Well hello there, my muddy friends! I am incredibly honored to have been asked to contribute to this site. I have gained so much incredible knowledge from MC over the years. As my first post, I figure an introduction is in order.

I’m Julie Beck! I always wanted to be a painter. However, I was not the art kid… or the artsy teenager… or even the artsy college student. I have a degree in Mathematics and I am not naturally gifted as an artist. The struggle was (and is still!) real. Some days I still feel like an outsider or imposter in the art world but I’m working on that. If you can identify with this, then we will get along handsomely.

My knowledge base is in oil painting. I started out trying to paint in oils and it was a massive failure so I quickly went to acrylics because they seemed less scary. I got to a point where I was OK with acrylics. Not confident, not great, but like… functional? I was mostly self taught and incredibly mediocre artistically up until I was the ripe old age of 30 when I was selling my paintings on Etsy for an embarrassingly low amount.

Julie’s Old Work

A chance discovery of a school called the Academy of Realist Art Boston was the game changer. ARA Boston was VERY different from any other school I had been to but what I quickly realized was that I wasn’t a great painter because I was never taught how to actually draw and I didn’t understand the basics of oil paint. No wonder I was frustrated!

Some of Julie’s Academic Exercises

After completing the program on a part time basis over the course of 6 years (I still had to work full time as a video editor/designer), I came out the other side as both an instructor at the school as well as the Assistant Director. My fine-art career was also beginning to expand with the work I was now able to make being accepted into shows, competitions and a few galleries.

As I wrapped up that training, I finally found the courage to attend the Illustration Master Class in 2015. While it was only a week, it was a life-changing experience. Everyone has at least one existential breakdown at IMC and I was no exception. I went from crying in the dorm after the first day of critiques, to gaining a whole new perspective on what I make and why, learning unexpected skills, and creating life-long friendships with some of the most amazing artists. We come full circle to this post (thanks, Dan!)

The Corner of Power at IMC 2015

The Corner of Power at IMC 2015 with Carly Mazur, Rick Price, Joe Capobianco and more… plus the painting I did there.

What I hope to bring to the table here on MC is digestible and helpful information and insight… mostly about oil painting and business/marketing/online presence suggestions, but I never shy away from giving my opinion about other topics. If there’s anything specific you’d like to hear from me, please do not hesitate to ask.

Julie's Current Work

Julie’s Current Work

Here is a list of other places you can find me on the inter-tubes:

My Youtube (free lectures, random helpful free vids)

Instagram – lots of process videos!
Gumroad – free handouts, cheap instructional vids
TikTok – I don’t post here often enough but I’m there!
ARA Boston Website  – where I teach
My Website

Happy painting!