I wasn’t really feeling like doing anything exciting or ambitious, so, when I did this livestream, I didn’t even advertise it. I figured I’d just stream and whoever showed up… showed up. Many people more than I expected showed up. It was fun to see that the fruits of my labors began to pay off. Same with my chiropractic care. I’m not feeling pre-spine-issue, and I doubt I ever will, but at least I’m better.
My low energy served me quite well during this drawing.
When people were showing up, almost as though I had widely advertised it, I had mentioned how many different streamers there were, live, at that moment. I do that as a sort of humbling exercise for me. Never too arrogant, never too self-deprecating. I can enjoy the art as we see it, as I draw it, but I am a servant to the artistic process. So, too, when I livestream, I constantly need to remember that too many missteps, sidesteps, or taking it too much for granted can lead to disappointment.
I brought up ZZT excitedly.
I saw the weekly WorldOfZZT stream and nerded out on ZZT for a bit. I showed some silenced gameplay footage and talked about it to give some context and awareness. That’s what I like most about doing what I do. It’s fun to share my talents with others. I don’t need money for it – I’m approaching 5 years without earning a cent through writing, although, indirectly, I received a $40 free float tank session for letting the place I go to use one of my essays, so does that count? Probably not.
Twitch has a bit of a capitalistic problem.
As much as money is nice, I had sufficient savings before my spine went to shit. Between that, my employer’s insurance, the long-term disability, I avoided going bankrupt. I know, however, that not everyone is in my same boat. I don’t ask questions but people will tell me things that will inspire to offer to help – always no, out of pride. So I can do the same for them. I wouldn’t want them to feel obligated to “tip” me or do whatever kind of distinctly-legal interaction creates a sort of financial exchange when we’re really just exchanging ideas.
The capitalistic problem is how overtly capitalist Twitch is toward its users.
“Hype Trains” are where users can donate money in various forms… but why? For some little icons next to their name? For some little pictures that they can share around? For prestige? Ostensibly, it’s to benefit the livestreamer, and yes, the livestreamer does get a cut of that money. Amazon/Twitch gets a fair bigger cut, and, though, yes, they are providing a free networking service for people like me, I don’t like seeing how it manifests. People say all the time that there’s no pressure to donate or not, but, the pressure is still there.
I have opted out of it for now, and perhaps, forever.
I am not a livestreamer; I am a human being that livestreams.
I livestream art, fiction-building things, videogames, and now podcasts; probably more as I go, maybe less, I don’t know. What interests me more is the sort of human interactions I can gain by giving as much as I do. Drawing these drawings, as I did for the ENDLESS WAR community almost a year ago, are my tips. Rather than give someone that I appreciate some money, I can give them something perhaps more substantial – fan art. There’s an incredible experience that happens when people get fan art, especially for the first time.
I can feel the excitement from that, and maybe you can as well. It’s not like a sort of novelty or even manipulation for doing this for people. It’s out of legitimate respect toward others. If I draw something and it doesn’t feel quite right, then it’s something I’ll mull over rather than just skip over, or, when I get the effect right, it’s almost like magic. What’s the most exciting about all of this, more so perhaps even than sharing with others, is being able to share it at all.
I love having everything recorded – even if it feels a little embarrassing.
There are times where I might draw something crude or rude by accident, but, it’s all part of the process. If there’s anything overly problematic, I think about how life is problematic, and there are so many ways that we can screw up. But if we present ourselves honestly, as we are, then the result can reverberate far greater than that. We can say, as I did this morning, “I don’t feel great, but I feel well enough to do something positive today, and I feel like what I can do can make a positive impact on others.”
Getting those sensations means more to me than money.
I can get money by going back to work, and let’s say that my physical health degrades to such a point where I would need to livestream as a source of income. [Disabled people are significantly disadvantaged in getting gainful employment.] Well, that would be after I sell anything even remotely valuable that I own. I don’t want most of that valuable property anyways. What does it serve me to have something that sits on a shelf? To display it? I suppose in the same way, these drawing are things that people may save in a folder an archive somewhere, or maybe they’ll do something more with it. I don’t know. Once the art is done, I’ll archive it, but lately, I’ve been returning back to some of the drawings I did that helped me along this path, and, wow, some of them are gnarly weird. I wish I could have recorded those drawings, but, I can record these. It’s taking a while to draw these.
It’s never been about getting to the completed drawing quickly, though.
|Quotes: Eddie Fuerte, paraphrased, when I sent this along to him.|
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: Writing this, and especially its conclusion, helped me realize that when I play videogames, I need to adopt this same sort of attitude. If I feel pressured to run through a game, I’ll probably enjoy it less.|
|Related: Other Media Meandry essays.|
|Picture: The stream picture and the picture itself.|
|Written On: 2021 May 09 [11:25pm to 11:52pm]|
|Last Edited: 2021 May 09 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|