Twitch’s category for creative streams is closing in on its ten-month anniversary, and in that time it’s seen some amazing broadcasters take to the platform—from cooks, to musicians, to artists, and everything in between.
Since its launch on Oct. 28 last year, which kicked off with the inaugural Bob Ross The Joy of Painting marathon, Twitch Creative has grown to almost 100,000 unique broadcasters, with 40 percent of the partnered Creative channels being women.
Creative was also Twitch’s first official move away from gameplay. The site implemented a tagging system so viewers could easily identify broadcasters by their activities, like #drawing, #animation, and #cosplay. At the start of July, Twitch went one step further, launching a Social Eating category so broadcasters could interact with their viewers while eating their favorite meals—a phenomenon that is huge in South Korea.
Despite Creative’s tagging system, it can sometimes be hard to find those rare gems of channels, which are just so good you can’t stop watching. That’s where Dot Esports comes to the rescue. I’ve put together a list of my top 11 Creative streamers to get you started—and a word of warning before you read on, their streams may make you want to instantly pick up an instrument, brush or pencil, or jump into the kitchen to get cooking.
Bernie, aka Pianoimproman, plays the piano. He plays it really, really well. Taking song requests through donations, he seamlessly moves from one tune to another, shuffling on his seat between his piano and his keyboard depending on the song. But the best part of Bernie’s stream? He’s 71 years old.
While Bernie has always had a decent following on Twitch, he rose to fame earlier this year when one of his broadcasts hit the Twitterverse thanks to his next-level trolling. A true New Yorker (despite the fact that he now lives in Florida), Bernie has a huge personality and a great sense of humor, evidenced by his stream naming skills, which includes things like “A Pokemon Stream To Remember,” and “Sweet Stream O’ Mine!!”
Bernie’s wife Mindy also regularly features on the stream, but she’s usually not on the camera. During one of his streams, he finished up a song and Mindy calls out to him from off-camera, “Bernie, do you know who’s here?” to which he replies “One minute. You don’t mean…” and she says “I do!” and he yells “John Cena!” before playing the John Cena theme song, which was first used during the wrestler’s WWE introduction in 2005 and has since become a meme in itself. That led Bernie’s chat to label him a “living meme.”
Cosplay is a huge part of the gaming community, and KayPikeFashion takes her body art to the next level, often busting out 12 hour-plus streams to transform herself into characters we all love.
Kay is self-taught, which is pretty awesome given how good she is. She also often explains what she’s doing as she goes, and has a second camera on her tools and pots of paint so you can see what she’s using, making it easier to emulate her if you want to try it yourself.
One of the best parts of Kay’s stream is the intro sequence, which has a personalized song with hilarious lyrics, keeping viewers entertained until she’s ready to start the makeup grind. Example:
“Started from the bathroom now she here, kay pike fashion paintin up in here / started with titan / that paint was tight man! / blew up the internet, now she’s got these hyped fans… gettin nice and famous paintin rogue and skeletor / joker, cheetah, piccolo / did you see her frieza though?”
Kay is also big on motivational speeches and trying to inspire her viewers to be the best version of themselves. She broadcasts most days of the week, so you’ll never have a shortage of interesting body painting tips, or someone to brighten up your day.
Cooking is a huge subculture of the Creative community bringing food lovers from around the world together. DomesticDan is one of the best cooking streamers on Twitch, with his radio-personality voice he interacts constantly with chat while making all kinds of tasty treats.
Entertaining is an understatement when it comes to Dan. Watching any given stream, you’ll see impromptu whistling, dancing, and jokes—it feels like you’re in the kitchen with your best friend just experimenting with some ingredients.
In an effort to get his viewers even more involved in his cooking, Dan has, in the past, created pancake art for them. He even has special stream days where the viewers get to choose ingredients in the dish he’s making.
If you’ve ever looked at a skin in your favorite game and wondered how it’s made, then Anuxinamoon’s stream is just what you’ve been looking for.
Stephanie is an Australian artist who specializes in detailed 3D models and skins for Dota 2 heroes. Her process is fascinating. From the start of the sculpting to the texturing she walks you through every level. And the finished products are very cool. She’s done everything from a snow-themed set for Mirana to a Legion Commander set celebrating the Year of the Horse, and new sets for everyone’s favorite archer Windrunner.
It took Stephanie around six years to get to a place where her peers respected her work, according to her channel bio. She had a strong background in drawing before learning the basics of 3D and animation at school and then taught herself the rest via tutorials and forums. But beyond her impressive skills, it’s just really mesmerizing to watch a blob of grey go to a fully-decked out badass skin with bright colors.
Do you ever miss reading comics in the newspaper? No? Just me? Well, if you’re ever looking for the nostalgia of really well-done illustrations and comics, johnlestudio is next-level good.
His streams vary in length, lasting anything from an hour and a half to 10-plus hours. But the detail he puts into every illustration is amazing. John is another self-taught artist, something that seems to be a common trend on Twitch Creative. He focuses on science fiction, and draws anything from commissions, comics, to personal art, and occasionally fan art.
“Eventually when you find yourself and you find exactly what it is you want to bring out to this world, you’ll spend the time that it takes to bring that out,” he says in answer to a question about how to focus on one picture for hours on end.
Shahmeen is one of those rare variety Creative streamers. She does a little bit of everything on her channel, LifeWithLaughs: cooking, felting, sculpting, painting, and occasionally gameplay (usually Overwatch).
What makes Shahmeen’s stream particularly special is the overwhelming positivity she puts into every broadcast. She says her mission is to make viewers smile, and watching her it’s honestly hard not to.
To get a good idea of what her broadcasts are like, watch Shahmeen’s Fourth of July special where she makes patriotic brownies. It’s filled with everything: Pokemon animations for subscribers, yummy-looking brownies which she turned into an American flag, and a great Wonder Woman-inspired outfit.
One of the best things about Creative is the behind-the-scenes look you can get into elements of games that you wouldn’t otherwise see. QaziTV is an indie game developer, and he does the art and programming for his games on-stream so you get to see the stress, magic, and tears that go into making a game.
He shared the creation of his action multiplayer platformer Skyhook with his viewers, even broadcasting when it was released on Steam in May. Now, he’s prototyping a Convention Tycoon game, where players essentially run a convention like ComicCon.
“It’s going to be hard, it’s going to be weird, it’s going to be interesting,” he said on stream on day one of the prototyping, in response to a chat comment where someone said they’re already impatient to see how good it will be. “It’s going to be something I’ve never done before, so we’re going to kind of learn as we go along.”
Nen is one of the most most creative and talented watercolor and oil painters on Twitch. Her works are stunningly beautiful and detailed. When she’s not streaming at KillerNEN, she works as a painter, doing work for things like tabletop games and comics.
Nen also occasionally hosts a sketch request night. She’ll set a theme, and the first six people to donate over a certain amount get to make a request. Then she powers through until she’s done all of the paintings, and if she’s still in the mood she takes more requests. These streams often go for over nine hours and result in some pretty cool work.
For a great example of Nen’s painting, check out the stream she did on July 15 where she painted a crazy-detailed Princess Zelda.
Do you like chibi art? Do you like glassworking? How about combining the two? Husband wife duo blingsquaredcuteglass make some adorable chibi (a Japanese term for small person, usually in anime-style with big eyes) glasswork necklaces, charms, and earrings, which viewers can then buy on Etsy.
My favorite part of their stream is that Neacol and Stanley work side-by-side. They have a main cam on their faces and also cams on both of their torches, so you can see exactly what they’re doing in more detail—and the results are seriously cute.
They’ve done everything from unicorns to wolves, frogs, sheep, dragons, and owls (sometimes in multiple colors), so it never feels repetitive.
Props and replicas are another important part of gaming culture, and volpinprops has worked with a LOT of companies, including Bethesda, Valve, EA, Games Workshop, and Bioware (among others).
The sheer size of Harrison’s studio is crazy, it’s bigger than most New York apartments, with two central work desks and his logo in big letters on the wall. He regularly switches between the studio camera and a close-up camera so you can get a better sense of the intricacies of his work.
Harrison is currently working on the trophy for Twitch’s new cosplay contest at TwitchCon, live on stream. So you can see it come together, then see it live in person if you’ll be attending the convention in San Diego from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2.
Suchikuchi is one of the most down-to-earth people on Twitch, with a great sense of humor and an knack for work-life balance. When she’s not streaming her leatherworking she’s busy being a single mom.
Another self-taught artist, Suchi started leatherworking after she got her dog Karma. According to her Twitch “About me” section, she wanted Karma to have a beautiful leather collar and decided to make it herself. Now she makes everything from Overwatch card holders to Tardis phone cases, and a bookmark based on the Dark Tower book series by Stephen King.
Her playlist is easily one of my favorites, featuring everything from popular bands from the 2000s to Disney movie soundtracks. So if you’ve ever wanted to learn anything about leatherworking, with a backdrop of good tunes, and a lot of banter about various fandoms, this is the perfect channel for you.