Michelle Darling finds painting to be therapeutic. She also finds that teaching others how to paint can be a rewarding experience that allows others to unleash their creativity.

She learned just how much she enjoyed teaching while volunteering in her children’s elementary classrooms. She discovered just how much can be learned through art.

“Art teaches people so much that they can carry on in other aspects of their lives,” Darling said.

For the past four years, Darling has taught private painting lessons. She traveled to people’s homes, sharing her creative gift, when she realized she could make a greater impact on her community by providing a place where people could come together in one location and create.

At the same time, she wanted to be a part of the growing arts community in Charlotte. She found the right location and made the right connections to open Creatively Mi (pronounced me) this spring in downtown Charlotte.

Located at 129 S. Cochran Avenue, Creatively Mi offers public and private painting classes, in addition to products created by local artisans. Darling said she is partnering with local artisans to provide a number of classes that touch on many aspects of art – from wood burning to yarn spinning.

“I’m excited to connect with the community to see what kinds of classes they are interested in,” Darling said. “I’m really set on helping build up this community and bringing people together to build relationships and share ideas.”

Art, Darling said, provides a way for individuals to come together while showcasing their unique viewpoint.

“In these classes everyone starts with the same ingredients, receives the same instruction and uses the same tools, but everyone’s creation comes out a little different, and I love that.”

All materials needed for each class are included in the registration fee, Darling said. Participants come in and leave after a two-hour session with their very own piece of artwork.

Classes can currently be found on Creatively Mi’s Facebook page. There you can also book a private class. Creatively Mi is open Tuesday through Friday from 6 to 10 p.m. and Saturday, from noon to 10 p.m. Sundays and Mondays are reserved for private classes.