Community of artists gather to encourage, inspire

Heidi Foss (far left) and Brittany Scott (far right), co-hosts of Creative Collaborative speaking for guests. (Brittany Scott)

Students looking to expand their creativity and networking opportunities may want to check out Creative Collaborative, a group of local artists who meet together to expand their skills and talents.

Painter and co-host Brittany Scott, a BYU alumna with a BFA in illustration, calls it Provo’s “best kept secret.”

Creative Collaborative brings artists together each month to inspire and encourage each other to pursue their dreams. The artists, either professional or aspiring, meet the second Tuesday of each month in the Provo Recreation Center multi-purpose room. Anyone is invited to come, whether they be entrepreneurs, painters, musicians, singers, poets or any other kind of artist. Meetings are free.

“We have a central speaker and they get to share their story,” Scott said. “The good and the bad and what they had to do to get where they are now.”

Speakers are asked to tell what they know the most about and what they feel they could teach the group. Past speakers have included Brooke White, a singer/songwriter and former “American Idol” contestant, who spoke about vulnerability, and Kevin Auernig from Sodalicious who spoke about innovation. Scott spoke highly of the quality and caliber of all the speakers who visit Creative Collaborative.

Scott, a mother of three and a wife, quit her job as a medical transcriptionist in August 2011 to pursue being a full-time artist. Creative Collaborative was turned over to her the next August and in 2015 she brought Heidi Foss onboard. Foss, an event planner and artist who is also a wife and has three children, shares Scott’s passion for Creative Collaborative and its purpose.

“I’ve loved it ever since I have started coming,” Foss said. “There is a sense of connection and you have the ability to create bridges of opportunity and ideas.”

Foss said Creative Collaborative allows people to meet others they would never meet in a normal scenario. She and Scott believe that by giving back to the community, these professionals are benefitting the group of people gathered to listen to them, in addition to benefitting themselves.

“All of these artists, whether they are musicians, designers, photographers or painters, are all willing to work together and build each other,” Scott said.

BYU graduate Jenedy Paige has been attending Creative Collaborative meetings since she moved to Utah from Arizona.

“Here I am, this girl from out of state, and it was awesome for me to just jump into this creative scene and be connected with people from all different creative professions,” Paige said.

Guests can show up to the meeting and listen to an inspirational message or stay afterward to introduce themselves to other creatives. Foss said it is a great place to connect, bounce around ideas and even find potential work trades by meeting new people.

Creative Collaborative artists working together during speaker, Jake Parker's meeting. (Heidi Foss)
Creative Collaborative artists working together during speaker, Jake Parker’s meeting. (Heidi Foss)

Scott attributes her success to Creative Collaborative. Her recent show, “Emerging Artists Primavera,” pulled in 50 new artists who can now be in a show in one of the best galleries in the state. A huge part of success of that show was because of the connections within Creative Collaborative.

Paige, a realistic narrative painter, said the meetings give her purpose and direction for her art, in addition to opening her up to new opportunities. She has even gotten into a few different art shows because of Creative Collaborative.

Scott, Foss and Paige all spoke about the amount of inspiration they have received from Creative Collaborative events and speakers. Scott said people leave thinking “if this is possible for you, it is possible for me.”

Between 50 to 300 guests attend meetings every month, but Foss says the number of student attendees at monthly meetings is shockingly low.

“It is a good time to get involved and this one is a great bridge to help you with your career,” Foss said. “You are rubbing shoulders with some of the city’s greatest artists.”

Foss said there was never anything like Creative Collaborative when she was in college, although she wishes there was. She encourages students to take advantage of these kinds of opportunities now.

“It teaches us that we can chase our dreams no matter what they are,” Foss said.

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