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Pre-order our book YOU ARE AN ARTIST (which includes new assignments!) here: At VidCon 2014, we hit up some of our favorite vloggers and hosts and asked them to do an Art Assignment. Any one of their choosing! Watch what kind of art skills Craig Benzine, Joe Hanson, Emily Graslie, Mike Rugnetta, and Steve Goldbloom have to offer.

Steve Goldbloom / Everything But the News:
Mike Rugnetta / PBS Idea Channel:
Emily Graslie / The Brain Scoop:
Joe Hanson / It's Okay to be Smart:
Craig Benzine / Wheezy Waiter:


Sarah: Hi, we're here at Anaheim, California at Vidcon, where I've asked some of my favorite vloggers and hosts if they wouldn't mind responding to one of the previous art assignments. So let's go see what they can do.

Steve: Hey this is Steve from PBS's channel Everything But the News. This week's assignment comes from Jace Clayton AKA DJ Rupture and it's to find a quiet spot, a moment of zen.

Mike: My name is Mike Rugnetta from PBS Idea Channel and I responded to Intimate Indispensable Gif.

Emily: Hi I'm Emily Graslie. I host the educational YouTube channel called The Brain Scoop. So today I am going to be doing the Art Assignment Psychological Landscape.

Joe: My name is Joe, from It's Okay to be Smart. And I'm responding to David Brooks's Art Assignment, Never Seen Never Will.

Craig: Hello, I'm Craig, also known as WheezyWaiter on YouTube. And I am doing a stake-out Art Assignment, where we place a walkie-talkie with a sticky pad that says "free advice" and we're going to place it down there and I'm just gonna wait and see if anyone needs any advice, and I will give it to them - 'cause I'm really good at advice.

 Steve Goldbloom - Quietest Place

Cameraman: It is quiet in here but erm...

S: I don't think we're allowed to film in there. They don't want that. Makes sense.

This is not a good spot I don't think.

Do you know where I can find some quiet spot? It's just my head is bananas right now
I don't know, man.

S: How does this ... have anything to do with YouTube?


This isn't bad actually...
[the crowd screams]

Surprisingly quiet here actually. There's sort of a humming sound of people who lost consciousness because of the YouTube stars and I think just people on their phone, which er doesn't make much noise.

I'm just gonna relax here for a bit. [straining] Noah. I just need the, I just wanna hide, lie down. This is nice.

Okay. This is actually great. I think right this is perfect, I'm just gonna hang here for a minute; I think I needed this. Thank you, Art Assignment.

 Mike Rugnetta - Intimate, Indispensable Gif

M: So I made an animated gif of myself playing guitar. It it the thing that I do that makes me feel whole, right, like we all these things that we do that make us feel like who we are? And for me that's playing guitar, but it's just not a thing that anybody ever sees. I went through so many iterations of ideas trying to figure out what I wanted to do - trying to figure out like what would be the most appropriate and had to just fall back on this like, no it's like intimate, indispensable, like what is the thing that for you has that feeling of intimacy that you could not give up. I had to just not intellectualize it, had to not like try to make something that was reaching for some external sense of, of success or good as far as, as far as a, like the idea of an art work. 

And it's not well lit. I did not worry about lighting it, I just, I just extended the legs on the tripod to the point where I thought it would probably be good enough. Um, and then just started rolling on my camera and then put it into Photoshop and did no... trying, didn't try to make it look better, didn't try to make it look professional. I spent a little bit to try and make it loop, 'cause I like GIFs that loop as close to perfectly as possible. Er, but, but yeah, that's er, that was my like attempt at "intimacy", is maybe, is maybe why I made those decisions.

Looking at it now, I like it more because of the characteristics where it's, it's not this perfect thing. It helps you to figure out what that thing is, and you might not, or know the thing that you think is the answer to this animated gif, it might not be IT, when you realize that you're trying to make it this beautiful, perfect, aesthetic experience, because it probably isn't. It probably isn't, It probably isn't in real life. So go and make an Intimate Indispensable Animated Gif. What's stopping you? You. It's just you.

 Emily - Psychological Landscape

E: I chose this one because I'm actually a landscape painter, I graduated with a studio art degree, and I really love this Art Assignment because it helped to put little more context around the landscape itself and like the figure in place in space. So I got really, I got thinking about it and I'm just really excited to be doing that one, so here we go.

So I'm going to make my psychological landscape, and I have no idea what it's going to look like at this point. I have some colored objects like, uh, little zip tie things and a bunch of Jolly Ranchers, and uh, so here we go.

Okay so I have my ground and I'm going to put my horizon line right here, I'm actually going to use a different color. Here's the horizon line, so all my points are going to converge somewhere along this imaginary line.

I got a ground, I got some nice flowers in space, rearrange that a little better and I need some kind of cloud atmosphere. I was also thinking when considering psychological landscape, it almost seems like the word psychological seems a little damaging, like something's broken a little bit which isn't at all the case, but I have that misconception, so I'm going to put a Band-Aid over here to symbolize, um, my extreme tiredness and that is that a Band-aid is solving my tiredness.

This is the happy, stable figure in my psychological landscape and it looks, it also looks like a balloon, so it's a balloon person that is floating happily into the the Jolly Rancher clouds, beyond the challenge of the Band-Aid in the middle of the table, with some lovely Vidcon drink token trees.

I think this might be my greatest piece of artwork, and what I love even more about it is that it'll, it'll be taken apart and it can never be recreated in this way. That's the true artistry of my masterpiece here.

So you guys have seen MY psychological landscape and now I'm really interested in seeing what you've gotta do. So make sure to submit your own video and I look forward to seeing it.

 Joe - Never Seen, Never Will

J: So what I've chosen is a cave in Mexico, the Naica Cave. They call it la Cueva de los Cristales. The discovery of this cave was an accident, and a mining company broke through a wall and a flood of water rushed out and they found these towering spires of gypsum crystals that are, you know, as long as bridges. Humans can walk on them, they can hug them, they are like trees made of rock.

The environment there is toxic, and as soon they unlocked that wall and let the outside air in, it began to deteriorate and it turns out that when we go in there to study it it's also toxic to us. So they've made the decision that they're gonna have to lock this cave away. We've had a few photographs, a few scientists have been able to go in there and study, but it shows the sort of fragility of these treasures that we unlock.

And it makes me wonder as we walk around or if you're walking through the mountains or the forest or wherever you might be, underneath the ground how many undiscovered or unknown, probably permanently unknown little treasures like this there must be, just under or feet and around us all the time. 
And this one in particular we've gotten to peek at it, but we know that it will disappear and we know that we'll have to let the water fill back up, this half million year old treasure. Artist Rachel Sussman calls this the quotidian versus deep time and we have very few ways of accessing this; looking out at the deep space or unlocking these sort of magical treasures like la Cueva de los Cristales. Um, so I'm sad that I'm never going to get to see it, but it's nice to wonder what else like that might be out there.

 Craig - Stakeout!

C: Free advice. Just push and hold the button and ask a question.
[Walkie-Talkie Bleeps]


Free advice, free advice, just push the button, free advice.  [bleep] Oh someone's looking at it. Free advice. You, you need some advice? [bleep]

Free advice, need any advice? I can give you free advice. Free advice. That looks like pretty good pizza you got there. Free advice? [bleep]
Free advice. Free advice. [bleep] 
Free advice. Anybody need any advice? Hey, do you have a question? I can answer your question. For free. [bleep]

Free advice, Sarah.

Sarah: I'm wondering if you can give me some advice on how we can make this stakeout work a little better. [bleep]

C: Free advice. You on the phone, free advice.
Free advice, Ma'am, with the flowery dress.

Person with other the free advice walkie-talkie:

Hello [bleep]

C: How are you today?[bleep]

Person: Fine [bleep]

C: Do you, do you need any advice? [bleep]

Person: Should we get dinner? 

C: Oh, what you should get for dinner? [bleep]
I'm partial to Indian food. I like chicken tikka masala, it's really good. [bleep]

Person: Oh? [bleep]

C: It can be spicy though so make sure it's not too spicy. [bleep]

Any advice you need.

Person 2: Not really? 

C: Okay, well, congratulations on knowing everything.

Here we go.

Person 3: Hello? [bleep]

C: Hello do you need some advice? [bleep]

Person 3: Yes! [bleep]

C: What do you need to know? [bleep]

Person 3: Relationship advice. [bleep]

C: Relationship, you need advice on relationships? [bleep]


Ah, well, what is your problem with a relationship? [bleep]

Person 3: Everything.[bleep]

C: Be yourself and be confident. [bleep]

Person 3: Thank you. [bleep]

C: You are welcome. [bleep]

Person 4: Hello? [bleep]

C: Hello [bleep]

Person 4: I need advice. [bleep]

C: What kind of advice do you need? [bleep]

Person 4: Advice on how to get my new puppy to like me.

C: Uh, be kind to your puppy, be loving, feed it, enough [bleep] and give it treats. [bleep]

Person 4:  I give my dog a lot but he still doesn't like me. [bleep]

C: Maybe if you got another puppy, as a companion, that dog would be happier. [bleep]

Person 4: Do you have a puppy? [bleep]

C: I don't have a puppy. [bleep] I like puppies though.

Person 4: Puppies are cute.

C: Puppies are super cute. [bleep]

Person 4: I know, I love puppies. [bleep]

C: Please put the walkie-talkie back on the chair. [bleep] 

Person 4: Are you watching me?

C: That was incredibly fun. I wanna, I want to do it more. I could do that all day long, but I have other things I have to do. I helped a guy get Indian food and uh, uh, some girl had some relationship problem, I guess. She didn't have any specifics but I helped, I thought I gave her some good advice. Gotta be confident, you know. And uh someone else just picked it up and walked with it and I told them to put it back and they got creeped out that I was watching them. Which I would expect, but, but hey, they were stealing it, so, jeez.


S: Excuse me, are all these people here to see me, from PBS?

Security Man: Um, I have no... they're here to see um Zo, Zoella.

Woman: Huh?

S: Are these people here to see me from PBS.

Woman: No I don't believe so.

S: Who are they here to see?

Security Man: Zoella.

S: Is this another show?

Woman: Um they're here to see Shane Dawson.