The Creative HotSeat - An Online Art Critique Community

Are you looking for a place to show your art and engage in conversation about it? Do you wish you knew of a place where you could go to get positive, constructive feedback about your art? Maybe you're a professional artist who would like to help and encourage other artists by providing them with invaluable advice and answers based upon your many years of experience. Well friends - it's time to put yourselves in the Creative HotSeat.

Creative HotSeat is an online, critique community for artists. All artists may submit their completed works, works in progress, sketches, thumbnails, and even basic outlines for open peer-to-peer critiques and discussions.

Artist Mimi Lee launched Creative HotSeat as a way for student and professional artists to get varied opinions about their work - but mostly their works-in-progress. On the website, artists can submit their work(s) easily and have it posted for peer-to-peer critique. Creative HotSeat is essentially a rolling critique, where revisions are posted, and linked back to the original post. With this, reviewers and artists can gather an opinion of where the piece started and where it is going. Mimi encourages every visitor to the site to participate by posting work and also reviewing work. Her hope for Creative HotSeat is for it to become a tool for artists of all mediums to use regularly and provide them with an active voice in the art community.

Mimi would also like to see Creative HotSeat become a place where artists from many different regions of the world come to communicate, share, and experience the process of other artists in their field. Creative HotSeat has only been "live" for three weeks and already many students and several professionals from around the world have been posting assignment pieces and gallery works. There has even been an artist from Spain who has posted - very exciting to see!

Since the site is still in the very early stages, the importance of getting the word out there is high on Mimi's list. Creative HotSeat needs a larger community in order for artists to get a broad amount of feedback. Mimi's art school buddy and friend, Chris McGarry, has also jumped on board since the very beginning concept of Creative HotSeat. He has been helping to spread the word in the Philadelphia area. He also started a Facebook page for the website. Mimi says she would have never thought to use Facebook as a marketing tool if not for Chris. Together, they've been plastering the walls of Facebook art groups and pages with information on Creative HotSeat. They've received so much positive feedback from all types of groups and it's really been quite encouraging. Chris and Mimi have also been filling many art instructors' email boxes hoping the instructors will spread the word to their students about the new site.

"When I was in college in 1997, there was no online resources for artists, no common place to meet, there was no way to even "Google" that. Now the internet is a matrix of social networking." states Mimi "It's absolutely amazing! On Creative HotSeat, we're utilizing this by providing each posted artist a link to their own personal website so others can see more of their work. This will also help keep Creative HotSeat from becoming just an online gallery of artists and more of an online art critique forum."

While cruising through the internet looking for different avenues to advertise Creative HotSeat, Mimi has been amazed and heart-warmed to discover so many well-known and very talented professionals acting as active mentors in the art community to bands of aspiring artists. In the months to come, she would like to create a weekly segment where a professional in the field is a featured guest reviewer on the site.

Mary Lee (or "Mimi", as she is called by her nephew) attended East Carolina University School of Art and graduated in 2002 with a BFA in Illustration. She currently applied to the Maryland Institute College of Art graduate program for a Masters in the Business of Art and Design (MPS). She is also a stay-at-home mom, who after feeling like she lives on an isolated island far from the art world, decided to come out from under her rock and build a raft. She recently started drawing and creating again and loves the community she has found online thus far. You can also find Mimi on her blog, The Merry Life.


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