While I was traveling in Europe last May and June, Chandler signed a lease for a studio space near Olympic Village. He needed a bigger space for silk-screening Ole Originals t-shirts and we also wanted an office for Make It Productions. The space he ended up finding was larger and more expensive than intended, so Chandler put the call out to find a sub leaser.
Jamie Smith responded to the Craigslist add, and came down to look at the studio as soon as she could. At the time, she was a part time teacher but decided it was time to take her dream of being an artist more seriously. Committing to a studio space was the perfect push to do this, and Jamie moved in a few days later.
When I returned from my whirlwind European adventure, I was excited to get back to work. Since Make It is moving to the PNE Forum this November, there is a whole lot of extra things Chandler and I must do to ensure the show is the best it can be. This was the fist time we’ve ever had a Make It office, so it took a little getting used to going somewhere to work everyday. The hardest thing was not being able to work in my PJ’s anymore!
As soon as I met Jamie, I immediately liked her. Initially she was only periodically in the studio because she was teaching, but as the summer progressed she spent longer and longer hours working on her beautiful mixed-media pieces. One day in July Jamie told me she was going to do her very first art show at the end of September. At the time it seemed very far away, but as time does, it went very quickly.
Since I have decided to take over the Make It Happen documentary project myself, I’m thinking a lot about story ideas, angles and arcs. One day as Jamie was busily working away in the back corner of the studio, I thought to myself, I should turn my camera on and ask her about her upcoming art show.
What came out of her mouth was candid, open and moving. Jamie only decided she was going to pursue her life long passion for art last spring, and here she was diving head first and putting on her first show at the Beaumont Gallery. She rented the space, printed the invites, told everyone she knows and now she must pull it off!
Leading up to her show, I filmed Jamie painting and sharing her uncertainty, anxiety and fear. She really had no idea how to organize an art show and was terrified what people would think about her work. What kept her going was she knew that if she didn’t just go for it now she’d regret what could have been. Jamie allowed herself to be so vulnerable, and it was beautiful to witness how her passion of being an artists allowed her to fight through fear.
Last Friday was the BIG day. Jamie was in and out of the studio doing last minute prep. She was nervous, but also excited to finally reveal what she had spent months preparing for to the public. It was time to lift the curtain and expose herself as an artist.
To say I was blown away by Jamie’s show is an understatement. I didn’t really know what to expect from her, but what she pulled off was far beyond what I ever imagined. She transformed the Beaumont Gallery into an exquisite showcase of all the incredible art she had been pouring her heart and soul into. It was so touching to film her friends, family as well as complete strangers absorbing Jamie’s talent, passion and hard work. I interviewed her mom who had tears in her eyes as she expressed how proud she was of her daughter.
I am sharing Jamie’s story with you because I hope it will inspire you to open your heart, close your eyes and dive in (tweet it!). This is the youngest you are EVER going to be, so don’t put things off if you have the burning desire to do them now.
Please share Jamie’s story to inspire others to keep going for their dreams. She will be at Make It Vancouver this November, so make sure you give her a high-5 😉