Creatives In Conversation: Shyanne Wester talks finding balance in the vibrant world of content creation
As the demand for original content continues to grow at exponential rates, today's creatives are more than eager to rise to the occasion and carve their own legacies along the way. For Shyanne Wester, that also means finding ways to balance her production work with respected media conglomerate Buzzfeed and her time spent building her own personal brand as a content creator. That balance requires diligence, hard work and unwavering passion, as well as no shortage of collaboration and original ideas.
Outside of her work in production as part of Buzzfeed's content team, Shyanne has been developing content for her own YouTube channel including creating a freshly-minted series aptly titled "Watch Your Words." The show embraces humility while also indulging grammar enthusiasts by way of challenging guests on their grammar savvy in a fun and lighthearted manner. During each episode, as hosted by Shyanne, the game-style show puts competitors side-to-side as they race against the clock to answer different questions meant to test their grammar knowledge. Shyanne's natural on-camera abilities shine through during the series, as she turns what is an educational subject by definition into quite the entertaining watch.
In addition to creating and producing her own digital series, Shyanne also creates content tailored to Instagram, such as sharing a recent video where she showcases how you can embrace sustainability without compromising being stylish. From sharing her own wardrobe tips to encouraging others to lean into their own passions, Shyanne's aptitude for creating interesting content that comes from the heart is certainly her strong suit. As a media professional, Shyanne is dedicated to quality, while also ensuring the creation process runs as smoothly as possible. In other words, Shyanne isn't just rising to the occasion to create quality content, she's helping set the bar high.
During a recent conversation with DropLabs, Shyanne chopped it up about how she balances her work behind the scenes with her own brand building, what type of environment encourages her work flow the best and why consistency plays such an important role for content creators.
What do you do for a living?
In my current role at BuzzFeed, I am involved in creating content, budgeting and all of the logistical stuff regarding how things get created. That's really what I do mainly. On my own, I also create content, mostly video.
Do you have a hand in all steps of the production? With a position that has so many moving parts, what would you say is your favorite part of the job?
I usually follow the projects from pre-production to wrap, so I work closely with the creative leads assigned to it and work through the concepts. This entails going through what it means from a production standpoint, factoring in the budget, working the actual shoot day and making sure the project wraps as it's supposed to. From there, I'll work with either the editors or the creative leads, depending on which department or office is handling the project. I also work with the editors, making sure everything aligned with client expectations and overall making sure that the final product is what we said we would deliver.
I think my favorite part about my current role is seeing what the projects end up being and seeing how it all turns out. Sometimes when I work with other people's concepts, I may not always think a certain direction is the best idea, but when you work the concept and see the end result, it's cool ensuring that the outcome is the best possible version.
Do you have an early memory you’d like to share about when you first discovered some of your passions?
I don't know if I have an exact moment but I remember I was always in shows and plays growing up. I just always wanted to perform and I've always had a creative bug in me. Growing up, it was like I was an only child because my siblings are so much older than me so I always just had to entertain myself. My creativity definitely comes from that, just figuring out what I was going to do and how to make my own shows and all of that fun stuff.
Do you think you'd like to transition to being more on-camera like when you were a kid, or do you like being behind the scenes?
In my work life, no. I definitely enjoy being behind the scenes. That's also why I create my own content on the side, though. It's easier that way and I like to be in front of the camera when it's my project. I think sometimes when you create your own content, you know exactly what the vision is. But for work, I'm definitely behind the scenes and I prefer it that way to some degree.
What type of environment or setting do you feel the most creative in?
For me, I have to always be sitting up at a table for some reason. It has to feel like I'm focused. It's so weird but I literally can't sit on the couch and feel creative. I have to be sitting at a table with my notebook open and just by myself usually. It's more helpful because I'm not distracted. That's my most focused. I just need a quiet space, a table, somewhere where it's just me, where I can map out what I'm going to do next and let go of all of my ideas. I usually don't listen to anything either. I don't listen to music, because for some reason, I'll just get distracted and I'll start bopping way too hard. [Laughs]
What surprised you the most about trying out DropLabs' EP 01?
Before I did the demo, while the team was describing the shoe and what it did, I didn't realize that the sensation would be so like intense. I didn't realize it would hit different points within the shoe, and that the frequency and intensity would change with the music. The tech is so refined! When we were watching a movie clip, I didn't realize it would've felt like I was in the movie. It was such a different experience. I was really impressed with how refined the product is, and how many options you had with controlling the sensations themselves.
How would you explain the DropLabs experience to your friends?
I would describe the shoes to someone as it being a completely immersive shoe experience. As a sneakerhead, buying sneakers is an experience for me period because I just love them. But this takes that to another level. When you're walking around and take your playlist with you, it starts to feel like you're one with the shoe. I know at first I was like, 'OMG this is weird,' but once you take a couple more steps, you realize just how dope the shoes are. It kind of even makes you put a different pep in your step, if that makes sense. It's just such an immersive experience.
What is one of your favorite accomplishments or a project that you're really proud of?
I am proud of most of my stuff. I recently dropped my first IG TV video and it was about how to make utility out of fashion. For this video, I took one or two different pieces from my closet and showed people how to style it in three to four different ways. That's one thing I'm really proud of just because I think when it comes to people who are into clothes and into fashion, they can be into the novelty of it. Like, if it's not new or if it's not designer, they don't feel like it's doing anything. My main thing that I wanted to express is that all of your clothes are useful, especially if they make you feel comfortable and look good. You can wear something three or four times in three or four different ways and you won't feel like you have the same outfit on. Being able to teach people how to make their clothes useful for them is something I'm proud of, and being able to put that kind of content out is fun for me. It feels good operating from something that I like to do, so it feels really effortless too.
What are some of your 2020 goals?
I definitely want to be more consistent and I'm trying to get on more of a content schedule. Right now, I do once a week or every other week depending so I'd really like to set a schedule and stick to it. I also want to make sure that I'm being innovative within myself. As soon as something starts to feel like I've done it too many times, I want to always ask myself what's the next thing. Keeping myself innovative and consistent, as well as making sure I'm putting out content that matters to me. I know sometimes when you create content, you start to feel like you have to put something out so then you just start putting things out because you have to. It starts to dwindle the quality. So, I just want to make sure I'm consistent, innovative and not compromising the quality of what I'm doing.
Do you have a mantra you live by or any words of advice to share?
Mine is usually, if you build it, they'll come. Somebody's watching and somebody's listening, even if you don't think they are. Even if the numbers aren't doing what you expect, you're still you, and there's something about you that someone wants to see. If you're trying to create something and you're getting discouraged, just remember that if you build it, they'll come eventually.
Shyanne Wester can be found on Instagram at @_shyanne_w and on YouTube here. www.youtube.com/channel/UC3pQUg8w1n_1seYfIGDyHww
As innovators by design, the team behind DropLabs Technology™ is dedicated to supporting and elevating members of the creative community. Together, we aim to serve as a platform highlighting different creators as they work towards achieving visionary excellence and inspiring others along their path. To nominate a creative leader you’d like to see highlighted on our website, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.