An Amazing Artist With Asperger’s

I begin with two photos. The first is a conventional wedding party photo. The second is not.

I like the flower girl in the second photo. She is having none of this jumping. She seems to be saying: “I will not sacrifice my dignity.”

Needless to say, the second photo got my attention.

I want to tell you how I discovered these two photos. It is a remarkable story. I came across the first step in this story in an article written by James Altucher, who offers a never-ending supply of weird and wonderful stories — and also depressing ones. This one is wonderful. It is a typical Altucher story: “How to Deal With Crappy People.” His titles have a way to grab your attention. Here, I read this:

I was talking about this with Penelope Trunk and Melissa S. who works with Penelope. Penelope has an excellent blog I recommend. She also has Asperger’s Syndrome which, from what I can gather, means she can’t read social cues on people so has trouble knowing how to respond to people. So she told me her technique what she does.She uses something called Myers-Briggs to determines someone’s personality type. Then, in advance of meeting that person, she looks up the personality type and figures out how she needs to respond and interact with that person.

I had heard of the affliction, but I did not know anything about it.

I had seen Penelope’s blog before I read his article. It is beautifully constructed — a model for what a blog should look like. Take a look:

I clicked the link. On her front page was an article, “How to build a career if you have Aspergers.” She began with this:

Roughly 80 percent of adults with Asperger’s syndrome do not have full-time work, according to some studies. By the time I figured out I had the disorder, I had been fired from every job I had ever held. I had offended everyone I knew. Think of all the thoughts and judgments that go through your head that you’d never say aloud: You’re fat. You’re lazy. Your clothes don’t fit. Your office smells. I say these things because they’re true, and I’ve since built a career on saying what no one else will say–or maybe I have a career in spite of that.

How does someone with Asperger’s cope with this? Here is how she did it.

If you have Asperger’s, the key to building a career is to be very good at something. People accept my quirks because I’m so good at starting companies. My inability to see the rules makes me able to think outside the box. I don’t see the box.It is crazy to think you can start a company from nothing and build it to $100 million in revenue. Yet I am excellent at selling this sort of thing to investors. For most of the world, crazy is bad. In the start-up world, crazy is good.

This got my attention.

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