Franky Aguilar, a Jack of all Trades artist, partnered with TikTok during the COVID lockdown to produce forty educational videos to help students stuck at home. Creating quality content everyday, while working on other projects and surviving in these unprecedented times was not easy, but Franky Aguilar always finds creative ways to make things work.

How did you get involved with TikTok?

In April, TikTok invited me to participate in their new Creative Learning Fund. With so many students out of traditional classrooms, many were unable to continue their education. TikTok utilized their platform to reach these students and help them figure out new ways to learn at home.

The prtnership required me to create forty videos within a 7.5 week time period, ending in late June. As an artist and a lover of Educational Technology, I couldn’t pass on this unique experience but I knew it would be difficult to create so much content.

How did you manage to create so much content?

Well, I already had a lot of experience on TikTok, and no, I do not mean dancing! Given what I knew, the idea of creating a quality video each day, while working my regular job, was just unreal. That being said, there is always a way, and I figured it out.

I decided to start by creating a piece of art in one specific medium, and document the process in multiple videos throughout the week. As time went on, I moved my focus towards digital art. That is my area of expertise and I could make them quickly and efficiently.

Can you give us an example of the content?

During the first week I created a watercolor painting. I broke the content into five different videos, each with a different theme. They discussed watercolor paper, how to make a wash, the importance of material and the importance of dynamic backgrounds. Another week focused on Gouache as a medium and a couple of its rad techniques.

Later on, the videos included digital tutorials such as How to Trace Your Favorite Cartoons and How to Make Neon Art. Others covered Art History and basic art elements. These included Art History- Ancient to Realism and The Fundamentals of Design and Art. You can find links to these videos and more here.

Were there any bumps in the road?

There were huge ones! During the fourth week, a Black Lives Matter protest erupted directly outside of my studio. Tear gas filled the streets and I feared that my studio windows would be smashed in. I did not post that week but I did go on strike. I was ultimately barricaded in the studio, with cops at the doorstep. All I could do was eat some Pizza Hut and watch the situation unfold.

In response to this experience, my next videos had cyberpunk, apocalyptic themes. I made some awesome leather jackets too. By thinking outside of the box and really hustling, I finished my 40th video as promised even while everything was crumbling around me. You have to keep your word in business but to be honest, I never wanted to see a TikTok video again.

And of course, as I finalized my work, I received an email extending my deadline by 2 weeks.