RAD Magazine Logo

Why Emerging Artists Should Check Out ThriveTO

Published on
May 31, 2021
Written by
Olivia DeRoche
Published by
Edited by
Lannii Layke

Before you go to bed tonight, follow @torontothrive on Instagram. This is the one stop shop for your rundown of the Toronto artist scene. If you are looking for artists to work with whether it be photographers, models, musicians, stylists etc. you will find them here. If you are an emerging artist looking to build community, you will find it here. If you are eager to build your audience and engage with other creatives’ work, YOU WILL FIND IT HERE. Thrive’s Instagram is described by its founders as a “Pinterest board where all of Toronto’s art can live''.

I got to start my Tuesday morning with co-founders Ravin Ramnarain, Jahlain Depasse and Manhar Brar to talk all things Thrive.

“Thrive started because I was watching my friends in creative spaces figure out what they are good at and what they loved. But watching them reach a point where they stopped pursuing it because they couldn’t make a living wage doing it. So we just wrestled with the question, ‘ how are we gonna preserve culture if were not able to create the things we love.’”

In the beginning, this meant getting out into the community and figuring out what Toronto’s creative scene needed. The Thrive team talked with numerous artists in varying disciplines to find out what individual support was needed and how to better facilitate collaboration within this community. This led to the formation of Thrive’s three pillars: Community, Creativity and Collaboration. These pillars serve as a focus point for what solutions the team wants to approach and what functions and tools they want to build.

What immediately struck me about Ravin, Jahlain and Manhar is their genuine love of community. There is an authentic perusal of building a city wide support system that drives Thrive’s evolution.

“We want to present artists in a way that makes it less scary to reach out for potential collaboration. If we are able to present who the artist is, how to get in touch with them, how their process works etc. we can hopefully bridge that gap for someone who would want to work with them.”

The overarching goal: Make the community into a collaborative workspace.

“We want to get as many eyes as we can on underground talent as we can. We want to be a tool for artists and provide a space and community that enables them to pursue their work full time.” The first touch point is our discord. This will be the place where we can facilitate the conversation and collaboration we’ve been speaking about.”

Think Streets of Vancouver, Design buddies, etc. in which one focus brings together a like minded audience that can create with one another. This really came from the lack of collaborative spaces during the pandemic and the hope is that this can breathe life back into creative collaboration and house discussions that will revamp artistic partnerships and projects.

In this vein, Thrive will also  produce high quality media showcasing the Toronto scene in a way that is reflective of the talent we have here in the city. “We want to get creatives paid and we want to do this by producing assets that are on par with their caliber of work.” This summer we are gonna see a lot of exciting content curated and created by Thrive.

In terms of getting on the Thrive TO page all the co-founders agree,

“There truly is no rubric. It’s very much dependent on the eye/ear test or does it resonate with someone on our team. Do we like what it is and can we tell the artist feels strongly about it. We are drawn to and looking for artists who are authentically themselves and pursuing that authenticity head on.”

Thrive is rooted in close friendship and a genuine appreciation of artists. “We want to see people cultivate not only amazing creative partnerships but friendships that deepen and strengthen their personal community”.

“We feel most rewarded when we can make it even a little easier for an artist to pursue their art. We want to be your support system. We are passionate about pushing the community forward and we want to support you in any way we can. We want to meet with you and talk with you about your goals and how to get you there. The most fulfilling part of this has been to see just how much talent there is in this city. We don’t have to reach out to people anymore because there are so many artists bringing their incredible art to us. That's what really legitimized this all for us was seeing the caliber of content people have to share. And to that point it's such a mutual collaboration when artists send us their work. We are so grateful to everyone joining and wanting to join this community.”