I did my first legitimate digital art livestream today. For those that have known me for my Minecraft/Art/Chat streams, it’s a bit of a departure, but for those who have known me for a while know, this was another side to my personality. Like adding in some videogame streams into the mix, this is my way of introducing new viewers to the wild, weird, and wonderful things that I want to livestream in the future.
I ended up streaming for almost 7 hours.
I woke up with the design in mind, which represented each of the four guys in a private Discord I’m in with three other guys from my Endless War days that I’m still great friends with, including regular collaborator Sol. Along with Robot and Cap, I recently introduced the Myuu bot to our Discord – which is on Zdiscord – and it’s been a great success.
Cap and I had our first battle after the stream.
The 7-hour art stream was actually a great opportunity for me to introduce viewers to what I’m all about, which is I suppose is equally me talking about things and reading off chat messages from the audience to answer them. I’m getting a good balance going on how to do this, thus fulfilling the “Chat” angle of the Minecraft/Art/Chat streams that make up the majority of my streaming, if only because they’re the most effective at helping me write fiction.
In that context, the “Art” category is about doing artistic builds.
For this context, however, I apply the same analysis of talking about my drawing process as I draw it. As I explained during the livestream, I don’t see many artists doing this sort of self-analysis, whether it’s of the psychological soul or of the art itself, so if I’m being honest, it tends to be a bit boring for me to watch an artist doing their thing but it’s almost more passive.
The art is doing itself, on-screen, but what’s really going on?
These streams, especially on a small scale, are a great chance to figure out the streaming waters. I can answer questions to a more measured degree, sometimes taking probably 10 minutes to answer a question and expanding on it from there. I think the Minecraft videos aren’t really popping yet mainly because the visual element is so abstract compared to a straightforward Retro stream or an Art stream, but I think the thing for me to keep in mind is to be patient.
The audience will return if the content is consistent.
So if I play, say, Zelda 1 one day, then do a Minecraft build the next, followed by another digital art stream, as long as I am consistent in how I am as a personality, people will stop by. I was told by mindscan: “your streams feel meditative in a way and get me out of a funk if im extra bored by work” – and I think he nailed it. We talked about how my videos are almost like podcasts, and I told him that was my intention, to where I could talk with the listener about my process even if they’re not actively watching, and can generally keep their barrings.
I imagine as I go, assuming my health improves, my streams will improve, too.
Since this was my first 7-hour stream, I do feel tired after it, but not in the sort of way that one might feel after a normal day at work. This is a good context, though, because when/if my health allows me to return to work, I can treat work like 8-hour sessions with potential hecklers, so when I stream, I can take that sort of navigation to the wider unknowns.
On Twitch, I can timeout or block griefers/trollers.
I can’t do that in a professional environment, and although the perception would be that griefers online would be worse than professionally, professional griefers are more psychologically vulgar than cartoonishly vulgar. Replace swear words or abusive language with passive-aggressive communication or direct madness. The worst I’ve seen on Twitch tends to get deleted immediately before the crowd notices it.
In a stream like today, it was 100% positive.
We shared good news from a friend, VS, that doesn’t have to serve in his compulsory duty, so he can enjoy life on his terms. Three of us talked about our experiences in AA/NA, with me moderating this side of the conversation out of respect since I was reading off their messages. One of my friends that appears in this picture, Robot, was in the chat to watch a majority of the picture before needing to go to sleep, so I could make sure that he was properly represented – and, as an artist, I made sure to feature his art in a positive light.
There will be a day when I get some outside negativity.
Abby talked about how she was worried about streaming, so I suggested that she do some offline recordings to get some practice going. Feeling comfortable in one’s own skin is something that helps when livestreaming, and that’s universal advice I think I could recommend both within this sort of atmosphere and in life in general. I used to feel very uncomfortable in my own skin, which was caused by bullying, and bullying can be anything from what we experience on Twitch to our encounters in professional work environments.
So I meandered through these thoughts and more during my livestream.
From a drawing perspective, I feel like this stream was a massive success. I felt comfortable doing everything – even when OBS insisted on sharing my browser and its tunneling effect on stream – and people enjoyed seeing this process. I, of course, felt comfortable doing this first and foremost. If I didn’t like the material I was drawing or some of the interactions I was having, I might not plan for a future digital art stream. I thought of taking audience suggestions, but that might get too wild too quick.
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: Writing about my thoughts related to my livestream.|
|Related: Other Media Meandry essays.|
|Screenshots: Related to the screen and the picture I drew.|
|Written On: 2021 January 23 [11:15pm to 11:48pm]|
|Last Edited: 2021 January 23 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|