Local artist and teacher Jill King envisioned opening her own art studio for years. She yearned for a place where she could maintain her two passions, creating art and teaching art, while offering a refuge for artists and individuals wanting to tap into their creative selves. Her dream came to fruition this past September with the opening of Artists Seeds, 1042 Wesley Ave.

Ms. King shares space with art therapist Don Anthon who has been in the building for nearly ten years. The bright and quaint studio is located in a quiet residential neighborhood in southwest Evanston between Greenleaf and Main. Its walls are covered with students’ completed artwork, and soft meditative music plays in the background.

“I always have quiet music playing,” says Ms. King. “It lends itself to what I believe is the meditative process of creating.”

A working artist and art instructor for more than 25 years, Ms. King has had work appear in galleries and exhibition spaces throughout the country and in several publications, including New American Paintings, NorthShore magazine and Midwest Gallery Guide. She has taught and developed art enrichment classes at places such as the Evanston Art Center, Art Encounter of Evanston and the American Academy of Art in Chicago.

Ms. King’s approach to art is rooted in the notion that all people have a desire to create. She says, “It is not always the end result that matters, but how much we grow through the process that counts.”

The concept of exploring art as a tool for personal growth is what first attracted Daisy Hu, an artist and teacher herself, to Ms. King’s art.

“When I first saw Jill’s artwork, I felt we shared a thematic bond, and I thought, ‘I really want to learn from this person,’” says Ms. Hu, who is currently teaching a Saturday morning art class at Artists Seeds for youth aged 7-12. She is collaborating with Ms. King about possible future projects for the studio.

The winter schedule includes classes such as “From Drawing into Painting,” a class for teens and adults; “Creative Woman’s Workshop,” in which women are encouraged to “collaborate with kindred spirits while exploring personal visions”; and “Around the World in Eight Days,” a multi-sensory exploration of scents, sounds, stories and authentic handwork for kids.

Ms. King hopes eventually to offer more classes and to provide an open studio where artists can come and work on their own projects at their own pace.

What sets Artists Seeds apart from other art studios, says Ms. King, is that it is a place that encourages not only artistic growt, but personal and spiritual growth as well.

“We are creative beings,” says Ms. King. “For those who are looking to embrace that in themselves, this is the perfect place.”