Kelli Caton on social media, art, and what's next
As an avid YouTube subscriber, I stumbled upon Kelli Caton's channel a few months ago, and eventually followed her on Instagram. As soon as I discovered her, I was immediately struck by her sense of artistic direction and perspective. I've seen hundreds of YouTube vlogs and "Get Ready With Me's," but Kelli brought a unique and cool flair to her videos that was new to me. What I really like about her is that she see's YouTube and Instagram as platforms for artistic expression and goes about them as if they were art pieces, rather than ways to attract more followers. She has a killer aesthetic that she brings to every video and photo she posts, and I am very excited to share her thoughts:
First things first:
Right now, what is your favorite:
• Film- Ahh I have a few: Pretty in Pink, Like Crazy, The Dreamers, Almost Famous, The Breakfast Club
• Song- Favorite of all time: Tiny dancer by Elton John or Come On Eileen by Dexys Midnight Runners. But currently, Sex by EDEN
• Article of clothing- jackets. always. love a good jacket. i wear them year round
• Quote- "Forever is composed of nows" by Emily Dickinson
Sasha: So, what made you want to start YouTubing?
Kelli: growing up, i spent a lot of time acting onstage and in front of the camera. i was doing theatrical work up until 13, (i stopped after not getting casted in a play because i'm a mess), and dedicated the ages of 14-18 acting in indie films here in texas. during high school, social media was really picking up and i was spending the majority of my time online instead of living out the typical "high school experience" which, i don't really regret at all. i took a video editing course my sophomore year and really developed this love for filmmaking. youtube allowed me to combine the two things i was most passionate about; acting and editing. i started out creating these super cringey music videos which hopefully never resurface because they're sure to ruin my life.
Sasha: Haha well, it’s clear you have such a unique artistic perspective in your photos and videos. I admire the fact that you use social media as a creative outlet rather than a way to just get more likes or followers. That’s a big reason I wanted to interview you. Can you speak more to Instagram and Youtube being as far as being creative outlets for you?
Kelli: Ah thank you so much! it feels good when people recognize the real reason as to why i still do what i do. numbers have always been just numbers to me. my circle of friends the past couple years were all internet personalities/youtubers and what worked for them was just something i couldn't force. my creative side stemmed way past the idea of sitting in front of a camera. every time i'd upload a video that didn't mean something to me, it was extremely unfulfilling. i'm just not good at it (but huge props to my friends that are! you guys rule)
Sasha: I love that! Where do you draw inspiration from for your videos and photos?
Kelli: I find inspiration through a lot of things. i think i pull from my own life experience, mostly. i'm interested by it. i watch a lot of indie films which i also think plays a huge part in my creative side. the lack of resources and money forces them to be a lot more imaginative and free spirited. they're timeless. there aren't as many rules and i like that. i want people to get that same feel for whatever it is i do.
Sasha: As a social media user, what’s your perspective on the way it’s being used by our generation? Thoughts on the power of social media?
Kelli: it's a curse and a blessing. the idea that anyone with access to the internet has the ability to construct their own future is exciting. i love that. it's so interesting to me. however, it opens the door for so much negativity and allows people to hide behind this facade that isn't really them. i really really love it when people are the same online as they are offline. the lack of human interaction amongst people nowadays is also a little rough to me. i'm a huge fan of connecting with people face to face because it puts the mystery back into play. i kinda really hate that everyone knows everything about everyone. granted, i try to be as open as i possibly can to the people that keep up with my shenanigans, but at the same time i still want to keep that mystery
Sasha: With your growing social media following, has there been anything you have struggled with?
Kelli: for the longest time i struggled with being more cautious of my self-expression, if that makes sense. at one time i was so caught up with the way people perceived me that i felt like i couldn't be 100% myself. i censored the way i felt and spoke so people didn't think i was weird. i didn't wear the things i wanted to wear because i didn't want to stand out too much. i think a lot of that coincides with my lack of self-confidence at the time too. people on the internet are ruthless and will not shy away from sharing their opinion, but you just gotta get to a point where you can let it roll off your back.
Sasha: Do you have any advice for anyone starting out on YouTube and for those starting to grow their social media presence?
Kelli: create the things that work for you and not necessarily what works for everyone else. understand that literally everything has already been done many times and probably really well, but when you take an idea and reinvent it as your own, that's when it works. that's when people take notice. i believe that youtube is to be used as a platform, so when you're uploading and pondering ideas, have those initial goals in mind. let your personality shine through in whatever you do.
Sasha: That's great. Do you look up to anyone?
Kelli: No one really in particular, but a lot of the amazing people i surround myself with now inspire the hell out of me which i think is important. they're all passionate and work their asses off and that drive rubs off on me every time i'm around them.
Sasha: You are starting to break into the music industry. What are your goals as far as that goes?
Kelli: music is great. i dedicated a lot of my teenage years to music and going to live shows because of how great the atmosphere was. i had a few friends in touring bands when i was in high school and every time they'd come to houston, i'd go and have the best time. it started with this huge desire to work on a tour because the idea of being around live music every night and waking up in a new city every morning sounded like a dream. fast forward to a few years later, those friends of mine that used to be on stage are now working with very successful artists/bands who have introduced me to so many new friends while living in new york city. it's a little crazy. those three months in the big apple were a huge self-discovery moment and opened my eyes to what i was most passionate about. like i said previously, my friends inspire me in more ways than one and i'm thankful they trust me enough to bring me around so i can get a feel for everything. i never want to take advantage of any of the opportunities i've been given thus far so i'm not in any rush to figure it out. i plan to always stay passionate but right now my friends are killing it and i'm enjoying sitting back and being along for the ride.
Sasha: That's so cool! If you could interview yourself are there any questions you would ask yourself? If so, what are they and can you answer them?
Kelli: hmmmm, yesterday i was trying to figure out if millennium or black & blue was bsb's best album and i never came up with an answer so probably that
Sasha: Haha, well, thank you so much!! Last but not least: Favorite apps for editing photos?
Kelli: big fan of VSCO but oddly enough i mess around with the instagram editing tool more than anything.
Check out more of Kelli's photos on her instagram (@kellicaton)