Courtesy of Julie Li
As a young mom teaching her daughter to paint, Julie Li never could have imagined herself being an art teacher to thousands of kids one day.
Li started teaching her daughter art, and that slowly expanded to more children. As people kept asking her to help their kids get creative, her house slowly started overflowing with students. Eventually, she moved into her studio located at 2739 Plymouth Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48105 in 2005.
“I think art is pretty important to your life, because it’s a different language,” Li said. “One type of language is by words and another is by images. I think if you know both languages, you’re one of the smartest people.”
To Li, art is a way you can help people because sometimes it’s harder for people to express themselves through words than through art.
“I love seeing the kids from my studio grow up and do great things in the world. I see [students’] happiness because they’re always showing off everywhere on social media,” Li said. “I think they’re pretty happy people.”
Even though they may not pursue art as a career, art has impacted her students in many ways and helped them out. Lots of Li’s students have won many awards in art contests such as Duck Stamp, Scholastic Art Competition, Toyota Dream Car Art Contest, Ocean Awareness Student Contest and much more.
“If you want to do something in your life, do something you love,” Li said. “It’s better than looking for money or something like that because if you love something, you can always succeed.”