Andrew Price, better known as the “Blender Guru” and founder of Poliigon.com (affiliate link which pays me a small commission if you purchase), has clearly built a successful business revolving around Blender. He has over 1.6 million subscribers on YouTube and in his recent podcast he explained he’s been his own boss for ten years.
He’s a good artist but even he admits he’s not the greatest, he’s never worked for a 3D studio and there are areas of Blender even he doesn’t understand. So how is he so successful and what can we learn from his success?
I’m going to sum up 5 reasons I believe Andrew Price has successfully made a living and reputation doing what many in the 3D community would love to. If Blender is just a hobby for you, you can apply these characteristics to almost any field.
#1: Consistency and Endurance
Yes, Blender Guru benefits from having started his Blender career young and over 15 years ago. He was an early adopter using Youtube as a platform for Blender tutorials. But that’s only a small piece of it. He’s maintained consistency over that time period and the quality of his tutorials has only improved. He takes the time to re-make tutorials as they become obsolete and he has expanded his business beyond just tutorials.
Anyone who has researched how to be successful on Youtube has been told “be patient and keep creating.” Andrew Price has kept at it for a long time and I guarantee he wasn’t supporting himself solely with Blender and Youtube at the start.
The lesson here is whatever you are doing with Blender, you need to stay at it, don’t give up and always look to improve over time if you want to make a career out of it.
Blender Guru tutorials are recommended by nearly everyone on Reddit and in Facebook groups because they work. They’re of good quality and actually teach something. I can vouch for the quality of Poliigon materials and models. I’ve come to trust them for their quality. Andrew Price may not post content every day or week but when he does, it’s worth the wait.
Price has said many times how much work he puts into his tutorials, often re-recording them at least five times to get them right. The result is probably a lot better than if he posted his first draft…which is obviously what a lot of tutorial creators do.
If you want to be like Blender Guru, I recommend focusing on making quality products. Whether you’re making models, materials, tutorials or final pieces of art – the investment in effort will go a long way for your reputation.
#3: The Donut
The Blender Guru’s donut tutorial is so well-known it’s become a right-of-passage to new Blender users. What Andrew Price did by creating the donut tutorial is he created a brand. It was something unique that served to set him apart from other creators and make you remember him. This brand has lasted for years.
If you want people to remember you, find a different way of doing things, a different style or something that separates you from others in a creative way. There is tons of advice on the web about building a brand but the best ones are creative and memorable…like the donut.
Whether it’s his soothing Australian accent or his overall personality, you can’t help but like the guy. Andrew Price is comfortable speaking on camera for extended lengths of time. He mixes in personal stories and has a sense of humor that makes you feel like you know him. Some of this is surely natural but it’s also something you get better at with time.
If you want to become a Youtube personality, you need to be likeable. Practice becoming more comfortable when recording tutorials or doing voice-overs…but maybe skip trying to fake his accent.
Having watched pretty much every Blender Guru tutorial and podcast, it’s clear to me that Andrew Price puts in effort behind the scenes to stay abreast of developments in 3D. He’s attended Blender conferences and reads up on trends, fundamentals of art and even other 3D software programs. This expands his knowledge and allows him to speak intelligently on a wide range of topics.
In any field, those who truly excel are those who put in extra work and soak up information like a sponge. Branch out, learn as much as you can about a topic of interest and then find a related topic and keep going. Stay informed on current trends in your field. It’s not as hard as it sounds when it’s something you’re passionate about.
For Blender specifically, the Blender developers do a weekly livestream called “Blender Today” where they discuss current developments for Blender. I’ve found it’s a great way to stay up to date with what’s coming next in Blender.
#6: Multiple Income Streams
The Blender Guru doesn’t make all of his money from one source of income. Although he provides his tutorials for free, he’s surely making some money for the number of views on his Youtube channel. He’s also branched out and created Poliigon which sells high-quality models and textures. I’ve thrown money his way for both the Grass Essentials and Rock Essentials bundles (which were worth it!). He has a podcast and probably a handful of other income streams we don’t even know about.
What we can learn from this should be obvious. Two income streams are better than one. While you need to keep quality in mind, why not look for ways to double-dip on your earning potential with Blender? If you’re making 3D art or selling models, why not create a tutorial on how you do it? If you’re making popular tutorials, sell premium content on Patreon. If you’re into developing add-ons, create a blog about development trends.
There are plenty of opportunities to expand on what you already do well and one of the reasons Blender Guru can focus entirely on Blender and 3D as his career is because he’s capitalized on those multiple income streams.