131: Joining Forces to Honor Our Communities and Ourselves with Jamie Smith and Kaylan Buteyn

Artist/Mother Podcast
Artist/Mother Podcast
131: Joining Forces to Honor Our Communities and Ourselves with Jamie Smith and Kaylan Buteyn

Welcome to another episode of the Artist/Mother Podcast! In today’s chat, I’ve got my good friend Jamie Smith joining me. Today, we’re talking about Community over Competition, and we’ve got a very exciting announcement to share with you, so stay tuned. 

Let’s start with a little introduction on Jamie. She is, in her own words, an artist, a community-maker, and a teacher. She’s based in Vancouver, Canada, and she’s the founder of the Thrive Artist Collective. (This is a great time to remind you to check out Jamie’s full episode of the Artist/Mother podcast, episode 94. Click HERE to head straight to the episode.) In that episode, we chat about her personal story, art, and her journey so give it a listen! 

Both Jamie and I have dedicated our careers to building up other artists by bringing community to the forefront of our work. We both thoroughly believe that establishing positive changes in the art world starts within, combatting the social constraints we’ve been taught about competition and scarcity. There’s enough space for all of us and for our unique gifts, viewpoints, and creative energies to run free. That’s one of the reasons we first connected. We’ve always centered our work and communities on providing visibility for women artists and caregivers, giving us a place to connect to navigate our careers as artists. Especially in an art world that doesn’t feel like it’s been built for us. 

As you may know, the Artist/Mother podcast was launched in February of 2019 with three episodes. I started the podcast because I didn’t have a community to lean on as an artist living in a rural town. As a parent, I didn’t see anyone talking about how women, as mothers, juggled parenting and careers as artists. New connections began immediately, as mothers were so eager to begin connecting with one another. In 2021, I began the network in Mighty Networks. It became a space for all of us to connect.  

For Jamie, quitting her full-time job to become a full-time artist was the catalyst for needing a community of artists with whom to connect. In a search for connection points and community, Jamie began Thrive Artist Collective out of her art studio in Vancouver in 2015. Thrive has enrolled and worked with over 600 artists in the last 7 years through Thrive’s Artist Interviews and the Thrive Community Mastermind program. 

In this episode, we explore being vulnerable and confronting our own occasionally scarcity-minded thoughts. Our friendship, while formed through the pillar of community, sometimes walked a precarious line. We both, after all, operate in very similar spaces doing very similar things. We have both created communities for artists. We have both created similar programs and ways to connect. In the early days of our friendship, every time we consulted with one another, we had to make an active choice to share whole-heartedly. It’s so worth being generous and open, but there were moments when we weren’t sure if sharing so much was the right choice. Spoiler alert: it was. 

Here’s why. Jamie and I have decided to take a leap of faith into the value we hold so dear: Community.  After many conversations and hours of deliberating on how we’d do it, we’ve decided to merge our communities. The Thrive Artist Collective and The Artist/Mother Podcast Community will now be the Thrive Together Network. In Jamie’s words, “I still remember [how you asked]. You said, ‘Don’t you ever just think how great this could be if we just did this together?’” And the truth is, this is a really big point of growth for both of us in trying to be the kind of leaders we really want to be in this world. 

So with absolute gratitude, Jamie and I would love to welcome you into the Thrive Together Network (TTN). We’ve got so much connection, collaboration, and community ahead. The Artist/Mother Podcast will stay just the way it is, providing you with fabulous conversations around art, mothering, and creating while being a parent. On Instagram, the Artist/Mother podcast will continue featuring Artist/Mothers and the conversations that affect our roles as caregivers and creatives. You can follow us here: www.instagram.com/artistmotherpodcast

The Thrive Together Network Community on Instagram can be found at www.instagram.com/thrivetogethernetwork. On the TTN Mighty Networks space, you’ll be able to find our crit groups, the Taking Up Space exhibitions, resources for our retreats, and all sorts of collaborative opportunities. 

In the Thrive Together Network, we’re welcoming you as a whole entire person. We want our artists to feel seen, supported, grounded, encouraged, and empowered. We want you to be the artist you are and to feel prepared in connecting to what is authentically true to you as an artist and as a person.

Learn about the Thrive Together Network here: https://thrivetogethernetwork.com

Five year goals for the community: 

A year in the life of an artist / the cycle 

Over 500 shows because of Taking Up Space

Platforms which continually generate opportunities + momentum

Inspiration + Knowledge growth for all members


Currently Reading (including audiobooks)“This is terrible, because I’m not reading anything. I really thought about lying. I really did. I’m listening to a daily podcast on NFTs.”The Golden Couple” + “The Lazy Genius Kitchen
Currently WatchingSeverence” (Apple TV+)Ozark” (Netflix)
This is Us” (NBC / Peacock)
Looking Forward To This SummerHeading to the family cabin, purchased during the pandemicExtended studio time + Long family bike rides
Something in your studio that you’re proud of right now? “I am really proud of the work I did for my TUS show. I was really really vulnerable. It’s all about my fertility journey … It was a really powerful experience to be that vulnerable …”“…I have these three distinct bodies of work that are all in motion. And I’ve kind of finally seen the light about how they all connect, rather than feeling the insecurity about them feeling disconnected …”
Something new you’ve learned that you’re excited about? “I’ve been making the new TTN website, and I learned how to change the font on your website and on the buttons so they look very fancy, in my opinion …”“I’ve learned how to cook family meals on a camp stove. Am I excited about that?” 

The Artist/Mother Podcast is created and hosted by Kaylan Buteyn. You can see more of Kaylan’s work on her website or connect with her on Instagram @kaylanbuteyn

Jamie after forming THRIVE
Kaylan in the studio
Jamie’s recent exhibit
Kaylan’s recent exhibit at Conjure Coffee
Jamie’s work, including wood cut-outs
Jamie with her wood cuts

Jamie’s art in progress

More of Jamie’s exhibit

Kaylan’s work in her newest exhibit

Kaylan’s work in the studio
Community retreat
Artists working together at the 2019 retreat

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