Back when I was first learning of Affinity software and getting really excited about it, I meandered YouTube for tutorials. The first channel I came upon was Affinity Revolution, which was then in it's infancy, but had me learning fun things quickly.
Though their YouTube channel focused on Affinity Photo at the start, they soon brought forth tutorials and tips on Affinity Designer and Affinity Publisher, and a website of their own with a growing library of full courses at affordable prices, some even free. And now with over 160K YouTube subscribers they are still going strong.
As much as I love finding great tutorials, I love to highlight the people that provide this service, especially when it's a couple with a shared creativity. So, let me introduce you to this wonderful couple that share their passion for teaching and their love of Affinity software. Meet Ezra and Ally Anderson, the fine folks behind Affinity Revolution.
Tell us a bit about yourselves, and how you got here to this point? What sparked your interest in digital art/design?
When Ezra was in college, he had a job at the university library. His job was to teach software to students, and his favorite class to teach was Photoshop. He loved the program so much that he wanted to buy it for himself, but was shocked at the price. After doing some research, Ezra found Affinity Photo. He loved learning how to use Affinity, but found that YouTube was lacking in tutorials for the program. Because of that, he decided to start making Affinity Photo tutorials, and share what he has learned about using the program with the world.
For Ally, she’s always dreamed of being an artist. She grew up doing sewing, sketching, and oil painting. It wasn’t until Ezra came into Ally’s life that she discovered her love of digital art. Before she started making tutorials with Ezra, she worked with him behind the scenes to offer advice for his videos. Now, with Ezra’s software skills, and Ally’s eye for aesthetics, they work together to create all of Affinity Revolution’s courses and tutorials.
Obviously you both have a passion for the Affinity Suite of products. Can you tell us what you believe to be the greatest strengths of Affinity software?
For Ezra, he loves the value of the Affinity Suite. There are so many amazing tools and features in these programs, and they’re all for a great price!
For Ally, she loves the simplicity of the programs. The user interface just makes sense, and all of the tools are very clearly arranged. Any beginner can find their way around these programs with a few tutorials.
You both look so natural teaching. Have you always had the goal, or passion, to teach?
Yes, we’ve always loved to teach. We both got our degrees in teaching, with the goal to become public school teachers. But, all of that changed with Ezra’s discovery of Affinity. Ezra likes teaching Affinity better, because our students want to learn the software. They find us! In public schools, the students aren’t always as thrilled to be there.
Your YouTube channel is amazing, with so many tutorials, tips, and information...and new videos are continuously added. How do you keep the momentum?
Through the years, we’ve found that coming out with videos about once a week works well for us. Making more YouTube videos would be a strain. And as for our momentum, it comes from how much we enjoy doing this. Its easy to do a job that you love.
What kind of questions do you get most from subscribers? And are your tutorials mostly requests for help?
We get a lot of questions with layers and masks. So we’ve made sure to slowly explain these concepts when they come up in videos. Some of our tutorials are from user questions, and other tutorials are just from things we’ve found to be popular for Photoshop tutorials, and recreating tutorials like that for Affinity Photo.
What inspires you? Is there any work out there that you really admire?
PiXimperfect is an amazing Photoshop teacher, and we love to see how he teaches. We try to be as good as he is. We’re inspired by any great teachers that we come across, because we are constantly working to be better teachers. Honestly, we see ourselves as teachers first, then artists.
As you have a number of excellent full courses available on your website, which courses are most popular?
Our most popular courses are our beginner courses. That makes sense, since we all start off as beginners. :-)
Do you have any favorite tools or features in any of the Affinity products that you just couldn't be without?
I love Blend Ranges. I think it’s the best “underrated" tool in Affinity. I use it on nearly every photo I edit. Ally even made a whole video on how much we love it!
Are there any specific features you'd love to see in future Affinity updates?
As much as I love Affinity, there are definitely some features I’d love to see. I wish Affinity Photo had a filters gallery (similar to what Photoshop has), but other than that I think Affinity Photo is pretty great. Affinity Designer is missing a few more tools I’d like to see, like a shape builder tool, a text warp tool, and image trace. Affinity Publisher also needs a few key tools, like footnotes, endnotes, and ePub support.
What's next for Affinity Revolution? Anything new and exciting in the works you can hint at?
We have a few more Affinity Photo tutorials we are working on, and then we also want to start making more tutorials for Affinity Designer and Publisher. We’ve been focused on just Photo for a while, but we are looking forward to teaching the other programs again soon.
Be sure to catch Affinity Revolution's brand new course: Photo Restoration for Beginners!