When the weather doesn’t allow for any outdoor fun, and bowling just seems like it’s been done, what else is there to do when you want a night out in Jackson County? One answer comes in the B.Y.O Brush Studio in Ocean Springs.
Participants can walk into the studio thinking they can’t even draw a stick figure and leave with a masterpiece that they created.
“I’ve always been creative, but I didn’t really know how to teach a whole lot,” said owner Angie Sims. “Now I don’t even paint for myself or anything, but I like to do the instruction, talking to people and helping them realize they can do something they think they can’t do. Most of the classes, they get a blank canvas, and I walk them through the drawing, just starting with simple shapes and walking them through the process.”
Sims didn’t always think she would make her living from painting.
“I had the gift shop in downtown Ocean Springs for 13 years, The Very Thing,” Sims said. “One night I was with my Bunco group, and I asked if they wanted to do a paint class instead, and things just went from there. I went to school and majored in business education with art. I wanted to go the interior design route. I’ve always been kind of artsy and stuff, but never really painted a whole lot. But then I started doing paint portraits and someone saw what I was doing and said I could make a living off of it. One night I had a class of 30, and that made me realize we needed a bigger space. We’ve been in this location here for roughly 5 years.”
Sims always tries to stress that anyone could participate in a painting event at B.Y.O. Brush, no matter the experience with painting.
“Part of it was just to kind of get together and loosen up,” she said. “It’s not a structured art class, and wine helps. We allow people to bring whatever drink and some food that they might want, and it helps get people talking and relaxing. I guess what I always keep in my mind is that it’s not really about the painting but more about the challenge. I push people outside the box, and people feel rewarded when they see what they created. Just push yourself outside the box in a lighthearted atmosphere. I like to think we’re selling the atmosphere plus the challenge plus the reward of creating something.”
While participants can bring wine or other alcoholic beverages, this isn’t fun reserved for only adults.
“Almost everyone that tries it comes back; they are hooked on it,” Sims said. “We have a huge following all over the coast and have a bunch of people come from all over. It’s something fun to do, whether it’s with the kids or teenagers or young adults or newlyweds. I work with kids that may have never even seen a paint brush before. I would say it’s good clean fun, but it’s not clean because you’re gonna get paint all over you. We’ve also started doing trivia night and themed painting nights. You don’t have to drink. Just bring something, a jug of water or tea to relax, and hopefully you feel like you’re at home.”
For more information about B.Y.O. Brush Studio, including the calendar of events, visit their website or like the Facebook page.
Angie Sims, started in 2012, i had the gift shop downtown ocean springs for 13 years, the very thing, um just by kind of accident asked my bunko group if they wanted to do a paint class and it just started from there and realized it was a lot easier than retail at the time, thought this was going to be a part time thing, got a part time small studio place, did a head count one night and saw 30 people so we decided we needed a biger place went ahead and rented this place been there nearly 5 years, always odne that, went to shcool and majored in business education with art, wanted to go interior design route which i did do that when I had my business, some furniture and lamps so I did interiro design for 10 years in that, always been kinda artsy and stuff never really painted a whole lot for myself, started painting in the very thing, something was going on so i just started painting stuff and selling pet portraits online people would ask me to show them and was suggested to make a living, always been creative didn’t really know how to teach a whole lot but now don’t paint for myself or anything but like to do the instruction thing, talk to people and help them realize they can do something they think they can’t do, most of the classes they get a blank canvas and I walk them through the drawing, start with simple shapes and walk them through, part of it was just to kind of get together and loosen up some peole come by themselves and you can tell they are a little uptight but they leave their fine try to relax some, not a structured art class, take the brush and draw a circle, wine helps allow people to bring whatever drink and some food, get people talking, get a lot of girl groups, never really thought this would be a full time don’t know if I even consider it to be a full-time, i am here full time because we have gotten so big it’s a lot more work now but i’ve got new girls and good girls and traning, actual work isn’t hard just my part as an owner is doing a lot of the steps, paying payroll, what’s gonna sell what’s not gonna sell, (dad made me take business classes not business savvy don’t really keep up with numbers but worked for me) doesn’t feel like a job, i’m very greatful, it’s easy, the whole reward part of it is coming in at night and having a class and they realize they can do something, work with kids and fieldtrips kids maybe have never seen a paintbrush that’s what I like the people and teaching, the challenge is how am I going to relay this to them, guess what I always keep in my m ind it’s not really about the parining but more about the challenge i push people outside the box and people feel rewarded when they see what they created, just want to do something different, not too many things to do, push yourslef outside the box, lighthearted atmosphere, think that it’s in my mind we’re more selling the atmosphere plus the challenge the reward is you actually like what you take, most everyone comes back, are hooked on it, the ability to challenge you, we have a huge folliwng all of the coast, have a bunch of people come from all over, it’s something to do whether its the kids or teenagers or young adults or new adults, would say good clean fun but it’s not clean because you’re gonna get paint all over you, been teaming up with some restaurants, couple restaurants really into networking together and fun to get out of the shop and just something different, started doing trivia night and themes, you don’t have to drink, just bring something, jug of wter or tea to relax and hopefully you feel like you’re at home, push the box, i would have never known i could do this or wanted to do this if I hadn’t pushed the box, if you don’t ever push the box you never know, as far as keeping on top of it, i’ll paint on anything, i saw and old wallet and I thougt i should paint on it,