Building a Twitch Community

They say the best way to start livestreaming is just to jump in and learn as you go. They’re right, I’m learning a lot in a very short amount of time, mostly out of pure necessity, and doing as much research online as I can. While it’s intimidating at first, there are a myriad of YouTube tutorials out there that will walk you through the most current Streamlabs and OBS setups. However, plenty will still go wrong. During my first few livestreams, lights have flickered out and/or fallen over, my audio has cut out randomly, programs have crashed and my slow internet would drop frames until I disconnected from Twitch… the list goes on. I’m definitely learning by trial-and-error and I’ve been lucky to have met a few nice folks who have shared tips and advice on improving my setup.

Since November 2018, I’ve been focused on building a community on Twitch. I’ve been surprised that the Twitch creative hobby community has been so positive, especially when the idea of putting yourself out there as “a woman on the internet” has its inherent challenges. I’ve created a channel that I hope to keep as clean as possible— no swearing, no “warning: mature content”, and free from discussions on race, religion, politics, etc. Knowing some folks tune in online during work and/or many watch Twitch while working on their own projects (possibly with their children), I like to keep things as classy & positive as possible. This may be off-putting to folks that get timed out by the automated mod for using profanity in chat. However, the community expectations are clearly posted on my “Chat Rules” section of my channel and viewers that are more comfortable in a mature content setting have plenty of options available on Twitch. At the end of the day, keeping things as clean as possible (both in conversation and painting styles) is a my personal choice :)

I often look forward to my streams, but sometimes I’m plagued with “stage fright” and I find myself becoming super self-conscious (especially when all my randomly-generated thumbnails look like I’m spazzing out, which, in hindsight, is probably more accurate than I’d like to admit). Even when I’m not having a great day, the viewers that show up and join the chat buoy me. Often they give me ideas on what we should paint, whether it be a model, a technique, certain paints, or joining me in painting a Liam Neeson-inspired Santa Claus dwarf around Christmastime, which was one of my favorite chat-directed projects. (pictures below)

In other news, I’ve been painting more Kingdom Death miniatures. This one won an honorable mention in the last Miniature Monthly miniature painting contest. While a “mature version”, this Kingdom Death pinup is inspired by Korra, from Legend of Korra, the sequel to the beloved “Avatar: The Last Airbender”— the animated version– not the M. NightShyamalan movie debacle based on that series (don’t ask, I have very strong opinions about that failure). I’ll be honest, it’s not my best work, but the deadline for the contest was a few days after ReaperCon and I didn’t make the best use of my time (including leaving my TableWar case with all my favorite minis in another state until after the contest deadline).

I’ve made myself a promise: no buying new Kingdom Death miniatures until I’ve painted one in my hoard of KD minis. Now I may have bended this rule during a surprise sale, in which case I promised I’d paint a miniature that week, which I honored. I’m not sure if I’m desensitized to all the curves, but I often forget they are quite scantily clad since I’m focused on proper shading, highlighting and blending skin on the lovely female form to the best of my ability. Oh well.

If you get a chance, I hope you’ll join me on Twitch! We encourage folks to hang out with us, whether you’re working on your own personal projects and want some company or getting into the miniature painting/gaming hobby for the first time and would like to ask questions, everyone is welcome! See you around :)