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Art Educators & Creative Friends: Are You Watching Twitch Creative Streams Yet?

I'll have to preface this post by saying I've been a bit MIA this Spring as far as blogging goes. 2016 has been a whirlwind rollercoaster of a year (more on that in a later post). However my fascination and passion for creative activities on Twitch certainly has not been missing in action, in fact I find watching and engaging with creative live streams has become part of my daily routine. I know at any time I can pull up the app on my phone and watch and engage with artists of all different mediums, and to be honest it's become both comforting and addicting. There are worse things to be addicted to right?

Anyways, the point of this post is to get your attention (you are an educator/artist/employee at a creative organization aren't you?) Well if you are, then I'm talking to you. And if you're not....well just stay with me a moment. If you haven't been watching Creative live stream channels on Twitch, you are missing out. Live stream video is the here and now of new social media (think Snapchat, Periscope, Meerkat) and even Facebook has a new "go-live" feature.

What makes Twitch different from these other sites? Well besides having an incredibly massive, youthful user base, there is a healthy community of artists, designers, editors, programmers, and musicians who have formed a wonderfully strong creative community within Twitch. In the six months since I've completed my graduate research on Creative Engagement on Twitch, the community has continued to evolve and grow rapidly in a short time. Twitch has also expanded the Creative section to encompass cooking, makeup, maintaining your car, and even home building and renovation. There are also some hilariously fun Creative contests, which are announced on the Twitch Creative Reddit thread.

So how is this relevant to you? If you are an art educator, you might already be imagining the possibilities for holding live art demos and classes. And it's totally do-able. Adobe is currently charting those waters and has an extensive stream schedule with a variety of different mediums and learning levels where tutorials happen on the daily, and even take unexpected turns when someone asks about something specific in chat. Check out their channel for some seriously amazing artists with some seriously fun personalities!

If you are an artist, I ask you to envision an online space where your art becomes the centerpiece for a community of fans to congregate. Did I mention you can also link to your personal portfolio, social media, receive donations/tips, and even accept commissions for new art works? Yeah thats right, publicity for your work and the potential for residual income.

Maybe you work at a creative organization, let's say a museum for example. What is the most difficult audience for you to connect with? Is it the under 34 crowd? You're in luck. 85% of the 16 Million users per month are younger than 35. I know I would love to watch a live-stream of artwork being created or installed, and even better I would definitely watch live-streams from your community events and show openings. Maybe you could do some artists interviews and take questions from chat? Just last week I saw that they announced a partnership between Twitch and the 2016 Maker Faire to broadcast from their Show & Tell Stage. Can we PLEASE get more events like this live streamed so those who cannot travel or afford to go can still learn from and enjoy them?

If you've gotten this far and haven't seen the potential in the Creative streams on Twitch, please contact me to discuss further. I would love to collaborate with you and find a way to connect you, what you do, and what you love with others who do and love the same things.

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