Kate Lacour


Kate Lacour

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm a cartoonist and art therapist. I run creative arts workshops for young people with autism and other special needs here in New Orleans. About 15% of that is actual hands-on art therapy, the rest is management, supervision, grant writing, advocacy and planning, planning, planning. I recently gave a TEDx talk on inclusivity through the lens of autism and Mardi Gras. My personal work is creating comics about the body. The best ready-made category for it is "body-horror", since it involves a lot of grotesque, disturbing and sexual content. But the effect is not scary so much as sickening and funny, hopefully beautiful as well. My ongoing series, Vivisectionary, is based on biology diagrams, and The Disciple covers the metaphysical degradation of a would-be mystic.

What hardware do you use?

I draw everything in archival ink on the cheapest watercolor paper available, then paint with a blend of watercolors, colored inks and watercolor dyes. I have finally transitioned to a high-quality watercolor brush, and it's transformed my art, not so much in terms of the final product, but the ease with which I can arrive there. I use the tarot occasionally for guidance on The Disciple and anatomical references or high school biology texts for ideas for Vivisectionary.

And what software?

I use Photoshop to make minor tweaks to my scanned artwork. By far, the most useful piece of technology is Google image search on my iPad. I'm old enough to remember a time in high school when I kept books pasted full of magazine clippings that I'd use for visual reference when drawing- some gross, some beautiful, some merely useful. Nowadays, I can Google anything I need to see in order to complete a page. My search history is pretty strange and embarrassing: horse testicles, barber chair, 1970s blender, vulva, human heart, ham are some of the most recent queries.

What would be your dream setup?

I finally have my ideal physical setup – a tiny desk, an iPad, an expensive paintbrush, a quiet little room for art making. I'm also lucky enough to have a nice little suburban house, two children and a full-time job. My dream would be having a babysitter or housekeeper to cover for me while I make more art.



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Kate Stark


Kate Stark

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Kate Stark and I am a Twitch Partner and full-time broadcaster at twitch.tv/kate.

What hardware do you use?

I use a LOT of hardware for my job. I'm currently using a two PC setup – one for streaming and encoding and a second for gaming. I've just built a new dedicated gaming PC, and it's an absolute beast, which is what I need to be able to stream at 1080p and play games at a high graphics setting. That includes an AMD Ryzen 7 1700 processor and a ZOTAC 1080 graphics card.

For streaming console games I'm using a Magewell Capture Card, which has been incredible for streaming games off the Nintendo Switch.

As far as lighting goes, I've got an 18 inch ring light mounted behind my Logitech C920 webcam that provides great even lighting on my face, and then 2 separate LED panels mounted to provide fill light on my green screen.

I find headphones to be really important as well. It's not something that people generally think about, but for a long time the headphones I was using were causing headaches. Since I switched to the Steelseries Arctis 5's that hasn't been an issue, because of the elastic strap they have which alleviates the pressure on the top of your head.

Beyond that, I find a good chair with decent lumbar support to be super important, as well as having monitors mounted at eye level to reduce neck strain. You really don't notice how much strain you're putting on your body until you've streamed for 8+ hours and you're sore the next day.

And what software?

Streaming software is pretty simple. I use Open Broadcast Software, AKA OBS. It's basic and easy to use but it does exactly what I need it to.

For music I tend to use Spotify. I've also been using Pretzel Rocks recently for royalty-free music to avoid muting on my VODs and avoiding content-ID claims.

My backend alert system is run through Layer One. It was developed by a team of people who work with streamers and know their needs. They're really open to listening to feedback and I find they really take it to heart, and the service is constantly improving. It's totally replaced the need to use other third-party alert websites by having all the information I need in one place.

What would be your dream setup?

My dream set up is basically exactly what I have right now. In September 2016, streaming became my full-time job and since then I've found it very important to spend money on good equipment dedicated to improving the quality of my stream, because I want viewers to have the best possible quality and experience when watching.



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Kate Compton


Kate Compton

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm an inventor, artist, and PhD student at UC Santa Cruz, go banana slugs! I worked in the games industry for 5 years, at Maxis, making algorithms to design the planets on Spore, and scripting the fire system on the latest SimCity. I went back to grad school to get my PhD in Computer Science with the Expressive Intelligence Studio, a group of interdisciplinary artificial intelligence researchers using AI for expressive purposes, like digital characters and interactive art. At the same time, I founded Seebright, a startup for the phone-based VR/AR headset that I'd invented (as far as I know, I was the first to use phones for VR!)

I'm most recently well-known for popularizing and educating people about procedural content generation in games and generative methods in many fields, with blog posts and GDC talks, and developing the popular newbie-friendly text-generation language Tracery. I also make a lot of strange generative works of my own, including several Twitter bots.

What hardware do you use?

I use a 2015 MacBook Pro and the ultra-light 2016 Macbook for travel. But many of my art installations use very unusual interfaces and a wide range of hardware toys, like Laser Pico projections on styrofoam heads, a projection on a spandex screen with a Kinect interface, a Leap Motion controlling a wall-sized projection, and most recently, a slime-filled balloon and an Arduino.

And what software?

I use JavaScript almost exclusively now, after years of Java. There are so many good libraries! I use Sublime, Transmit, and after some dissatisfaction with LightPaper, I'm writing my own text editor for my dissertation work.

What would be your dream setup?

I think I have my dream setup! Lots of oddball toys at home, plus my lightweight laptop for easy travel when backpacking between conferences. I would dearly love a big workshop with a laser-cutter and a CNC machine, though.


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