The Artist Stereotype

[caption id="attachment_751" align="alignleft" width="550" caption="San Francisco based Artist & CEO"]San Francisco based Artist & CEO[/caption] A couple weeks ago I had a typical business meeting with a director of the new San Francisco Intercontinental Hotel.  I wore a simple black dress, classic black pumps, retro turquoise and crystal earrings from Paris, with an off-white trench.  I was properly attired for a business meeting. Later that day I met my man at his fitness studio located on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park.  I waited for him to finish working with one of his clients.  Like many of his clients, she’s a smart cookie with a Master's Degree in Computer Science from MIT and a MBA from Stanford who recruits top tier CEOs for Silicon Valley corporations. The following week she asked who I was, “you know, that women in the black dress.”  “That’s Ann.”  “But I thought she was an artist.  She doesn’t look like an artist.”  “She just came from a business meeting.”  “What do you mean?  Why was she dressed up?” Apparently her confusion lasted.  “An artist plus business?”  These two words just do not compute in this computer scientist’s head.  And this happens to me allllll the time.  I’ve been in the middle of an important business introduction and I’ve been referred to as "my friend Ann Rea, the little artist.”  How do I respond?  I'm in a business environment. I'm networking!  It’s exasperating.  I replied: “I’m actually 5’9”. Here’s the thing. In this age of heightened understanding of the value of innovation, more entrepreneurial creatives are emerging while the left-brain dominant careers continue to float offshore.  Take note, in this current conceptual economy the right brainers will rule the world* and they may, on occasion, dress the part. ;) * Daniel Pink, “A Whole New Mind”
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