Hiding Out in Plain Sight

I know, this is not the first time I’ve disappeared from my blog.

Thank goodness for all my smARTist Telesummit Alumni whose art is a balm for bad habits. (I’m waving to every single one of you!!!)

In the past, I’ve fallen off the blog wagon because, honestly, I wasn’t inspired.

And I’d beat myself with the wet noodle of: be disciplined, grl! You don’t need to date the muse every time you write a blog post.

I would scoot over to Alyson Stanfield’s blog or Joan Stewart’s and think: why the heck (well, maybe “heck” is more PG13 than I’m fesin’ up to) can’t I do that?

Be consistent.

Be concise.

Be clear.

Have a specific action for you to take/follow.

Then I’d go right back… to working on other things.

Until, bingo, I had something I really wanted to say.

And when I did that – whoa… did YOU show up!

Not only did you come over to read, you commented – and not in sound bites, but thoughtful paragraphs.

The problem was, if you take a good look, my best blog posts (best being what you responded to) pretty consistently and clearly had little to do with either marketing your art or the business of art.

And since that was the front face of smARTist, I’d keep backing myself into a very cramped corner because, of course, I had convinced myself I had to write about what I said I was about.

Except… I wasn’t…



at all…

In fact, I was someone else entirely.

Which brings me back to why I’ve been absent this time from the blog.

This time is different. No wet noodles, for one thing. And no dating muse problems either (she’s been patiently getting her nails done while I’ve been noodling around in the re-branding isle. She loves candy-apple red, btw, because she knows it makes me all flirty.)

This time I’ve been gone because, finally, I couldn’t stand not being myself all the time any more!

I took that month off in August – a whole month of doing NOTHING but what moved me each day to do.

When I returned in September, I did the unthinkable (for me), and dropped off every single mind-boggling idea I’d pioneered,or was in the process of pioneering for visual artists, that didn’t thrill me to my soul.

I (gulp) took everything off my plate that made me tired just to look at it, never mind execute it.

I burrowed in and did the same hard work I’ve always asked you to do: I asked  myself “Who Am I, really?”

In short, I’ve been redoing my artist statement.

The journey is no where near over (let’s hope it keeps going until I drop this earthly body), but today I came to a singular point of clarity that I’d love to share with you.

Here’s the beginning of what it looks like when I turned around and shined the light on my True Self.

Q: Whom do I work best with?

A: Women Artists who are on the verge of committing to their art full-time

Q: What would Wow these women down to their toes (candy-apple red or otherwise)?

A: Experiencing how different their life feels as they step into a lightness of being and the freedom that moves them forward

Q: What can I give them that will be uniquely effective?

A: I have a knack for hearing where the personality is blocking soul potential so my artist clients can break out of old patterns.

Q: What’s that look like?

A: I can intuitively guide them toward awareness and enlightened action so they become their own best ally as they move forward with ease.

Of course… first I had to do this for myself, find out that I’ve been hiding behind smARTist, but in plain sight all along.

All I had to do was turn around.


I’d love to hear your reaction to this new direction I’m heading (with a spring in my step and my lovely muse by my side).

More to come on what this all means…


39 Responses to “Hiding Out in Plain Sight”

  1. Hi Ariane,

    As a woman artist who did finally go full time, and is in process of reinvention again, I whole heartedly support your decision to pursue your passion.

    I wrote book that came out last March about my journey to that moment. Check it out if you feel like it at:


    I truly believe that if you are not passionate about what you do that you are wasting your life, and that our lives are our greatest works of art. I wish you great success as you hone in on what drives you. I also have a passion for helping women artists on the verge and applaud your efforts. All the best,


    • Hi Destiny,
      First, how are the book sales going? Have you been as proactive with this as your art?

      And thank you for cheering me on. It’s always remarkable to me when my community “gets” what I’m doing and where I’m going.

    • Hi Ariane,

      Thanks for asking. Book sales are pretty good. What has been great is the feedback I’m getting from women artists. This venture has been so incredible. I’m pursuing writing with everything (or mostly). My body is starting to wear out and the muse is taking me in wildly new directions. I’m having a blast and am, of course, nervous about this new direction.

      I think you’ve done a beautiful job with the work you’ve been doing and know that whatever you choose to do will be just as great.

      I think as long as we follow our heart whatever we do will be good. I look forward to seeing where your journey takes you.

  2. Rena Tucker says:

    Ariane, you just described ME!

  3. Anna Konya says:

    Yes, your remarks give me pause to examine my art whilst striving to produce produce produce. Possibly to write down my motivation instead of always trying to get the motivation. A work in progress. Thanks.

    • Oh, Anna, what a great distinction: motivation vs production. What do these really have to do with each other?

      And what is motivation anyway? Can it really sustain us through the peaks and valley’s that accompany any journey?

  4. It sounds as though you are describing those lost, retired, wealthy widows that show up for workshops. This all sounds so very sad to me, I don’t know what to say.

    • Hi Jane,
      Hmmmm, this is definitely not an description that would have ever occurred to me, especially as I’ve never even met one in this sociological group in the last 12 years I’ve been doing this work.

      Many well established artists experience times of internal transition where the old rules of the game no longer apply.

      I find I have a particular agility with women (and men who have the ability to experience openness and vulnerability) who hit different places where what has worked is no longer working – no matter which stage of their career they find themselves.

      One example is a client who came to me with a tremendous drive and very good work, but who couldn’t stop second-guessing herself, and so spinning in circles.

      A year after our work, she’s now making six figures with her art and has become her own best ally. Pretty much the opposite of sad if you ask me :-)

  5. Would you rather be a creative therapist than a business coach?

    • I would say that none of these titles describe what I do best.

      I have definitely been putting myself in the marketing and business art career coaching category – and I solidly know this area. But, it is not where I do my best work. So even though I will always be able to add to this domain with my clients, it is not where I will be shining my light.

      I am not, nor do I want to be, a therapist of any kind. I have psychological awareness that I’m comfortable bringing into the mix, and I know exactly when someone needs a therapist and not me.

      I’m also not a “creativity” coach. Creativity is the foundation of all I am and do, but my mission is about something else altogether (stay tuned as I’ll tell more about this soon..)

      • Leonore Alaniz says:

        I read most of your posts and know you can help me jump towards many-digit income. A major exhibition of my work just installed at the Smith College Botanic Garden reveals fully its commercial potential. I think of the know-how you have, and now: Of who you are. You yearn, I understand. Would serving the “unknown” ones, the poor, sick, elder, downtrodden ones be good medicine? Getting lost in the egoless lightness of Be-ing? Saintly, attending to basic needs, transcending your own because the bubble wants to dissolve in the sea? Serving artfully, intentionally art-un-conditioned? Could quit seeking more identity for the sake of having less? To soul yearnings the river, too, replies. I know you are close to it! Ask the water in its flow, curbed alongside.

  6. Paula Bates says:

    Totally on the same page with you in your time of transformation. A friend of mine writes the following astrology blog and it tells how pertinent all this is to the VERY powerful new moon tomorrow.
    If you read it, I think you will be quite pleased to see how you are in the definite flow of the energies lining up right now on the planet.


    • Always satisfying to be in tune with all aspects of reality.

      I think these are tre exciting times and I’m thrilled to be tuning into the part of human development and transformation that has been the special provenance of the arts.

      And the artists I want to work with are those who know this fundamental truth about their work – that it matters to the overall collective consciousness and what it means to be human.

  7. Ariane, while the journey is nowhere over, it often takes unexpected turns and – as both a blogger and an artist – I find myself wondering how I can meld my past self with this new, evolving self. Thank you for speaking so clearly.

  8. yes… melding, integrating, aligning… what I find exciting is discovering what all the parts of our selves have to contribute to our ongoing growth as artists – no matter which designation we give them (past-future; young-current; obstructive-constructive).

  9. You ARE very intuitive, Ariane. You heard what I was saying when you helped me with my Artist Statement. I paint intuitively, but don’t hear intuitively.
    One big thing I have learned from working with you these past several years is I can give myself permission to NOT do those things which make me feel burdened, heavy, down, etc. I have let go of things like Quick Books, a particular paint company that I felt I needed to actively support (I still support the brand, but don’t work for them anymore), and I found a lady who loves being an assistant when I need one to do those ugly computer chores that drive me crazy> Now I can focus on creating-painting!
    I am happy to see you are clearing your mind and listening to your heart and soul. The creative therapist focus rather than business coach idea is interesting. You have the gift of listening, and discerning, and sorting out the bull…finding the heart of the matter… and leading us towards regrouping. So circle up the wagons and lead on…I’m still following!

    • Hi Pamela!
      It’s always thrilling to know that the work you put your heart and soul into with me is continuing to feed your best self! Yay you!

      AND, I reiterate: I am not a “creative therapist.” (see my “reply” above, after Jane Wilcoxson), though I can understand the temptation to connect these to what I do (again, see above “reply”).

      I really appreciate you describing what you experienced working with me as it helps me in this rather major re-branding process I’m using to move to the next level for myself (for a change :-).

      Because… as I move forward, I become more able to help you move forward…

      Funny you should reference “circling the wagons” as one of the key attributes I discovered about myself in this journey, to date, is this tilt toward “pioneering.” The first book on Artist Statements, the first art career, professional development conference… I,myself, am wondering “what’s next?”

  10. Cyd Rust says:

    I really don’t know why you would expect yourself to be impervious to your soul’s desire to expand it’s reach. silly child.

    It seems since the first time I met you, you have always been helping others to fulfill themselves. You too are fluid my friend. Ever changing… ever growing. And being the searcher you are, I am quite excited to hear about what new light is brightening your path. No matter what it is, I have no doubts it will be spectacular!


  11. Carol says:

    Love that you are coming out of the closet. The line the perks my curiosity the most is: “I have a knack for hearing where the personality is blocking soul potential so my artist clients can break out of old patterns.” Oooo, where could that take you?

    Interestingly, Alyson Stanfield is also changing directions with her biz. Hmmmmm there MUST be lots of shifts going on in the universe these days.

    Cannot wait to hear about the next chapter!!

  12. Hey Carol!!!
    That line is actually what I always do with my private clients – no matter what business or marketing door they first came through.

    And you won’t have to wait long because the carpet is already rolling out…

    I’m going to keep blogging about the process…

    As for Alyson, I sure hope she’s keeping aspects of biz and marketing alive because she was going to be where I would send artists in need of that!

    • Carol says:

      Not sure which direction A.S. is going but she advertises “this is the last time I am teaching this class.”

      I took a great class recently on creating my biz plan (for artists) and I am going to give that instructor a heads up on possible opps for her.

      19degrees here and smelling like snow. :)

  13. Sari Grove says:

    Just re-reading your About page here…

    This part: ” I use the knowledge base from my doctorate in Human Development and Creative Behavior” stuck out at me…

    I feel you are rushing to brand or re-brand yourself…In times of growth, you should just sort of let it happen, without putting a label on it…

    Your list of things is more a list of things you have already done…These are people you have already helped…But your future need not be defined by your past demographics…

    Why limit yourself? As you grow, you will find that you appeal to a wider group of people…More men will show up…You will attract established artists more…You will start to bring in people from other fields…

    Your mind will expand as you start to take in new thoughts, like Richard Florida’s books on the creative class & how creativity need not be reserved to traditional art forms…How people can be creative will in non-creative jobs…

    I think that your crowd will accept your expansion without you having to label it or narrow it down…

    I understand the academic urge to pin this all down, but I think you are fine in all your dimensions…

    The spiritual side, the medical side, the business side, the academic, these are all part of you & feel fine in letting that all shine…

    It might sort itself out better, but that might take a decade rather than a month…

    Whatever happens, I think you have our support…

  14. Sari, I always find your comments provocative and love how they help me clarify.

    Much of what you say here is quite valid, especially the time factor. We humans are ever evolving, shifting, and reaching for expanding dimensions of experience and growth and so I don’t imagine re-branding, like dishes, is ever done.

    That said, there are several points you call me to make.

    First, when you work online, if you aren’t very clear who your specific audience is, it becomes nearly impossible to speak coherently about what you do and who you help. Niche is not an online, business buzz word, but a reality that determines how effective you can be.

    The counter-intuitive element is that narrowing your audience doesn’t mean artists outside those parameters won’t show up. They will. And when they do (men or women), I will evaluate with them whether or not my approach and vision is a good fit.

    Second, believe me there is nothing rush about this, though I understand it feels this way, which is my fault for not being transparent about this process (at least a year in the making) all along.

    My Achille’s heel is the fear that if I’m not perfectly clear, than I can’t say anything.

    And, this year-long shift has been about as muddy as it gets.

    I resisted, for months and months, the whole idea of focusing on women artists. Exclusion has never been my thing.

    I had to come to terms with the idea that exclusion is not the same as being able to speak to a group coherently about what they need.

    And even though I have enough expertise in marketing and business in the arts to drown in, that was exactly what was happening: I was drowning in my own competence.

    And leaving my True Self hanging out on the street corner to fend for herself.

    This “list” as you call it, is actually completely new and not what I’ve focused on before.

    In the past, I have been far more inclusive and less targeted – all stripes of visual artists were welcomed at the smARTist Telesummit table.

    I also have no plans to leave any of my selves out of the new journey – it’s just a matter of where the emphasis is.

    You know, when you decide to go with red instead of orange. You’ve made a decision based on your instinctive awareness of what that painting needs.

    That’s exactly what I’m doing now…

    And thank you so much for your ongoing support and contributions. You make all of this so much more fun than it would be without you!

    • Carol says:

      Love reading this discourse between you two. It is great to be in the company of people who are open to input/feedback and wanting to be challenged as we travel this incredible life on earth.

  15. Ariane: We all have our own ways of doing things. I’m glad you are finding your calling. I know you will be loving and authentic in whatever you do.

    Yes, I’ll still be teaching business and marketing. Just reorganizing the offerings.

  16. Marie says:

    I love when you write from this place. I immediately thought – where can I sign up? I want that [kind of coaching]! <3 Marie

  17. Well, Marie, hang onto your hat as I’ll send you an email for a special brainstorming session I’m holding…

  18. […] Yesterday, another courageous woman wrote a blog post that inspired me.  Here’s the link to it:  http://smartistcareerblog.com/2012/11/hiding-out-in-plain-sight/ […]

  19. Ariane,
    I think it’s brave and brilliant to move from an area that you do so well and step out on a different path.

    Change=potential. If you don’t DO something different nothing will ever BE different.

    Congratulations on taking a new path. Who knows what you might discover!

  20. stephanie says:


  21. Anita Cunningham says:

    This blog is very interesting, but has stopped the middle of November. Is there more or has the discussion stopped?

  22. Hi Anita,
    Yup – looks like everyone, except you and me, has moved onto the last post on, which you’ll find here:

    That said, if you have a comment on this post, I’m happy to keep the conversation going with you!

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