YouTube Tuesday: Cindy Guentert-Baldo

Cindy single-handedly made me stop ignoring YouTube. 

I’ll mark down when this appointment is…

Oh hai, Mark!

— CGB

I met Cindy via the planner community about half a decade ago. Who ever thought that a Facebook group that you join based on one of your random interests would end up completely changing your life? But for me it has in so many ways.

The one dearest to me is all of the amazing friends that I’ve made. Legitimate friendships. People I share my secrets, embarrassing stories, successes, failures, and sorrows with. Through the planner community (PGW, WLEC, and the million others that have cropped up), I have had opportunities to Go Wild (or Geaux Wild, if you’re an OG), traveling to many cities I haven’t seen before, and be able to hug my friends and share experiences with them.

Cindy is one of the people I call my friend. If you haven’t met her yet, just know that she is awe-inspiring, talented, down-to-earth, hilarious, compassionate, honest, and the most *real* person I’ve seen in a while.

You might look her up on Facebook or YouTube for her lettering, watercolors, or vlogs. But – if you are like me – you’ll quickly see what she puts out there for everyone to find: Cindy has an amazing heart. She cares deeply about people. All people. She will have opinions, but she always, always advocates for you having your own opinion and going with that. She is open and honest and real and prefers to see people as they are and not just the perfect image that they project. And she truly loves people for themselves, flaws and all.

I think it’s because of this very basic acceptance of people with all their warts and deficiencies that she is such a sought-after teacher when it comes to creative skills. She will cheerlead your efforts, point out your shortcomings, and accept you where you are. There’s no sugar-coating. She never promises that you’ll have professional-looking lettering or art in a year or after taking a course. What she *will* say is that if you put in the effort and really try, eventually progress will be made. She will say that maybe you don’t want to copy someone else’s art or handwriting, but find what you love about your own and perfect that.

That’s just a small glimpse into her heart. But what about her style, her vibe? What’s it like to hang out with CGB? It’s been blunt and honest, sad, exciting, wildly entertaining, outrageous, and common everyday life. The one thing that you never are is bored. She also has a quality to her voice and her narrative that makes it easy to listen to her for hours on end.

Lucky for me, she not only has a fairly large collection of videos on YouTube (which I’ve almost completely viewed), but she also has a Podcast called The Uncurated Life. I have a long commute and I am happy to listen to Cindy all 3 hours/day.

A lot of people were first introduced to Cindy’s channel via Llamas Love Lettering, a hand lettering tutorial series she created.

Since Llamas Love Lettering evolved from the planner community, we are typically a demographic which appreciates pen and paper, so this naturally lent itself to reviewing pens, art supplies, and planners. Cindy is able to point out both the positive and negative aspects of whatever she is reviewing, give her personal opinion about it, and frequently will also point out what kinds of people may enjoy that product, even if it was not her cup of tea.

Just when I think that I have enough pens and art supplies that I under-use, here comes another review video that makes me go, “Oooooh!”

One of my favorite series that she posts is her Plan With Me or Plan As You Go videos. These will show how she pre-plans her weekly layout, or how she updates her planner(s) throughout the week. It definitely is inspiring to me and I cannot tell you how often I plan my week with a PWM video playing on the computer on my desk.

She is open about a lot of her life and lately has been speaking candidly about the struggles with living with advanced PKD (polycystic kidney disease). As someone who also has a chronic illness, I love how she both advocates taking care of yourself and setting boundaries in what you sign yourself up for in anticipation of times when you are not able to do All The Things… But she also shows you that she – like you – is bad at this and often overextends herself, with predictable results. (Just today, one of my staff had to ask me, “Didn’t you get off work an hour and a half ago?”) I don’t know, it just comforts me to see other people who are also lamenting bad decisions and then scheduling the next long list of tasks with the speed of a dog spotting a squirrel. #irelate #irelatesohard

You may also want to watch Cindy if:

  • You want to gain proficiency in profanity
  • You want to be bewildered and fascinated by how seemingly easy she makes lettering look
  • You want product reviews by someone who is completely honest, and at the same time willing to show both what she doesn’t like in a product as well as what someone else might see in it that would make that product work for them
  • You want to watch art videos that inspire you to test out your own creativity
  • You want to watch content that is entertaining, welcoming, and fun – Cindy always makes the viewer feel like a friend. You’ll quickly come to know the inside jokes about eggplants, “naughty” words like spooge (which usually describe writing utensils – what were you thinking?!), and know which pen would survive in a Gladiator tournament (these things are important, no one wants a weak pen that will be defeated in the first round!).
  • You want to subscribe to someone who makes diverse content. Cindy creates lots of different kinds of art (including watercolors), is known for her hand lettering skills (and does this professionally), talks candidly about her struggles with a chronic illness, has a podcast called The Uncurated Life that discusses being real and authentic on social media, can talk about important issues like social justice without being preachy or judgmental, creates fun challenges for viewers to participate in, vlogs, and has great planner-related content.
  • You are Nicholas Cage.
  • You want to watch someone who is a truly remarkable, beautiful human being.

Non-sequitur: Why was this rather simplistic eggplant my featured image for this post? (**Note: I was able to update the featured image with a photo of Cindy. 1000000% better!)

My eggplant drawing mostly sucks. Like, objectively sucks. But… what might Cindy think…?

First, she would applaud my efforts and the fact that I made an effort at all in the first place. She is always encouraging others and reminding people that skill comes with practice. She would never make me feel bad, even though my drawing sucks and I dashed this off in 30 seconds and took a photo in bad lighting.

Second, it’s an eggplant, which has become an inside joke/mascot between Cindy and her followers. Sometimes, products will be graded with how many eggplants (vs. stars) they receive.

Third, it’s a little ridiculous. Which I feel she would appreciate. Cindy reminds me to not take myself so seriously and that doing something just because it’s fun or you love it is 100% valid.

Okay, I think I’ve rambled on for quite a while, but I still feel like I haven’t done Cindy or her channel justice. Quite possibly I’m just not capable of that daunting task. So, I urge you to take a peek yourself. Here are some ways for you to find her on the interwebs (from her YouTube show notes):

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