I am excited to once again bring you another interview, continuing with a wonderful content creator within the MTG space, and you'll come to learn, beyond. The Lorebrarian channel is one filled to the brim with great videos covering the many Planes of Magic the Gathering and all of its inhabitance. With this series, I hope to give you a bit of an insight into the many different minds that find Lore fascinating or for those of you that want a peek behind the curtain into what it's like making content for all of you on Youtube. So sit down get comfortable and join me in welcoming Eric of the Lorebrarians channel.
I am so happy to have a chance to speak with you today, I love your channel and have been keeping a close eye on your well-deserved growth. You have a real knack for Youtube content and even going back to your earliest work I could tell a lot of passion went into what you were doing, and I can really appreciate that. Now not everyone may be familiar with the Lorebrarians channel so for those that don't know who you are and what your channel is all about can you give us a brief explanation of you and your channel?
Thank you for the kind words and for the opportunity to chat. For those who've not heard of me, which is likely many, my name is Eric and I'm a student currently finishing up my doctoral degree. During one of my clinical rotations I had a spark of creativity and passion, and so decided to start making my own Youtube videos. My channel, which has been up for about a year now, is called The Lorebrarians and it is dedicated to exploring the rich settings, histories, characters, and stories that comprise fantasy universes.
I grew up playing card games like Magic: The Gathering, video games like The Elder Scrolls and Dark Souls, and reading many books of high fantasy. From them grew an appreciation for the worldbuilding, the storytelling, and creativity involved in developing such awe-inspiring works as well as a passion to seek out and uncover all the mysteries I could.
To discover the hidden gems and side-stories that, although often overlooked, help create a living, breathing fantasy world. One day I decided I wanted to share that passion with others and help shed light on my favorite fictional universes. So after a bit of research into video creation and overcoming inner hesitation, I uploaded my first video. The Lorebrarians is currently focused on the Multiverse of Magic: The Gathering because it is the setting I am most passionate about, but I have just begun a series into The Witcher and I have plans on including more works in the future.
I have to say I am pretty excited to learn about Witcher Lore on your channel, as I loved the games and the tv show, but have never read the books. So, with something like Youtube I know personally, I had some influences when it came to content and creators that helped spark my imagination and gave me the drive to do what they did. So I wanted to ask, is there a channel or channels that are a sort of inspiration to you and what you do? What creators planted that bug in you that made you want to pursue making videos on the platform?
One of the great things about Youtube as a platform is that there are so many people putting forth amazing content about anything and everything. There are certainly channels both within and without the realm of MTG that sparked a creative passion and desire to make my own content.
The two Magic creators that I was first drawn towards were The Mana Source and The Aether Hub, the latter of whom you've just recently had on the website! Their passion and dedication for the lore of Magic: The Gathering got me interested in the story of one of my favorite games, pushing me to seek out things beyond the surface level. And I really appreciated their ability to simplify some super convoluted storylines into bits of digestible and entertaining information.
Outside the creative world of Magic content, there have been two Youtube channels that I've looked up to for a long time and hope to emulate; they are Emergency Awesome and Vaatividya. The sheer breadth of content and depth of knowledge that Emergency Awesome has is amazing, and so is his ability to bring together all things nerdy into one place for everyone to enjoy. I'd have to say, though, that Vaatividya is my biggest role model. I fell in love with the Dark Souls franchise and stumbled upon his channel in its infancy. His ability to weave fantastic stories, present information in complete and comprehensive tales, and capture the audience with his prose and scriptwriting is second to none. These are all the types of content creators that add so much life to a world, setting, series, or franchise you already love and they are a group of which I hope to become a part.
I think AetherHub has been an inspiration for many within the MTG Lore space (I know he was for me) as he really is one of the OG's and a really great writer. I'll have to check out those none MTG channels though, as your description has me curious. Now what I really want to know is what has been your favorite part of being a content creator on YouTube been? There has to be a sort of driving force, and for everyone it's a little different, so what is it about making Lore videos, whether in the process or the outcome, that keeps you going?
Oh wow, that is a great question and a tough one to answer. I like to think of myself as a lifelong learner, always striving to add to my skills and knowledge, to be a better version of myself than that of yesterday. Because of that pursuit, I've become an avid historian, reading many books, listening to tales passed down from older generations, and discovering the mystical and mythical heroes of our own past.
Luckily, this translates so easily to fictional universes and fantasy worlds, whose settings and histories can be as rich as our own.
So for me as a content creator, much of my passion comes from the process. I know I sound like a geek, but I love pouring over the research, sifting through all the information I can on a topic, connecting diverse and divergent threads or stories, digging deep until I stumble upon that "aha moment". That lightbulb that flashes when I finally understand a story (and usually two dozen other stories along the way), when it all makes sense. And that fills me with such awe, such passion, and inspiration that I HAVE to share what I've learned with others so they too can appreciate what these places have to offer. And if, after it's all said and done, just one person leaves thinking "that's pretty cool" or "wow, I didn't know that" I know it was all worth it. And then it's on to the next tale.
This is why I love doing these interviews because everyone has a different answer and for me, it's cool to get this sort of insight. I would have to say our motivations are quite different and that's a good thing.
Personally, I just love the creative writing and video editing side of things more than any other aspect, I think that's why I gravitate to Color Philosophy more than lore. Now I know that content creation isn't always sunshine and lollipops, it can be tough at times and I know personally there were moments where I doubted if I should continue, albeit that was more in the early days. So I would like to know what sort of struggles or hurdles do you face with making content? Was there a time when you almost gave up and if so what kept you going?
Most definitely. In the early days, it was tough. I had these grand visions for my channel, thinking I could be that "next big thing" and when the numbers didn't add up it was a little demoralizing. But I got out of that mindset quickly, not caring about the views or subscribers and just making videos because my heart was in what I was doing. That allowed me to consistently create content without the emotional baggage of worrying about its "success." More recently, the struggles have cropped back up but now it's a question of balance.
We all have so many obligations in our day-to-day lives, be it school, work, exercise, socializing, or the like, that it is difficult to find time for everything. I'm currently in the last semester of my education and am swamped with projects, studies, and lining up interviews for careers, and it's been a struggle to continue to make videos. But I told myself that content creation is a hobby of mine, an escape, and so what if I don't release a video every Monday of every week? It will always be there for me to enjoy as I have time, and I think I'm all the better for making that decision.
I can feel this exact statement so much. I found the early days to be the hardest as you put just as much work into your videos in the beginning as you do now, but the growth is slow. It wasn't really until I hit 1k where I started to feel that side of it alleviate, and not to mention after that first 1k things start to snowball.
The balance is for sure another struggle and I honestly haven't enjoyed content creating more than when I decided I wouldn't force 1 video a week. That said for any aspiring YouTubers reading this, I would say that you will have to bust your ass, in the beginning, to get the ball rolling and weekly videos just fall into that. Now let's step away from YouTube and talk about the game that brings us all together, Magic. I always like to know what a person's favorite Plane is and why?
That's a tough one, there are so many cool planes out there in the Multiverse! But if I had to choose, I think Alara wins out the top spot. The design and balance of the block was amazing, all the more because it was the first to focus on 3-color combinations (which totally blew my mind by the way).
I love the feel and sense of identity within each shard, from the ordered castes of Bant to the primordial jungles of Jund to the necrotic wastes of Grixis. Each shard is a world in its own right and the cards evoked that feeling so well. Something you've explored in your own Color Pie series. It was also a powerhouse of a set- giving us a cycle of ultimatums, a cycle of heralded cards, Path to Exile and so many other cards that have become staples in many formats. Finally, the art is just sick. I mean have you seen Predator Dragon, Knight-Captain of Eos, Shard Convergence, etc.? I love all the massive creatures, powerful spells, and dauntless warriors represented on the plane and physically holding the cards gives me chills. Plus, it was the first time we saw Nicol Bolas as a planeswalker; everyone's favorite baddie.
Great choice, and in the end it's sort of a five-for-one kind of Plane. As someone who now devotes so much time to color philosophy, especially Shards and Wedges I do appreciate the foundation Alara set in place.
Speaking of Planes, I really did enjoy your comprehensive breakdown of the Plane of Kaldheim, and for those that haven't watched it, I'll leave a link to the video here on the right. That said what are your thoughts on Kaldheim as a setting? Would you be excited to return one day, or is it worth leaving behind?
Well thank you! The Plane Explained series has become one of the more popular on the channel and I love making them. I think Kaldheim was a success both from a lore perspective and a gaming perspective. It is an absolutely massive plane with a little bit for everyone; plus I think many players enjoy the historically/mythologically driven sets. Something about their connection to our own tales certainly resonates with me.
Viking Raiders, divine Valkyrie, demon hordes, and personable Gods all making their mark across the 10 Realms- what's not to like?
I think where Kaldheim falls short is in its brevity; with such a rich and expansive world, it is challenging to cram everything into one set. So, to answer, I would love to see a return to Kaldheim. Another set exploring the relationships between the different races and fleshing out the history and future of the 10 Realms would be absolutely amazing.
I couldn't agree more it's an extremely captivating Plane, really the only issue with the worlds as of late is the lack of time spent in them. I really think Magic: the Gathering lore could benefit greatly from a 2 set per Plane approach. Alright, with the past covered I would like to know what your hopes for Magic's future are. With a comic book coming down the pipeline soon, a DnD set and a shift towards more short stories MTG seems like it has a lot of potential to either shine or fall on its face. Are you hopeful for the future of Magic, from a lore perspective, or are they bound to repeat the same mistakes of the recent past?
The Magic Story has undergone some major restructuring in recent past with quite a bit of controversy. From the suspension of MTG story articles in favor of e-books, the rocky reception of the War of the Spark novels, and the reintroduction of story articles, lore has been difficult to acquire or digest for the Vorthos community. But I am hopeful that the feedback given by the community is helping to shape a consistent and well-written story for Magic in the years to come.
Personally, I am a fan of full-length novels and I think the height of Magic lore came in the late 90's and early 2000's when books like the Artifacts Cycle and Invasion Cycle were released to supplement sets. It allowed creative expansion and exploration of the stories surrounding the cards.
A similar theme to what we just discussed arises in today's storyline when we only spend one set on a given plane- there just isn't enough time to create a coherent story. Which is only amplified when the media used to present it comes in the form of short story articles. That being said, the writing has improved, the characters are quite interesting, and I am very excited to see where the story is headed, especially with the re-emergence of the Phyrexian threat.
I'm hopeful as well and I do believe things are at least moving in the right direction. Alright, I have one last question. So your channel intends to cover more than just Magic lore, like your upcoming witcher lore. What leads to that decision and why the Witcher first?
Great question. So when I first started my channel I wanted to cover the lore and stories behind many fantasy settings, but this first year was dedicated solely to MTG because it the universe in which I was most comfortable and required the least amount of hours from a research/study perspective. Most of my time in the early days was spent just learning the ins and outs of video production.
Now that I've gotten my feet firmly planted it's the perfect time to expand my horizons! I started with Witcher because I played the video games and read some of the books, and absolutely fell in love with the world.
On top of it, the Netflix series is sure to draw in many new fans and I want to share what I can with them. But I've recently been drawn to the wheel of time, and although nothing is official, people might be seeing it on my channel in the months to come too.
Well I have to say I am extremely excited to see what the future holds for your channel and I appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to talk with me. It's like I said at the top, I just love getting a different perspective from other content creators as everyone brings something new to the table. Good luck in all of your future endeavors and I hope we can collaborate sometime in the future. Stay safe it was great talking to you.
Thanks so much and thank you for having me on. It's been fun talking Magic and YouTube with another creator. Good luck to you as well, especially with the new schooling. I'd love to collaborate with you in the future, just reach out! Have a great night
What a great interview, I honestly just personally love doing these interviews, even just for myself. While I share a hobby with all of the content creators I feature, the reasons, motivations, and struggles are all different.
It really goes to show that there are real people behind the computer making the videos we all love and it fills me with inspiration to create and I hope you gained something from this as well. If there is another content creator within the magic space that you would like me to interview next then be sure to sign in and let me know in the comments down below. Thank you for your time, and I'll catch you in the multiverse bye!