He is a content creator and adventurer. Sydney-based Sam Evans is following his dreams to the fullest whilst representing some of the biggest brands along the way.
It’s March 2018. The first scheduled non-stop flight between Australia and the UK has touched down in London’s Heathrow Airport. After an “only” 17 hour flight from Perth, the globetrotter Sam Evans (24) is ready to set foot in the big capital to do some content creating-magic and … meet me.
I catch a glimpse of a small black card on the table that indicates it is reserved for “guests arriving shortly”. Sam Evans is elegantly late and I’m overlooking the city centre of London from a fancy rooftop bar called Radio.
– Hey, there!
I turn around and see a smiling Sam. He’s moving towards me with cool and relaxed movements only known for Sydney-siders. He embraces me warmly, although this is the first time we’ve ever met, and shortly conversation begins as we were long term friends. It’s funny how small the world is sometimes, but after living in Sydney back in 2015, it’s amusing to learn we have quite a few friends in common. However, on this date, I want to get to know him better and hear how he became one of Australia’s best content creators.
Eva: Sam, so how do you usually introduce yourself? Do you say: “Hello, my name is Sam and I’m a content creator?” or do you say “Hello, my name is Sam and I’m a filmmaker?”
Sam Evans: I think it has changed over the years. I started off as a “Hi, I’m Sam and I’m a filmmaker”. And then, as my work started to move towards Instagram and I started to make digital stuff that lives on YouTube and Instagram, I started to introduce myself as a content creator. A content creator is specified as someone who creates digital film and photos for Internet platforms, so it gives more of a broad introduction.
How and when did your creative journey start?
I left school in 2013 and I didn’t really know what to do. I didn’t really want to go to university or get a job. All I knew when I left school was that I really liked making videos, so I went to a film school for a year and got a diploma of directing, editing, acting and script writing. After a year, I still realised that traditional film making and being a film director was not what I wanted to do. So, I decided to go travelling, making videos and having fun. I went to Europe whilst making little videos, uploading them to Instagram. Suddenly, I started to get requests from people who wanted me to make videos for them. For example, from GoPro. I was really stoked! Now I have been travelling for the last few years and collaborating with different international brands. It’s not really a normal job, but it allows me to travel around the globe and meet incredible people.
You won “Influencer of the Year Award” by Mumbrella in 2018. What do you think helped you to achieve this?
Mumbrella is all about recognising the people who are doing the best in this field of social media. So for me, to be considered the best at what I do in Australia, is really humbling because I still see myself as pretty young and early in my career. It makes me want to work harder. I think all the major moments that made me grew as a brand and as a person is collaborating with other people that inspire me. It is also important to work with brands who you allign with and which fit well with whom you are as a person. And I think consistency and being yourself is really important.
Now, I suppose many people are wondering how a regular day looks for a person who creates videos and photos from every corner of the world. Can you tell about your average day?
I’m usually travelling one or two months on and then one-month break. For example, in the last two months I’ve been to Barcelona, Perth, Sydney, London, South Korea, Los Angeles. Unless I’m home in Australia, I don’t really have a normal routine. It’s constantly changing because of time zones, where I am staying, the weather, if I’m working or not. But I think that a normal day for me would be waking up semi-early and having a big breakfast. I love coffee! And then, I try to do all my work in the morning, like replying to emails, scheduling the week etc. But if I’m out travelling, a normal day would be to take photos and explore places during the day. I do a lot of my laptop work and editing in the evening when it’s dark and I don’t want to be disturbed. I also love eating healthily. When I’m at home I always try to cook as many meals as possible because with a life travelling it’s hard to stay healthy.
What is the funniest story that has ever happened to you during your adventures?
The funniest and craziest stories… there has been a few. One time I was working with a tourism board overseas in America and I booked this Airbnb with a couple of other people. We were getting in really late, around midnight. We got the key, opened the door … And there were still people living in the Airbnb that didn’t know that it was rented out. They woke up thinking that we were breaking into their house. As you can imagine it didn’t go so well! It was crazy.
Talking about travels, in April 2017 you were in a real bad accident in Bali. Has this situation changed you somehow?
Yeah, I fell off my motorbike in Bali and had a really bad accident. I basically cut a massive hole in my right knee and it turned into a blood infection. I had a few days to get back to Australia to have an operation. It was quite a scary experience in the sense that for a moment there was a chance that I could’ve lost a limb from just riding a motorbike too fast. It made me realise for the first time that my health is really important and that I need to start looking after myself a little bit better.
Have you ever considered moving to another place to make your work more convenient with regards to travelling?
I am attached to Australia, and that’s because I grew up there. I might be a little bit biased, but after travelling to a lot of places in the world, I haven’t come across anything like Australia. Although I’m away from it a lot, I think it’s really nice as a place to come back to. For me, it’s just feels so right and I like to live my life the Australian way. But I have thought about moving to America or Europe because of the creative stuff that I do, it would probably be a little bit more beneficial at this stage of my life to be in that neck of the woods. Maybe sometime in the future!
Instagrammers and bloggers are all facing an important question of how much personal life they should expose. Do you have some boundaries between your personal life and your virtual life?
To an extent. I think that there is some stuff that is better to keep personal and unshared. But anything to do with my work, my travels and my friends I’m always pretty happy sharing. But I try not to share a lot of my struggles or my pain. While I think it’s good to be real with people, I don’t think that people need to know everything. I think that although people shouldn’t think that everything is “polished”, sometimes it’s good not to burden people with unnecessary life struggles either. So, there is a balance.
With your following I’m wondering if you have ever experienced people treating you as a celebrity, you know, becoming star struck and so on?
I think when I was doing a lot of Youtube-stuff, it happened a little bit more. I think that when people are watching you on Youtube they feel that they know you very well because you share a lot. So yes, I have had people come up to me to take photos and stuff. I personally really like to meet people that I have inspired. It just reminds me of how hard I’ve worked to see actual impact. To see numbers and followers a phone screen translates to seeing people in real life who actually are taking that inspiration from you is a great reminder. I have also had people who’d figured out where I’m staying through Instagram to deliver gifts. That was really nice.
What kind of trends do you see coming regarding influencers, creators and brands? Are there any big tech changes?
I think in the next few years, while influencers, marketing and brand content have become quite a thing, I still don’t think the full extent of it has been discovered yet. We will start to see a lot more brands working with influencers and content creators as a way to create their content for TV and the cinema. It used to cost brands a lot of money to create high-end content to sell their products and now with digital influencers like myself it’s becoming easier and more accessible to sell your product to a mass amount of people whilst keeping costs low. So, I think the space of influencing, online marketing and advertising content is only going to get better. Talking about technology trends, I think that while it hasn’t been greatly received, VR and 360-technology will evolve. They have a lot of potential. Unfortunately, a lot of people still don’t understand the value of it. I believe it will take some time, but when it does – it will blow up! And then it will be like Bitcoin – when you find out about it, you will probably be too late.