Vogue spoke with beauty vlogger Gigi Gorgeous ahead of VidCon 2017.

What started you on your YouTube career?

“Honestly, I would have to say what started my YouTube career was pure boredom. I was in ninth grade, in a catholic school where I felt I couldn’t completely express myself and when my best friend Marc Lamentac mentioned that he watched a YouTube video of Michelle Phan doing her makeup start to finish, I was intrigued and instantly hooked after that.”

Was it hard to get it ‘out there’ straight away – was it ever frustrating to the point you thought ‘Who is actually going to watch my channel?’

“At the beginning, I actually hid a lot of my videos from my entire family and some of my friends because I was embarrassed. I didn’t know anyone doing this; filming themselves and posting it online, so I felt weird about it. But my younger cousin saw one of my tutorials online, told my Mom and she confronted me about it and the rest is history.”

YouTube is the place so many people use as their point of news/entertainment/information contact – do you take a look at ‘traditional’ media at all?

“I love waking up every day and checking my social media platforms to see what I’ve missed. I also do turn to traditional media and read a variety of online outlets for additional news.”

What are three or four tips you would give to someone starting a YouTube channel?

“Be authentic, stay consistent, and be confident. Since I essentially started making videos when YouTube was still new, I have had time to build my confidence. I now feel more confident than ever, as I have a strong support system. It’s very important to know yourself before entering the YouTube community and having an idea of what you want to create. Viewers will see what is really you and what is not. Be true to yourself.”

Is it important to stick with what you know – as opposed to trying to be all things to everyone?

“I think it’s a little bit of both. Sticking with what you know is key, because you can speak to it and feel confident about what you put out. However, I also think it is important in listening to what your audience is saying, taking it and applying it to your ideas.”

What will the next 5–10 years bring: where can you see your channel going?

“I have always said and will continue to say that it is SO important to have fun and enjoy what you do, especially in this industry. It is so easy to get caught up in it all and possibly lose yourself when people are telling you what to say and potentially who to be. I see my career as a kaleidoscope of endless possibilities. I have a very strong work ethic and I basically want to take over the world (hehe).”

What is your favourite thing about creating content – the reaction you get from people and that fantastic sense of having built a real, interactive community?

“By far my favourite part about creating content is just that; it’s my content. I’ve had a variety of different work experiences, but nothing compares to the freedom YouTube and what new media gives you.”

How important is an event like VidCon for you to all get together, as I’m sure it probably doesn’t happen very much?!

“It’s surreal whenever an event like VidCon goes down. Whether it’s LA, Amsterdam or most recently Australia, the feeling is none other than electric. I’m a very visual person and whenever I get to meet, hug, laugh, or even cry with people; it is absolutely magical. They are the ones who keep me strong, keep me going, and keep me – me.”

Who do you look up to in the creator space and admire?

“This might sound cheesy, but I see all of us YouTubers as one big family. We all literally started from the bottom and whenever ANY person reaches a big moment, I have nothing but love and support. I love creators like Tyler Oakley, Lilly Singh, Eva (MyLifeAsEva), Lauren (LaurDIY), EpicMealTime, Grace Helbig, Hannah Hart, Mamrie Hart. They all share the same message that being unique is amazing and that you should embrace it and hope that it empowers others in doing so.”

What do you see as the next new frontier when it comes to online creation/creators?

“Social media is everchanging with the constant tweaks and updates to its platforms, but I think what’s next is finding more ways to push boundaries. Sharing the most intimate and raw look into someone’s life to hopefully educate others on whatever it is they are going through is such a powerful tool. I released a documentary with YouTube Red entitled “This Is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous” and it has been the most transparent and intimate piece of work I have ever released.

But having said that, it’s been the most rewarding. Letting kids, teens and adults all over the world know that they are NOT alone is so important, especially in times like now. There is so much anger, hate and pressure in the world to be perfect, but at the end of the day I want to let them know that you’re beautiful because you’re different.”

Is there one creator space that viewers can never get enough of?

“I think beauty and fashion is BOOMING more than ever right now in the YouTube space, but having said that I think the personal stories are what keep the viewers tuned in. I’ve noticed that when I started sharing more about my personal life with my supporters, it made us closer.

I think it’s human nature to be fascinated by other peoples’ lives and YouTube is a perfect outlet for that. You can watch a video about someone who’s just come out to their parents, someone venting about their break up, etc. YouTube is a beautiful space for people to share their personal stories and I have confidence in saying that this platform has saved many lives by allowing people to share these stories.”

Find her on YouTube here.

This article originally appeared on vogue.com.au