Graphics can be a great way to showcase who you are and what you like when it comes to your stream. Normally partners on any platform, as well as anyone wanting to showcase their brand through photos normally customized to their ideas. This can be panels, online and offline screens, intros and outros and overlays as well too. Though this might sound overwhelming don’t be alarmed, Everyone has to start somewhere and you don’t need to have the fanciest things to begin with. A lot of streamers start with basics and move forward as they progress in the streaming world or when more money comes in. As any type of graphics will normally cost money. Getting something for free can be a good way to wait a long time for them.
First, If you are a new streamer, make sure that the first thing you do, IF ANYTHING is to change your profile picture. Far too many times I see people tweeting and trying to get viewers, when they don’t even have a profile picture. Whether you put a photo of food, or your photo, adding a profile photo and not keeping it the default photo is a great way to show what you are about. Maybe you have a custom logo made, maybe you have a pet or something else you enjoy, changing your profile photo demonstrates you know what you are doing (even if you are pretending!).
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Secondly, Don’t pay a crap load of money for panels JUST YET. There is a lot of free sites out there such as Nerd or Die where you can actually make your own panels. Nerd or Die is a prime example of a website that you can make even very basic panels for your live streaming needs. They are available to anyone so there isn’t much customization BUT its a great way to put place holders there and show that you are growing in the industry. I actually used this site and made my panels that way. Its easy to change and helps you not to stress over the customized graphics (Just yet) when it comes to building your channel.
Next is overlays. You have overlays that again, you can pay money for and have a decent overlay customized for you. Or you ca go to some sites where you can purchase an overlay that is also available to other people too so customization may not be as personal. Some sites even have packages for specific panels and overlays that you can buy for a cheaper price. I would check if possible, the popularity of the package though. You don’t want to use the same panels and overlays as all of your friends or people you watch either. You can have an overlay on your screen as well as a cam boarder. This is where you can display your stats like recent followers, subscribers, tips as well as other things that you wish.
Another thing I would suggest when it comes to thinking about the graphics for your channel. Go into this with an idea of some sort. Not saying that artists aren’t creative or anything but if you go into this with an idea or a concept then it can make things run a lot smoother. When I went into wanting my emotes made I had the names and a few examples of something similar that I wanted. I sent them to my emote artist and she did a fantastic job on them. It can also do a lot in helping the artist as well save time. If you give them a basic concept, And they do something you aren’t fond of then they now have to go back and revise what they did. Now, yes that is part of their job is to refine what you asked but it can save so much time in the long run if you go in with a particular style or even a mascot with who you want. I am going to be personally saving my twitch pays for the next few months I would estimate perhaps.. 6-9 months given that I get pay outs every 3 to save to re-invest into the stream. I’m in no rush because for me I typically sketch out an idea and refine it over time so that an artist has a pretty clear idea of what I want and they can then put their own style onto it!
A HUGE thing to remember when looking for an artist. Nothing in life is free and you get what you pay for. If you are looking for a cheap and easy artist chances are you will get the run in to a lot of various issues with creating your design. Artists take a lot of time when making these creations for our streams some even have many years of schooling behind them. Do you have a friend who has had their graphics done and you loved the work their artist has done? Hit that artist up. One thing that is huge in getting your name out there as an artist is word of mouth. From sharing and having great emotes and overlays and things. Look at AdmiralBahroo, He is known not just for his streams but his iconic emotes as well too. You may have seen them around, the ones with the panda mascot. The power of great graphics is similar to having a great impression via word of mouth. If you use a site like Fiverr as well too, Make sure you check the artist reviews, what they will provide, revisions and whatever else you are looking for. If you get a weird feeling from someone by reading their profile or portfolio (which you should be asking for examples as well too!) If you don’t like something keep searching. There is no rush when finding an artist to make your vision become a reality.
Also this almost should go without needing mentioning, If you cannot afford emotes/graphics/overlays DO NOT STEAL THEM! If you see someone on twitch or where ever with the same emotes as you, report them. Ask how they got them. Question things. So often you see people using others designs because they wanted an easy way our. Streamers and artists are also responsible for this. Streamers if you notice that you have a product that is plagiarized then remove it. Question your artist. And Artists if you use someone else’s artwork. Shame on you as well too.
Regardless of how you want your vision to come to life remember, Not everyone had the money to pay hundreds of dollars for graphics their first stream. Save your money and invest in someone who you trust and you enjoy their work! Ask around and don’t be afraid to ask your artist questions as well too. Don’t spend a lot of money on a “Maybe” if the artist isn’t sure they can produce results!