Blank Canvas

“Life is a blank canvas and we are the painters, needing to create something of worth and beauty that marks our journey. You hold your brush, choose your palette and begin to fill your blank canvas, realizing that you are the artist of your own destiny.” -Unknown 

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Last year before I even started writing my blog I was looking on Amazon Deals, Groupon and LivingSocial searching for something different to try- an activity that was outside of my comfort zone but one that I could still afford. Of course, I have always had the grandiose dream of zip lining through the jungles in Costa Rica, but unfortunately, that won’t be happening until I can save up enough money. So, until I knew I could make that happen, I was in dire need of something.

I came across a BYOB painting class at a studio in downtown Chicago called VIP Paints. The price was right for me and it was something I had never done before. I love to have a few drinks but to be honest I was tired of the same old bar scene, so it seemed like a great way for me to do something fun and different while still letting loose and having a few cocktails.

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Unfortunately, a misunderstanding between my friends and I lead me to believe that they were going to be purchasing the deal as well, but none of them did, so I was the only one that bought the painting voucher. I’m not going to lie, I was upset at first. I was so excited about the deal I had found and thought it would be a fun outing to do as a group of girlfriends, and I thought to myself, “there is no way I’m going to go to this place by myself.”

However, a few months passed by and the expiration date on my pass neared and I began to look at the website again and found myself more and more intrigued- especially when I spotted the class that I eventually decided to go to on my own.

Each day the studio features a different painting that they teach and I spotted a Saturday that they were teaching how to paint a pair of Christian Louboutin heels. These shoes have been on my vision board for years now, so to have the opportunity to paint them- well, I just couldn’t see passing that up! It seemed meant to be- almost as if I painted them, I would be one step closer to owning a pair of them!

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I really didn’t want to waste the money I had already spent. I truly wanted to go to the class. And I really wanted the experience. So I decided to just go for it and signed myself up for the class. I figured it would be all groups of girls and I would be the only girl on her own, but to my surprise it wasn’t like that at all. The class was very diverse. There were people on their own. There were large groups. There were people in pairs. I got sat next to another girl around my age who was also at the class on her own. It was great; I literally felt like we were old friends just meeting up for a fun afternoon outing.

Photo via VIP paints

Photo via VIP paints

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The studio was warm and friendly from the moment I walked in. The owner greeted me and showed me where to hang up my coat and grab a painting smock. The teacher was amazing and very patient with everyone- even with a few of the rather tipsy ladies! The studio provided wine glasses for those of us that brought beverages. The atmosphere was relaxed and I was amazingly comfortable. And, this is coming from someone that has social anxiety…so that truly says a lot. I was extremely happy when I left the class and so glad that I decided to take the chance to go on my own.

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Unfortunately, I got a little bug Saturday evening that lasted through Monday, and had me stuck in bed for a good portion of that time. However, the one good thing about this is it gave me some time to reflect on my experience at VIP Paints….

And reflect I did…

One thing, I found extremely interesting is that we all started out with the same white canvas, same paint, same brushes, same picture in mind of what we were all planning on painting and yet at the end of the class I looked around and every single one of us had created something completely unique. That blew my mind. I loved that moment when I looked around and saw everyone’s paintings.

It had me thinking about both life, fashion and my blog. The thing is, at the end of the day, fashion isn’t just about clothes. It’s about expressing yourself and showing the world who you are. And painting seemed to be very similar to me. We started with a blank canvas and we got to choose how we wanted to express the drawing and how to interpret the painting. Each and every one of us are unique and that’s why each of our paintings turned out different.

The awesome thing about life is, each day we are essentially given a blank canvas. We get to decide how we are going to paint that canvas and what we are going to do with our life- not only with our fashion choices but with our life choices.

If you live in the Chicago area, then I urge you to look up a class at VIP Paints. They offer a wide variety of options and it truly was a great experience. If you are not in the Chicago area, then try doing a Google search for BYOB painting classes and check out their ratings from other customers who have visited.

I’m very happy I tried something new and suggest you do the same!

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Next project: cleaning out my closet, so I can hang up my work of art where it belongs- next to my shoes!

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