August 29, 2011

The Look of Confusion and What Do You Do?

Over this past weekend I visited the Grand Canyon and Sedona, Arizona for the first time.  Although my sister has been living in Arizona for the better part of two decades we just never made the time to make the trek all the way up there.  Now that we only live about four hours away (as opposed to six or seven) it seemed like a great weekend jaunt.

And it was!

The Canyon is allegedly one of the wonders of the world, chosen as the eighth wonder by people who have looked down into its vast expanse of immense beauty.  I can't exactly disagree with these people because I was in fact awe-struck at the sight of the thing.  And we only drove around about 1/5 of the south rim.  Someday I will see the whole thing.

After the Grand Canyon and an overnight at the HoJo's in Flagstaff we wound our way down a few back roads and landed in Sedona, Arizona.  Another majestic and almost unbelievable place of beauty.  The red rocks and super cool formations they create also blew me away!

While in Sedona we decided to get a little food and walk the shops for a little while.  We were all but yanked into the Western Museum by the guys running the place.  The museum is definitely a trap by the way, unless you want to hear about the fantastic deal on a time share, just keep walking!  But I didn't know until it was too late so in we went and I found myself being asked by the sales dude:

"So what do you do?"

In the past I have answered this question a number of ways but these days, because I'm not a published author and because I don't feel like saying I'm a student, I tend to answer with "I'm a Faux Finisher" when I find myself in mixed company.

Normally I would answer that I'm a decorative painter, an artist, or even simply a painter, but yesterday it seemed appropriate to say Faux Finisher.  He looked at me with confusion and asked "What's that?"

Now I can't say I'm totally surprised because it was a man and generally the decorating and embellishing of one's home tends to fall on a woman's shoulders, traditionally I mean.  But at the same time, toss out the most well known names in the industry and many of them are men.  At the point where someone doesn't understand what I do for a living most of the time they just nod and smile but he followed up the question.

This is where I had trouble.  I'd never been confronted by that before and I was slightly flustered with how to respond because, honestly, where do I begin?

Looking back now my tag line is set.  I have to thank that timeshare salesman for helping me out because if it wasn't for him I might still be walking around not having come up with:

"I use paint and plaster to mimic the look of stone and other natural materials."

Good eh?  Its my new mantra, its my elevator pitch, its my descriptor and hopefully its what will get someone interested enough to ask the followup question "Ooh, how do you do that?" because that I've got well covered!

What's Your elevator pitch?  How do you describe what you do to others when they ask face to face?

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