The AIR Shift Workshop clearly shows that art and business are only better together. I now have the confidence and practical skills to begin a new creative venture and will also bring this inspiration to my current job.
The AIR Institute workshops provided me the support and skills to make a realistic and exciting commitment to an idea I had been flirting with for fifteen years. I couldn’t have done it without my team in my EVOLVE class and the other many supports to which they introduced me.
It started with a very innocent looking email announcing a SHIFT workshop hosted by the Arts Incubator of the Rockies. It was the kind of email I usually don’t even read before I hit the delete button. I will never know whether it was it the design of the announcement, or my own internal readiness to explore a business idea I have been holding on to for fifteen years, but something on that cold day in January made me stop and actually read the announcement. It sounded like it was written for me. The “me” that was all dream and no action on a creative business that had been waiting for a stage for all these many years while I worked full time and raised two children. But now my children are quite grown up and don’t demand the hours of time and energy they used to demand. I still work full time at a job I love, but I had this dream that had never gone away; I just didn’t know where to start to make it come to life. That’s where the announcement of the class came in. It gave me a place to start. It cost money, so it meant I was going to make a commitment. As I read more about the offerings at AIR, I saw that the EVOLVE class was being offered as a way to really get the support I needed to give my creative business the chance it deserved, so I signed up for that class too.
With time and money committed, I launched into a process that could not have been better. I did not get to think and dream as I had been doing since the origins of my business idea fifteen years ago, I had to act, collaborate, plan, stretch, and then act some more. I have learned more in the last few months about the power of creativity, collaboration, trust, and pushing myself to do things I didn’t know how to do than I have learned in a long time. It has been fun, rewarding, and difficult. I have made new friends, and I have developed an invaluable support team. My business isn’t just a dream any more, it is a real venture in process, and I owe it all to the AIR SHIFT and EVOLVE lessons, tools, and the instructors, coaches, and fellow artists I met through these classes for showing me the path, and helping me keep moving even when I was unsure or stuck or tired; a true gift.