this show happen each and every week (aside from when we’re nearly dead). We’ve got a TON of guests scheduled for the rest of the summer, including something of a TCU favorite coming in 2 weeks… 
    You love anime. You love tea. Get 10% off your order with code CREATE at The Dragon's Treasure: https://www.thedragonstreasure.com/

    Buy our T-shirts: https://www.thecreateunknown.com/store/

    Join our Discord to talk with artists, creators, and fans of the finer things in online life: http://discord.gg/tcu

    Apple: http://bit.ly/TheCreateUnknownApple
    Spotify: http://bit.ly/TheCreateUnknownSpotify
    Google Podcasts: http://bit.ly/TheCreateUnknownGooglePodcasts

    CREDITS: 

    Hosts: Kevin Lieber and Matt Tabor 
    Produced and Edited by Ben Webster → https://twitter.com/benwebsterTCU 
    "Created in the Unknown" theme by Basswaite: https://linktr.ee/Basswaite  
    Theme by Mega Drive → http://megadrivemusic.com  
    Opening Animation: Kidmograph 
    City Animation: Eric Langlay 

    "The Create Unknown" is produced by Unknown Media. 

    CONNECT WITH US: 

    » Chat with us on DISCORD: https://discord.gg/qAQV3Jw  
    » Follow us on TWITTER: http://twitter.com/createunknown  
    » Follow us on INSTAGRAM: http://instagram.com/thecreateunknown  
    » Follow us on FACEBOOK: http://facebook.com/thecreateunknown  
    » View our website: https://thecreateunknown.com
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 1 hr 23 min
    Our Serious Advice for Creatives

    Our Serious Advice for Creatives

    There’s no sense in talking about creativity week after week without discussing the things that get in the way… because there are a lot of them. They can ruin days, months, years, and even a lifetime of great ideas. So how does a creative navigate that mix of life and workflow in such a way that they execute their vision and maybe even make a full-time, decades-long career out of it?

    Kevin’s got a water pitcher metaphor courtesy of Rosanna Pansino that turns out to be absolutely amazing at describing the situation we’re all in. You’ve got a finite amount of water, and different forces come for it. Little sips from emails and phone calls, big spills from people bumping into your table… it all matters. But Matt points out that if you’re succeeding 100% of the time, you just aren’t pushing it far enough.

    Every day is a game of green light, yellow light, and red light, and it’s a useful analogy to manage yourself during difficult times. It’s also good to develop a habit of self-reflection and personal honesty, because you’re in trouble without a strong commitment to both. One thing that’s helped Kevin tremendously? Turning off notifications on his phone – and there’s a complex communications concept that supports everything he says.

    Consider how you schedule. Get to know yourself. Think about how you’ve changed over the months and years (and for us, decades). This is the type of stuff that will determine whether you succeed or fail.

    This is probably our most serious episode ever. It’s fun for us to talk to all sorts of people about their processes and their wild rides to success – some slow and long, others short and fast – but the real truth is that everyone with a sustainable creative career has figured out how to deal with the issues we bring up.

    We’ll be at VidCon next to see as many people as we can. If you’re gonna be there, PLEASE let us know so we can HANG OUT.

    Thanks to everyone who came out for this one and submitted excellent questions – and a special thanks to our Patrons who make this show happen each and every week. See you at VidCon!

    You love anime. You love tea. Get 10% off your order with code CREATE at The Dragon's Treasure: https://www.thedragonstreasure.com/

    Buy our T-shirts: https://www.thecreateunknown.com/store/

    Join our Discord to talk with artists, creators, and fans of the finer things in online life: http://discord.gg/tcu

    Apple: http://bit.ly/TheCreateUnknownApple
    Spotify: http://bit.ly/TheCreateUnknownSpotify
    Google Podcasts: http://bit.ly/TheCreateUnknownGooglePodcasts

    CREDITS: 

    Hosts: Kevin Lieber and Matt Tabor 
    Produced and Edited by Ben Webster → https://twitter.com/benwebsterTCU 
    "Created in the Unknown" theme by Basswaite: https://linktr.ee/Basswaite  
    Theme by Mega Drive → http://megadrivemusic.com  
    Opening Animation: Kidmograph 
    City Animation: Eric Langlay 

    "The Create Unknown" is produced by Unknown Media. 

    CONNECT WITH US: 

    » Chat with us on DISCORD: https://discord.gg/qAQV3Jw  
    » Follow us on TWITTER: http://twitter.com/createunknown  
    » Follow us on INSTAGRAM: http://instagram.com/thecreateunknown  
    » Follow us on FACEBOOK: http://facebook.com/thecreateunknown  
    » View our website: https://thecreateunknown.com
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 1 hr 50 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
170 Ratings

170 Ratings

review and stuff ,

:)

This is a very funny podcast, I even watch this in the shower and before bed, I especially like the Sr pelo episode, which is my favorite YouTuber as well, keep doing good Matt and the other dude

hickenman ,

Can you get Matpat on the show?

I think it would be very interesting and fun

ASobering ,

Such a wealth of knowledge! 🧠

This is one of the most insightful and entertaining podcasts that I have ever come across! Kevin and Matt do such a great job of sharing their wisdom and I love how they lead meaningful conversations with guests who bring so much experience to the table. Whether you’re a creator or not, I highly recommend checking this show out - you won’t be disappointed!

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