Twitch Creative livestreaming finds new audiences for artists and musicians

29 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Bob Ross: 13 Happy Little Facts About the Iconic PBS Painter.

Twitch is best know as the world’s biggest live-streaming platform for video games, a place where casual gamers and high-profile e-sports teams broadcast their action for millions of fans. Twitch, the online streaming service focused heavily on games, will run a marathon stream of every episode of that 80s/90s classic, “The Joy of Painting.” The service will show all 403 episodes from Oct. 29 to Nov. 6 on its own dedicated channel, as a celebration of Ross’ birthday.

In celebration of developing a new landing page for its Creative channel network, Twitch is streaming all of the cult classic painting show ‘The Joy of Painting’ today until November 6. But the 2 million people who watch them each month are a fraction of Twitch’s more than 100 million users, most of whom visit to watch people play video games. Twitch on Thursday unveiled Twitch Creative, a section of its main site devoted to painters, sculptors, digital artists and musicians who are creating art while others watch and make suggestions.

The section evolved out of the growing number of painters, sculptors, sewers and other artists who’ve turned to the live-streaming social media service to share their passions for art. The new initiative makes a link to such artistic videos more visible and allows art broadcasters to use hashtags to improve discoverability of their content.

Twitch Creative is a dedicated landing page that highlights the streams of broadcasters who aren’t in gaming, such as artists who share their creative processes while they’re working or videos of musicians doing what they do. Although some of the artistic works are game-inspired, Twitch Creative marks the first time the Amazon-owned company is branching into an area that isn’t purely about video games. Twitch also is hiring workers and considering building tools to cater to artists. “The passion I see in these broadcasters reminds me of the early days of Twitch with the gaming community,” Moorier said, referring to people such as Geers_art and Vieparlafoi who are live-streaming their manufacturing process. All of this content will be managed under Bill Moorier, who has been at the company since 2013 and previously worked for the site’s old parent company, Justin.tv.

Twitch videos are organized by game, and two years ago, Moorier started collecting data on Twitch’s art community by asking it to post to a made-up game called “Creative.” Time spent viewing “Creative” videos has grown 40% each month over the previous month for nearly a year. Twitch spun out of an online video company in 2011 after executives noticed that gamers liked to watch how others played so they could learn strategies or about new games. The expansion of Twitch’s Creative community isn’t a total surprise — I noted their presence and rising traction when I attended the company’s first convention, TwitchCon, last month. Tune into any of the dozens of streamers who already broadcast their art in real-time on Twitch, and it’s hard not to think of Ross as they talk through what they’re doing for the benefit of their viewership. While apps such as Pinterest, DeviantArt and Etsy provide a platform for people to showcase or sell works, none supports streaming the development process, Moorier said.

Some Twitch broadcasters even get the opportunity to commission and sell work live as it happens, which is an added way to earn an income from the platform. Moorier said that some creative streamers already pull in more than of 2 million viewers per month, adding that the section of the site has recently started growing by about 40 percent per month, each month. People began streaming other art making, including costumes and glass sculptures. “There are all kinds of paintings, sketches, model-making, sculpting, even electronics and robotics,” he said. “This is our way of embracing that community.” This week, for example, a channel called Inkings and Layerings featured a graphic artist using Photoshop tools to create a Halloween-themed painting. As Moorier started chatting with these people, he saw that not only was this kind of stream growing at a fantastic rate, but also diversifying. “People were not just doing game-related art anymore. Such Twitch Creative content has been airing for a while, and it is growing 40 percent every month, said Bill Morrier, head of Twitch Creative, in an interview with GamesBeat.

There are Bob Ross Clubs; T-shirts display his image and sayings; and Internet memes poke fun at his soothing spoken aphorisms described by his business partner, Annette Kowalski, as “liquid tranquilizer.” He lives on as a cultural meme. The launch coincides with former TV personality Bob Ross’ birthday, and Twitch will consecutively air the 403 episodes of his popular PBS show “The Joy of Painting” over the next 8½ days. It was everything from Photoshop to really traditional oil and watercolor, even glass blowing and sculpture.” The main Twitch homepage will now include a tab labeled Creative. Twitch has fast-become a household name among gamers, but faces heavy competition from other tech firms looking to expand their live-streaming options. Google’s YouTube recently launched its own gaming vertical called YouTube Gaming that takes direct aim at the Twitch’s grip on the livestreamed gaming market.

It’s also, oddly, giving Twitch some competition in the Bob Ross department: earlier this week, 13 episodes from the first season of Ross’s show became available for streaming on his show’s YouTube channel. Moorier says that while the overall audience and broadcaster base of Twitch has been growing around 20 percent month over month, the creative community was growing at nearly double that pace. Artists will be able to put hashtags in their broadcast titles, providing viewers an intuitive way to browse and discover channels based on their preferences. YouTube rolled out a gaming app that focuses on live content, while Twitch rolled out new ways for creators to upload and catalog a library of videos after a live broadcast. With Twitch Creative, the service is hoping to stake a claim to a much broader swath of broadcaster, diversifying its business beyond the world of gaming which it now dominates.

What he likes about the live broadcasting is the ability to answer questions live. “The teaching element is the biggest draw of live art,” Geers said. “I walk them through how to learn different drawing techniques, and answer as best as I can.” Other artists include Evilfx (professional prop/costume artist), SceneOfActionMusic (music category with bright future composer) and Vieparlafoi (glass artist). “As we’ve watched our beta Music category take shape, among the most popular broadcasts are musicians creating original compositions,” adds Morrier. “Since the specific act of crafting a song is as much a form of art as the other content under the Creative category, it made sense to migrate this singular use case over.” When Bob began his own show, Alexander made a promotional commercial with Bob where he handed off a paintbrush as a symbolic nod to Bob as his painterly heir apparent.

Bob Ross’ oil painting technique, “wet on wet,” is also known as “alla prima” or “direct painting. ” Oil painters have used this technique since at least the 16th century. Ross ends one spot by saying “MTV, its all just fluffy white clouds.” The other spot ends with Ross saying, “MTV, the land of happy little trees.” After his death, Bob was lampooned on The Boondocks and Celebrity Death Match in much the same way.

In 2006 Scott Kaplan, a member of the Art Department at The Ohio State University, participated in an installation and performance at the Mahan Gallery in the Short North area of Columbus, Ohio. In a video made by Alive TV in Columbus, it is possible to see Kaplan painting with Bob Ross while a throng of onlookers cheers him on shouting “Paint those trees!” From September 27, 2012 through October 21, 2012 the Screaming Sky Gallery in Portland, Oregon hosted the exhibit “Happy Little Trees: Contemporary Artists Take On the Iconic Television Painter Bob Ross.” Located in the hip and gentrifying Alberta Street neighborhood of Portland, the exhibit featured the work of 26 artists.

Jasinski believes that he is part of a generation of artists whose work in informed by nostalgia for childhood with many artists using childhood references in their work. In turn this inspired Jasinski’s to curate “Happy Little Trees.” His goal for the exhibit was to bring together a group of artists responding to the influence of Bob Ross and/or the artistry of Bob Ross. Eventually he combined the two by doing a portrait of a smiling Bob Ross with his hair as a basis for a landscape in which other popular culture figures, such as the Smurfs, Woody Wood Pecker, Yogi Bear, and Bambi are nested.

An easy way to grasp the ubiquitous and variety associated with the image of the man himself is to do a Google image search of “Bob Ross” where the result will be a rich display of permutations of the man and his paintings. On Find a Grave, you will find Bob’s birth and death information, a brief description of who he was, pictures of him, and a picture of his grave marker in Woodlawn Memorial Park in Gotha, Florida.

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