It’s been awhile since I have brought anyone on to Let ME Out!! to chat about creativity, passion and careers! When I met Jamie Smith through my blogger-friend, Melissa, I could see why Melissa wanted us to meet. Jamie’s story was so inspiring to me that I had to share it with you. We first communicated via email about doing a commissioned painting for my new baby, Alyzeh. I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate Alyzeh’s birth than through such a creative project, totally customized to her; I envision it being one of the material things that Alyzeh will cherish her whole life, taking it with her wherever Life has her go. The awesome part was, all I had to do was tell Jamie which colours, images and words I wanted incorporated because I could see from her online gallery that she could take all that and make magic. And she did!


When she came over to deliver the painting, my jaw dropped. I had seen an image of it online when she had completed it, but in person I could really see the detail. Just gorgeous. I loved hearing more about Jamie’s story in person and am looking forward to collaborating in the future with her. If you are curious about this teacher-turned-full-time-artist, read on. If you can, I highly encourage you to check out her art shows!

Without further ado, here’s Jamie! 

Jamie, I always ask this of my guests because I think there is a huge connection between the way we are as children and our Soul purposes: As a little girl, say between the ages of 5 and 10, what did you enjoy doing when left to your own devices?

My mom used to teach children’s folk art classes out of our home so I was always helping her. I would help her make supply kits for students and samples for the classes. I saw at a young age the time and effort it goes into making hand made art. I loved sitting and using left over supplies and paint and creating my own art.

And so, once again, I am not surprised at your answer! But you didn’t ‘decide’ to be a full-time artist until after pursuing another career: teaching. When you started thinking about careers, what led you to pursue teaching?

My mom later went back to university to become a high school teacher. So over the years when I would come home from university during Christmas break and summer break I would teach children’s craft classes myself. I really enjoy teaching kids art projects and helping kids be creative. I completed my Bachelor of Fine Arts and then took off to travel as much of the world as possible. When I returned to Vancouver I started my Bachelor of Education and specialized in Art Education. Only a few days after completing my degree I moved to Abu Dhabi in the Middle East to teach senior level art at an American private school. This was a really exciting time as all my passions were coming together; travel, art and teaching!

What made you decide to switch careers and focus entirely on your art?

When I moved back home after a year of teaching aboard I truly felt like it was now or never. I always wanted to be an “artist” but I didn’t really know what that meant. I was at a point in my life when I knew I needed to try and whether I failed or succeeded I would never regret taking the leap of faith. (And I don’t!)

How was this choice received by your loved ones?

I am so lucky to have a very supportive family and friend group who really understood why I needed to make such a large life change. I have needed a lot of support this year because it has been full of so many new things and I am constantly putting myself out there. Having people that love me even when I fail, really helps me to just keep on going!

What changes have you noticed in your life since your leap of faith?

Lots of things have changed for me and I have learned a lot about myself along the way. One thing I love about what I am doing is the amazing people I get to meet all the time. My commission artwork is such a great way for me to meet new people and I am so lucky because I get to hear their stories. My commission paintings are really special to me because they bring in many elements that are important to the person I am creating the work for. An example of this is, the paintings I create for couples getting married or for their anniversaries. I get to learn all about their love story and then weave elements of that throughout their painting. This is similar to the paintings I create for children’s rooms, throughout the painting you can find images and symbols that are meaningful to the child and their family.

Art really is a conversation set to music, or colour, or words woven together just so. I can see that conversation in your paintings for sure. And now, because I think the daily grind of a creative entrepreneur is enticing, what does your typical day look like?

Most days I am working away at my studio. I spend time painting but also a lot of time marketing my work, planning shows and meeting with clients. It is definitely a balance between creative time and managing all the other elements that go into running a business.


It sounds like an interesting balance of putting yourself out there on canvas in the privacy of your studio and then putting yourself out there in the general public!

Is there a project you are working on that you would like to share with my readers?

I have been working this year on a project called, “confessions.” I have been collecting anonymous confessions though my online message board on my website. I then use these very personal words as inspiration to create my paintings. My latest series is going to be showcased in a one-night show on Thursday, May 1st at the ANZA Club (3 West 8th Ave, Vancouver). Guests can drop by from 6pm until 10pm and have a drink, see some art and leave their very own confession in the full size confessional booth. It is going to be a fun night because my art opening is one of seven locations in the community event called “ROVE~ an art opening tour.” People can visit seven different art venues all around Main Street and see different artists latest work.

That sounds like a great event! I hope some of my readers do make it out there.

Finally, is there something you would say to my readers who are hesitant to take a leap into a career of passion?

I can say from my experience following my creative passion has been an amazing experience. I would say if you are considering making life changes towards your creative passion to go out and meet people who are doing what you want to be doing. The more people you meet and talk to, the more you will learn about how they did it and how you can do it too. Creativity leads to more creativity and once the momentum gets going it doesn’t stop and you get to enjoy the ride!

Thanks, Jamie, that is sound advice! So nice to meet you and I’m looking forward to sharing creative experiences in the future!

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Jamie attended the University of Victoria and majored in Visual Arts with a minor in business. She traveled extensively before retuning to Vancouver to complete her Bachelor of Art Education at the University of British Columbia. After graduating she went to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates to teach art for a year. Since her time in the Middle East she has begun pursuing her art career full time and has participated in group art shows and her own solo shows. Her latest art project is called “confessions” where she uses anonymous confessions as the inspiration for her painting series. This project and her full portfolio of work can be found at

You can connect with Jamie on Facebook and Twitter, and learn more about the ROVE event here.