The THRIVE Network is now live!

Press play to watch our the big announcement about the THRIVE Network!

Our mission here are at THRIVE is to unite female artists and we've been working on something that we are really excited about. It has been so hard for us to keep this a secret over the last few months and finally we can share that the THRIVE Network our online membership community for female artists is ready for you to join now

Check out the video to learn more and go on a tour. When you're ready, dive in and sign up below!

A morning with Zöe Pawlak

We had such a fantastic morning with artist Zoë Pawlak and are thrilled to share it with you today. Zöe shares so many gems on the ups and downs of a successful art career and business. Zöe has been such an amazing supporter of THRIVE and we value her honesty, openness and generosity. Thanks for being such an inspiring artist and human Zöe!

We've got something exciting to share!

(Press play to view the outtakes from our official announcement for the THRIVE Network!)


We’ve got something exciting to share and it is called the THRIVE Network!

It’s an online community for female visual artists and we couldn’t be more thrilled to let you know that it is going to officially launch on Wednesday May 17th. 

Curious and want to learn more? Sign up for updates, an invitation and a free trial!  

xo Jamie and Tara

THRIVE TALKS MINIS NO.1

Our first ever THRIVE Talks Minis was an amazing success!

THRIVE Talks Minis is a speakers series that invites female—including those who are cis, trans, gender non-binary, gender-fluid and femme-identified—artists to share their journeys, their work and why they do what they do. Each THRIVE TALKS MINI is held in an intimate setting that allows for a unique opportunity to get to know the speakers and attendees.

It was wonderful to have everyone come together to hear our lovely speakers inspire us with their stories.

 

You can check out some of the talks from the night below!

 THRIVE Talks Minis Marlene Lowden

THRIVE Talks Minis April Lacheur

THRIVE Talk Minis Carol McQuaid

Thanks to all our speakers Zandi DandizetteSavina Purewal, Deborah BakosJoanne HastieCarol McQuiadApril Lacheur and Marlene Lowden.

Want to know when the next THRIVE Talks are being held? Join our email list and we’ll be in touch! 

GIRL CRUSH VANCOUVER WITH THE JEALOUS CURATOR

A few weeks ago we hosted GIRL CRUSH VANCOUVER with THE JEALOUS CURATOR aka Danielle Krysa at THRIVE! 

Danielle lead us in a number of exercises around facing your inner critic and figuring out how to get where it is you want to be going. We ate lots of great snacks, had lunch together and made collages in the afternoon. The tissue box was passed around and we got down to, as Danielle puts it, "the nitty-gritty of our souls" ! 

A big THRIVE Thank You to our forever-Girl-Crush, Danielle, for joining us and to the amazing artists for their generosity and vulnerability in sharing their journeys and struggles. We hope you enjoy these snaps from our awesome day!  

Some our our THRIVE Mastermind ladies chatting it up with Danielle! 

 Photography by Jackie Dives Photography

THRIVE TALKS no. 13 with Laura Schneider

THRIVE TALKS is a monthly speakers series that invites successful female artists and women in the arts to share their journeys, successes and advice with other women. Each THRIVE TALK features a woman in the arts and this intimate setting allows for a unique opportunity to get to know them. All speakers volunteer their time and knowledge to help other female artists thrive in their art practices and art businesses. THRIVE is so grateful to have such a generous and committed group of mentors. This month THRIVE Studio welcomes Laura Schneider!

Join us on February 28th from 7pm until 8:30pm to meet meet Executive Director & Curator of The Reach, Laura Schneider. Her talk will be about public galleries and art festivals! Sharing from both an administrative and a curatorial point of view, Laura will share information about the motivations and practicalities that artists can anticipate when participating in exhibitions and programs in these environments. The perfect talk for artists who want to show their work in public galleries and art festivals!

After the talk there will be time to ask questions and mingle until 9pm.

Laura Schneider Executive Director & Curator at The Reach Gallery Museum in Abbotsford, British Columbia

THRIVE Studio asked Laura a few questions in preparation for her THRIVE TALK...

What are you going to share with us at THRIVE TALKS?

My talk will be about public galleries and art festivals. I've always worked with artists in public contexts ranging from university galleries to public art festivals to my current role in a city gallery. Each of these areas is its own animal, but there are certainly commonalities. From both an administrative and a curatorial point of view, I hope to share some information about the motivations and practicalities that artists can anticipate when participating in exhibitions and programs in these environments. I'll frame some of these topics biographically as my career path has been far from linear!

What is a weird fact about yourself?

I once ate 72 raw oysters in one sitting.

What is your favourite quote that keeps you motivated or inspired?

"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better." Samuel Beckett

"Inside every cynical person there is a disappointed idealist." - George Carlin. Maybe more autobiographical than motivational!

What was your first job?

I started working in a bar/restaurant at age 14 and was managing a bar in downtown Toronto by the time I was 23. Slinging pints has taught me a lot about life and people!

What would you love to see more artists doing?

Part of me wants to say "reading the instructions" and part of me wants to say "getting outside the system". Evidently, I'm a walking contradiction. 

From a very practical point of view, when you're presenting 15+ exhibitions annually, or working with 30+ artists in a festival, the administrative heft is considerable and it can be a bit soul crushing. No one gets into a career in the arts thinking "I just can't wait to fill out forms and develop spreadsheets!" I know this goes for artists as well, but there's nothing worse than having to chase people for simple pieces of information that they've been asked to provide. This stuff is a burden for everyone, but these details are increasingly necessary to foster functional public platforms for artists to work within, get paid, and present their work in the best light possible. I get it, it's a pain in the ass, but we're all in this together!

I also think that the professionalization/academicization of the art world is creating a prescriptive system for "how to be an artist". Whether its going to art school, applying for funding, developing exhibitions, these frameworks constitute and kind of cultural engineering. I have no illusions about how, as a curator and cultural administrator, I am contributing to that process. However I think this is potentially detrimental and homogenizing for artists. It's a pretty consistent quandry for me: if I represent part of this system, how can I disrupt it? What, if any, are the opportunities are there to use the platform that is available to me to realize a different vision for the system? Where do audiences fit into this? It's a tightrope and I'm never sure I'm balancing it very well.

The Reach Gallery Museum in Abbotsford, British Columbia

About Laura Schneider

Laura Schneider is the Executive Director & Curator at The Reach Gallery Museum in Abbotsford, British Columbia. A curator, writer, and arts administrator, she holds degrees in Art History from Queen’s University, Kingston (BA Hons), Carleton University (MA), a Bachelors in Education (University of Ottawa), and a Professional Specialization Certificate in Collections Management (University of Victoria). 

Originally from Southwestern Ontario, Schneider enjoyed several years in the Maritimes where she was the Director/Curator of the Cape Breton University Art Gallery in Sydney, NS. An energetic member of the cultural community, she was co-founder, artistic director and chairperson of Lumière, Sydney’s art-at-night festival from 2009-2014, and a member of the board of Arts Nova Scotia from 2012-2015.



Art Show Laura Schneider

Start Where You Are!

It's a new year and we decided to do something that scared us, record our own videos! We've been putting it off forever but decided to just go for it.

We also dare you to start something that you've been putting off for a while too. Start where you are and amazing things can happen!

What are you going to start in 2017? Let us know in the comments below!

Seven Questions for Sarah Joyce

Greetings fellow Thrivesters! 

This is the last of my 7 Questions for 7 Artists Series for Thrive. The last and final Interview is with Sarah Joyce who is one of two Directors and Curators of the New Media Gallery in New Westminster.  Sarah has worked with many of artists, institutions and curators throughout her career. The work that she and Director/Curator Gordon Duggan are doing at the New Media Gallery in New West is exciting, challenging and very different from many contemporary art spaces that you will have encountered.  Thanks for reading and Happy New Year!  -  Sunshine Frère

Sarah Joyce at the Anvil Centre in New Westminster, she is standing just outside of the New Media Gallery.

Sarah Joyce at the Anvil Centre in New Westminster, she is standing just outside of the New Media Gallery.

Sara Joyce earned a BA, Fine Arts and Art History from the University of Victoria. She managed the largest conservation department west of Toronto, the Glenbow Museum & Art Gallery in Calgary for 10 years. Joyce completed her graduate studies in Conservation Theory a University College London. and arts management training at the Getty Institute in L.A. 1994, Joyce relocated to Italy, commuting to Israel to do on-site conservation. Joyce moved back to the UK in 1996, completing an MA in Contemporary Visual Culture at Bath Spa University, following on from there Joyce became the Senior Electronic Media Art Conservator (Acting Head) at the renowned Tate Gallery. She was responsible for the exhibition of collection works nationally and internationally, and worked with artists and galleries worldwide. In 2006, she returned to Canada where she has been curating new media art and gallery projects, working on and writing about art and craft, and advocating for Canadian artists’ freedom of expression. Joyce and Gordon Duggan are the founding Directos and Curators of the New Media Gallery in 2014, it is based in the Anvil Centre in New Westminster.  www.newmediagallery.ca

Sarah Joyce working in her studio, Joyce is also an artist, she designs bespoke signature wearable pieces that incorporate history, the objects are often a combination of found vintage components and elements. 

Sarah Joyce working in her studio, Joyce is also an artist, she designs bespoke signature wearable pieces that incorporate history, the objects are often a combination of found vintage components and elements. 

WHAT TYPE OF SOCIAL MEDIA DO YOU USE TO PROMOTE YOUR WORK, AND WHY DO YOU USE IT?

We use social media platforms such as: Linked-in, Twitter, Facebook, instagram.  We tend to use Facebook as a blog and for event invitations.  We use You-Tube to the extent that we share the occasional video that highlights an artist or story.  We don’t make original videos and upload to YouTube.    Occasionally we use Google+  We have a website for the gallery.  We use professional discussion boards and forums as required..   We use Mail chimp and Drop-Box as marketing platforms.   We have used i-tunes in surprising ways - but could use this more effectively.  We are currently using experimental i-beacons where we make local content available through your cell phone and you can link outside.   We use Pinterest for Curatorial ideas. We should be using VIMEO and YouTube. 

We had six interns from UBC working with NMG.  They produced a report on our Social Media usage with recommendations.  This was tremendously informative.  We still have to find time to implement their suggestions!  

 

Sarah Speaking to a group of gallery visitors about the November 2016 exhibition at the New Media Gallery titled WITNESS. They are sitting in front of a work by France Cadet entitled Do Robotic Cats Dream of Electric Fish?

Sarah Speaking to a group of gallery visitors about the November 2016 exhibition at the New Media Gallery titled WITNESS. They are sitting in front of a work by France Cadet entitled Do Robotic Cats Dream of Electric Fish?

HOW DO YOU BRAINSTORM AND COME UP WITH NEW IDEAS FOR EXHIBITIONS?

I co-curate with my colleague Gordon Duggan. An exhibition is a process interrupted:  the exhibition is not a product in and of itself but one moment in a longer process of learning about art.

The final curatorial thesis…the one that manifests as ’the exhibition'… develops through a series of constant shifts and iterations that begins with looking at and discussing a lot of art over time.   Sometimes an exhibition begins years earlier as some small kernel of interest that gathers impetus along the way.  What we never do is come up with an exhibition idea that is then illustrated. We do engage in constantly evolving brainstorming sessions with many different people around works of art and ideas and themes and interests. These conversations resonate with works of art we already know, what’s in our mental database, the new art that’s on our radar, what we’re reading, what’s going on in the news etc.  

All these shifts in understanding continuously send an exhibition idea off in a different direction. We always try to allow the works to inform and reveal the final exhibition (not the other way round).  At some point…we pull it all together and contact the artists and galleries. But we try to leave room for the unexpected, for the work that pops out of nowhere.  Curating a public gallery is very different from curating an artist run space, or an academic institution.

We construct and design the exhibitions ourselves.  Even though it is a modest space we talk about our ideas for a long time before anchoring the physical space design.  These discussions are done in dialogue with the artists or galleries.  Having a very hands-on, responsive process to exhibition-making suits our style of curating.   

A couple of visitors eye up Rafael Lozano-Hemmer's interactive work entitled Surface Tension.

A couple of visitors eye up Rafael Lozano-Hemmer's interactive work entitled Surface Tension.

HOW DO YOU MANAGE YOUR TIME IN ORDER TO ENSURE YOU COMPLETE PROJECTS ON TIME? 

At NMG we have developed a fairly standard schedule in terms of the physical aspects of exhibition making.  We present five exhibitions a year.  Each 8 weeks long.  We have 18 days to physically build each exhibition  During this period people work very hard.  We usually open on time.  Some dedicated colleagues and a few very loyal volunteers are the team who help the gallery succeed.  

When you work in a City environment you take on additional projects that are connected with the City.  Not everything you do is directly connected with the gallery.  

We work in an intuitive, process-driven way.  We structure our time around creating the best possible exhibitions.  We have ambitious ideas and plans.  At this early stage of the gallery our choice has been to work very long hours so we can develop great projects.  A lot of time is spent thinking about new exhibitions.  

Practically - if you borrow works of art from large institutions you must put in your request 8 months to a year and a half in advance.  Smaller institutions,  private collections or even the artist may require less advance notice (but not necessarily).  Large Commercial galleries  are more time consuming to deal with than small commercial galleries.  You become accustomed to working with these schedules.  Having connections helps greatly.  

We do five group exhibitions a year, dealing with 30 - 40 artists a year.  The schedule is quite gruelling.  

Procedures:  I calendar everything.  I keep a running diary list.  All meeting notes go onto the same list..  I send myself reminder emails.  I avoid paper - everything is on my laptop.  I develop forms for most procedures or information that is standardized; this make the information easier to reference.  I keep a number of different spreadsheets.  I work very long hours.  

Sarah Joyce and Gordon Duggan, the dynamic duo that lead the New Media Gallery. Joyce and Duggan have been Directors/Curators at the New Media Gallery since it 2014. The gallery is a civic gallery in the City of New Westminster. 

Sarah Joyce and Gordon Duggan, the dynamic duo that lead the New Media Gallery. Joyce and Duggan have been Directors/Curators at the New Media Gallery since it 2014. The gallery is a civic gallery in the City of New Westminster. 

IS THERE ANYTHING THAT YOU WISHED THAT YOU HAD LEARNED EARLIER IN YOUR CAREER THAT WOULD HAVE SAVED YOU TIME AND EFFORT? 

Strangely, saving time and effort isn’t particularly high on my list of requirements. Perhaps because I like everything to be considered properly and thoughtfully and in its own time. As a young woman I was asked to become Department Head at a large Art Gallery and Museum, supervising  10 - 13 seasoned art and museum professionals.   I was 32.   I was offered the position because I was very organized and had an interest in the big picture of arts management.  After four years as Department Head I gave it all up. I was 36.   It was not where I wanted to be.  I wanted freedom, creative challenges and change. But I don’t consider this period a lost cause.  It taught me a lot. I took a year off, ran every day, read every day, became very fit,  then moved to Italy for two years then England. It was the best decision I could have made.  It set back a 'blossoming  career' …but my path became a much more interesting one.  I didn’t worry about a career per se…I worked at things I found interesting.  I took chances and began accumulating diverse experiences…this was recognized later when I interviewed for a position at Tate Gallery.   One thing I do wish I had taken advantage of - learning one or two other languages fluently.

WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVOURITE PART ABOUT WHAT YOU DO? 

I don’t like meetings for the sake of meetings, overly long meetings, office politics, or rigid organization and rules.   

A selfie in a  Schülke, Sarah Joyce photographs herself reflected in a mirror trapped within artist Björn Schülke's interactive work entitled Vision Machine #3

A selfie in a  Schülke, Sarah Joyce photographs herself reflected in a mirror trapped within artist Björn Schülke's interactive work entitled Vision Machine #3

WHAT IS THE  FAVOURITE OR THE BEST PART ABOUT WHAT YOU DO?
Discussing exhibitions with the public, doing educational tours, talking about the works, hearing visitors make an unexpected connection or tell us they have been personally moved by a work of art, or love an exhibition. It  always makes my day.   

I like brainstorming and working on creative programs that link with exhibitions.   

When you have worked very hard to land a particular work of art for an exhibition, and you receive word that it has been agreed there is a great sense of satisfaction.  

Research - I have always enjoyed any sort of research-oriented project.  Exhibition research is endlessly fascinating.  

Interviewing artists - I wish I had more time to do this.  It was a large part of my job at Tate and one of the most enjoyable aspects of what I did there (including traveling to international studios).     

A group of visiting students interact with artist Adam Basanta's work entitled A Truly Magical Moment. There definitely seems to be a bit of magic happening! 

A group of visiting students interact with artist Adam Basanta's work entitled A Truly Magical Moment. There definitely seems to be a bit of magic happening! 

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE INTERESTED IN PURSUING A CAREER IN CURATING? 

I see young curators struggling with limited opportunities, particularly in Western Canada. The most interesting curators I've met have very diverse backgrounds and open minds. They involve themselves in all aspects of exhibition making. Above all…be brave…with your ideas and your choices.  

Sarah Joyce expertly getting her young visitors wound up and excited about art and technology. Joyce gives amazing tours, visitors come away with many thoughts and ideas exploding inside their brains.

Sarah Joyce expertly getting her young visitors wound up and excited about art and technology. Joyce gives amazing tours, visitors come away with many thoughts and ideas exploding inside their brains.

THRIVE Is Going Into Hibernation!

Earlier this month in our newsletter we spoke about something we really believe in, the importance of taking breaks. We believe in this so much that THRIVE Studio is going into hibernation until January 16th!

That is right, we are both taking this time to focus on our art and to enjoy the holiday season. We made this decision in early September and have been working hard to make it happen since then. Why? Because THRIVE can't thrive if we don't and we look forward to coming back refreshed and reenergized for 2017!

It has been an incredible year for THRIVE and we'd love to share a couple of the highs and lows with you!

Here is our big wins list -

  • We celebrated our first birthday in July
  • We doubled our team- to two
  • We have 42 THRIVE Mastermind members and are still growing
  • We hosted nine THRIVE Talks
  • We ran our first Art School with Pennylane Shen
  • We have witnessed incredible things happening for each of our THRIVE Mastermind ladies as a result of their work and commitment and for that we are truly grateful!

Here is the it totally didn't work out list -

  • THRIVE collage nights 
  • Work from THRIVE days
  •  A number of our professional development workshops
  • Jamie trying to paint and run THRIVE, also one of the main reasons behind our upcoming hibernation!

Every success has been incredibly thrilling and every failure has been at least a little disapointing. We always move on quickly to the next thing but we learn so much from the highs and the lows and wouldn't be where we are without them. Through these experiences we are now more focused, inspired and driven than ever before and can't wait for all that 2017 has in store for us, for THRIVE and our amazing community. Thank you so much to everyone who has been part of this journey so far and we look forward to having you with us for the next part of the adventure!

While we are in hibernation we will keep an eye on emails, especially those related to THRIVE Revive Camp, but unless you are contacting us about some kind of extreme art emergency you won't get a reply until after the 16th of January. Engaging hibernation mode now!

xo

Seven Questions for Amy-Claire Huestis

Greetings fellow Thrivesters! 

I've been invited to share my 7 artists, 7 interviews series on the Thrive Blog.  The interviews are great for comparing and contrasting the variety of creative approaches to problems and practicalities of an art practice.  Below you'll find the sixth artist that was interviewed for this series: Amy-Claire Huestis. She is new to Vancouver from several years in the United States, it is exciting to welcome her back to the city!  - Sunshine Frère

Amy-Claire Huestis makes a space to encounter the mysterious and to suspend a state of wonder in her interdisciplinary practice of expanded painting, light and experimental media. One of her unique projects is to pioneer the re-invention of the magic lantern projector. She brings the device and its form forward with the contemporary technology of plasma light and with her own painted and shadow-cut light pictures. With her seeing machines and seeing tools, she casts a historic and mystical perspective on the phenomena of the image. http://www.amyhuestis.com/ 

 

WHAT TYPE OF SOCIAL MEDIA DO YOU USE TO PROMOTE YOUR WORK, AND WHY DO YOU USE IT?

My close collaborator, Suzanne Déry. and I use a pair of rose coloured glass lenses.  They match, she has one and I have the other.   Sue lives in Scotland and I live in Vancouver, and this is a way make transmissions and share images.   So we are using optical devices as “seeing” tools.   

Over time we have worked with coloured glass in the landscape and black mirrors, the kind that show up in romantic literature and in wizardry, and were used for proto-photographic picture making. Kind-of like ancient Instagram filters.  

HOW DO YOU BRAINSTORM AND COME UP WITH NEW IDEAS FOR PROJECTS?

Right now I’m actively tracking the origin-place of ideas, it’s so mysterious.  We like to assign a story to our idea process, (I made this in this way, I made this about…) but really the ideas process is much more rich and strange than our stories tell.

Our culture tells us that art comes from a state of isolated genius, but this just isn’t true.  What I mean is that our creative impulses are collective, rather than being isolated to us alone as sole individuals.   We all share ideas and thoughts and a kind of cultural and environmental reckoning.  In my pieces I’m actively engaging with the collective mind, so my art is made in collaboration, whether I make it alone in the studio or in performance or experiential practice with other artists.  And I’ve found this active collective engagement to be so lively, there is an amplified state of emergence in it.  

The first action piece I made in recognition of this was a large watercolour, called “Open Space for the Guest”.  Tracing thoughts only of our common creative mind,  I drew a simple plaid pattern, 10 feet long, the brush strokes crossing each other.   As I drew for hours, thinking only of the collective mind, I listened to a piece of music by my collaborator, composer Omar Zubair.  This watercolour glows with a particular purity.  And after making the piece, something changed in the world around me -- human-made and designed shapes became magical, they look made of magic.  

HOW DO YOU MANAGE YOUR TIME IN ORDER TO ENSURE YOU COMPLETE PROJECTS ON TIME? 

I have a necessary kind of delusion when it comes to grasping how long it takes to do things – that is, I think I can do way more than is possible at any given time. But if I didn’t have this delusion, I wouldn’t embark on my artistic journeys because they are so time and energy consuming.  I take everything on, and then work long hours.  Being hyperactive and fast-moving helps. When I sold more work, I had an assistant.

 

IS THERE ANYTHING THAT YOU WISHED THAT YOU HAD LEARNED EARLIER IN YOUR CAREER THAT WOULD HAVE SAVED YOU TIME AND EFFORT? 

I wish I had listened to all the people who told me not to get an MFA.  I really believed in the dream of academia, but at the same time I wasn’t the kind of artist who would use the  MFA scene to turn my work into a marketable product or tool to enter the gallery scene. Not that there is anything wrong with that, more power to those of you who can do this. I just wanted to teach and though this is how I could do it.  

Instead, I could have gotten a degree from a non-accredited place or done a ton of residencies or just learned stuff on my own. I could have just hung around with friends in their schools and it would have meant exactly the same thing. (You can do this, simply attach yourself to a willing friend who is in graduate school and go to everything she goes to, attend her meetings, read her stuff).  An accreditation isn’t necessary, because there are so very few jobs in academia, or jobs you would want, and galleries don’t really care about your degree.

WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVOURITE PART ABOUT WHAT YOU DO? 

The wall of indifference to women artists is a heart-breaker.  I feel really terrible when I look around a table of underpaid art educators (outside of academia) and it’s all women, and all these women have wicked MFAs and Ivy League doctorates.   Or when I have to tell a prof that it’s not acceptable to present a syllabus with no women writers on it.   Or when I have to explain that women can be present in our telling of art history. Or when I try to live and show my art in a city (New York) that has less than 15% commercial gallery representation of women artists, heart break.   

WHAT IS THE MOST FAVOURITE OR THE BEST PART ABOUT WHAT YOU DO? 

I love evolving out of being an artist, into another kind of being, onto another plane.  I make art, and also I am part of something that does not have the name “art”.   I love things that are different and outside of what is standard, or normal, or known.   I love my collaborators and the things that appear and emerge for us.

 

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE INTERESTED IN AN INTERDISCIPLINARY ART CAREER?

This is the same advice that I heard Roberta Smith give in a lecture to undergraduate art students.  Your undergraduate degree is a very useful thing, and it can prepare you for so much in your life, or bring you into many fields in the art world – gallerist, archivist, technician. But if you plan to continue as an artist, do this only because you have no choice. As rewarding as it is, being an artist can and often does mean a life of poverty and struggle -- we are just not culturally or economically suited at present to take care of artists in our society.  And the topper is we can’t regulate this market-driven system to provide equal opportunities for women and people of colour.  

In terms of being interdisciplinary, don’t listen to those who want you to neatly package your work into something explainable. Everything now is hybridized and inter-connected.   Keep trying to make things that have no definition (yet).

Magic lantern and Slides, Amy-Claire Huestis

Magic lantern and Slides, Amy-Claire Huestis

 

 

On Taking Breaks

We are writing to you on this rainy morning as we dive into the week here at THRIVE! The other day we were trying to write this email to you and the topic we wanted to write about was on the importance of taking breaks. Even though we knew exactly what we wanted to write, we were having trouble and a lot of it.

Know why? Because we needed a break! We decided a quick cookie break at Gene's Coffee was just what we needed. What was supposed to be a quick break turned into about an hour long conversation. During that time we were able to decompress a little from a busy week, celebrate everything we had gotten done and plan for the week ahead. We also got to connect and help each other figure out some plans for our own art practices. Best thing to come out of it? We felt like human beings again! We decided to put this blog post aside and easily finished the last tasks of the day before heading home ready to start the weekend right!

No one has spare time just lying around for taking breaks but that is no excuse for not taking them. We are sure that there are plenty of studies that back up these simple truths - taking breaks make you more efficient and effective, they are good for you and they make life better! 

In our next email you’ll be hearing from us about how we are walking our talk about how seriously we are about taking breaks but in the mean time we’d like to challenge you to take more breaks! Do you eat lunch at your desk or easel? Don’t do it! Step away and have a proper lunch break. The problems of the morning will often be solved as if by magic when you just step away. What about taking a quick walk? Even a short one around the block will clear away any cobwebs and provide clarity. What is your upcoming weekend looking like? Is it jam packed with errands, activities, socializing and work? Schedule some time for relaxation and feel ready for the week once Monday rolls around. Do all these things already? Then you know the benefits and we challenge you to take it even further. 

Before we finish, take a moment to imagine a world where everyone prioritized their self care? Looks good doesn't it! Take those breaks and do the world a favour girl!

xo

January 2017 Artist Retreat for Female Artists

Speaking of breaks, we invented the most dreamy break we could imagine and you're invited.  Let's get out of the city for a weekend with other inspiring artists and recharge and revive at THRIVE REVIVE Camp!

This will be your time to celebrate 2016 and to welcome and embrace 2017! 

When:
Arrive Friday, 27 January 2017, 6:00pm

Depart Sunday, 29 January 2017, 3:00pm

Where:
The Cheakamus Centre in beautiful Squamish!

Pricing:

Early Bird $525 (before December 13th)

Regular $600 (after December 13th)

Any questions? Please email us info@thriveartstudio.com

Meet our THRIVE Mastermind Member Angela Joelle Gooliaff

THRIVE Mastermind Vancouver member Angela Joelle Gooliaff

THRIVE Mastermind is made up of small groups of female artists that meet once a month for a year to develop their art practices. At each meeting, members share their artistic achievements and struggles of the month for critique and feedback. Our mission with our exclusive Mastermind is to empower female artists to unlock their greatest potential in their art practices, their businesses and their lives. Making the (art)world a better place one artist at a time.

Today we invite you to get to know one of our THRIVE Mastermind members Angela Joelle Gooliaff and hear about her experiences as a THRIVE Mastermind member below!

Angela Gooliaff is a Vancouver based artist who also works as an actor and writes children's books! With a particular interest in drawing and works on paper, her practice explores parody, exaggeration and the space between comfort and discomfort. Her current exhibition at The Reach Gallery Museum in Abbotsford, BC is not to be missed! A Winter Colourland is on view until January 15th, 2017 and is a 54-foot long (9 feet high) colouring book graphic that extends the full length of The Reach's Grotto Gallery. The piece is interactive and there are also colouring books based on the artwork for sale. Check it out! 

We enjoy being part of Angela's journey and are so pleased to have her as a THRIVE Mastermind member!

1_AGooliaff_A Winter Colourland_detail_2016.jpg

What inspired you join THRIVE Mastermind?

It can be isolating working alone. Life after school can be confusing and lacking focus, direction or a plan. School is a luxury with other students that fuel ideas that are inchoate. 

I was looking for a dynamic creative community where individuals were both serious and passionate about their product/projects but also inclusive and curious. I was looking for a place where we all could be contained within an umbrella of support.

What makes you keep coming back?

People listen and share authentically! 

I get to learn from others who are wiser than me and I can trust their information. There are no smoke and mirrors where we need to be questioning the motives of the “loudest person in the room”. Everyone shares and contributes.

THRIVE is about building our careers and directing us where we need to go. There is no drama, unless someone (like me) has to duck out for an audition! :)

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What are the top three things you have gained from your THRIVE Mastermind experience?

I have found real artists in the trenches of art making whom I can trust, be inspired by and be motivated to push my own ideas and also share the results with its members. Yey!

What was your biggest concern before joining? Did it come true, and if not, what happened instead?

I was really concerned of the judgement and jealousy generated within groups that cripples individual progress. Thus, individuals succumb and conform to "group thought" and "group behaviour."

No, none of my concerns came true. It has been way better than homemade chocolate ice cream! It is so progressive with respect to human interactions and communications. I feel THRIVE fosters artistic diversity, and repels conforming as a means to simply “fitting in.”

Who do you think THRIVE Mastermind is for?

Serious creatives who strive for meaningful work.

What are you currently working on? 

My first book is at the publishers as we speak. It is the first of a future series of children’s publications, which I wrote and illustrated, with the help of my 10-year old niece. Its release should be in spring 2017. It is cute!

There are two other books I am currently illustrating for another children’s author but they are not quite at the publishers yet!

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Thank you Angela! Find out more about Angela and her work on her website. Check out her Instagram, Twitter and Facebook too. Learn more about THRIVE Mastermind here!

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Seven Questions for Natalie Purschwitz

Greetings Thrivesters!

I've been invited to share an interview series that I completed on the Thrive Blog.  Recently, I asked 7 artists 7 questions about their careers.  It was a great way to compare and contrast the variety of creative approaches to an art practice.  Below you'll find the fourth artist that was interviewed for this series: Natalie Purschwitz. Natalie's work is genius, she is an expert collaborator and a brilliant idea generator! I am a big fan! I know you'll be as well. Enjoy! - Sunshine Frère

Natalie Purschwitz is an artist and designer based in Vancouver, Canada. Her work seeks out spaces between art and design, performance and daily life. Her visual art practice is materially motivated and driven by curiosities in anthropology, archaeology, human/nature relationships, morphology and formal arrangement. Clothing is sometimes a starting point for her work. She is interested in how clothing functions as a language and a form of cultural production. Her work incorporates a range of media including sculptural installation, video, performance, photography and works on paper. She has a parallel practice designing costumes and sets for contemporary dance and theatre. Natalie grew up in a small town in the Canadian Rockies. http://www.nataliepurschwitz.com/

Aqua, 2014 - Natalie Purschwitz & Stephen Thompson

Aqua, 2014 - Natalie Purschwitz & Stephen Thompson

What social media platforms to you use and why do you use them?

I pretty much avoid social media, mostly because my brain is already cluttered enough and I feel like I don’t need extra stimulation from using social media. I do have a website that I use as a portfolio. I do use social media if it’s project related.

How do you brainstorm and work out new ideas for projects?

I guess for fashion or costume and for visual art, they both start out the same way. I go for a walk or I go for a run. It took me a long time to figure out that this was the best way to get things going. But for some reason, just having a peripheral distraction around me allows my mind to wander and work through ideas.

For costume design, one of the reasons it’s different is because I am working with another person or a group of people. I’ll often start working with the choreographer and hear about the main ideas and concept for the show and that is my starting point. Then I do a lot of visual research on the internet or in the library, I collect images, from there the images trigger ideas. Then from there, I start making sketches and illustrations.

In visual art, I do a lot more reading, and a lot more thinking and a lot more material exploration.  

Thing to Thing, 2011, Vancouver Art Gallery, Natalie Purschwitz

Thing to Thing, 2011, Vancouver Art Gallery, Natalie Purschwitz

When you have a big project, how do you manage your time to make sure to complete it by the deadline?

I like to work backwards, if I know what the deadline is, I can come up with sub-deadlines of things that need to happen in advance. I’ll make a list of all of the things that I need to do and break them down into time chunks and then try to guess how long the task will take and sort of slot it into my schedule. I need to that because I am often working on a lot of different projects at the same time. Then I can visually see where I am at with different projects and how it is all going to happen. I also always try to give myself more time than I need for a task, even though it usually ends up taking longer. ha ha ha.

Can you think of something that you wished you had learned earlier in your career which would have saved you a lot of time and effort?

By having a system, by being more organised it frees up the space that you need to be inspired or be creative. Remember, if something works for you remember what is working for you and do it again the next time.

We Vancouver, Makeshift, 2011, Vancouver Art Gallery, Natalie Purschwitz

We Vancouver, Makeshift, 2011, Vancouver Art Gallery, Natalie Purschwitz

What is the least favourite part about what you do?

I think that would be time management. Because I am my own boss, no one is telling me what to do or when to do it, so I’m constantly having to figure how to squeeze everything in. That can be really stressful. That is my least favourite part for sure, being on top of all of that.

What is the most favourite part about what you do?

Weirdly it’s kind of the same thing, it’s the fact that I can make up my own schedule. Even though I work really long hours, I get to figure out what those hours are, and I can take afternoons to do specific things. There is a certain amount of freedom in being able to make up your own schedule.

Any advice for someone interested in pursuing a career in fashion design or visual art?

I think my advice would be that there is no right way to do something. Even though there are certain protocols there are good to know and there are “proper” ways to do a lot of things, you don’t have to do them that way, it is really important to figure out the right way to do them for yourself. 

Thrive Favourites This Month!

Favourite piece of wisdom

This piece of wisdom comes above from our recent THRIVE Talks speaker Pennylane Shen! Great advice about making strong work that is authentic to you. We also think this applies to all aspects of life. Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom Pennylane Shen we throughly enjoyed every minute. 


Favourites on Instagram

We love featuring artists we admire and who inspire on our Instagram account. This month we'd like to give extra special shout outs to-

@suewilliamsacourt

@abbeymcculloch

@kindahkhalidy

Want to be featured on the @thriveartstudio Instagram account? Use #thriveartstudio and we'll view your work!


Favourite Tool 

Instagram is always a hot topic here at THRIVE studio. Some of our members have recently taken INSTA180 and raved about it!  INSTA180 is an online course provided by Jasmine Star, she gives  you ways to develop a strategic plan for posts, engage and connect with customers and learn effective ways to tell your story. Check out these THRIVE Mastermind members that have taken the course Joanne Hastie, Heather Watts and Angela Gooliaf


Favourite Business Resources

Need help tracking your calendar events and appointments? try Calendly.   

Short on time and need help scheduling your Instagram posts? check out Hootsuite and later!


THRIVE Mastermind is accepting new members in both Vancouver and Kelowna!

Thrive artist mastermind group accepting new members

Guess what? THRIVE Mastermind is accepting new members in both Vancouver and Kelowna starting in January 2017!

THRIVE Mastermind started as a group of 6 artists meeting to chat about their art practices and the business of art. A year and half later the THRIVE Mastermind community is 43 strong and growing. Our mission is to unite and empower female artists to unlock their greatest potential in their art practices, their businesses and their lives. Making the (art)world a better place one artist at a time.

THRIVE Mastermind Vancouver and THRIVE Mastermind Kelowna are accepting only 10 new members each and our next intake isn't until May 2017. If you're interested check them out and fill out your waitlist applications! Any questions? Email us at info@thriveartstudio.com.

THRIVE TALKS no. 13 with Artist Kuh Del Rosario

Kuh Del Rosario Artist

THRIVE TALKS is a monthly speakers series that invites successful female artists and women in the arts to share their journeys, successes and advice with other women. Each THRIVE TALK features a woman in the arts and this intimate setting allows for a unique opportunity to get to know them. All speakers volunteer their time and knowledge to help other female artists thrive in their art practices and art businesses. THRIVE is so grateful to have such a generous and committed group of mentors. This month THRIVE Studio welcomes Kuh Del Rosario!

Join us on Wednesday November 30th from 7pm until 8:30pm to meet artist Kuh Del Rosario. She will tell us about her personal journey as an artist with a focus on her experience building the Elmo’s House Artist Residency in the Philippines. She will get into the nitty gritty of the whole process including defining the residency, inviting the artists, fundraising and considering the details that will foster a unique environment focused on breeding creativity and conscious living. The perfect talk for artists who want to create a unique project in the art world!

After the talk there will be time to ask questions and mingle until 9pm. 

We asked Kuh some questions in the lead up to her talk!

What are three things (this could be themes, lessons, concepts, stories etc) that you are going to share with us at THRIVE TALKS?: I plan to speak about my experience building the Elmo's House Artist Residency – defining the residency, inviting the artists, fundraising and considering the details that will foster a unique environment focused on breeding creativity and conscious living.

With the process of building the residency as well as the trajectory of my practice, I’ve started to understand deeply the connection between the need to create and the process of re-indigeneity. 

I would like to tie all of these thoughts with a proposal to rethink the role of art which starts in the heart and actions of the artist. 

• Creating space
• Art making as path to re-indigeneity
• The political act of being an artist

What is a weird fact about yourself?: Almost exclusively, my dreams take place in post-apocalyptic worlds.

What is your favourite quote that keeps you motivated or inspired?: Way back in school, painting instructor – Susan Menzies was telling a story about her professor while she was in school, and he told her – you make art that you make, during a particularly hard time she was h. It comforts me, when I am impatient or panicked or wanting to push my work in another direction. It reminds me to be patient and to continue on; the work will evolve the way it should.

What was your first job?: My very first paid job was usher at the Stampede grounds in Calgary during special events, like the chuckwagon races. I wore a white cowboy hat and blacked out on the first day due to heat stroke.

What would you love to see more artists doing?: Not shy away from being called artist. Being an artist is a choice not a title someone gives you.

Who are three artists that inspire you and why?: Jennifer Stockholder is an artist I have consistently pointed to as a source of inspiration. Upon introduction to her work, I remember being in awe of the plasticity of her surfaces. I felt like I was looking at a work of a kindred spirit. 

Louise Bourgeois was and still is a force. Her sculptures are like charged vessels containing bits of herself. She was prolific and gave so much into her work. 

Phyllida Barlow is not afraid of what she does not know. In her work I see a respect for intuition and curiosity. Her works are fantastical but rooted in our everyday encounters with materials.

Anything else you'd like to share?: Please support Carfac BC, the regional arm of Carfac Nation which is an organization founded to protect the legal rights of artists.

THRIVE REVIVE Camp

THRIVE is committed to offering experiences that connect female artists, inspire great art making and propel the business of art. We are so excited to bring you THRIVE REVIVE Camp!

We want to take you to THRIVE Camp! Remember summer camp? It was the best! Well, we want to create an adult camp experience for a weekend in Squamish! We are going to unplug (there is no wifi), we are going to sort of rough it, we are not going to wear makeup or nice things and we are just going to be!

There will be lots learning and lots of fun and also time to get some real planning done together for the new year. Some highlights will include Tara's session on telling stories that are fun and engaging as an artist using social media. You'll also get a lot out of Jamie's session on how to market an art show or event in the most fun and easy ways (yes, there will be checklists!). We will end the weekend with a full day of looking at your business, art practice and lifestyle and creating a plan to get what you want out of 2017 (yes, there will be collaging involved!!).

When:

Arrive Friday, 27 January 2017, 6:00pm

Depart Sunday, 29 January 2017, 3:00pm

Where:

The Cheakamus Centre in beautiful Squamish BC, Canada!

Pricing:

Early Bird $525 (before November 22nd)

Regular $600 (after November 22nd)

These prices do not include fees

More details and booking here!

Want to up your Instagram game in 10 minutes?

You get why it’s worth investing time and energy into using Instagram effectively and strategically but maybe you don't have a bunch of time to devote to it right now. We created a THRIVE guide checklist for Instagram for just this situation. Sign up below to receive yours and then just take 10 minutes to refine your approach to Instagram!

Meet our THRIVE Mastermind Member Laurel Swenson

Vancouver Artist Laurel Swenson THRIVE Mastermind Member

THRIVE Mastermind is made up of small groups of female artists that meet once a month for a year to develop their art practices. At each meeting, members share their artistic achievements and struggles of the month for critique and feedback. Our mission with our exclusive Mastermind is to empower female artists to unlock their greatest potential in their art practices, their businesses and their lives. Making the (art)world a better place one artist at a time.

Today we invite you to get to know one of our THRIVE Mastermind members Laurel Swenson and hear about her experiences as a THRIVE Mastermind member below!

Laurel Swenson is an abstract painter living and working in Vancouver. She is working on process-driven work, and pursuing abstraction in effort to create work that is evocative, emotional and that responds to the materials. Her work develops over time with layers of texture, marks, brushstrokes, colour, blood, sweat and tears (and a sense of humour!). Laurels goal is to make paintings that resonate with people and help create spaces that feel nourishing — paintings that keep on giving! Her studio is in a big old warehouse building called the Parker Street Studios at 1000 Parker St. in Vancouver, chock-full of artist studios that all open once a year for the Culture Crawl. She will have her studio open during the Culture Crawl on November 17-20, 2016. Check it out! 

We enjoy being part of Laurel's journey and are so pleased to have her as a THRIVE Mastermind member!

Painter Laurel Swenson in Artist Studio

What inspired you join THRIVE Mastermind?: I was inspired to join THRIVE for the connection with other artists. It has been amazing!

What makes you keep coming back?: I want to move ahead together, be inspired by other artists, learn together, sharing resources and information, and being excited for each other.

What are the top three things you have gained from your THRIVE Mastermind experience?: Connection, community, and a great place to gain and share resources.

What was your biggest concern before joining? Did it come true, and if not, what happened instead?: No concerns!

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Who do you think THRIVE Mastermind is for?: To connect artists together!

What are you currently working on?: I am currently working on a new series of abstract paintings. I do process-driven work and I am inspired the likes of Cy Twombly, Madeline Denaro, Brian Rutenberg, among many others. I often work on large pieces of canvas tacked straight on to the wall. By working this way I can put more pressure on the surface and be quite physical when painting. I am working with lots of big tools these days — like drywall knives, scrapers, and trowels — which is only possible when the canvas is straight against the wall. I make my own stretchers and stretch the paintings afterwards.

Thank you Laurel! Find out more about Laurel and her work on her website. Check out her Instagram  too. Learn more about THRIVE Mastermind here!