Neil Shibata is known as Japanesegrandpa on TikTok where he has over 1.4 million fans. Building an audience that big takes something special. We interviewed Neil Shibata to find out exactly what it takes.
Whats been your biggest challenge?
Neil Shibata: “My biggest challenge has been finding my style. A style is something that I question and that fluctuates every day, as I think I might not be portraying what I would like to portray on my social medias. By style I am including things such as choice in content, fashion sense, who I want my target audience to be, etc. I think being clear on how you want to be portrayed is a key role in being consistent. The more comfortable I’ve been with having a presence on social media, the more confident I have been in being myself. Being myself has made it much easier to understand what styles I don’t like and what styles I do like, and has helped me solidify what I want to portray on my social medias.”
How do you define success?
Neil Shibata: “I think success comes in the form of achievements, along with happiness. I believe that there are many materialistic successes, however they may not be worth while if someones wellbeing is put aside in order to achieve that success. For me personally, I’ve obviously been putting lots of my time towards growing my social medias, however when I get too caught up in the number of likes,views, followers, etc. I like to take a step back and take time for myself to ensure that my wellbeing is cared for along with the growth of my social medias.”
What are you doing differently/ what makes you different?
Neil Shibata: “Being half Japanese has had a huge impact on my demographics in viewers and followers. As TikTok is mainly white dominant, being a person of color has separated me from the many creators. In the past, the visibility of Asian creators on social media has been very minimal and I like to think that being a part of the Asian community on TikTok can slowly increase that visibility.”
Find Neil Shibata on TikTok and Instagram @Japanesegrandpa