Sunday, July 23, 2006

Words of wisdom

I had a GOOD day at work this week. Yes, I nearly fell off my chair too.

I had a meeting with an artist, we are working on a rather unique and challenging project together. I went to his studio by bus (not tube – oh joy!) and found him working in oasis of calm hiding behind a drive through McDonalds and a Texaco garage.

He is in his sixties, tall, with a crop of striking, thick, white hair. His calm and casual manner belies a quiet confidence. I have worked with him before and he is so unassuming that it is easy to forget the enormity of his success until you wander through Tate Modern and spot his work singing out from the walls with a joyful clarity.

We chatted, swopped ideas and gossiped about the array of individuals involved in this project. ‘I have found’ he said’ that it is always the most forceful of speakers who find themselves listened to in this world. They can be ignorant, stupid, and even liars, but if they speak with unfaltering confidence people will listen. Groups of people struggling, to make decisions will fall on these characters with relief and awe. He seems to know what he’s talking about’ let’s do it’.

How many situations does that ring true for? I found myself thinking of our desperate leader and smiled.

I started telling him about something the client had told me he had agreed to do. ‘Did I?” he laughed. ‘Oh I guess I probably did, as Picasso said ‘the easiest way of saying ‘no’ is to say ‘yes’’!