YouTube star Eva Gutowski talks to us about her vlogging journey, and her decision to open up about her sexual assault
We are living in an age where the most successful entertainers and artists wear many different hats. If you write, you likely also perform. If you make videos on Youtube, you might also move on to write a book, or try your hand at a web-series. In order to get an inside scoop on the process, HelloGiggles was lucky enough to chat with Eva Gutowski, the wildly popular Youtube star and writer.
It would be a grave understatement to merely label her busy, considering the fact that Eva just penned her first book titled My Life As Eva: The Struggle Is Real, and has an upcoming buddy comedy miniseries on Youtube Red called Me And My Grandma, all on top of her regular circuit of blogging, vlogging, and existing.
During our interview, Eva shared her creative inspiration, and what she hopes followers glean from her work.
HelloGiggles: When did you first become interested in vlogging?
Eva Gutowski: I was going to college for broadcast journalism because I knew whatever career path I would take, I knew I wanted to be talking to as many people as possible and inspiring as many people as possible, particularly girls. When I was in college I was like, “I know I’m going to be on camera a lot when I’m older if I fall into my dream job.” So I started vlogging freshman year in college, really to get comfortable for myself. Little did I know all my videos were gaining traction, so that’s how it happened.
HG: Did you have a moment where you realized you had a following, and did that affect your approach?
EG: It definitely did. I had a moment where I had reached 200,000 followers, at the time a lot of people would get to that number on Youtube and they’d stop growing. I was really scared because I didn’t want that to happen to me, so when I reached 200,000 subscribers, I was like “Eva, you have to do this, you have to work hard and push past this number.”
HG: What’s your favorite part of having a platform?
EG: My favorite part is connecting with so many different people. It’s a big platform but it’s also very personal. Learning some of the names and countries of my subscribers and what life is like for them is really cool. I love getting to know what people are seeking in their lives, what they’re going through and what the big issues are.
HG: You just released a book! Did you have a clear plan of what you wanted your book to cover before writing it? How has the process been?
EG: Writing a book is so much harder than I imagined. I grew up writing and have always loved it, and knew I wanted to write a book eventually. I have my blog, I love writing travel stories and personal stories on there, but it’s really hard when you have to write 40,000 words instead of 3,000 words, and having a deadline was nothing I’ve ever had to deal with. Going into the book, I knew I wanted the book to be real, and have real advice. I definitely didn’t want the book to be something I’m not, such as me doing makeup tutorials I don’t do myself, I wanted it to be stuff that I learned growing up that I could teach people. My childhood was a little harder than some people’s growing up because I came from a low-income family. I think a lot of people from low-income families get discouraged by their situations. So I wanted the book to be a light on someone who didn’t come from everything.
HG: For your book video you shared about your experience with sexual assault, did you plan that before writing the book? Have you received feedback from women about their experiences?
EG: Even when I was 16 and going through it, it was so traumatic because people didn’t believe what happened to me. So, I was kind of scared that I would tell my story and then have people not care. When I wrote the book, I was fighting back and forth with whether I wanted to write the story or not. Then I had a moment where I was like, “so many people are going through this right now, and I have such a big audience I should use my voice to encourage people to open up and get help.” In a lot of these situations, nobody listens to the victim, and I knew I had an audience that maybe didn’t have an opportunity to talk about this very often.
I was so proud because most of the comments on the video were people brave enough to share their own stories. People are actually getting help from the video and that’s really beautiful.