In this Discovery Spotlight we share our favorite Creative streamers from Artist Alley at TwitchCon San Jose ('18). This is a very special edition because not only is it the first, we actually met all of these streamers and experienced their craft in-person. Enjoy!

Twitch Creative was officially born in late 2015.  Those of us who were milling about Twitch years prior know the foundation for the Creative category was laid in the years preceding.  For several years non-gaming content wasn’t permitted on Twitch. If viewers found a streamer airing non-gaming content, there was actually a “non-gaming content” report option.  The pioneers of Creative pushed on and for good reason. The intent behind that rule was as much to keep offensive content off of Twitch as it was to keep the platform focused on its core demographic as it scaled.  Creative was neither, and yet it still made sense.

The essence of what makes compelling live-streaming content is consistent across categories.  Viewers seek out and hope to discover channels with depth of personality. They crave interaction and engagement just as much from the streamer as the streamer does from them.  What changed in 2015 is that Twitch acknowledged this and took the first steps towards expanding the scope of the platform’s content.  The formal creation of the Creative category was a milestone in the live-streaming narrative.

A year from officially rolling out Creative would be given a new venue in which to shine - TwitchCon.  In San Diego, at TwitchCon 2016, the Creative Corner debuted.  Set in a corner near the back of the expo hall, there were a couple of aisles with booths run by a variety of crafters and artists.  Fast-forward two years, to TwitchCon 2018 in San Jose, and the Artist Alley has evolved just as incredibly as has the talent on exhibit.

Not only is the area allocated to creative streamers larger, but it was packed solid the entire weekend.  In San Diego we saw people curiously checking out Creative Corner from time to time but it was far from busy.  In San Jose it was packed shoulder to shoulder every day.

The variety of casters exhibiting was far reaching and the talent on display was top tier.  We saw everything from traditional artists (i.e. drawing, painting, etc.) to candle makers, musicians, leather-workers, resin artists, and even a taxidermist.  And yes, that’s allowed on Twitch.

So inspiring were the creators in Artist Alley I dedicated an entire day walking the aisles getting to know each of them a bit better.  Not only was it time well spent, it turned out to be the highlight of my time at TwitchCon.

Here’s a rundown I put together of some of my favorites so those of you that missed TwitchCon or Artist Alley can check them out for yourself.  This is by no means a complete list, nor ranked in any order:


Medium - resin and clay artisan keycaps for mechanical keyboards

I first came across Tinyteee’s work in Long Beach at TwitchCon 2017.  When I stopped by her booth there on the final day she was taking a break because she’d super busy and hadn’t checked out the expo hall yet.  Most of her keycaps had sold out at that point but she still had a few on display. I made a note not to miss her if she was at the next event.

In San Jose (TC ‘18) I stopped by a couple of times and her booth was one of the most busy I saw the entire weekend.  Unfortunately, we never had a chance to speak but her work speaks for itself.

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Medium - painting / instructional

It was impossible to miss Ryan at TwitchCon.  Not only was he wearing this dope Pac-Man blazer, but he claims to have the best hair on Twitch (tune in to see for yourself) and was excitedly greeting everyone passing by.  When Ryan isn’t streaming his craft, he’s filming how-to videos on streaming for YouTube where he’s helped thousands improve the quality of their content. So not only is he producing great content of his own, he’s helping others level up.  That’s a cause we can definitely get behind.

Twitch creative streamer Wild4Games kneeling down to sign an autograph for a very happy fan in front of his booth at TwitchCon.  His and other's paintings and other art are hanging on the back wall as other exhibitors converse at the booth.
Wild4Games was unmissable in his Pac-Man blazer - but also very busy (hence the kneeling autograph pic!)

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Medium - Lego building

Nick wasn’t actually in Artist Alley but I couldn’t help but include him in this list.  I met Nick in Long Beach where he was working on a giant-sized Lego Glitch. This year, he and the TwitchCon audience were working together to assemble this amazing Twitch emote mural which turned out just perfect.  Nick is known for inviting audience participation at these events, where he sets out simple instructions and anyone can walk up and build a piece of the larger work on display. If Legos are your thing, you have to check out his streams and the set-up he’s got for building.

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Medium - artisan keycaps / pencil drawing

A veteran of the video game industry, Meghan now makes beautiful keycaps and some of the most realistic pencil drawings I’ve ever seen.  Her work ranges from animals to fantasy characters and that’s just what’s for sale on her Etsy page as I’m writing this. In my discussion with Meghan at TwitchCon it was evident she’s incredibly passionate about her work and that is communicated clearly through her live streams.  Plus, how cool is it to have a Twitch handle that’s just your first name?

Six rows of ten artisan key caps each on a slightly angled vertical display case with
Just a small selection of everything Meghan had on display in Artist Alley. The intricate details on her key caps kept the crowd deep!

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Medium - portrait painting (acrylic, oil, watercolor), and cosplay

I was told I had to meet Sam (Skyhook) by a local Central Florida cosplay streamer and friend of StreamKick’s.  When I stopped by her booth she was in full costume taking pictures with fans and you could tell she was loving every minute of it.  The tribute work she’s done is truly impressive. Her Chris Cornell is my personal favorite but the Carrie Fisher is stunningly identical to the real subject.

Sadly, I didn't get any pics of Skyhook at TwitchCon but definitely check out the clip below and, if you like the content, her links are just below!

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Medium - comic book and pop culture quilts / sewing

Toni is a life-long quilter who weaves (heh) comic book and video game influence directly into her designs.  She also lectures and instructs would-be quiltists looking to get started or improve their craft. Her Twitch streams are often live in shops where her quilts are sold where she’s known to field questions from prospective buyers.  Where else can you do that? I picked up a couple of awesome pouches to bring home to the kids and they love ‘em!

Toni standing at her TwitchCon booth with her hand on her hip, wearing a Twitch purple hoodie and smiling at the visitors checking out her work.
Toni had a great selection of her crafts on display, and was incredibly friendly. She is verifiably an expert at her craft!

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Super Soul Bros.

Medium - musicians / band

I was stoked to meet these guys at TwitchCon this past year.  The entire band wasn’t there, but we got to meet and chat with Alex (saxophone) and Chris (drummer).  Not only do they produce original, video game and pop culture inspired music, they also have royalty free tracks streamers and YouTubers can use in their content.  And, as you can see from the photo, they’ve really embraced the video gaming influence. But don’t call them “brothers”. It’s Bros.

Two of the Super Soul Bros. standing at their TwitchCon booth, one of them holding up the SNES cartridge that contains all of their published songs.  On the table in front of them are the shirts they had for sale, and a banner with their name and logo hands in the background.
The Super Soul Bros. albums are published on SNES cartridges and they were selling FAST. Brilliant branding.

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James Hanson

Medium - digital portraits / 2D animation

James creates some of the most dynamic digital portraits I’ve ever seen.  His colors pop and blend in wonderful ways, and you can feel the emotion of the subjects in his work.  Watching the digital creation process is super entertaining but you can also catch him playing Overwatch and Street Fighter 4 or 5 on occasion.

I also didn't manage to grab a pic with James but all of his details are right here 👇

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Dug Stanat

Medium - sculpture (clay / mixed media)

Dug specializes in creating some really horrific sculptures.  Literally, he makes monsters - and they’re awesome. He’s done professional work for Hollywood production studios and has been at his craft for a long time.  It definitely shows in his work.

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If you’re new to Twitch, or if you head straight for gaming when hitting the directory, you may want to give Creative a chance.  And if TwitchCon 2019 is on your radar, definitely allocate some time to the Creative section.  Don’t just walk the aisles. If you see something you like (which you will), take a minute to chat up the artist.  They’ll appreciate it and you may just find yourself a great new channel to watch. You won’t regret it.

Discovery takes many forms.  And there is LOADS of great content and content creators out there you're sure to enjoy.  Drop your email below if you like the Spotlight and we'll keep the hits coming.