I write this post from a place of both envy and joy for art streamers. Let’s start with the good part, hahaha.
Art Streamers are revolutionizing the way Art is made
The times of having to wait a day to know what people thought of your latest creation have all but past us. No longer do you have to wait for people to tell you that your cartoon drawing of Donal Trump lacks a little orange on the tan, they can now tell it all to you right there and then.
Got a new animation in the works? Stream it! Wanna spend the next 10 hours drawing Fan-Art of the Simpsons? Stream it! Got a new box of markers you are dying to use? Stream that!!! Streaming puts you in the eyes of people who would have never seen your work otherwise.
Dip your Feet Into new Audiences
Most streamers online treat twitch, mixer and other online streaming platforms like a radio station or tv channel. They will browse several channels for a couple of seconds each and stay where the content is good and the community is friendly and relatable. Once they find that streamer they enjoy, they will continue watching them for the duration of the stream or for however long they have available. This is super important to artists for several reasons, which I will break down below:
1- The people that stay to watch you, LIKE YOU.
This literally means that the people that are engaging with you will already 100% (or are at least 95% of the time) will engage with other content you are going to post or have posted previously, making your discord chat a pond for all sorts of new followers, clients, and fans.
2- Hone your style as you produce art.
People like Jazza are known to run polls on what character they will be designing, or what piece of clothing the audience likes more, or the sketch they enjoy the most. This literally takes the guess work out of drawing an image and posting it online, only to find that people enjoy your sketches more than the final artwork because you picked the wrong concept to follow. Don’t take this the wrong way, I think that art is a very personal endeavor and you should be following your bless as an artist, however when you make space for this type of activities, not only are you getting direct feedback from your potential market, but you are giving your audience a voice, and making that voice heard will be a huge driving force as to why they will continue to support your work and remain part of the community.
3- It drives the focus away from the art and shines the light on the artist.
I can understand how you might think this is a problematic aspect of streaming, but I don’t think so. Instead I propose that focusing on the artist rather than the art, makes for a smarter business strategy.
When people focus on the artists life and the specific processes and emotions they go through and are able to capture in their art, people become more linked to the artists personal story, which will make them feel closer to the art in turn. Think of your favorite artist, your 100%, top rated, your fave fave. Now ask yourself, do you know anything more about this person other than what they made? Chances are you will. You probably know more than you’d like to say, this is because you’ve created a connection with the artist through the art. The art was just the springboard towards that much stronger human connection between you and them, and sure they might now know your name, or even talk to you but in the case of streamers, you are in direct contact with them every time they stream. You can ask them questions about their work or their lives, you can hear their voice, you can even see them become joyous when you give them a donation.
All of that makes for a stronger audience, and a strong fan-base is the livelihood of every great artist out there.
Or do you think, that The Sistine Chapel was just giving to any random bloke off the street? NO! The church knew Michael Angelo, they knew his work, they liked him and they liked what he did, and that’s why he got the gig.
Streaming is instant and can put you in the eyes of thousands if done right. However how to do it right is a topic for another day. Today this blog post is to push you over the fence, if you think you’d like to give streaming a chance but you aren’t sure of it, I am telling you know. DO IT! There is very little to lose and a lot to gain, not just money, or an audience but experience and practice.
I joked at the beginning about how this came from a place of envy towards art streamers, and the reason behind that envy is that I love streaming and art streamers, yet all my experiments with the medium have resulted in lackluster results as my current equipment is not able to both stream and run Adobe programs at the same time, but now this! As soon as I get hardware that runs smoothly on streaming platforms, you all better make room for me among your ivory gaming chairs and streaming pads. I am coming for you! ❤