Tote and Go Canvas returns July 1st
Most of us have those exhausted-by-life periods; times when the days fly by while our own needs remain at the bottom of the to-do list. Jessica Ball was one of those people: a married mom, home with her three young boys during the day, working as a restaurant server in the evenings and catching sleep whenever she could.
“I love to paint and I love art,” she says. “I had been painting all the time, but after my third son was born that was missing from my life, because I was so tired from taking care of three children.”
To get art back into her life, Ball first interviewed with a wine-and-canvas company, hoping to reclaim her creative outlet as a painting teacher. But the company never called back. “It was a blessing,” she says, “because I decided to go out on my own.”
Starting a business, in your home
While starting a business is not the most obvious solution to the no-time-for-myself problem, launching Tote and Go Canvas last December was just what Ball needed to reclaim her passion. Not having a liquor license or the money for studio space, she decided to offer a home-party version of the wine-and-art experience instead.
“I figured if I did it in peoples’ homes it would be more comfortable for them,” she said. “They could have their own party and invite their own friends.”
In return, Ball gets to meet new people— which can be a challenge for parents of young children— and work with them to customize their painting party. In addition to offering a selection of existing painting designs, she’ll collaborate with the host on a design tailored to the group’s interests. She’s also had the opportunity to take her events to the community by offering classes, dubbed “Boozy Artist” events, at The Heights, the Renaissance Toledo Downtown Hotel’s rooftop bar, where she’s also a server. Boozy Artist events include painting supplies and instruction along with appetizers and a glass of wine for $60 per person.
“The students love the atmosphere at The Heights, and they love the view,” Ball said. “And there always comes a time when the class gets completely quiet, and you know they’re in the zone, painting.”
A lot of guests are skeptical of their own ability at first, Ball says, often comparing their paintings to their neighbors’. She reminds them that paintings are like handwriting— everyone’s handwriting is different, and everyone’s painting will be different— and says she hasn’t had a student leave disappointed.
Discovering a creative side
“A lot of people don’t know they have this creative side,” she said, adding that helping students discover it is one of the best parts of her job. “It’s like changing a life through art.”
The changes in the Ball household since the launch of Tote and Go Canvas have been taken in stride so far by her sons, ages 8, 6 and 2, and Ball said her husband, Kyle, supports her 100 percent. She’s also grateful that the Boozy Artist events have allowed her to take her company to a wider audience. “This really is my dream come true,” she said.
The next Boozy Artist event is July 1. Tickets are available at ToledoCityTix.com.
For more information on Tote and Go Canvas parties, visit facebook.com/JessicaBallToteandGoCanvas/