Welp. I put it out there. My AIR program proposal. It’s a rough draft, filled with mostly questions.

I had a work friend back in Colorado, I think from the Business of Art Center (now Manitou Art Center… or was it the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center? Who knows they all blur together), who later went to work for Squarespace, in Portland. We stayed in touch a bit. She moved to her grandmothers blueberry farm, out by where I grew up (not far from Portland), and where my dad still lives (I think my dad and her grandma know each other, or at least know of each other). I’m back not too far from her likely, but haven’t reached out.


She put on an employee art show at Squarespace, told me about it, feels like years ago. I thought about doing something similar at a GM once. I thought about giving a talk about some art that I’ve created over the years at a GM once. But I never did that project either. Never gave that flash talk about any of my art. I did hand out You are Beautiful stickers at a GM once. That was a fun social art project.

But today… working in tickets. I will build our business sustainably through passionate and loyal customers. I had a thought.

What if art an Artist In Residency program is my contribution. My legacy. My AIR. What would AIR provide to Automattic? Would AIR provide anything? Could other companies benefit from AIR?

Ship early. Ship often.

I’ve been the Artist In Residence at Automattic for six years. Because I gave myself that title. Artist resume and portfolio not complete, because my job is never done. I won’t just work on things that are assigned to me.

I have one project I’m proud of publicly (even if obscure). This one still in the works. I will never stop learning. And many more unfinished. I am in a marathon, not a sprint, and no matter how far away the goal is, the only way to get there is by putting one foot in front of another every day.

Do art projects teach us anything? Back in my hometown, I often drive my a sculpture behind my old high school that my dad helped get installed in the town. We call it the toilet ring. But it has a much more noble name and message that I can’t remember. I just remember high schoolers vandalizing and laughing at it. But hey, at least it got people talking. Maybe that’s what art does, gets people talking. And talking, can maybe change things? I will communicate as much as possible, because it’s the oxygen of a distributed company.

I wonder what other artists at a8c would think of this idea. I will never pass up an opportunity to help out a colleague, and I’ll remember the days before I knew everything.

Still thinking this through, but thinking in the open. I know that Open Source is one of the most powerful ideas of our generation.

I should get back to what I was doing, just wanted to write this down. I am more motivated by impact than money.

One response to “Innovating in the Open Part Three: Avoiding Fear, Still Thinking”

  1. […] My AIR program proposal. It’s a rough draft, filled with mostly questions. […]

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