YouTube. A platform that can showcase the creative talents of many. From music videos, comedy sketches, look-books and Q&As, through to advice segments and beauty tutorials; these categories are just a few that make up a digital community for like-minded individuals.
Exploring the worlds of TV and YouTube, Luke Franks emerged onto the digital platform in 2014. The same year he became The X Factor’s online presenter, providing backstage footage from contestants.
Over the years, Luke’s content has developed, with videos ranging from blogs, challenges, interviews through to celebrity style inspired videos; racking up over 11,000 subscribers. He has also been involved with other channels including Maximum Pop, where he interviewed artists including The Vamps, Fifth Harmony and Ariana Grande. As well as his work on YouTube he’s part of ITV’s team of presenters, heading up CITV’s Scrambled.
We caught up with Luke to find out what it is like to be on YouTube at the moment, his careers within the TV industry and the influence fashion has; not only inspiring the content on his channel, but for him as an individual.
Being able to develop and improve skills allows you to progress further. Luke Franks applied his knowledge of working within the TV industry to the creation of his YouTube channel. “For YouTube, you have to learn to relax and not be perfect, if you mess up, keep it in; it’s probably funny. With TV, generally you have to get it ‘right’, so I’ve found that quite different.”
To further his experience within radio, during his time at university Luke ‘spent a lot of time at the student radio station. “I made demos and sent them to London stations, then started filming all the interviews I was doing and set them out.” Through consistency, “slowly, people booked me for stuff and it just kept going”, he added.
“I think I care less in a good way. I used to want to get every audition, but now I realise I can make my own stuff and if an audience follows you, then you’re good to go,” he explains, thinking about his personal growth initially in TV to now.
The longer you commit in any aspect of life, there are bound to be obstacles which are able to be overcome and potentially become something to be enjoyed, rather than feared. “Its nice you don’t have to edit anything (in TV) and get to work with a crew of people often, rather than just on your own. But I love that with YouTube. You are your own boss.”
In contrast to the world of TV, the idea of ‘clickbait self promotion’ in terms of the YouTube platform is one that Luke can sometimes find hard. “I like to think good and unique content would speak for itself” he laments. At times, a few rules are sometimes bent to a certain extent when believing quality content deserves to recognised. But beyond the visuals, what qualities make up a good YouTuber? “I like people who just do something interesting, talk to their audience, use their platform for good when they can and not take themselves too seriously!” Luke explains.
We all, as much as we may say otherwise, like to observe the lives of individuals we’ve never met. People post what people want to see. It’s about providing aesthetically pleasing content throughout, consistency and keeping an image; whatever that may be. On the flip side, there are aspects of people that you wouldn’t have known otherwise. It’s the concept of if you didn’t snap it, post it on Facebook, tweet about it or post it on Instagram, did that even happen?
Fashion also comes into play in the world of Luke Franks. We all know the feeling of seeing something in store or online, thinking you may not be able to pull it off, but you give it a go but Luke has always encouraged his viewers to make daring choices.
“Souvenier Jackets!” he exclaims. “I would have gone nowhere near them two years ago, but then suddenly I started to love them. Wider trousers seem to be popping up too but I have to stick to skinny jeans!” On the other hand, there were items that he thought he should steer away from. “I saw people wearing printed neckerchiefs, which I thought were cool, but I was not brave enough, ha!”
With fashion, you’re able to mix and match, take style inspirations from pretty much anyone, even replicate a particular decade. Creativity is depicted in many ways. “The 50s. After the war, people were trying new things, but also it was quite clean cut. I love the American varsity style. I hope that will be back soon. Suits with a bit of colour. It seemed like a cool mix of traditional and experimenting with new ideas”.
Creativity is not only seen in person, but now more so through social media. Every day, there’s a new Snapchat filter, a new upload to YouTube, and appealing Instagram posts. Outfit grids, disposable camera shots, and holiday snaps are just about enough for me to click that follow button. But what kind of content makes Luke Franks give an Instagram account a follow? You may want to take note. “Either a really awesome aesthetic or consistently cool style pictures. Or something stupid and hilarious, probably about Dogs”.
Similar to the style of the 50s, Luke’s usually goes for a “minimalist look.” But to add a little hint of colour and individuality, a band tee does the trick. “A lot of band merchandise has colours and big graphics that I’m into.” Some of his favourite items at the moment include The Weeknd and Justin Bieber’s merchandise range.
Just like having people that inspired his initial YouTube journey, including Jacksgap, for their “unique and different content,” the likes of Jaden Smith and Kanye West are inspiring the aesthetic of Franks today. “I don’t love all of it, but I love the oversized trends and the cameo/ military stuff!”. He also admires Nick Grimshaw, who “always looks great and I loved his Topshop collection.” He also appreciates the styles of fellow YouTubers, John Melchico, Gallucks and Julia Dang.
“I’m the happiest I’ve been in terms of what I’m making, with hopefully accessible style videos for guys, but that girls find interesting too,” Luke mentions, regarding where he sees his channel taking him. It’s always positive to have plans for the future. “I’d like to eventually go a bit more luxury with the products/brands and explore street style across the world.”
With this in mind, how would you say you can make the most out of YouTube as a platform? “Regular, longer uploads. There’s a bit of a shift away from purely numbers, if you make really cool stuff, send it to brands that fit and start a relationship that way,” Luke explains.
“You have to get found somehow, so making content you like is important (else you’ll get bored). But think about trends that people are searching for and might stumble upon your work. That can help.”