Meet The Team Behind Twitch’s Joy-Giving Fairy Modmother

Twitch’s “Fairy Modmother” has been around for almost a year now, first showing up in April of 2021 to help brighten up streamers’ days with some gift subs and bits. A campaign followed in June when they were again donating subs and bits to streamers to help celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride. But, the biggest wave of gifts from the Fairy Modmother was yet to come, sweeping across Twitch as they gave away hundreds, if not thousands of dollars worth of bits while spreading some general, “non-denominational holiday cheer” in the chat.

The reactions from the streamers have been varied but consistently filled with joy and, of course, surprise. A quick search of “fairy modmother” on Twitter will show you what we’re talking about.

Tom DesLongchamp, the multi-disciplined artist (seriously, check out his work), animator, and voice of the Fairy Modmother (as well as a streamer in his own right) tells Uproxx that, in a rare turn of events, Twitch came to him with the initial idea for this character. DesLongchamp originally had a slew of designs, all incredibly detailed and meticulously thought-out but, as he tells us, those first ideas were a little all over the place. “I tried making them different animals — making them human was really weird.” Jessica Phoenix, DesLongchamp’s wife, is an illustrator herself and suggested making the character into a sort of bean. “The original sketch of Fairy Modmother had a sort-of cowboy hat and cowboy boots, so they asked that the boots be rollerskates, and I changed the hat to a headset,” he adds while reflecting on the several small pieces that come together to create the character’s look.

DesLongchamp uses his own voice in all videos the Modmother appears in, but finds it to be a fun challenge to get into the character. He also likes that it seems “a little odd” for his voice to come from the Fairy Modmother. And he loves seeing videos of streamers getting visited by Fairy Modmother and their reactions. “It makes me happy,” he says. “It’s thrilling to make work that meets people in this way.”

It’s clear that a lot of careful thought went into what the Fairy Modmother would mean to streamers, viewers, and the Twitch community as a whole.

“We wanted an entity that represented giving, kindness and surprise,” Mary Kish, Director of Community Marketing at Twitch tells us, adding, “Truly, a Fairy Godmother is all these things. A bit of wordplay and you got yourself a Fairy Modmother.”Kish is one member of the team responsible for the creation of this program

From the beginning, the Fairy Modmother was about giving back to the community of streamers that provide the endless amount of content that is live-streamed and stored on the site. As Kish puts it, “When a streamer goes live, they are creating entertainment and a safe place for viewers to sit back, relax and enjoy. That deserves recognition always and we wanted to find an extra special way of acknowledging this from Twitch.” At the same time, Kish tells us that they wanted the effort to feel unique to the platform. And to do that, they needed an artist of unique talents.

“We knew we wanted a creator on Twitch to play the role, and Tom (DesLongchamp)’s stream provided the perfect inspiration. He’s incredibly talented and his animations gave us limitless opportunities and imagination with the character,” says Kish. “If we wanted them to fly, they could fly, if they manifested kittens made out of bits, fabulous. The sky’s the limit. Tom was amazing to create with […] We ended with a roller skate-wearing, bean-shaped, winged fairy with a heart of gold. No regrets.”

All of this joy and goodwill didn’t mean that this project wasn’t without its roadblocks. “The Fairy Modmother was actually timed out a few times!,” Kish tells us when discussing early challenges around setting up the giveaway and winning the trust of suspicious streamers. “One of the ways we combatted this was to ensure that if someone clicks through the homepage of the Fairy Modmother, it can be confirmed that they are indeed a legit Twitch character,” Kish says.

Despite a few bumps along the way, everyone seems to be united in satisfaction over the reception the Modmother has had since their launch, especially for the ways that it has largely been used to give back to often-underlooked communities. “It has been an absolute joy. I have seen creators cry, sing songs, give their dogs treats, and dance in happiness because of this character,” Kish says. “We wanted to create a character who does something positive, no strings attached, just a simple way to say ‘Thank you’.”

Mission accomplished — the streaming community has no doubt heard of the Fairy Modmother and what they’re doing to spread cheer and positivity to the Twitch streamers that have already gotten a Modmother visit of their own. But what about the future? When we asked, Kish told us, “The Fairy Modmother should be hanging around some creators in the Sports Category pretty soon! We don’t always tweet their visits, sometimes a Modmother just appears for the greater good and leaves! They have also been known to visit creators sometimes on their partner anniversaries and birthdays! Just for fun!” Be sure to keep an eye on the Sports category in the near future to potentially see some of the Modmother’s magic in action for yourself someday soon.