- Ingrid Simone, Toca Magazine Executive Editor
SamanthasTV is just 15 years old, but she’s a veteran YouTuber whose popular Littlest Pet Shop videos showcase her creative storytelling. Now she’s channeling some of that creativity into all-new Toca Life: City webisodes. Toca Magazine asked SamanthasTV to share thoughts about creativity.
Toca Magazine: Storytelling takes a lot of creativity. Do you ever have trouble creating fresh, new ideas? If so, how do you overcome that?
SamanthasTV: When I first started back when I was 11 I used to have a lot of issues regarding how I would come up with ideas. I would watch TV shows, movies and read books aimed at my age group to get a good idea of what would be exciting and fun to make for my series. After years of filming I now have so many ideas that I’ve thought of by developing my own ideas from different situations and other content that I find. Also, I tend to use a lot of my own experiences to incorporate into my videos to make it more interesting for me to work on as I go along.
Toca Magazine: Can you tell us a bit about your creative process? Do you plan the plot and dialogue in advance, or are you creating the story as you play?
SamanthasTV: I find that I can work efficiently by improvising a lot of what I create. However, I always like to have a generalized idea of how the storyline will unfold before I film so I can use the ideas to fill in the scenes. I prefer creating the story as I go because I enjoy being able to go with whatever idea I feel like at the time of filming instead of being restricted to what the plots have been set out to be; I like being able to use my imagination with the story to add to the creativity.
Toca Magazine: Were your parents very supportive of you when you first started making LPS videos for YouTube?
SamanthasTV: I had always enjoyed filming my toys and creating wild storylines as a younger kid, and I had loved filming and photography ever since I was given my Dad’s old camera when I was 7. I used to put on “movie productions” using my toys on a little stage made out of cardboard and show them to my parents even when I was really young, so when I asked my parents whether I could start a YouTube channel of my own they weren’t as surprised with the idea! Originally they thought it would just be a small hobby that wouldn’t amount to much, and that I would probably lose interest soon enough, but as I gathered more subscribers and viewers they began to realize the potential of LPS videos. Now they both support me fully and recognize my “hobby” as something much more that will hopefully give me a wide range of opportunities for the future.
Toca Magazine: What’s your favorite part of Toca Life: City?
SamanthasTV: I personally love the random and quirky characters and customization of the game and I think it enables younger kids to be creative and imaginative when playing Toca Life: City. The wide range of places to visit with different objects to play with and to move about makes the game original and fun to play — every time I visit an area I always find something new that I didn’t notice before to use!