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"Neo Davis": It Has To Work

"Neo Davis": It Has To Work

In 2022, I had the honor of being mentored by Nehemiah Davis and became a part of his Inner Circle Mastermind Program. This experience was life changing in some many ways. The amount of time and effort that Neo pours into his mentees is unmatched and I am forever grateful for his guidance and support. 

When I first started my business, I was lost to say the least 😂 and I had no idea what I had gotten myself into. I knew I needed help in finding those missing pieces to build the business of my dreams. There were three things in particular that I did not have which were: Clarity, Confidence and Community. Clarity, I lacked a clear vision of what I wanted for myself and my business. In return, this made it very difficult to truly live in my purpose and execute the way I needed to. Confidence, I knew I was talented; however there was a part of me that was not sure if I was good enough to accomplish my dreams. Community, I have met a good amount of entrepreneurs during my business journey; but I lacked a group of people that I could lean on for support in business and in life. 

I was looking to add digital products and services to my business model. My background is in Art Education and I literally eat, sleep and breathe art whether it be through my business or my 9-5 job. It has always been a dream of mine to have my own design company, as well as a space where artists could explore self-expression, challenge their artistic practice, learn how to leverage art to acquire knowledge in core subjects and mentor creatives that are interested in going into art as a career or as side hustle. 

I spend 7 months building out an online studio, illustrating and writing my first book and creating my first online tutorial. The learning curve was real ya'll 🫠. Formatting and learning the in's and out's of publishing a book was one thing. However, teaching in-person was so much different than teaching online. On top of all that I had the challenge of figuring out how to produce products for "little" artists that would be educational, as well as help them strengthen their cognitive and fine motor skills. After months of illustrating, formatting, planning and filming your girl finally got the chance to launch my online studio (The Artfull Studio) and my first educational art bundle! I am still learning so much when it comes to digital products and services; but I absolutely love the process and how I am able to reach a larger audience online. 

As I stated before, digital products and services was where my focus was; but when your girl got the chance to go to Dubai for a mastermind event something unexpected happened. This trip alone was the highlight of 2022 for me! To make it even better the trip was planned for December which is my birthday month and I was able to celebrate my 35th birthday in Dubai ❤️. I have seen pictures of Dubai; but being able to experience it in person was mind blowing 🤯. From the architecture, the food, the excursions and the culture it was an out of body experience. It was like being in a whole other world...literally! 

I knew it was going to be a trip of a lifetime; however I did not know it was going to change my entire artistic practice as an artist and designer. That missing piece that I referred to earlier was not just adding a digital aspect to my business and missing those 3 C's. I also was lost as an artist and I did not feel like I had an art practice that was fulfilling and meaningful to me. Let's just say I was creating art; but I was not creating art with purpose. 

This photo is of a coach that I met in Dubai named Matty J. Neo invited him to be a speaker at our mastermind. He made a monumental impact on me and at the time I did not know how big of an impact it was going to have on my artistic practice and story. I have always struggled with sharing my story with people hence why social media does not come easy to me nor is something that I enjoy 😅. However, it was one of the missing pieces that I did not have to connect myself with my audience. I have been creating art since I was three years old and in the past I never shared my creation process because it has always been a therapeutic outlet for me to work through my thoughts and feelings. We all know how uncomfortable it can be to share things about yourself with people you do not know. But regardless, it is something I knew I needed to do. It needed to be authentic and in my own way. The way that Matty J explained the importance of sharing your story, not only for yourself, but the impact that it can have on others was eye opening for me. Learning how to document my process for myself and audience has lead me to more personal and professional growth that I could not have not imagined. 

After the mastermind, I set out to create a completely different art style that was unique to me. It would share my story through my art, culture and faith. Now when I create, it is a process of me sharing a piece of myself, educating others on my culture and motivating/inspiring others through their own personal and professional journeys. Whether it is a culturally inspired topic, a quote that speaks to me, an experience I have had or a scripture that is on my heart to share. It is a visual representation of who Ashlea Kiiing is and what I stand for. It is crazy to think that one trip can make such a huge impact on a person's life. It brings me back to when people say "It only takes one experience, one person or one opportunity to completely change the trajectory of someone's life". This mastermind and trip to Dubai was just that for me.


Lastly, I want to take the time to thank the person behind this post which is Nehemiah Davis. Thank you for everything you have taught me, poured into me, encouraged me to do and exposed me to. I am forever changed and I have you to thank for that. Even though 2022 was one of the hardest years of my life, I learned so much about myself, I am closer to God, I have found my artistic voice and I truly understand what it means to live in your purpose. You will forever have a special place in my heart. The quote in this piece is something that I tell myself everyday and forever will. It is a reminder that there is no Plan B, you just have to keep working towards Plan A regardless of how difficult it may be. It WILL work, it just is going to take time and happen in God's timing. "It has to work or it has to work" - Nehemiah Davis

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