Vancouver

Hello Wonderful! An Interview With Aimée Henny Brown

Futur Anterieur III

Futur Anterieur III


If you don't already know her I'd like to introduce you to Aimée Henny Brown! Aimée is a new arty pal I've met through THRIVE Mastermind. We're in the same group and got to know each other a little better at Designer Happy Hour the other day. I knew she'd be a great fit for a Hello Wonderful interview so please enjoy getting to know her below!

Aimée is going to be the next speaker at THRIVE TALKS. I look forward to learning more about her journey as an artist and also more about her experiences doing Artist Residencies! In her words it will be "a great buffet of Artist Residency information!" The talk is on June 29th in Vancouver and all the details and ticket registration are here


Aimée Henny Brown on the  Candian Pilgrimmages Residency

Aimée Henny Brown on the  Candian Pilgrimmages Residency

Who are you, what do you do and where in the world are you?

I'm an interdisciplinary artist and instructor, I make and perform contemporary art through my fascination with stories, events and objects from the past. I'm a big research hound, a skeptical survivalist, an archives nut and I really love sharing about and looking at art with others. Right now, all this happens out of my home studio in Vancouver, and at Emily Carr University of Art + Design.

What do you believe in?

I REALLY believe in trusting your gut, showing up and hard work. Some of the most amazing projects and experiences that have been part of my studio practice resulted from being true to my gut instincts and being very tenacious about the realization of weird ideas. Showing up at studio is sometimes the hardest (artists are asked to be and do SO MANY THINGS), but ultimately it's the only way I've found to be the best version of myself and to connect meaningfully through my art work. I tell my students all the time: 'you don't get what you don't apply for!' That mantra is all about showing up. Oh Hard Work! My mother used to say if there's a hard way to do something, I would find it... Embracing hard work as a studio tactic has opened doors, given me courage and confidence, built trust with colleagues, and also been a legitimizing force when some of my projects seem far-fetched (ie: open-ocean survival training?!?).

Survival Systems Residency

Survival Systems Residency

When do you feel your most wonderful?

There is a great space that has been happening lately in my collage works where I am cutting and making decisions, recalling images buried deeply in piles, and FINDING the fit for works, rather than forcing the fit, which can feel like trying desperately to put a square peg into a round hole. That tacit gathering of elements into one cohesive piece is by far the best, most wonderful feeling. That and riding bikes on a hot day!

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?

When I moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, to do my MFA, I was really lost at first. I was constantly asking myself if I had made a big mistake in moving so far away from family and friends to pursue a Master's degree at a fairly young age. If I hadn't taken that plunge and wandered through what felt, at times, like a catastrophic error in judgement, I can genuinely say I wouldn't be making the work I do now, and wouldn't have expanded my mind about what it can mean to be a practicing artist and instructor. Almost 10 years later, I have absolutely no regrets.

Futur Anterieur I

Futur Anterieur I

What is the earliest time in your life that you can remember experiencing wonder?

For sure with my Grandmas - they were both amazing humans, and ladies who I consider to be original survivalists. They inspire a lot of the work I make today. I remember my maternal Grandma telling me about gardening at midnight on her farm, picking raspberries and cucumbers by moonlight - it was the first time as a child where my mind opened to the possibilities of defining one's own rules and sense of order in the world. Midnight gardening allowed me to imagine my Grandma howling at the moon, made me believe in magic and the power of perfect preserves.

Canadian Pilgrim Residency Portage Library Contents

Canadian Pilgrim Residency Portage Library Contents

Who are three wonderful people you think we need to know about?

In no particular order:
Maggie Groat 
Charlotte Keates
Barbara Sutherland 

Provisional Shelter I

Provisional Shelter I


Thank you so much Aimée! You can view Aimée's website here and follow her journey on Instagram. She joined Instagram just two weeks ago so let's make her feel welcome! 

Have a wonderful day!


Provisional Shelter IV

Provisional Shelter IV

Hello Wonderful! An Interview With Lucy Poskitt

Image Credit: Joey Armstrong

Image Credit: Joey Armstrong


The Hello Wonderful interview series started in December of 2014 and I can't believe that we are now at interview number 23! I've found this whole experience so rewarding and inspiring and whether you've been along for the ride from the very beginning or you are just joining now I hope that you find it just as wonderful. 

We are kicking off 2016's interviews with Lucy Poskitt! Do you have weaver fever? I do! I'm crazy about weavings and wall hangings and all those textil-y fibre-y magical things. Lucy makes the most fabulous work and it was so fun to give weaving a go at one of Lucy's workshops last month with my sister! It was great to try something a little bit outside of my comfort zone and also to learn more about Lucy and her process. I am so excited to share Lucy's interview with you below!


Image Credit: Joey Armstrong

Image Credit: Joey Armstrong

Who are you, what do you do and where in the world are you?

Hello! I’m Lucy Poskitt and I'm a textile artist! I’ve always had my hand in one art form or another from collage to printmaking, drawing to installation art but my most lasting obsession is with textiles, specifically weaving. I make woven wall hangings and tapestries on my many looms (last count-7, yikes), from my home studio, I teach classes and workshops as well as work part-time at an amazing alternative art materials store. I currently call Vancouver home but I’ve lived all across the country- Victoria to Halifax with stops in between- which informs my work on a daily basis.

What do you believe in?

I believe in art as a powerful tool, a little like magic. It transcends barriers, teaches without words, makes us think and feel things outside our own experience. It's healthy for us, healing and thought provoking.


I also believe that if you're making art that comes from a true and honest place - where you don't need to impress anyone or worry about it being seen - that it can actually change your life. Art doesn't need to be "good" to do that, you don't need to be a professional, or devote tons of time to it, just a little daily practice to get out of your head is all. Creative play is for everyone, even established artists- exploring outside of your comfort zone without worrying about consequence or the end result is one of the most liberating things I've ever felt.

When do you feel your most wonderful?

I feel my most wonderful out in nature. Setting my never-ending to-do list aside, (physically and mentally) and going for long long walks as far away from the city as I can totally calms me. If it's raining, even better! and if it's raining and I get to come home to a luxuriously long bath, a dinner of spaghetti and meatballs, wine and a good movie then I'm pretty much in heaven.

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?

Not exactly a mistake or a wrong turn, but... A couple of years ago I developed a chronic case of insomnia. It started in early January, right after a crazy year of planning a wedding that rolled right into a crazy Christmas at work... I'd basically been busy busy busy for 6 months straight, and as soon as I didn't have to occupy my thoughts with that stuff anymore my brain didn't know how to turn off.


It was the lowest I'd ever been, incredibly depressed, medicated, exhausted and afraid. I spent my days worrying about if I'd get to sleep at night and my nights worrying about how I was going to function the next day without any sleep. The insomnia went on for months... until I started weaving again. Really! I'd taken a hiatus from art-making for a few years but as soon as started giving my brain "projects"- something to think about during the day, to anticipate and plan and problem-solve - I was able to sleep peacefully once again. It was a total life-saver, and I haven't looked back.

What is the earliest time in your life that you can remember experiencing wonder?

I have so many memories of experiencing wonder as a child! As a little kid I was always making up stories that explained the world to me in sorts of magical and fantastical ways. I remember looking out the window of my grandma's house on the North Shore and seeing the lights of the Lion's Gate Bridge at night and thinking, "What if those lights were fireflies holding the bridge up?" I have a very vivid memory of looking at a bonfire and “realizing” that the sparks were travelling up into the sky to become stars. I was totally the kid that played by themselves for hours and had a “very active imagination”, (which sort of describes me perfectly as an adult.)
I was lucky to have a mom who totally encouraged this kind of thinking. One of my fondest memories is of us drawing diagrams of what made the cat purr, like the actual mechanisms inside the cat that caused this sound- a series of levers, a barrel full of pebbles, a little man pushing the PURR button when it was time. I love that she encouraged me to think in a “what if, why not” kind of way. 

Who are three wonderful people you think we need to know about?

Christina Luo is an amazing calligrapher, teacher and designer. One of the most genuine, open and kind people I've met in Vancouver! The sense of calm that you get from seeing Christina's work also flows off of her in person. I totally admire sweet Christina's drive and always look forward to our chats, she makes me feel like everything's going to be okay. (Tara here- Christina also mentioned Lucy in her Hello Wonderful interview here! How sweet is that?)

Marisa Pahl is an amazing painter of miniature watercolours and also a passionate advocate for the environment. She is devoted to sparking conversation and change through her art and has embarked on an inspiring 100 day project that you should check out here. She is also one of the sweetest people I've had the pleasure of meeting, a total gem.

Anna Szul is 100% a superwoman. She is the hardest working person I know, running Studio126 with her partner Ryan, designing and building custom furniture and curating art shows while being a great mom to her two wee kids. She also somehow always finds time to be an amazing friend and ally, always enthusiastically supporting and encouraging other artists and designers. The world needs more people like Anna. 

2015-07-28 09.12.04.jpg

Thank you so much Lucy! You can find Lucy at her website and on Instagram

Have a wonderful day!

Hello Wonderful! An Interview With Jamie Smith


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.  


Thank you so much Jamie! You can find Jamie at her websiteInstagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. View Thrive Studio on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. To get studio updates you can subscribe to the monthly newsletter at www.thriveartstudio.com.

Have a wonderful day!