The ArtCast Network

This one goes out to all you illustrator types.

Children’s book illustrator Dani Jones was an early adopter of using online video such as YouTube and live broadcast video service Ustream to share her tips, techniques and talents with others.

Over time she had found that there were quite a few artists producing both recorded video as well as doing live “screencasts”, but with no real hub site to bring them all together.

The ArtCast Network

This simple thought led to the creation of The ArtCast Network — a portal site where illustrators, comic artists, painters, cartoonists and any other visual art related to illustration would have a “group home” to allow those interested to find all of them in one place.

In a relatively short amount of time, Dani had put together a slick little WordPress site bringing together all these creators and their videos.

In The Studio

The real draw to the ArtCast Network is the live “screencasts”, where artists will draw, sketch and paint live via Ustream, or any of the other live streaming video services. Not only do you get t watch the artists draw live, but there is also a live chat window where you can interact directly with the artists — ask a question, make a comment, give kudos.

If you’re like me, you love to watch other artists’ process of creating their images, and being able to interact with them while they do it is even better. I would have killed to have had something like this when I was younger.

The Screening Room

The ArtCast Network also has a weekly event called “The Screening Room”, where one of the many artists on the ArtCast Network do a live screencast at 9:00 PM EST. It’s a great way for those interested in watching to have a single day and time where various artists will be doing their thing.

Many artists have either an irregular broadcast schedule, or perhaps screencast when it isn’t convenient for you to watch. This is a nice solution to that problem.

Anytime, Anywhere

Of course, perhaps even that regular slot might not be ideal, so even better is the fact that all these live broadcast services allow recording, so you can go back and check out the ones you’ve missed.

Obviously you’ll miss out on the opportunity to interact with the artist, but with any luck someone asked the question you had.

Your humble editor also participates on the ArtCast Network, and I’ve hosted a couple of the weekly Screening room sessions as well. It’s a very rewarding experience, and even better when there’s a nice, big crowd of viewers keeping things active in the chat and asking good questions —on-topic or off.

ArtCast Network Wants You!

Partially we wanted to bring the ArtCast Network to your attention, but even better — the ArtCast Network wants any and all artists out there doing a live screencast to join up and be part of the site. It’s absolutely free, and very much a site that is “by artists, for artists”.

Quite a few of the artist are digital, but there are plenty who prop up a webcam and do traditional media as well. Some even switch between the two. There really is “something there for everyone”. It’s such a fantastic resource, a great way to network with other artists online, and something that we just didn’t have access to until recently.

I strongly urge you to head over to The ArtCast Network, check out some of the live shows, and again if you are an artist yourself, get a show set up and drop Dani a line to get listed on the website. The online live stream services like Ustream and are totally free, so there’s really no investment save for you time. There’s a great “Getting Started” page that has all the info you need.

You can also follow The ArtCast Network on Twitter.

Have another great online resource like The ArtCast Network that we should know about, or a favorite artist on the ArtCast Network? Let us know in the comments section below.