Queeky.com is home to a collaborative community focused on creating and sharing works of art in a friendly, professional, and healthy online setting. The artists there range from amateurs to professionals, to everything in between (like myself.) The premise here is that you can paint and draw whatever you like and have a community of artists view your work and offer advice and critiques.
There are a lot of social networking aspects going on at Queeky as well. Artists have the opportunity to create and join different groups, which can become collaborative work environments for posting and sharing among friends, co-workers or students. Best of all, it’s absolutely free!
Having spent a few good days exploring Queeky, I was absolutely blown away by some of the work there and the caliber of the artists on the site. I sat and watched about half a dozen paintings before even moving on to learn the interface, it’s just that much of an incredible experience. That is the experience I want my students to walk away with as well; awe and inspiration, empowerment, confidence.
Queeky makes it easy to be inspired
Every drawing made on Queeky is recorded, as it happens, for playback later in the browser. You can play it at anywhere from double speed up to what’s like 100 times speed or more. One time-lapse I watched was of an artist who painted Natalie Portman, and even watching full speed took a few minutes. It was astonishing! (Click here to see this video, you may have to register first.) To be able to see an artist’s process is invaluable, and this is the goal of my RILS exercise.
The interface is very friendly for anyone with Photoshop experience, and probably even for most without given a little time to get acquainted. Usability is very easy, and it seems quite reliable. Unlike my past experience with Pixlr, I didn’t crash Queeky’s software once.
Make sure you are prepared, it can take some time to setup
One of the biggest hurdles I can see though is learning how the actual site works; registration, joining and creating a group, and getting your work posted to said group after creation. It took me a grand total of about 20 minutes to figure out the full site, which is comparatively speedy I’m sure, but if you’re working within a very limited time-span, it may not afford you the time necessary to complete your lesson plan and implement the RILS activity. For that reason, I suggest having students and learners pre-register for the site and join the group prior to the RILS exercise.
I was able to create a group, set it’s access to members only, and publish work only visible to those in the group. This is important for student privacy, and for those students who would like to have peer critiques but fear having their work critiqued by the entirety of the internet.
- Queeky is fast and reliable
- It’s free for everyone, and runs in your browser
- It mimics a lot of the paint tools in Photoshop well, so those familiar should have no trouble in Queeky
- The artist community is thriving, and positive, so critiques and feedback will be very helpful
- It’s a heck of a lot of fun, and truly inspiring, to watch some of these artists!
Queeky is a very powerful tool, and using it for my RILS will be an amazing opportunity for my artists to learn and grow. The group atmosphere lends itself directly to the critique process, and there are even tools for collaborative, same time painting that I am still exploring. The possibilities could truly be limitless!