Senior BJ Scott is a defensive end starter on the football team and he loves art.
So much so that in October 2011, he created LiveSeed, a website that allows all types of artists - from musicians to photographers to painters to designers - to post their work, communicate with other creatives and eventually sell what they've created. "We are your virtual canvas," the site reads.
LiveSeed, which is finishing its beta testing and should be officially active in four to five months, Scott said, will be open to anyone, no matter the quality of his or her creation.
"The 'Seed' part of the name means that we want to support the seed of creativity, no matter what form it's in," Scott said. The "Live" portion comes from the idea that eventually the site will evolve into live concerts, showings and music events, he said.
Scott, a sociology major and a studio art minor who works in sculpture, chalk pastel and graphite, said he was influenced by his football teammates who were creating mix tapes and t-shirts on the side, and friends who had dropped out of college to pursue art full time.
"I think it's something a lot of people have the creative mind to do, they just don't have the balls to do it," he said. "I wanted to support people who took that chance, and I wanted them all to be in one place."
Right now, Scott is working with programmers from the web design company Illuminati Karate to perfect the page before it goes live. He wants it to be well catered to every type of artist, so he places a lot of importance on suggestions from people already using the site, he said.
Locke Kaushal, an aspiring rapper who is registered on LiveSeed, was recently featured on MTV's RapFix.
"LiveSeed gave me a platform to get my music to not just the masses in the U.S., but in Europe as well," Kaushal said. "Big ups to the cats over there."
This spring, Scott said the goal was to start sponsoring small art showings and music events in downtown Richmond to start promoting the LiveSeed brand. Scott is required to stay an extra semester next fall for football, but he said he was mostly doing it to have more time to promote the site. If the ad revenue is not enough to live on by the time he graduates, Scott said he would like to get a job at a creative-interactive firm until he could work on the site full time.
Scott said that art was important to him because it gave him a chance to release his emotions during a day strictly regulated by football.
"I can let out joy, frustration, whatever," he said. "So even if the site's not successful to the point where I could live off it, it's still a great project to be a part of because it lets me be with people like myself who understand that world."
Senior Caroline Lovette, who has given Scott input on the site design and business plan since the beginning, said that watching the site's progression was truly remarkable.
"Last year LiveSeed was just a notepad scribbled with a thousand different ideas on it," Lovette said. "Watching it grow into an active website featuring talented artists is ... proof of what someone's hard work and dedication can bring to life."
Contact staff writer Abby Kloppenburg at firstname.lastname@example.org