Athletes and artists are often thought to live in deeply dissimilar worlds. But, as Amanda Shatzko’s life and career demonstrate, it is possible to bridge those two worlds.
Until two years ago, Shatzko was a professional athlete and a national-level-ranked gymnast representing Canada on the world stage. During that time, she founded and ran her own art consultancy firm where she worked with non-profits, businesses and governments on cross-cultural art collaborations.
For Shatzko, president of AS Consulting and Art, art and sports aren’t separate but rather two aspects of her life that she has weaved into a unique outlook. Both realms represent opportunities for people to grow and learn more about themselves, and Shatzko believes that both can help bring people together and create a collaborative space fuelled by cross-cultural connections.
Whether it’s Shatzko’s athletic ability or her artistic flair, she maintains that they are both simply learned skills that anyone can practise and develop.
Shatzko added that it’s important that people take the time to improve their creative and collaborative abilities so that society as a whole can adapt quickly to changing times.
“It’s not just important that we have artists in the world to create beautiful things that stimulate conversation, but at the same time people need to realize that if we need to innovate for the future there’s certain skills and characteristics that we all need to learn.”
That is what Shatzko hopes to achieve not only as a consultant but through her community leadership roles, including director and vice-chairwoman of the board for the Regional District of North Okanagan.
There are also lessons that artists and athletes can learn from each other, something Shatzko helps to facilitate. Through her work, Shatzko hopes to make the art community a more collaborative, less siloed place. But more importantly, she wants to encourage people to think creatively, starting with artistic endeavours and then taking that creative thinking out into the world, whether it be in their careers, personal lives or community.
Birthplace: Vernon, B.C.
Where you live now: Vancouver and Vernon
Highest level of education: Master of arts
Currently reading: How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day by Michael Gelb
Currently listening to: Chill lounge radio
When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: Olympian
Profession you would most like to try: Senator
Toughest business or professional decision: Convincing people that you can be successful in the arts
Advice you would give the younger you: Not to believe in limiting beliefs
What’s left to do: Create bigger collaborative projects
Join us to celebrate the 2019 Forty under 40 Awards on January 30, 2020, at the Westin Bayshore. For tickets and event information visit https://www.biv.com/forty-under-40