Monart Drawing Studio–Chicago Northwest Suburbs/Mom Around Town

Welcome to our Mom Around Town feature! We took a bit of a break over the summer but I’ve got a lot of great features lined up for the fall! Last time I posted an interview with Melissa Haak, creator of the website, Little Lake County and the blog, Peanut Butter in My Hair.  Today I am sharing a visit to Monart Drawing Studio in Arlington Heights.

Since many of the business owners I will be interviewing work directly with children and expecting parents, I think it is important to get to know them well. Our Mom Around Town feature will help you do that! Make sure you check out our other Mom Around Town posts!


Business: Monart Drawing Studio, 620 S. Arthur Avenue, Arlington Heights, IL   Contact:  monartstudio31@gmail.com  OR 847-788-9323

Owner:  Ellen Sharpe

Website: www.sharpeexpressions.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Monart-Drawing-Studio/276172779139999

I have had the privilege to visit the Monart Drawing Studio many times in the past few years.  This is not a review but I want to share that the studio has a very welcoming feel from the moment you walk in.  Everything is very clean and organized and you can tell it is a place of learning.  I love that there is always classical music playing for the students and they are all eager to work on their art for the day.  Even the young children that I had visited, were invested in their class art pieces.  They knew exactly what to do and didn’t even need to be told that they had to be quiet.  They were ready to listen on their own and participate in the day’s lesson.  

Another thing I’d love to mention is that my twins that are now in second grade started participating in their winter and summer art camps starting last December and I truly had tears in my eyes when I saw the art that they created.  Not only was it really impressive how the class was taught and how much they learned in a short couple of hours but the looks on the face and the pride they had in their work was inspiring to watch.  I will definitely continue sending them there as they love the experience.   I have shared some of the work they created at Monart camps below.  I hope to hang them up on our walls soon! 

I have an interview to share from the owner of the drawing studio, Ellen Sharpe and then I will share some photos from my visit there as well as some art that my own kids created there.

Erika: What services does your business provide?

Ellen: We teach realistic drawing for age 4-1/2 through adults using the Monart Method created by Mona Brookes.

Erika:  How does your business benefit the families in the Chicago area?

Ellen:  With the elimination of extracurricular art programs in the schools, we offer art instruction to compliment the students education. Studies have shown that school children exposed to art instruction may do a better job at mastering reading, writing and math than those who focus solely on academics. Visual Arts improve content and organization of writing; promote sophisticated reading skills and interpretation of text, and reading readiness.

Erika:  How did you get the idea to start your business?

Ellen:  As an artist myself, after reading Mona Brookes book, Drawing with Children, I felt inspired to learn more about her method. After fostering a relationship with Mona, and extensive training with her I was licensed and opened my own studio in Arlington Heights in 1995.

Erika:  What did you do before you started your business?

Ellen:  I was a stay-at-home mom.

Erika:  Can you share one memorable story from an experience you had related to your business?

Ellen:  This experience has many memorable moments for me. I enjoy watching a student start at an early age 5, and seeing their skill level grow and mature, and then witnessing them blossoming in high school and some even go on to college to pursue an art career. This is very rewarding! Many former students have stayed in touch with me through the years.

Erika:  Do you have anything you would like to tell us that is new for your business for the end of 2014 or early 2015?

Ellen:  We have expanded out curriculum to offer acrylic painting for our students.

Erika:  Is there anything else you want to tell us about your business or yourself?

Ellen:  We have various opportunities to display the children’s artwork throughout the surrounding community, in many public libraries, along with our annual Spring Art Exhibit. We have received so much positive feedback as people are amazed and impressed with the quality of the students work.

Erika:  If you could meet any artist, alive or dead, who would you choose, and why?

Ellen:  I would choose Georgia O’Keefe. I fell in love with her art early in my life. She inspired me in my own work, and I have passed that love of her work on to many students at the Studio.

Erika:  What is one place you would love to travel and why?

Ellen:  Just coming back from Paris, I am still remembering that experience, so I don’t have any thoughts of traveling anywhere else right now.

Erika:  Do you have any unusual talents?  If so, which ones?

Ellen:  I can flutter my eye lashes REALLY fast….not sure if that is a “talent” but I have fun with it now and then.



Thank you so much for doing this interview with me, Ellen as well as letting me peek in a class and visit! Make sure you check out the Monart Drawing Studio website and take a look at all of the student work displayed on it.  The website truly is a piece of art by itself with all of the art displayed.  They have a full description of the classes and times offered and participate in a lot of community activities so make sure you check out their events page as well. 

Enjoy some photos from my visit to Monart Drawing Studio!

A few more!

And here are some of my own twins’ work as first graders.  These were some of their first classes ever.

Leave your comments below!  Will you be checking out Monart Drawing Studio soon?

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Email: Erika@justpeachyphotog.com
Phone: 224-801-1680

Studio: 117 W. Slade St. #2, Palatine, IL 60067