Hello Wonderful! If you’ve read my blob for a while you’ll have heard me talk about artist Jamie Smith and her awesome new space THRIVE Studio. Jamie and I met through Papergirl a few years ago just before she was about to do her first solo show! It’s so amazing to think about all she has done and how she has grown since then and I am very inspired by her hard work, dedication and ambition. Get to know Jamie below and do yourself a favour local ladies and get involved with THRIVE Studio!
Who are you, what do you do and where in the world are you?
Hi! I’m Jamie Smith, I live in Vancouver and I am a mixed media artist. I use photographs to explore nostalgia and memories, creating the opportunity for open interpretation from my audience. Inherently, I’m not only an artist, but also a teacher. My studio in Mount Pleasant is home to not only my own work, but to THRIVE Studio - an art studio for female artists to meet, connect, and learn from one another. Every month we host events for this community to come together, create, and learn. We run collage nights, a business guidance group called Mastermind, and THRIVE TALKS. THRIVE TALKS invites successful women in the arts to share their personal journey and pass on practical advice and guidance to others. We have had the pleasure of hosting artist Zoe Pawlack, curator Pennylane Shen, art consultant Ariel Grue Lee, and illustrator Ola Volo. I also organize an art walk in Mount Pleasant called ROVE in May of every year - we invite 8 galleries and artist studios to open their doors to the Main Street community.
What do you believe in?
I believe in the importance and power of community. Finding your "peeps" is what expands artists in their practice and their lives - creating a sense of community is inspiring and other people often push us to be greater and bolder. Your reach becomes wider and connections are what bring opportunities that will ultimately move your career at a much quicker rate. As well as push our personal growth further than we may have thought possible and this is what the Thrive Studio workshops and talks are all about.
When do you feel your most wonderful?
I feel most wonderful when I am connecting people whether in person, at an event I have organized, or through personal introductions. We all have something to give and we all need something - it makes me happy when I can help create symbiotic relationships.
What is something wonderful that has happened that would have never have happened if you hadn't made a mistake or a wrong turn somewhere?
A few wrong turns had led me to a pretty miserable place a few years ago and I needed a creative outlet. It was always a dream of mine to have a "real" art studio of my very own. Through one person and then another and another, I found my first studio at Yukon and 5th. I moved in and met incredible friends and entrepreneurs that were living their dreams and truly saw the world as big and wonderful. I was very inspired and I believe this experience was the one that led me to ‘take the leap,’ to finding my purpose as an artist and community activator.
What is the earliest time in your life that you can remember experiencing wonder? When was the most recent time?
I was born in Florida and I moved to BC when I was 7 years old. It snowed the first winter we were here. Aside from not believing how cold it was, I was in total awe that the world could look so white and majestic. I had never seen snowy mountains and never heard the quiet of fresh snow on a suburban neighborhood. It was wonderful. Recently, I was fortunate to go on a trip this month and I ended my adventure in Montreal. On the last day I was there I visited the Notre Dame Cathedral - the use of stain glass windows and light was truly incredible. There is nothing like spiritual places to feel that sense of pure wonder.
Who are three wonderful people you think we need to know about. Why are they wonderful?
I meet so many people who inspire me and fuel my passion for the arts in Vancouver. Three that I’d like to highlight here are:
Eyoälha Baker - a woman who has fearlessly turned her dreams into a reality. She started her Jump for Joyproject all on her own and just installed a huge mural on Pender street in Vancouver. Check her out:
Ola Volo a recent speaker at THRIVE TALKS. I am always inspired when I get to see this beautiful woman. I have never met anyone who works as hard as she does and has the passion for every little creature she creates. You can't help but smile when Ola starts telling you why the little mushroom caps love the swan woman or why the owls are having their tea party with the bear... love it.
Jenny and Caroline from Tin Can Studio created a mobile art studio as a way to reach more people in the arts. They are both amazing teachers and facilitators and I admire their passion and process. They use their mobile trailer as a multi-functional space that can be transformed for whatever special event or workshop is asked for. I love the way they’ve created a physical space where they can address our community’s creative desires.