Interview with Alex Walker, Z3Cubing
Alex Walker, Z3Cubing, is a twisty puzzle content creator famous for his enormous puzzle collection, fun reviews, and creative challenges. Ever wanted to see a cool DIY cube project like the lightest speedcube ever or a cube with magnetic stickers? Z3Cubing is your guy! Also you can use code "z3cubing" to get 5% off your order and a FREE Z3Cubing logo!
Q1: Hi Alex, thanks for taking the time to do this interview with us. How have you been doing?
I'm doing good! I just got off a long winter break and I'm getting back into the routine of college classes.
Q2: Sounds great. What do you currently major in?
I'm a freshman in Electrical and Computer Engineering. I'm also considering a minor in Computer Science.
Q3: Nice. Good to see you’re doing a lot at school! How do you balance your studies and your content creation?
It can be pretty difficult sometimes, but I try to set aside a few afternoons each week to focus just on making videos. With some good planning, it's not too hard to fit in everything I want to do.
Q4: In your YouTube career, you’ve made over 800 videos which have collectively gotten over 100 million views. If you had to suggest one video to a newcomer to your channel, which one would you suggest? Outside of that, do you have a favorite video?
I think I would recommend a recent video called "I made the world's Lightest Speedcube". I take the trend of increasingly light 3x3's to the extreme, by cutting holes into a speedcube and reducing its weight in any way possible, which turns out really cool in the end. In terms of a favorite video, I would have to go with one from the US Nationals cubing competition. The most recent was from 2019, and it basically gives you a summary of what it's like at a giant competition!
Q5: The lightweight 3x3 video was really interesting! It made me nervous as you were cutting the plastic off, but I had confidence you’d get it done well. Of course, we all miss going to giant competitions. What are your favorite things about attending competitions? When it becomes safe again, are there any particular places you’d like to attend an event?
It's of course fun to try out your cubing skills against others, but the best part is always just seeing so many people from around the world who are as into the hobby as you are. As a YouTuber, it's also always incredible to meet all the people who are fans of my videos. In terms of future locations, I've never attended a competition outside the US, so I'd love to travel pretty much anywhere for a continental or world championship, once we're able to do so again.
Q6: The social element of competitions is definitely one of the best parts of cubing. I think your international fans will really appreciate meeting if you’re ever abroad. So in one of your videos you have an enormous collection of twisty puzzles. Do you have a favorite WCA puzzle? How about a non-WCA puzzle?
I always used to say that my favorite WCA puzzle was the skewb, since I found it relatively easy to get good at. Recently though, I've been more favoring 3x3, since there's just so much more to learn about it. My current favorite non-WCA puzzle would probably be my new YuXin 13x13, since it's just such a massive cube that turns great and is really fun to solve.
Q7: The classic 3x3 never fails. Outside of cubing and school, do you have any other interests or hobbies?
I enjoy working with computers and electronics in all sorts of ways, hence my choice of major. I also really enjoy running and hiking long distances, especially backpacking and climbing high Colorado peaks.
Q8: Cool. Back to the YouTube thing, we have a lot of content creators that are just starting out in their YouTube journey. For a person about to start a channel or near the beginning of starting out, what advice would you give them?
For me, starting on YouTube involved a lot of trial and error; it took me months of constant videos to get my first 10 subscribers. It's okay to start off by imitating the videos of people you enjoy (that's what I did), but you eventually have to figure out what style works best for you. Once you build up an audience, try to find the overlap of what they enjoy watching and what you enjoy making. That's where you will make the best videos.
Q9: Solid advice. I think a lot of people are afraid of failing, like perhaps making a video and then not getting as many views as they expect. I suppose that’s where the trial and error comes in. It’s great to see you encourage aspiring content creators to try things. Second to last question -- one that I ask everyone. Can you tell us something interesting about yourself that you think most people don’t know?
Among my many hobbies, one of the most random that I've never mentioned before is coin collecting. My collection of old US pennies is nearly as extensive as my collection of cubes. It's a lot of fun searching through huge boxes of coins to find old and rare ones.
Q10: Yeah, I definitely didn’t know about that hobby. That’s really cool. Now for the last question, if you had to describe your video-making style using only three words, what would they be?
Slow but consistent.
We appreciate your consistently awesome content! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us!