Twitch kicks off new Creative channel with Bob Ross 'Joy of Painting' marathon

It's not all fun and live-streaming games for Twitch. The new channel will highlight the site's lesser-known, but thriving community of artists seeking an online audience.

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Twitch is best known as the home of passionate gamers who live-stream their gaming sessions online. What you might not know is that Twitch also nurtures a thriving community of creative types who perform music, show off their visual artistic prowess, or invite an audience to watch them write.

Recently, Twitch decided to throw its full support behind the site’s artistic sub-culture with a brand new landing page called Twitch Creative.

To celebrate, Twitch will also live stream every episode of The Joy of Painting, featuring proto-live streamer Bob Ross, starting at 5 p.m. Eastern/2 p.m. Pacific on Thursday and continuing for 8.5 days. The October 29 start date marks the birthday of the painter, art instructor, and television host, who passed away in 1995.

Ross’ Joy of Painting first appeared on PBS television stations, but he likely would have felt right at home online with Twitch’s creative channel. His casual, almost hypnotic presentation style was a very early example of how a seemingly mundane activity like painting a lake, writing a poem, or building a house in Minecraft can attract a wide audience.

The story behind the story: Live streaming is Twitch’s defining purpose. The full embrace of the site’s creative streamers comes just a few months after YouTube moved in on its primary demographic of gamers with YouTube Gaming. Highlighting Twitch’s appeal beyond live streams of Dota 2 and League of Legends can broaden its potential audience—or at least provide another reason to stay for those who are already invested in the Twitch community.

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