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Creator of the Week with Amanda Lee

Meet Amanda Lee, a voice actress and vocalist known for her English adaptations and covers of anime and video-game songs. 

Location: Florida

Patreon Page: www.Patreon.com/LeeandLie

Q+A with Amanda Lee


Patreon
: Describe, in your own words, what it is that you create.

Amanda Lee: I am most known for my English covers and adaptations of anime and video-game songs! Though I am currently working on an original EP, and hope to do more original work in the future!

How did you get your start as a creator?

AL: I started uploading YouTube videos in 2006 just for for fun! YouTube was brand new and my friends and I loved covering songs just as a hobby – and while they’ve stopped creating, I kept going because I was obsessed — And now I can call it my full-time job, which is kinda crazy.

What did it take to end up where you are today?

AL: Endless dedication – and it sounds dramatic, but sacrifice. I started creating on YouTube when I was 14, so I had to constantly battle to keep it in my life while juggling school and part-time jobs on the side. I wasn’t making any income off my work back then, so it was purely fueled by the love I had for it. There were a few times I convinced myself I would one day have to give it up, but I never did!

If you could be any ocean creature aside from a dolphin or a shark, which would you pick and why?

AL: A MERMAID! Does that count?! You said ANY ocean creature! When I was little I wanted to be a mermaid when I grew up – I still do, actually.

At what point did you decide to develop your creative passion into a business?

AL: It was actually Patreon that truly helped me turn my hobby into my full-time job.. So 2014? I was still in college, and trying to decide what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I didn’t want a desk job – that was my worst fear. I wanted to do music, and it frustrated me because I had no idea how to make it a reality – until Patreon. I launched my page and somehow gained enough support to completely fund my videos and songs – And then we hit stretch goal after stretch goal. And I’m not saying this because I’m answering these questions FOR Patreon .. It’s truly why I’m where I am today.

What are three tactics you’ve used to grow your audience over time?

Fan-Engagement will always be #1 to me. It’s so important to talk to your fans and to really connect with them – and social media makes that easier than ever now. Reading messages from fans is what keeps me going – And feedback from them is always the most honest!

#2 Open Mind. Things are always changing and can always be improved. I always try to keep an open mind that whatever I think is ‘good’ means it can be made better.

#3 Collabs – I truly believe collaborating and working with as many artists as possible is the best way to grow your audience. You’re reaching their fans, and they’re reaching yours – And it’s also so much fun!

What has been the most effective monetization method for you the last year?

Social media! Social media has such massive amounts of potential for reaching out to new fans and for capitalizing on the work you’re already producing – or have already produced. Having accounts on as many platforms as possible and updating them frequently (multiple times a week, if not daily) to keep fans engaged and to let them know what and when new content is coming. I’m constantly posting about upcoming projects and counting down for releases – For example, if I have an album that’s preorder, I’ll try to build that hype up to capitalize on the amount of attention it gets on release day.

When was the hardest time in your creative career, and what do you wish your present self could’ve told your past self during that time?

I brushed on this in an earlier answer but it was definitely during college when I was trying to decide if I should continue with music or pursue a more “realistic job” – or a “real job” as people like to call it. I struggled for a long time, knowing it was a hobby I would have to give up – so I wish I could go back in time, shake myself by the shoulders and tell myself to just focus on what I love, and everything else will fall into place.

What is the greatest challenge you face right now as a creator?

I think the greatest challenge for me is finding new things to keep the momentum going. I love creating music so much that I’m scared one day I’ll hate it, especially now that it’s both my hobby and my job. I’m constantly exploring new paths and collaborating with new artists to keep things fresh and interesting!

How have your fans helped you throughout your creative career?

It sounds incredibly cheezy, but the Leegion (my fanbase) is my inspiration – they’re what keep me going and what inspire me to continue to create. It breaks my heart when I hear of creators who ignore comments or never respond to fans on social media because that’s EVERYTHING to me. They’re the reason I’m able to do what I love – so hearing their stories and being able to connect with them is a dream come true.

When did you decide to launch on Patreon, and in what ways has it affected your creative goals?

I launched my Patreon page back in 2014 to gain support and funds to be able to create music as my full-time job – and to be able to hire artists and instrumentalists for my songs … and it changed everything. Now instead of building my goals in silence, I’m able to reach out to this wonderful community of my most devoted fans and ask their opinions on things – And to set it as a publicly known goal so that others can join in to make it happen. It’s amazing!

Patrons are like family - they’re there for you and want to help make the dream a reality. Click To Tweet

What does Patreon mean for artists and creators?

On the surface, Patreon is a membership platform, but under all of that it’s a special, tight-knit community of the most devoted and supportive fans a creator has. Patrons are like family – they’re there for you and want to help make the dream a reality.

How did you first announce your Patreon page to your community? What was the general feedback?

When I first launched my Patreon page, I spread the news everywhere, but the most important place was YouTube. It was really important that I made visually interesting and engaging videos, so that people would watch it all the way through and be interested enough to actually click the link (which is harder than it sounds, trust me!) I was worried that no one would want to contribute to the page or call me a “sell out” but the feedback was overwhelmingly supportive. I remember hitting our first two stretch goals within a day and it was insane to watch the numbers of the Patreon family grow! Even now – I just launched a new Patreon video on YouTube explaining how I plan to use the platform for moving forward, and the response was even more amazing than before!

When times are tough as a creator, is there anything you continue to come back to, something that keeps you going and keeps your eye on the prize?

OH, CREATIVE BLOCK. THY NOBLE RIVAL! Everyone gets momentarily crippled by it – it’s inevitable for an artist. The best way that I’ve learned to break from it is to change things up – Stop what you’re working on and work on something new. Just for you. Work on that thing you’ve been wanting to do FOREVER but never had the chance, listen to new artists/songs (I recommend instrumental songs or songs in a language you don’t speak), or look back on old works that you remember loving to work on and remind yourself what it was that made you feel that way. Sometimes remembering what made you inspired can inspire you again!

What’s next for you? Are there any exciting projects or big goals you are working towards?

MY ORIGINAL EP “HOURGLASS”! I’ve been doing covers for over 10 years now… So FINALLY I can release some original songs for a change! This EP has been in the works for over a year now, some of the songs on the album even longer, so it’s a dream to finally see that last song being completed. Excited to release it later this year!

If you could challenge creators to do one thing that worked for you, or was transformative in your experience, what would it be?

Go out of your comfort zone. This sounds like a boring answer – but I mean it. Do something completely different to broaden your horizon. Work with new people and collaborate – It’s amazing what a challenge can produce.

If you could collaborate with one creator, dead or alive, who would it be?

Man, this question is tough… but Porter Robinson! I worked with him once before on his Worlds album, where I recorded some speaking voice over, but I would love to collaborate and sing on a track one day. His music video for Shelter is so breathtaking and inspiring – I would love to work on something with that emotional depth one day – Just a dream!

That’s all, folks! Want to say hey? Reach out to Amanda here:

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