CBU alumna hosts virtual creative conference

Creative design company The Shift Creative is offering a virtual conference on Mar. 20 showcasing influential businesswomen from a variety of fields as they offer advice and insight to building a successful company.

Ashley Dirksen, senior graphic design major, works at The Shift Creative as their art installation coordinator under CBU alumnus Alexis Andra.

The Shift Creative has helped create event installations for big brands and names. Dirksen helped the team install a butterfly room for the launch of Kylie Jenner’s new makeup collection and her daughter’s birthday party. The team also works to promote product launches for brands creating pop-ups and interactive displays for clients.

Dirksen said the virtual conference is her biggest accomplishment, as she led this project from graphics on socials to installation.

“For this conference, I really am just involved with more of the behind-the-scenes stuff, helping our graphic designer to pump out graphics for social media, for ads, for all of that kind of content virtually,” Dirksen said. “I was able to design the backdrop that we did myself and then I was like the lead builder on it. And then I got to sit in front of that backdrop and do an interview with a big influencer by myself. And so that whole process from start to finish and just taking the lead has been such cool opportunity.”

Andra said the whole goal of starting The Shift Creative was to use art to reach people. Now this virtual conference will impact people by allowing them to learn more about starting a business.

“It has also allowed me to think about how art is used to reach people,” Andra said. “I love creating meaning behind the work we produce in order to prompt its viewers to an action or cause them to stop and think.”

Although the virtual conference was Dirksen’s idea, the whole team was involved in helping see the idea come to fruition.

“This was my idea that kind of came to life. For sure it has been one of the cooler, most proud moments I’ve had,” Dirksen said. “Alexis can do all of this herself, but for her to trust me and to give me the opportunity to be able to grow and to be able to learn through experience and to be able to apply it all is super cool.”

However, Dirksen said she recognizes the installs are what sets The Shift Creative apart from other design companies because the interactive element impacts the people experiencing and interacting with them, but also the clients themselves.

The users could vouch for the installations’ impact. Cameron Butler could be found on Instagram under The Shift Creative’s tagged photos and said she went to an open call for photographers to take pictures with a Valentine’s Day installation. She said the installation inspired her as she hopes to open her own party planning business.

“Photo ops are always great to have, and installations always help with that,” Butler said. “They’re fun, unique and inspiring because people at parties especially love photo ops to help document their time at the party with friends and loved ones. It also doubles as big décor.”

For anyone like Butler, who wants to make design their profession or learn more about starting a business, The Shift Creative’s virtual conference could be a great way to get involved.

“I’m sure that there are many college students who, even if they’re not studying business or entrepreneurship, would be interested in starting their own business or having a side hustle,” Dirksen said. “And the virtual conference holds much valuable information for college students.”

Tickets to the virtual conference cost $39. Lancers can learn more or sign up at @theshiftcreative on Instagram.

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