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Budding Artist? Check Out Julie J Studio

The new downtown Libertyville art studio offers classes for all ages.

When a couple of moms and their toddlers walked into Julie J Studio, owner Julie Latayan immediately went into artist mode.

She set the children up at small easels where they could express their creativity through some finger-painting. They also had a chance to color and play with "Moon Dust."

"(I enjoy) seeing the kids so excited about what they make," said Latayan, a Grayslake resident. "They're just beaming."

An artist from birth, Latayan said her own talent really took off in eighth grade.

"My teacher was a real artist and she really took me under her wing," she said.

Latayan went on to spend five years teaching art at Wilmington High School near Joliet. She also displayed her art street fairs and art shows. She even opened her own studio but eventually sold the building.

She decided to open a studio in Libertyville because "the opportunities were here, the culture is here.

"It's a really friendly town," she added.

A Sea of Color

Julie J Studio is a colorful environment. Students' paintings hang on the walls. The floor in the back part of the studio is splattered with paint. Latayan repurposed an inexpensive large, round table and painted a large peacock on it. Even the chairs at the table have been repurposed; she covered them with green spray paint and then painted peacock feathers on them.

Latayan admits that the studio is still a work in progress.

"It's just like a painting—it's always going to change," she said.

Though she opened her studio just a few weeks ago, Latayan has already seen a steady stream of budding artists walk through her door at 117 E. Cook Ave. in downtown Libertyville.

"It's word-of-mouth," said Theresa Rice, Latayan's sister who came from Colorado to help open the studio. "And it's the way Julie takes the time with each student."

Variety of Classes

She offers classes and lessons for all ages.

There's a drawing class for children ages 6 to 12, where students learn basic shading techniques, use of line and perspective. There are acrylics and watercolor classes for the same age group. Each class is $90 for four weeks and includes all materials.

Adults can also take acrylics, drawing and watercolor classes. The fee is $110 per four-week class.

Latayan is also planning a Spring Break Camp from March 25-29 that will feature drawing and painting lessons.

Budding artists can also take hour-and-a-half drop-in painting classes where the cost is based on the size of the canvas, paper, glass or wood. Julie J Studio also offers group parties, including birthday parties and Glow in the Dark parties.

"Anybody can learn (to paint)," Latayan insists. "It's a process. And if you start with a good drawing, you'll get a good painting."

For more information on the classes offered, visit the Julie J Studio website.

CC January 22, 2013 at 12:37 PM
Grab a brush and Get Painting! I have been to Julie J's art studio and it really is a fun, relaxing art studio where you learn how to draw and paint. I went to a 7 year olds birthday party there and each child made their own painting that they were able to take home and hang on their wall. The parents were impressed with their creations and the children were so proud of what they accomplished. I thought the price was reasonable too as it only cost $20 per child, less than a lot of other parties.
David Rutter January 22, 2013 at 06:54 PM
DEAR PATCH EDITORS, Your interview and promotional news story about the “new” art studio in downtown Libertyville, while accurate in some ways, reflects the limits of hyper local news. If reader took the story at face value, the new owner would seem to have arrived out of the sky and set up shop after operating a studio somewhere else. Of course, that’s not the truth. She was partners with another local artist in downtown Libertyville for more than a year. When personal and professional differences of opinion arose in the partnership, they went their separate ways. The original studio, Artist at Heart, remains in operation successfully on U.S. 21 in downtown Libertyville. Now they are competitors. The only thing “new” about the “new business” is the location. Same business as before and with many of the same customers. By ignoring the context, Patch has reshaped the reality. Patch essentially has taken sides in a business dispute that now has become commercial competition. Giving publicity to one and ignoring the other implies that Patch has taken sides, or worse, doesn’t know what the facts are. In the first case, Patch is unfair. In the second, Patch has not been competent in its journalist job because it missed the story.
Korrina Grom (Editor) January 22, 2013 at 07:33 PM
Hi David, Thank you for your comment. I assure you it is not Patch's intent to take sides in any sort of dispute, nor was I aware of any dispute. I was informed about a new business that opened in downtown Libertyville, and, in my quest to keep readers informed about businesses opening in town, I decided to write a story. I am actually in the process of writing about every downtown Libertyville business. I assure you that my intentions were pure; I did not write the story to create competition between businesses.
Lake County Mom January 22, 2013 at 10:10 PM
It not only feels Julie's studio fell out of the sky, our family feels it might have fallen from heaven! Under Julie's skillful and talented direction, we have created art pieces we are proud to hang in our home. They are not just craft pieces, or inches and yards of kitschy and useless art, but genuine artistry! We are excited about her spacious location at 117 E. Cook Ave, Libertyville and feel very lucky such a talented artist is part of our community. Her art classes and parties allow us to release creativity and develop our talent at a very reasonable cost. Julie is a genuinely classy and nice person to boot and one you and your teens, tweens, gal pals, and kids will be proud to get to know.

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