We caught up with variety streamer TinyTrees (she/they), their Treehouse community, and the great work they’re doing for The Trevor Project. Streamlabs is proud to host TinyTrees on our Twitch channel from June 10, 2022 at 9 am PT (11 am CT) for their 33 hour charity stream. Navigate to their stream from our page or connect directly through their socials here:
TinyTrees: Twitch, YouTube, Twitter, and TikTok
Can you provide some background on your channel and how you got started. How long have you been streaming and what do you typically like to stream?
Oh my goodness it's been a ride. I had been on Twitch for about 5 years prior to finally jumping into streaming. I have been streaming for 3 and a half years at this point. My channel initially started as a chaos variety channel - everything from speedrunning to new indie games to multiplayer games to crafting. About a year ago I shifted more heavily into narrative-based games (think Kingdom Hearts, Detroit: Become Human, Life is Strange) and that's really where I've ended up. I like to explore narrative games, especially if they have plot elements that can be discussed in connection to IRL situations.
What was it about streaming that initially interested you and inspired you to give it a try?
I had been a Twitch viewer for a long time, mostly watching Magic: The Gathering and Dark Souls speedruns. A close friend of mine started streaming and I would hang out in her channel and also in-person with her while she was live. I saw the impact she was able to have connecting with people over shared hobbies and experiences and decided to start streaming. I started with speedruns, like I had watched, along with some variety and it just went from there.
What is the most important thing to you about being an LGBTQIA+ streamer?
As simple as it may seem to say, the most important thing is being loud and proud about being part of the LGBTQIA+ community. I have an amazing community and I know I'm on a platform where a lot of individuals are trying to find others like themselves and safe spaces to exist. And I try my best to create that, both while live and offline in our community. I think it is so important to use my space to educate viewers about LGBQTIA+ issues as well as speaking to my own experiences while supporting others. Watching a community form around those ideals has been so amazing. I think oftentimes we as people can feel like islands going through our own life experiences and I want to be a loud voice to show that we don't have to be alone, there are others like us and that safe spaces exist where we can explore our identities and life experiences.
Are there other LGBTQIA + streamers that you are inspired by?
Oh my goodness, SO MANY. OhKay inspires me daily by showing what it means to speak out and be an advocate while also educating. A_TypicalQueer as well for being a constant advocate for marginalized communities and working to create a network of creators. AlleeMac and Analog_Amber are two dear friends who inspire me daily with their willingness to be outspoken and always speak their heart on social issues as well as the importance of finding your own identity. And Shawn, who really taught me that I can use my platform for education and support as many people as I can.
Do you have any tips for new streamers entering the space?
I think my biggest tip is "know yourself.” It can be super easy to approach streaming from a mindset of, "What game is going to do well?" or "How can I draw viewers?" which are super valid questions to ask while starting. However, people will come for YOU and if you lose yourself in content creation, it can be hard to get that back. Additionally, be aware if you really want to try and get into streaming and content creation: know it takes as much time off camera as you spend live, if not more. It's important to network, build content on other platforms and do research into streaming.
In your opinion, what makes a good/engaging livestream for viewers?
I think there are so many varieties of good/engaging streams. Honestly, one of the easiest is someone who acknowledges chat. I think we all understand that games can be busy and pull attention but it can feel really good to have a streamer acknowledge your comments or say hello. I think honestly interactive elements, which some can find overwhelming, help with engagement. Things like the stream pets or a soundboard that can be activated. I'm also drawn to unique camera or audio setups (says the girl with many, many cameras) and I tend to find creativity very engaging. You see something new on the platform and it really draws you in like, "Ooooh what's that?"
What kind of activities or hobbies do you enjoy outside of streaming and creating content?
Outside of content creation I am a WIDE book of hobbies. I build LEGOs and have far too many models around my apartment. I love to cook and bake for myself and friends. I crochet pretty much daily and also enjoy playing guitar and diamond painting. I'm lucky to live very close to nature so I make sure to get outside and go to the riverwalk and explore hiking trails close to where I live.
How do you avoid burnout and stay motivated as a creator?
Block scheduling - I know that's so weird to say but I dedicate a specific time during the week for things related to content creation. This makes sure that content doesn't bleed into my personal life or consume every moment outside of live streams. It's easy to get pulled into the traps of constantly editing content, constantly needing to post a tweet or TikTok, etc. But it's important to remember I have to take care of myself because without me, there is no content. My motivation in a way comes from this. I know I have dedicated times weekly where I can focus on content and use that time to look into new stream ideas, tech work, etc. And it helps me not feel overwhelmed and instead I'm excited to work on content.
Anything else you want to share with Streamlabs readers?
If you're reading this and are considering streaming, just do it. It's very scary to hit that “go live” button the first time, but it can definitely be worth the ride. However, I also want to say, especially with this being a Pride spotlight, always be true to yourself. Whether that's while streaming or just in life. It can be a hard road to figure out who we are and it's something a lot of us continue to work on daily. But once you get there, hold onto yourself fiercely, be your true self and speak up for yourself whenever possible. You deserve to be seen and heard and take up space. Just do it.