Art and creation— be it visual, or in the form of fashion, film, or music— provides the immense opportunity to express our individuality and organize our reality. For YouTube content creator, Zac Deck (ZD), by creating videos and finding solace in art, he realized his self-worth and potential to be happy. Now, with a strong online following, a budding career, and a number of outlets like music, fashion, and acting to relish his creativity, Deck has never been in a better place. And he could not be more pleased to share his world with you, too.
What inspired you to first start making YouTube videos?
ZD – I made videos a few times in high school with different friends and I really fell in love with it, but nothing that was ever YouTube-worthy. I watched YouTube for years, but was always like, “Zac, these guys are way cooler.” Then, I met a girl and she was like, “Zac, you could totally be a YouTuber,” so I started uploading to impress her. A modern romantic, right?
You cover a wide variety of topics in your videos such as fashion, art, and music. What sort of creative space does making YouTube videos provide for you?
ZD – It gives me a place to put my work and an audience that provides me with constant enforcement to continue creating things and trying to best myself!
You strongly believe in positivity, happiness, and pursuit of the arts. Why are these three things important to you and how do they influence your daily life?
ZD – Positivity and happiness were something that I struggled with for a very, very long time. Throughout my childhood I would see people who seemed so happy and I craved that feeling more than anything. I just wanted to be comfortable with myself and have fun in my own skin. (Not, like, naked. I’m sorry, you get it.) I digress. I often found myself loathing people simply because they were happy and I wasn’t, which is totally messed up! Eventually I started faking it and pushed through and this led me to so many open doors that I didn’t even realize were there! One of these doors was the arts, which luckily is very diverse because I get bored with things quite easily.
You express yourself in so many art forms like music and style. In what ways does the power of art influence your life?
ZD – The cool thing about art is that it can be found in everything you do, which is why I think the whole “aesthetics” thing has become so huge. There is someone out there that will appreciate even the smallest of things you do. It’s kind of crazy! Music and style have always been things that drew me in. That being said, they’re also the two things that have caused people to say, “Zac, you dress so weird” and “Zac, your music is so weird.” I like weird. Being called anything means they’re paying attention, which I think is pretty cool.
Has there been one specific moment in which art really touched your life or influenced you as a person?
ZD – Art inspires me constantly. Surrounding myself with music, movies, TV shows, paintings, drawings— this all influences me and inspires me to achieve the things I want to do and in doing that molds me into the person I used to only be able to dream I could be.
You recently shared your mental health story on your YouTube channel. Why was it important for you to do this?
ZD – I think that it’s important because it’s such a taboo subject. It’s so frowned upon to talk about your problems, which is stupid. There is not one person in this world that hasn’t been affected by mental health in some way and why we’re so focused on showing off this faux persona of perfection is just ridiculous to me. Anyway, having such a diverse audience I figured, “Hey, these guys like my life, maybe I should give them a little taste of how I got here.” The road wasn’t necessarily a good one but sometimes people have to see, “Hey, things may be pretty bad, but wow, dude, they’re going to get better.”
How did you overcome your struggles and find happiness in your life and what is your advice for others struggling with mental health?
ZD – Mental health is a very broad subject so not everything that works for me would necessarily work for other people. I find that surrounding myself with things I find enjoyable and people who push me to be my best work well for me, but then there are also things I just really enjoy like Criminal Minds, bird noises, sad music, and getting lost with friends.
Now that you have discovered the enthusiasm for life that you have, why do you think it is important to enjoy life to the fullest and in what ways do you do this?
ZD – Our time on this planet is so short and the world we live in this little speck of a planet is so, so small and it can be intimidating, but it’s so worth it to get out there and see what’s out there. Even just in the past couple of years I’ve witnessed a lifetime of interesting and beautiful things that just happen out there somewhere in the world and what’s better than being a part of someone else’s favorite memory. Who knows, you may even find your own!
How have you learned to love the person that you are?
ZD – Loving yourself takes time it’s not something that just happens overnight. Most everyone is beaten down by those around us, without even realizing. We think we’re not good enough, we think our jeans aren’t cool enough, or our breakouts are so bad, but what needs to be realized here is that when people look at you, they just see you. That’s it. People are inherently accepting like that just takes a little realization.
You have a budding clothing line, AHRT? What inspired you to create your own line of apparel?
ZD – I just want to make cool clothes because I like cool clothes.
Where do you hope your recent move to Los Angeles takes you in terms of your career and life, in general?
ZD – I actually moved to Los Angeles this month and I think the main thing I want to do out here is get a lot of very diverse things. I want to get into acting a lot more, maybe practice some of my improv. It’d be really cool to be on a TV show! With that comes directing, of course, and making my own films! Also, my musical project will hopefully come to form.
What do you hope the future brings you?
ZD – I just hope the future brings a lot of sick memories and an audience to share them with.