Originally posted in the LA Times
March 15, 2017
Signing up for a painting class at an art studio without any experience can be intimidating, but a new business in Burbank is looking to create a more relaxing atmosphere by adding liquid encouragement to the mix.
Wine & Design, an art studio franchise that opened seven months ago in the Magnolia Park District, is the first business of its kind in the city to offer beer and wine to customers while they paint.
Lisa Flette, the studio's owner, said many people have stopped by to ask her about signing up for a class, but have gotten discouraged about following through because of their lack of painting experience and fear of creating something in a room with strangers.
"I tell them that they're not alone, and that there's a lot of people that sign up individually and just want to paint," she said, adding that sometimes it takes a glass of wine or a beer to help get a person's creative juices flowing.
Though the main appeal of Wine & Design is being able to imbibe while painting with friends or others in the class, Flette said many of her customers return because of how easy it is to paint at her studio.
Instead of handing someone a blank canvas, Flette said that she uses a light box to trace a basic image onto a painting element to help guide their brush strokes.
"A lot of people told me that they've never seen this at other studios," she said, adding that people were relieved to see the tracings on the canvases.
Flette, 49, of North Hollywood, said she has always had a passion for painting and drawing, but fell into office administration. After working as an administrative assistant at a private practice in the mental health field for more than 25 years, she decided it was time to turn her hobby into a career.
"I found this opportunity with Wine & Design and found my location," Flette said. "I'm in an artsy part of Burbank, and it just kind of launched."
Though the business has been open for the past seven months, Flette decided it was time to have a grand opening last month. She said the studio has been embraced by the Magnolia Park community, and she hopes to continue giving back to Burbank, which she considers to be her hometown.
"We haven't superseded downtown Burbank, but definitely Magnolia Park has risen," Flette said.
Anthony Clark Carpio, firstname.lastname@example.org
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