Monday, August 16, 2010


I'm in the process of editing the new episode (#29, if you must know!) (it seems like I'm ALWAYS editing a new episode!) - I don't do this all in one go, but tend to edit 10 minutes at a time.  I was doing so last night and was progressing rather well, when the diverting diversion itch flared up (as it has done now - I'm editing on one PC and writing this blog post on the other)
Artist CK Russell (Twitter: @virtualcara) tweeted that she would be on Ustream to do some live card drawing, with cards at a very reasonable price to anyone interested.  Despite discussing the Ustream idea with Kris Kersey of, I have never been online at the right time to catch one of these streaming broadcasts, so I thought I'd give this one a go.
I'm glad I did!  Not only did Cara do a card for me (of Irina Spalko - another for the increasing collection!  I'll post a scan when I have it in my hot little hands!) but I had great fun chatting with her and some of her followers. I was made very welcome and I'd like to thank Cara and her followers for a great first Ustream experience!
Not familiar with the idea?  It's really quite simple: someone hooks up a video camera/webcam/similar video device to a computer, signs up to a Ustream account and, having announced a date and time, broadcasts whatever they feel like to the wide virtual world. (That is a drastically simplified version of the process!)  There is a text chat box, in which viewers can send messages to the broadcaster, or to other viewers, and the broadcaster (if they have a microphone hooked up as well) can answer questions or respond to comments via the audio.
It's great for artists because they can showcase their work AND show work in progress as it actually, erm, progresses!
Cara is not the only artist to do this sort of thing - in fact, if you pop along to Kris' website (link above!) you'll find a list of a number of artist Ustreams, and you'll find more if you look on the Scoundrel art board.

Technology still has the power to amaze me - Ustream is a case in point.  Once upon a time, if you wanted to commission an artist to do a piece for you, either you'd have to go through the email/post process and wait ages to see if what the artist was doing was what you actually wanted, or you'd have to hope that you'd see an artist you'd like at a show or convention.
Now, you can watch the artist at work onscreen and, if you like what you see, a quick PayPal and onscreen text message gets you almost instant 'as it happens' access, with direct input into what is being drawn.

I'm inspired!  In fact, if I can work something out, I may well do a Ustream of my own some time - possibly if I can get the iSight hooked up to the Mac at some point, and I can lay my hands on a sealed box of cards, I might do something for the NSU Open That Box Day next year!  (unless I can come up with a better idea beforehand!)

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