Angie Capps founded Art Studio 27 in 2013. Offering fun, low-pressure classes for people of all ages and artistic abilities, she sees her studio as a space where anyone can tap into his or her creative side.
Art Studio 27 in University Place is not your everyday sip-and-paint studio. Owner Angie Capps not only offers a variety of artistic options — from kid-friendly classes to 21+ private events — but she also makes her class experiences about more than just painting.
“People are really hard on themselves,” she said. “We live in a society where we’re pressured to make everything perfect, or exactly like someone else’s.”
Capps made her studio a place where people can learn something new but also give themselves a break. “As long as you give it your all, it doesn’t matter what it looks like,” she said. “It just matters that you did it.”
A strong believer that everyone benefits from practicing creativity, Capps hopes her studio helps fill a gap left by the decreasing artistic options for both children and adults. She worries that, as schools focus less on the arts and more on STEM programs and standardized testing, young people aren’t given the spaces they need to discover their own creativity. Similarly, adults tend to grow detached from their imagination and artistry as they grow older, and often don’t have opportunities to practice a creative hobby. Capps’s goal for Art Studio 27 is that it can provide a place in the community where anyone can practice art and find a much-needed outlet for creativity in everyday life.
Having spent 20 years filling a diverse array of creative positions, including painting as a self-employed mural artist, Capps has always had to work hard to pursue what she loves. Now, after two decades of chasing her dreams and painting like she means it, everything has finally turned out, like she tells her students, just the way it should.
As the owner of a small business, Capps stays busy with a lot of behind-the-scenes work: She shops for supplies, responds to customers, writes a blog, markets her business, and paints all of the pieces she teaches.
The best part is seeing people get excited about what they were able to create. “A lot of the people who come in here don’t know that they can paint.”
Because most people tend to take themselves too seriously and compare themselves to others, she said, they are often discouraged from trying new things. Her studio creates a judgment-free space in which people can go out on a limb while also having fun; she hopes that, through her lighthearted teaching and validating encouragement, she can inspire her students to discover their own abilities.
The positive feedback she receives from customers — whether they are taking advantage of their free fifth class or telling her that they’ve bought painting supplies so that they can practice at home — inspires Capps to continue her work.
Painting and creating helps people slow down, take a step back, and appreciate what they have. “I know it can seem juvenile, to take time to sit and draw, or cook, or whatever else you find yourself loving to do. But I think it’s actually incredibly therapeutic, and plays an important role in your ability to find happiness and balance in your life.”
To Capps, reminding people that their best effort is enough is the real beauty of her business.
“Something I’m always saying to both kids and adults is to paint like you mean it. If you paint like you mean it, it will turn out just the way it should,” she said. “I try to remind people who doubt themselves that this is fun art, not fine art, and that they should just enjoy themselves and focus on learning something new.”