Friday, June 22, 2007

What's in a name?

Where was I? Oh yes

The Scene: Private view, surrounded by the great and good, I bump into an old friend, an artist and design lecturer who is chatting to a senior colleague.

Friend: Charlotte and I went to college together
Me: Hi, yes we did time-based media, through Fine Art
Friends colleague: Oh really what are you up to now?
Me: I work in a Business School
Friends colleague: Oh dear
Me: but I do work around the creative industries (apologetically and slight pleading in voice)
Friends colleague: oh dear
Me: It's all about gender and entrepreneurship in the creative industries
Friends colleague: what? oh dear entrepreneurship? oh dear what's that!
Me: well....
Friends colleague: Right I must go and find.. (Read: I'm off to do much more important things, heard it all before, I'm an artist)

Anyway this exchange took place recently and left me in a rather confused state. Apart from the fact that the said Friends colleague had been utterly dismissive and rude I kind of got it - his attitude - I understood, I have been in that mindset and now I am in another. But it is very hard to articulate what had happened.

A couple of days later I was regaling this story to another friend, who also is a an artist who had this take on the exchange: 'It's just sort of defensive arrogance, the creative sector is just so competitive and that attitude stems from that. The idea that somehow a creative individual is different you know - creative not entrepreneurial - that's almost like a dirty word'.

Anyway I know from an academic perspective that the literature picks up on this, that creatives don't identify with being called entrepreneurs etc. But to be frank most of my dealings with educators from creative disciplines is generally much more down to earth and frankly realistic.Recognising what life is like for graduates and the need to prepare them as best possible for careers that are very likely to involve some level of enterprising behaviour - if not entrepreneurship..

No comments: