Stomping Grounds: Creative Juice

Paint by tumblers: Art classes will get your ‘Creative Juice’ flowing

Story & Photos by PJ REGOLE

Sometimes people become so focused on their everyday routine that they seem to ignore the fact that they have become numb.

Chellie Krajnak and Kristina Valencia decided to thaw that numbness and open Creative Juice, a paint-and-sip business in which people of all ages can get in touch with their creative side.

The two women met through teaching elementary school art at Castle Hill Country Day School in Tucson, and always have had a passion for painting.

“We knew each other from a previous job, but always wanted to give back to our community,” Krajnak said.

Though family in the area led them to vacation in Denver, their love of art is what led them to a place in Denver called Paint n Sip. This is where they fell in love with the concept for Creative Juice.

After speaking to the owners in Denver, they learned Paint n Sip had no plans to expand into Arizona. Therefore, they brought the concept to Tucson and opened Creative Juice in May 2012.

“Our idea was to give back to our community, and we do many fundraisers and community events,” Krajnak said. “And also to bring art to people who don’t do it normally. People go see art in museums, but never do it themselves.”

The idea behind Creative Juice is to let people take a break from their lives and come relax and enjoy their creative side. It is the only art studio in Tucson with a liquor license to serve beer and wine for adults. There also are nonalcoholic options for those who are underage or choose not to indulge.

“You get so caught up in life and the daily grind that sometimes you forget to have fun and enjoy your creative side … and the wine helps,” Krajnak said.

The paint-and-sip classes cost $35 per person and include the lesson, supplies and one drink of your choice. Additional drinks are available for an extra charge.

In the classes, which can include up to 45 people, attendees will learn to paint a specific image taught by an employee. At the end of class, participants take their painting home, and the teacher displays hers on the studio’s wall.

Though most painting takes place on canvases, there are also nights where participants can paint wine glasses as a fun alternative.

Although Creative Juice is best known for its paint-and-sip classes, it also offers a wider range of options, including some for children.

They host birthday parties as well as summer camps, in which kids come and paint whatever they please on canvases, with all of the different supplies available.

Creative Juice also runs a number of fundraisers. The fundraisers operate like a regular paint-and-sip class, except that $10 from each attendee’s class fee is donated to a nonprofit organization.

Creative Juice offers classes at 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays.

“We also just started mimosa morning classes on Mondays and Fridays, which I’m really excited about,” Krajnak said. “Those are starting to pick up a bit.”

In addition to all of their studio time, Creative Juice also does off-site events for large groups. At these events, the easels are brought to the participants.

Krajnak and Valencia have turned their passion into careers and are loving every second of it as well as their contribution to the community.

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