Josiah Alan Brooks (born 20 April 1989), known online as Jazza, is an Australian YouTuber artist, animator, and presenter. He hosts a YouTube channel called Draw with Jazza in which he provides art tutorials and challenges. As of October 2018, his channel has over 501 million total video views and over 3 a million subscribers.
Josiah Brooks was born as the fifth of six children. He grew up in Victoria, Australia. He was interested in art, and began practicing drawing when he was 12 years old. He used Jazza as his username and moniker for his Hotmail account. During high school, he began drawing and animating in Microsoft PowerPoint and Adobe Flash. He said he would look forward to spending time in the school library or lunch period where he could draw and create his own realities.
In 2006, when he was 17, he started getting sponsorships from websites for animations, and after graduating high school, he got into producing animation and online video games. He had joined Newgrounds in 2003, and submitted his first game there in 2006. The games were developed using Adobe Flash.
In 2011, he saw that Flash animations were in decline, around the time of the “iPhone era”. He looked at his old YouTube channel, and noticed that his art tutorial videos had received the most views. In 2012 he created a new channel which he called Draw with Jazza. He said “People go online looking for tutorials on how to draw. … Whenever I looked there was nothing good… they had loud music and voice-overs or were slow and boring.” He started with tutorials on drawing the human anatomy. The videos were filmed with a simple webcam and microphone, and had minimal editing. His tutorials have garnered success in views and has also attracted people to his freelance animation business.
Draw with Jazza videos are uploaded weekly. Topics are mainly drawing tutorials, but also include character designs, speed painting, and art competitions. He presents “art challenges” of various kinds. He inserts comedic commentary over his art project videos. He has also reviewed art software and equipment. His secondary channel Daily Jazza includes daily vlogs where he talks with his community about major events occurring in his life, or behind the scenes looks into his projects. Other channels he has created include It’s Tabletop Time, launched in 2015, where he plays role-playing games with his friends; JazzaStudios, where he releases animated shorts; JosiahBrooksMusic, for his original music videos.
He describes his art style as cartoon-like, but has also tried to extend to comic books. His biggest influence was Christopher Hart, an artist who authors many how-to-draw books. He and Hart would later collaborate to manage Hart’s YouTube channel. Other influences include Internet animators Adam Phillips, Bernard Derriman, James Farr, James Lee and Johnny Utah.
In 2014, his YouTube channel reached 100,000 subscribers. It was at this time he was able to switch to treating it as a business and doing it full-time. He received a sponsorship from the CEO of Newgrounds. In 2015, Google and Screen Australia granted Brooks AU$100,000 as part of their Skip Ahead initiative program. He joined other YouTubers in Los Angeles to work at YouTube Space and produced a series of short films titled The Tale Teller, which was a three-part mini-documentary that follows “an old man who enters a city with nothing to his name but the stories he has spent his life gathering, which he wishes to pass on before he dies.” In 2015, Forbes contributor Don Groves reported that Draw with Jazza had 25 million views with 60% in the United States and 20% in Europe. In 2016, Forbes contributor Rob Salkowitz reported that Draw with Jazza had 573 videos, over 45 million views and 658,000 subscribers. In November 2017, Mashable reported that Draw with Jazza had two million subscribers, with 45 percent of them from the US, 12 percent from the UK, 10 from Australia, and some amount from non-English speaking countries and locations such as Germany, the Netherlands, and South America.
In 2016, he participated in the Adobe Systems‘ Twitch stream session on “Building Flexible Animation”. He published the book Draw With Jazza – Creating Characters: Fun and Easy Guide to Drawing Cartoons and Comics. He also had a series of shorts called Cartoon It Up which was televised on ABC Me and made available on its video watching app. He designed the April Fools Day logo “Googz” for Google Australia in 2018.
Brooks regularly attends conventions including PAX,[verification needed] VidCon Australia, and Comic-Con.[verification needed] He says he also outsources some of his work so that other artists can make a living in the same field he does.
Brooks was raised in a Mormon family, but left the church when he was 21 as he no longer agreed with its views. One of his brothers, Shad M. Brooks, is a YouTuber who runs a channel called Shadiversity. which focuses on medieval fantasy items. He also draws, and has produced some role-playing game material with Jazza.
Brooks has two children: a son born in 2015, and a daughter born in 2018.
- Draw With Jazza – Creating Characters: Fun and Easy Guide to Drawing Cartoons and Comics (Impact Books, 2016) ISBN 978-1440344947
- Cartoon It Up – 2016 television series shorts broadcast on ABC Me and ABC iview.
- Jazza’s Arty Games – video game
- Stand out and make money on YouTube! – online course on Skillshare
- How to Talk and Present to Camera like a Pro! – online course on Skillshare
- Jazza’s Coloring eBook! – digital coloring book (2017)
- Symons, Bec (30 April 2018). “Draw with Jazza: The YouTube star teaching millions from his garage in regional Victoria”. Australia: ABC News. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- drawwithjazza. Draw My Life – Jazza (Josiah Brooks). Retrieved 2 October 2018 – via YouTube.
- Chambers, Jessica (3 February 2014). “Drawing an Online Crowd”. Latrobe Valley Express. Latrobe Valley, Australia. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- Rought, Karen (17 December 2014). Abramo, Donna, ed. “Artist’s Spotlight: Jazza wants you to join the arty party”. Hypable. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
- Brooks, Josiah (8 September 2017). “Draw with Jazza: The YouTube star making art accessible““. On Breakfast with Jacinta Parsons and Sami Shah (article and online audio). Interviewed by Jacinta Parsons ; Sami Shah. ABC Radio Melbourne. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- “Jazza”. Newgrounds. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
- Ryan, Jackson (12 September 2017). “How to Grow Your YouTube Channel”. Australia: Lifehacker. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- Lieu, Johnny (14 November 2017). “YouTubers from this country are killing it, thanks to the rest of the world”. Mashable. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- Salkowitz, Rob (12 August 2016). “Meet the Online Artists Drawing Millions of YouTube Viewers”. Forbes. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- Draw with Jazza (29 January 2015). “STREAM SCHEDULE! + Exciting New Channel!”. Retrieved 4 October 2018 – via YouTube.
- “Learn to draw your favourite cartoons”. telanganatoday.com. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
- “Five Australian YouTubers to share $500,000 in Skip Ahead”. Metro Screen. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
- “Skip Ahead Turns Four: $500K for Online Creators From Google and Screen Australia”. Screen Australia. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- Stevens, Gary (17 September 2015). “The Tale of an Animator”. Latrobe Valley Express. Latrobe Valley, Australia. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- “Google backs Skip Ahead screen initiative”. Business Acumen Magazine. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- Groves, Don (15 October 2015). “YouTube Launches Australian Creators to a Global Following”. Forbes. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- “drawwithjazza”. Twitch. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
- “Draw with Jazza: Building flexible animation Pt.2: The Body! #animatecc #adobe #danceyourpantsoff”. Twitch. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- “Draw With Jazza – Creating Characters: Fun and Easy Guide to Drawing Cartoons and Comics”. IMPACT Books. 8 November 2016. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- Jimenez, Jesus (28 June 2016). “Cómo convertirte en dibujante en un verano” [How to become a cartoonist in a summer]. RTVE (in Spanish). Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- “Cartoon It Up”. ABC Television. Australia. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
- ABC Media (5 December 2016). “ABC ME launches app for smartphones”. Mumbrella (Press release). Retrieved 2 October 2018.
- Caraos, Ron (2 April 2018). “April Fools’ Day 2018: Here Are Google’s Pranks This Year”. Tech Times. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
- Gutelle, Sam (2 April 2018). “YouTube Channels Fine Bros Entertainment, Draw With Jazza Contribute Top April Fools Day Hijinks”. Tubefilter. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
- Rose, Tamsin (11 September 2017). “YouTube creators and internet stars get ready for VidCon Australia”. Kids News. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
- “Draw with Jazza”. VidCon. Australia. 2018. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
- “Shadiversity”. YouTube. Retrieved 2018-10-15.
- “The Earliest Steel Swords Were Game Changers”. popularmechanics.com. 20 September 2017. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
- Draugelis, Jake. “Medieval Masters – Shadiversity”. www.clickondetroit.com. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
- Shadiversity (2015-05-28), Did you know I can draw?, retrieved 2018-10-15
- Shadiversity (2017-09-01), Is the castle by DRAW WITH JAZZA realistic? feat Jazza himself, retrieved 2018-10-15
- “ABOUT – Cogent Roleplay”. cogentroleplay.com. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
- Jazza (22 April 2015). “My first employee. He’s cheap, but is behind on his deadlines. Get your act together kid! ;)”. Retrieved 3 October 2018 – via Instagram.
- Jazza (30 September 2018). “Off to meet my daughter for the first time! 💖”. Retrieved 3 October 2018 – via Instagram.
- “Draw With Jazza – Characters: Anatomy, expressions and poses for cartoons and comics”. F+W Media. Retrieved 3 October 2018 – via Barnes and Noble.
- “Jazza’s Arty Games! (PC App)”. Jazza Studios. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
- “Jazza’s Coloring eBook!”. Jazza Studios. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
- Draw with Jazza (22 December 2017). “OUT NOW! Jazza’s Coloring eBook!”. Retrieved 13 October 2018 – via YouTube.