YouTube channels that will make you forget about watching TV

I used to be a major TV watcher, but lately, I find that I’m watching less traditional TV and way more YouTube. Maybe it’s because YouTube has everything. It’s a never-ending source of entertainment, but also a source of information. Through YouTube, I’ve learned everything from how to sand and refinish furniture to how to vectorize hand lettering. Of course, I’ve also watched countless hours of fascinating or hilarious content, too. Since I’m trying to update this blog more frequently (instead of every five years!) I thought I’d share some of my favorite YouTube channels. These are in no particular order, just a few that I always watch.

The Film Theorists
I’m basically obsessed with this channel. The film geek in me loves the in-depth analysis, and I think MatPat is probably the best out there for explaining complex theories and material in an entertaining way. He and the gang are so good that they even got me interested in gaming through their other channel, The Game Theorists, and their super funny live streams on GTLive. It’s hard to pick a favorite Film Theory video, but the one about R+L=J was one of the first theories I saw, and I could not hit that subscribe button fast enough.

UNHhhh
Some people love the NFL, some people love the Olympics, my sport of choice is RuPaul’s Drag Race. When I saw the WOW Presents channel, I hit that subscribe button harder than a Laganja Estranga death drop, okurrrr! WOWPresents has some of the best content on YouTube with shows like Alyssa’s Secret, starring the incomparable Alyssa Edwards, and RuPaul’s Drag Race Fashion Photo RuView, featuring RPDR alums Raja and Raven, but if I had to pick just one favorite show, it’s UNHhhh, starring Trixie Mattel and Katya. This show is so endlessly entertaining and hilarious that I’ve watched all the episodes several times and I’m constantly quoting them to people who have no clue what the hell I’m talking about.

Emergency Awesome
People are usually surprised to learn that I actually haven’t read all the Game of Thrones books, but I can talk about them like I’m well-versed because of this channel. Charlie knows literally everything about the books and the show, and if you’re a fan, there’s really no better channel to subscribe to. From his WTF moments to his analysis of trailers to his comparisons of books to screen, he’s the go-to guy for GoT. Of course, he also covers tons of other awesome stuff, so if you love comics or Star Wars, his channel is the place to go for theories and analysis.

Facts.
If you’ve been on the internet for over 10 seconds, chances are you’ve seen a BuzzFeed video of people trying food, clothes, or something else. The problem is that BuzzFeed videos can get really boring and start to feel like a very obvious attempt to generate as much content as possible, regardless of quality. That’s why I prefer Facts. This Irish channel has a hilarious cast of commentators who try everything from Thanksgiving food to cosplay. The key here is personality, and these people have loads of it, which makes the videos feel fun and fresh. The taste tests are probably the most famous, and always draw some pretty hilarious reactions.

SciShow Space
I’m into science shows, particularly if they’re about space. Keep your Kardashians and give me Cosmos! This channel features short, informative videos about some of the most interesting objects and phenomena in the universe. A lot of people think of YouTube as place for the kind of stuff you see on Tosh.0, but SciShow Space is one of those great channels where you’ll actually learn something.

Cinema Sins
Film is a recurring theme on this list, mostly because I’m also a film critic, and few channels on YouTube are as excellent as Cinema Sins. Their “Everything Wrong With ___” videos are so on-point it’s scary…and super funny. I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent watching this channel and ScreenJunkies.

MKBHD
This channel is already pretty huge, particularly with the tech crowd, so you’ve likely already heard of Marques and his great reviews. Whenever I’m looking for a straightforward review of a new tech product, I know exactly where to go. He covers PCs and Macs, iOS and Android, and even some of the latest luxury cars without going off on rants or being totally biased toward certain brands. Informative, helpful, and to-the-point, his reviews can be awesome when you’re trying to decide which expensive tech product to spend your life savings on. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that I also think he’s super cute.

Chris Stuckmann
Another movie favorite of mine is Chris Stuckmann. I love his reviews of current films and I find that I agree with him most of the time—save for his affinity for M. Night Shyamalan—but where he really shines is in his Hilariocity reviews. These are movies that are so bad they’re great, hilarious atrocities. The first one I ever saw was his review of my favorite bad movie ever, The Room, and I loved everything he had to say about it.

Every Tuesday
When I started lettering, I didn’t know a damn thing about Illustrator, vectors, or how to make Procreate brushes, but then I found Teela’s channel. This woman can teach anyone anything! Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop can be super intimidating, especially for new users, and she knows how to explain each step in a digestible way that makes learning fast and easy. If you’re new to lettering, her channel will teach you everything you need to get started, and if you’re using an iPad Pro, she’ll teach you how to incorporate textures and vectors into your work.

Wisecrack
Wisecrack has several great shows including Thug Notes, which analyzes literary works in a much more contemporary way, but I think my favorite is Earthling Cinema. Here, alien host Garyx Wormuloid analyzes famous movies in a way that only someone who hasn’t been privy to the pop culture of Earth could do. It’s totally hilarious and you should definitely check it out if you haven’t seen it already.

Honorable mentions to How it Should Have Ended, Rad & Happy, Kevin Smith’s Fatman on Batman series, Looper, Kurzgesagt, and Russell Brand’s Trews series for also being awesome and addictive.

So there you have it, a few of my favorite YouTube channels and why I love them so much. Check them out or let me know your faves.

Favorite things for iPad lettering

If you’ve seen my Instagram, you know that I’m totally obsessed with hand lettering. I think it’s in my DNA because my grandfather used to be an amazing letterer and painted tons of signs in Pueblo, Colorado. He was even a cartoonist during WWII. While I didn’t get all those awesome artistic skills, I’ve always liked lettering. I used to do it with basic pens and markers and even did lettering with brush pens a few times. Last fall, I started lettering with iPad Pro and Apple Pencil and that changed everything! The ability to undo, resize, export and vectorize has been a dream come true. I’m now fully obsessed with lettering on the iPad using the Procreate app—my favorite iOS app of all time. I’ve even created a bunch of Procreate brushes, some of which are free to download.

I thought this would be a good place to share some of the stuff I use when I’m creating my lettering, and since I’m very budget conscious, these are great alternatives to some of the pricey products you might find online.

First up is obviously the iPad Pro. I managed to snag a sweet Groupon deal for my 12.9″ gold one, but you can usually find them priced competitively on Amazon or the Apple refurbished store too. The 9.7″ is more affordable than the larger one and still works perfectly with Apple Pencil, so if you’re looking for a budget option, a 32GB 9.7″ is the way to go. Similarly, the Apple Pencil can fluctuate in price by about $10 or so depending on where you buy it, but you can usually find it for cheaper on Amazon than you can at Best Buy or an Apple store.

Of course, if you have an awesome piece of tech like the iPad Pro, you’re going to want to protect it, and that’s where a case/cover comes in. I use this one and I love it! It was inexpensive, it protects the front and the back of the iPad, and it includes magnets for the sleep/wake function. It also makes it easier to hold onto it, since that smooth aluminum can be kind of slippery if you’re trying to letter with your iPad on your lap. Best of all, it folds so you can write at the perfect angle without having to lean over the screen. You can also stand it up and watch videos, which is awsome with the monster 12.9″ display.

Next up is a screen protector. You don’t really need one if you have a case that covers the front of your iPad, but a lot of iPad letterers feel like the glass is too smooth and doesn’t give them the same feel as regular paper. This is where a matte screen protector can make a world of difference. When I first started out, I didn’t use a screen protector and I did find that it was just a little bit harder to control my lines. With the protector on, it really does feel like writing with a pen on paper. It also helps prevent scratches, since you wouldn’t want anything to damage that beautiful screen. The screen protector I use came in a two pack, which is good in case you screw up putting on the first one. Thankfully, it wasn’t very hard to put it on, so now I have a spare for whenever I want to switch it out.

The Apple Pencil doesn’t attach to the iPad, at least for now, so it’s good to have something to attach it when you’re not using it. I use a strap that I got open-box at Best Buy, but this one is even cheaper. It’s is great because I never misplace my pricey Apple Pencil, and it also helps to keep the case closed securely if I’m tossing the iPad in a bag. It’s still kind of baffling that Apple didn’t include a way to attach the Pencil to the iPad in the first place, but these simple little elastic straps seem to solve the problem really well. I know there are also cases that include an area to store the Apple Pencil, and I’ve seen a lot of letterers on Instagram say great things about those, too.

And speaking of Apple Pencil, you might want something to keep those tiny cap pieces from vanishing when you’re charging your iPad. I used to carry the box the Pencil came in around with me, but the easier solution is one of these little rubber caps. I had previously used Cozy’s cases for my MagSafe2 to MagSafe adapter, and I can’t even tell you how helpful it is to have something to attach these things instead of constantly searching for them. With the Apple Pencil, it’s even more important because the lightning adapter is a super tiny piece of plastic that is very easy to lose. I usually keep mine attached to my lightning charging cable and that way I can just pop the Pencil adapter off if I want to charge my phone. Still, charging directly from your iPad’s lightning port is the fastest way to charge the Pencil, especially if you’re on the go, so you’ll probably take the rounded cap off at some point to do it. Again, you’ve got to hold on to a tiny, easily-losable piece of plastic while you’re charging, and the Cozy case will make life easier because it will just stay attached to the pencil. I got the glow-in-the-dark one, but I’ve seen them in various colors as well.

Lastly, if you get into iPad lettering, you’re probably going to want to start sharing videos. The Procreate app recently got an update that adds the ability to do screen recordings in addition to the automatic time-lapse videos it could generate before, so that’s a great option for most people. If, however, you want to record a video from a superb app like Amaziograph, it can be difficult to hold onto your iPad and your phone at the same time, so you’ll want a tripod or arm to hook your phone into to get a good recording. I was worried that these would cost a fortune, but I recently found one on Amazon for super cheap that is both strong and flexible, and it clips onto my desk to make recording super easy. It’s what I’ve used to make all my most recent Instagram videos.

There are a zillion variations of these products available, and it all kind of depends on what you like. These are just some of the best (and least expensive) ones I’ve found so far. As always, I love to see everyone’s lettering, so tag me on Instagam @AlexisGentry if you found this list helpful or if you use my free Procreate brushes because I’d love to check out your work.

My thoughts on ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

I recently finished reading the uber best-seller Fifty Shades of Grey, which will soon become a Hollywood production, and I was left feeling intrigued, disappointed, angered, amused, disgusted and entertained. I had a lot to say about the book–and I’m sure there are going to be tons of fans who launch a tirade at me, but I welcome any discussion, so go ahead and tweet me or hit me up on facebook to tell me what you think.

Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy Let me start off by saying that I’m no English Lit major and I’m not a big time reader, but I have read my fair share of book-to-screen adaptations and, since this book will soon become a movie, I feel qualified to make a judgement call. This review will contain some spoilers, so consider yourself warned!
Read the rest on trashwire.com.

Have you read the books? What did you think? And what does the popularity of BDSM erotica say about today’s women?