Weekly smARTips: Completion

Bridge the gap between making art and making a living,

… one tip at a time


Your smARTip for the week:


I know… completion…a bit of yawner.

But hang in here with me because I think you’re going to like this smARTip:

From Seneca, the Roman Stoic philosopher: “It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that things are difficult.”

The **third principle of any artist’s ongoing success with putting their art in the world is their ability to get things done: to bring ideas, projects, pieces of artwork to completion.

Completion is the natural outcome of beginning something—of beginning anything.

And, even though we often think of timelines, and moving from point A to point B, it’s important to know that beginnings and endings are never linear.  They exist on an ever-expanding infinity spiral, where the one feeds into the other.

But often, something stops us from completing things we’ve started.

Sometimes we can’t complete something because we haven’t even started it.  It might be on our to-do list, or it might be just lingering as a nagging idea that isn’t going to let go.

Or perhaps you’re well along the way, and then you notice that you’ve been doing stuff, moving forward, but somehow you don’t feel any closer to that end result.

What I’ve discovered is there are three areas you can pay attention to that will help untangle why something isn’t being completed: clearing, identifying, and celebrating.

Your smARTist Move of the week

Clearing: when is the last time you cleared off a space only to have it fill right back up? (Mine was about 10 minutes ago!)

What doesn’t occur to us, as we’re cursing all the stuff piling up, is this universal truth: when you clear things away, you are leaving room for more to show up.

Make space and opportunities will show up.  Have a gallery that’s driving you crazy?  The longer it takes you to let go of the fear that’s keeping you there (‘Oh, my goodness; what if I can’t ever find another place to sell my art?’), the longer it’s going to take you for anything else to show up.

So this week, I challenge you to pick one place that has been driving you crazy and ask yourself: What is that wants to be cleared?

Clear it and watch what happens!

Do you have a “clearing” story to share with us? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below…


P.S. If this smARTip has pushed some buttons for you, you may want to check out my full presentation where I go into more detail on how identifying and celebrating helps you get unstuck and complete what’s most important to you.

Click here to add Ariane’s presentation to Your Art Career Library!



  • What the heck “success” means anyway
  • When fear serves you or you serve fear
  • How commitment works and when you should give yourself some slack
  • How to harness the energy of completion without getting sidetracked
  • How to use the power of 3 to make sure your art career is on the right success track

$39 Add to Cart

ariane_storeAs a writer, art-career coach, and entrepreneur who grew up in a family of artists, Ariane learned that it is possible for your creative right brain, and your career-strategy left brain, to become smooth-as-silk dancing partners. She is also your best art-career ally, especially if you understand that presenting your work with confidence and credibility is as basic as good art supplies.

Click here to add Ariane’s presentation to Your Art Career Library!

3 Responses to “Weekly smARTips: Completion”

  1. Cara says:

    I’m entering a career shift and this is very timely. I’m eliminating activities and memberships that are not supporting my current career, while doing R&D for my new career path. I’m excited, scared and keeping my eyes wide open! Thanks Ariane!

    • Well, Cara, congratulations for taking such good care of yourself!

      See if you can follow that “scared” place down its real rabbit hole.

      One way is to finish the sentence, “I am scared because….”

      And when that answer emerges, do the next one “And X scares me because….”

      You keep going until there is nothing left and you will have uncovered the real fear and not the one that is giving that real fear its cover story.

      Naming that fear (I talk a lot about this in my book, Writing the Artist Statement.) is critical to being able to navigate without it pulling invisible strings in the background of your new adventure.

  2. Jonata says:

    I meant comparing the two eneiitts: wikipedia versus fiction. In my opinion, wikipedia, and going even further in general, the internet, is far, far more educational than fiction.They are two very different things – fiction books and wikipedia / other internet articles. Very different.: What is literature? Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Shakespeare, Ernest Hemmingway… the list of important authors in the course of historyLiterature is books. Different books. Fiction books. The most important authors from the course of history… they are important for history, not for literature.Everyone has his own most important authors. The literature is art, not sciense.It is like music or anime or cinema, some songs or films are most important for you. And it is all completely individually.But literature differs from music or films in many ways.: What determines the work of Tolstoy to be literature and discriminates against Orson Scott Card (possibly my favorite science fiction author) ?I think that such division is stupid. Maybe Tolstoy wrote about something that is not important for you? Or not important for you now?I know many people that do not like Tolstoy and other classic books when they was young, but read it with pleasure after being 30 or 40 years old.It is normal.: nd if wikipedia doesn’t fulfill your desire to learn the world behind “War and Peace”, then you can go research further on the internet.Here is the point. You will be doing research about world behind the War an Peace. Not even about the novel. And of course not about ideas and meanings that Tolstoy want to told you.Fiction books are not about world or things or actions or scientific researches. They are about people. Fiction books told us about what people think and feel. About thoghts and emotions.People are very complex and various.And literature (fiction books) can teach us a lot about people.The War and Peace are not about war, not about peace. It is about people.And in very deed it is not about Natasha o Pier or other characters. It is about author, Tolstoy.In his book Tolstoy tries to tell you something about people. He tries to teach you something.May be you not need just this knowledge. But I think in all other hemospheres of knowledge is the same, your do not need all knowledge.All this things fit to other fiction books – it may be Orson Scott Card or may favorite Veronica Ivanova or Zelazny or any other books and authors.It is the basis of literature.

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