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Choolee Artist Portrait


Artist, Self-Portrait, Awesome art by Choolee, painter, silhouette

Here's the part where I bashfully list my past achievements.

My early work (2000-2003) was featured in two shows at the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery and also in Kitchener City Hall's Rotunda Gallery.


In 2018, I designed three 8 x 8 ft colorable panels that stood in the lobby of Lot 42 during Kitchener's 2018 Tech for Good conference.

​​​My parents were the first to sound acclaims when their little squinty-eyed blonde held up her crayon doodles. But since those kindergarten journal entries —which boasted elaborate drawings and very few words— Julie Restrepo (that's me) has come a long way artistically.


A job in the arts was not part of my initial career plan. Out of high school, I chose Dental Assisting as a way to support myself. (I bought into the starving artist myth, and... I like eating.)

While prying open people's mouths and engaging in volunteer work teaching Bible topics — never simulateously, although that may have been comically auspicious — chronic health issues began to rob me of time and energy. So I decided on a change. I started drawing again.




Artist Choolee as a child


Freelance Painter, Illustrator, Goofball

Yes, my name's actually spelled Julie. But after a friend's hilarious comic strip featured me as a one-dimensional stick figure named Choolee, the name stuck.

I take client requests to create custom, one-of-a-kind pieces. 

Mural art by Choolee with skateboarder

Drivers entering Kitchener-Waterloo via Bridgeport Rd can catch a glimpse of the 1,000-sq-ft outdoor mural "Connect, Communicate, Innovate," that I painted for Snugglers Furniture in 2017 — an illustrative work in red, black, and white that highlights the different ways we communicate.

I've also had opportunity to collaborate with local businesses & personalities, including: create logos, profile art for album covers, graphics for websites, murals, and more.

Artshine Website homepage.JPG

The Now

Happily working from my studio apartment, I take client requests to create custom, one-of-a-kind designs.

See "Services" tab in main menu.

I also sell prints of some personal creations, such as the well-liked Can't Buy Me Love, a commentary on the commercial industry which features a juicy pair of lips depicted by a red barcode.

You can follow the ongoing creative journey on my Art Murmur blog, where I post progress pics, report on points of interest, and cover a variety of Arts & Culture news.

Can't Buy Me Love original painting by Choolee

I'm not satisfied to develop only one style of art. I scroll through the work of fellow artists every day. They inspire me to continually push the boundaries of my craft. 


I'm a retro enthusiast, grammar nerd, Mandarin speaker, & dilettante Hep Cat hopper (swing dancing in suspenders! ...when I manage to drag my husband onto the dance floor.) I'm also a big fan of running, indie folk-rock,, Gravity Falls, and The Sound of Music.



hep cat hoppers, swing dancing couple, blue dress, dance party

We're all 'multi-potentialites'. So step outside your comfort zone & try something new with me.

I communicate with my clients before, during, and after the creative process, to determine likes, dislikes, and overall expectations.

(Read client reviews here.)

The consultation process with artist Choolee
Happy customers
Jenn Niemi happy customer.jpg
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