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Rising Stars: Meet Julie Rieutort

Today we’d like to introduce you to Julie Rieutort.

Hi Julie, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
My story begins in rural Pennsylvania where I grew up exploring the woods behind my house and always occupying my time with creative endeavors. I spent my childhood painting pottery at the local ceramics studio, sculpting animals from Play-Doh, and simply drawing from my imagination. I took my art education more seriously as I grew older and participated in an apprenticeship with local painters in the community to learn their techniques.

I knew I would end up in an artistic field but remained open to different creative pathways. Following high school, I decided to pursue the pastry arts and earned a Bachelors degree in baking and pastry from Johnson and Wales University in Providence, RI. This led me to the world of wedding cake design. I ended up moving to Palm Beach, FL to become the lead designer at a high-end cake studio. I would design, paint, sculpt and embellish edible works of art. Through this experience, I discovered live wedding painting.

Live wedding painting is the art of painting a significant moment such as the ceremony or first dance live in front of guests at a wedding. The artist begins with a blank canvas and by the end of the evening, presents a painted rendering of the celebration featuring the newlyweds as the focal point.

I was inspired by this unique service and immediately pursued it. Within a few months, I transitioned to live event painting full time and never looked back. It is an incredible honor to take part in these celebrations. I truly enjoy interacting with others while I am in the process of painting, and there is no way to describe the feeling of seeing my clients react to the finished piece.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
As a daughter of a professional artist, I witnessed firsthand the struggle of making a living doing what you love. I had always wanted to be a painter but feared the possibility of failure and becoming the “starving artist” stereotype. I believe this impacted my choice to pursue the pastry arts instead of continuing down the path of a traditional fine arts degree.

However, life has a way of leading you back to what you are most passionate about. If I had not pursued wedding cake design, I may not have ever discovered live wedding painting, which I believe is my calling.

As for the transition to painting full time, the painting came very naturally but the business aspect was definitely a challenge. I fulfill every role in my business and I have learned so much from doing everything on my own. I am grateful for the obstacles I have faced, as they have only contributed to my growth.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I would describe my approach to live wedding painting as detail-oriented, colorful, and true to the essence of the day. I ensure that the portrait of the newlyweds is always the focus of attention and the surroundings compliment them.

I am most known for capturing the like-ness of people and painting the background in an almost photo-realistic way. This is an extremely challenging and time-consuming way of approaching live painting. I do believe my highly detailed style sets my work apart.

In addition to the level of detail, my color palettes mainly consist of natural, earth tones or neutral colors when painting indoors. I strive to produce a painting that is bright and colorful enough to look beautiful and not dull when hanging up in the homes of my clients under natural light.

I put my absolute all into every painting that I create. I view them as a piece of me and it is sometimes difficult to let go of a piece after investing so much energy and love into it. But I know that it is going to someone who values it even more than myself. I take pride in going above and beyond my clients’ expectations and consider my services incredibly tailored to the needs of each individual I work with.

Is there any advice you’d like to share with our readers who might just be starting out?
My advice for anyone interested in this line of work would be to practice their speed painting, as it is the first requirement of the job and to establish confidence in their work. I painted at multiple friends’ weddings as a gift to them before starting my business to experience what it was like and to learn about the process. This is a great way of getting some experience under your belt before taking on a booking.

I also place a large amount of importance on providing exceptional customer service as they are placing their trust in you to deliver a painting that is representative of one of the most important days of their life. Sometimes this means turning down work so that you can make sure that you are able to invest the adequate amount of time and energy into each client’s individual experience.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Content Wayfarer, Lena Howard Photography

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