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Like Twitch for illustrators: Watch art happen in real time with Sywork

A new service called Sywork lets you watch artists and illustrators in the process of bringing their creations to life. It's like Twitch, but for artists.

Millions of people around the world enjoy looking at art and graphic design. They flock to real-life art galleries and studios and their digital equivalents like Behance and DeviantArt to see beautiful works of art created by artists, illustrators and other creators.

Here's Dave Whitaker (bottom left) working on his Deadpool model on Sywork. Video screenshot by Anthony Domanico/CNET

But what if you could watch these works being created? What if you could watch the artists as they bring these masterpieces to life?

A recently launched service called Sywork promises just that. Sywork is a new Y Combinator-backed company that lets digital artists stream the creation process in real time.

Each artist can create a personal page, and users can follow individual artists they like. Once you're following an artist, you'll be notified when that person is live. As with the game-streaming service Twitch, each video stream is accompanied by a chat window so those watching can talk to each other, and the artist, as they watch.

On Thursday, I spent some time watching UK-based 3D character artist Dave Whitaker creating a pretty incredible 3D model of popular comic book character Deadpool on his Sywork stream, and it reinforced for me how impressive it is to watch artists work. (And if you're in the mood for Deadpool, don't miss the NSFW trailer.)

The way digital artists can quickly and easily manipulate programs like Pixologic's ZBrush 4R7 -- the one Whitaker is using to create his Deadpool model -- is pretty amazing.

I had the chance to chat with Whitaker a bit about his experience on Sywork. He said he thinks that for creators, Sywork is superior to similar streaming services like Twitch, which is geared toward gamers: because those who choose to watch are interested in art, Sywork is "a specialized area where artists can feel appreciated and given serious input by people with the same passions."

So while Sywork definitely isn't as big as Twitch, if the concept takes off, it could end up being the next place artists and creators go to share their work with like-minded individuals and maybe build a business. Plus, it's a great place for those non-artists out there like me who are fascinated with art and design to see how creators bring these things to life.

To watch artists in action, be sure to head over to the Sywork.tv page and start enjoying the streams. If you're interested in the founders' vision for the company, TechCrunch writer Drew Olanoff's interview with co-founder Marcelo Echeverria is well worth a read.