Zara Fina Stasi ’12 is a yarn-spinning storyteller of a different sort. The only thing as unique as her name is her creatively tailored career. She is an artist, capturing business challenges and enhancing comprehension through the process of graphic facilitation.
She works as the National Greenhouse Artist for Deloitte Greenhouse, an extension of the organization’s consulting services that plans personalized sessions for business groups. Deloitte Greenhouse seminars are customized on a case-by-case basis. A team of Deloitte designers creatively curates each session to tackle companies’ specific needs. Stasi specializes in hand-drawn, live visual capture of clients’ workflows. Her work is quick and colorful, vibrant and compelling. The pictorial illustrations she generates on her toes transform complex data sets and workplace roadblocks into digestible drawings, eliciting visual stimulation for meaningful group consultations.
In a world consumed by media and cluttered with statistics, Stasi and her artistic facilitator colleagues provide clients with immersive, escapist experiences. While she currently lives and works in New York City, she travels the world in her Deloitte Greenhouse Artist role, handling interviews and phone calls with clients and data gatherings with various Deloitte Greenhouse design teams. Stasi’s position as the head Deloitte Greenhouse Artist allows her to consult and collaborate with the organization’s U.S. Deloitte Greenhouse locations, based in Chicago, Dallas, New York, San Jose, Calif., and Washington, D.C., as well as its multiple international spaces. The Deloitte Greenhouse environments are like scientific laboratories, consciously augmented environments that initiate intimate, interactive learning. Stasi swoops in and live-captures the conversations between business partners and corporate groups in these sensory settings.
Her journey from undergraduate to jet-setting, artistic advisor and content inventor would make for its own captivating graphic map.
“I imagined being able to draw a picture of a potential problem, rather than struggling with word confusion.”
She found her niche as a creative thinker in the business world just like she discovered her place at William & Mary: as a passionate person with an understanding that everyone brings something valuable to the table. As a double major in studio art and history, member of Chi Omega sorority and chief justice of the Honor Council, she established balance between her interests and strengths, and forged her own avenue toward a self-designed future.
“Growing up, my family supported me to follow a path that did not exist,” Stasi says. “At school, I was able to dedicate a ton of time to my art while still juggling the rest of my life, other classes and my second major. Even now, I am able to have my professional art life, while my personal painting is like my other real-life major.”
With a flair for channeling creativity and making purposeful, engaging connections with others, Stasi translated her original consulting experiences with Deloitte into a role that would allow her to tap into a reserve of talent and communication skills. Following her inaugural role as a member of a traveling, global Deloitte Greenhouse design team, she pitched the idea of becoming a full-time graphic facilitator. Her colleagues were receptive, and so her role became training fellow team members in the foundational aspects of live visual capture: the importance of listening carefully and latching onto nuggets of information, rather than attempting to convey a plethora of details. Stasi’s coworkers are equipped to break down challenges visually during the sessions she does not facilitate herself.
“When I first learned what graphic facilitation was, I started integrating that kind of quick creative thinking into my consulting work, but I wanted to do it all the time,” Stasi says. “I imagined being able to draw a picture of a potential problem, rather than struggling with word confusion, especially in other countries, when language barriers could present tricky situations. I got to work with my leadership to essentially self-design the role.”
In addition to her real-time, ‘Win, Lose, or Draw’ type of sharp-witted artistry, she brings to life the stylized environment of a session. Rooms at each of Deloitte’s Greenhouse facilities can be altered to fit the day’s theme using white boards, SMART boards, moveable furniture and even custom-made puzzles or personalized murals. No matter her involvement in a particular gathering, she thrives in a position of creative control.
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“I work with design teams to plan activities throughout the day that mirror a certain metaphor or theme that we predetermine as helpful for the clients’ situation; we want to help them see things through unconventional lenses,” Stasi says. “Sometimes I am graphically facilitating at the front of the room, and other times I serve as visual aesthetic support behind the scenes.”
As a professional manager of time and tasks, coupled with the demands of her job, Stasi maintains her true love for painting. She adheres to a personal syllabus, creating art for her profession and paintings for pleasure. Earlier this year, she presented a two-month exhibition of recent works at the Chalfonte Hotel in Cape May, N.J., featuring bright and summery pieces inspired by New York mornings, nature and plants, and abstract musings. Another show, borne out of interest generated by the summer gallery, will take place in September, again in Cape May.
“I get lost in time thinking of visuals on the fly in the same way I do when I have hours to just experiment,” Stasi says. “There is a part of me that really enjoys the excitement and dynamic responsiveness of my job, but I have to keep painting too — it is such a part of me. I love it.
Stasi makes a living evoking emotions visually. Her teams’ clients are left with tangible solutions to problems and memorable business breakthroughs. She leads people on journeys while navigating her own one-of-a-kind route. If art imitates life, Zara Fina Stasi’s work calms and consolidates the chaos.