Popular Section: Sunday Series

The NEW Professional: Part 1

new professional_ariane of smartist

Professional used to have an allure of conservative confidence instantly recognizable by the dark blue suit, skirt just below the knees, the sensible heels, perhaps pearl earrings and a thin chain of gold peeking beneath a scarf.

It was warm but reserved, attentive but distant, confident and quietly cagey. (I think it was called getting “the upper hand.”)

Then virtual reality came along and…

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What If Rejection is a Good Thing?

Ariane_of_smARTist_What_If_Rejection_is_a_Good_Thing

Several years ago I made a commitment to myself. I decided that no matter what, I would always expect, and look for, the silver lining of any event that had the potential to present itself as a problem.

And here I have to make a distinction between a silver lining (or, as Maya Angelo sings it: the rainbow behind every cloud) and the rose-colored glasses that my Pollyanna, painter mother wore with a flair.

Rose-colored glasses treat all events alike and blur the boundaries of contrast and challenge.

A silver lining, on the other hand, is the event inside an event that just happened, often not showing its sparkling face until the first event is over.

Here’s an example from yesterday, an ordinary day spent doing ordinary things, like unloading dishes.

I was pulling a small glass vase out of the dishwasher when it

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If Every Thing Can Be “Art,” Where Does That Leave the Artist?

Ariane of smARTist, Danielle Laporte, art relationship, artists relationship, Manifesto, relationship to art, smARTist

A while ago, I was reading a book that a neighbor of my daughter’s thought I’d enjoy– Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle Laporte.

It’s what I’d characterize as a cheerleader, self help, get yourself grounded and growing book. Then I came to a section where Laport says You’re an artist and that’s that!

This is how she starts out: “Art-making is not strictly about visual creations and producing material things. Every single one of us is an artist at something.  We lost ourselves in the creation of it, we’re gifted at making it, we feel closer to ourselves and to a

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Part 2: What Is Your Relationship to Your Art?

what is your relationship to your art part 2

I’m asking this question, in the headline, because I really want to know.

As an artist, what have you understood over the years about your relationship to your art?

Has there been a story line weaving its way through your art career? Or have you noticed seasons of relationships with your art? A winter mode, perhaps. Or summer solstice festivities?

Does your relationship with your art, in any way, mirror your other significant relationships?

Are there highs and lows… and what’s your style of dealing with either?

Would you say there’s passion or have you slipped into

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Part 1: What Is Your Relationship to Your Art?

what is your relationship to your art part 1

This week we held the 63rd conversation for my bi-monthly Blue Stocking Art Salon’s via the smARTist conference line.

Besides my lovely host, and even lovelier artist, Lori Wolfson, we were joined by 7 other artists—all curious to find out more from themselves, and each other, what it means to have a relationship with the art they make.

At first blush, the idea of “having a relationship” with your art may seem like a non-starter. Of course we have a relationship with whatever we do, so what’s the big deal?

My thought was that, for many artists, their relationship has been ongoing long enough that it is taken for granted, hardly given a second thought much less a second glance.

But since that relationship to your art is the entire foundation for your art career, I decided it was time to 

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What Is The Value of Your Art?

What Is The Value of Your Art

I’ve been holding a lot of one-on-one, in depth conversations with artists who know they have hit a mud flat and are spinning their wheels.

Within the first hour of our conversation, something clicks into place – an insight they didn’t have before.

Suddenly, a light is shining on what had been in shadows before our call, and the artist can feel something opening up inside, expanding into the pathways for the dream, which they have always longed for, to be realized.

At this point, artists usually ask how much the mentoring /coaching service is going to cost.

And for some of these artists, often the ones who are hurting the most, the value of what they have just experienced, and know they will continue to experience if they work with me, gets strangled in the net of price.

In one moment, the precious, incalculable value of their insights become tangled up in lines of scarcity and fear, and then falls over a cliff, disappearing from view.

Sometimes artists can grab a hold of the lifeline I throw them, so they climb back up and see the vista that is always there, waiting for them.

Other times, the conditioning and hooks around money sink the dream—as it has for these artists from time immemorial.

What, you may wonder – as I have – has really happened here?

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Paradox and Creativity by Robert Fritz

I’ve often felt that paradox is the highest level of human intelligence, at least at this point in our evolution.

It’s certainly one of the hallmarks of creative behavior, also known as Janusian Thinking (Janus being the Greek god with two heads facing in opposite directions).

When you can hold opposite perspectives, ideas, or feelings simultaneously, you free your mind from automatic, familiar patterns of thinking and behavior.

You open the door for more possibilities.

Robert Fritz, one of the keynote speakers at a smARTist Telesummit, has another take on paradox and how it supports your creativity.

Check it out and let me know you think…

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fritzThe Paradoxical Flow of Creativity

by Robert Fritz

When we create, we do two things that are apparently opposite.

We actively focus the creative process toward the full manifestation of our vision, while at the same time allowing ourselves to be aimless and non-directive.

We are narrow and wide, active and

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Is Marketing Passé for Visual Artists?

is art marketing passe for visual artists

I have come to the startling conclusion that marketing is passé for visual fine artists.

That the whole concept of marketing in the art world has spiraled into a paint-by-numbers campaign with everyone trying to figure out the right formula.

There’s one set of rules for the 1% of the art world – the snob-filled, high-end world of auction houses and galleries where price lists are taboo – and another set of rules for the 99% of the art world – the artists who fill up the thousands and thousands of private galleries, art fairs, and museums sprinkled all around the globe.

The 1% crowd has no need for being approached through marketing. Their collectors are already captivated by their own lust for status, and catered to through strategies reserved for luxury and an overflowing bank account.

That leaves the 99% wondering how to sell their art while secretly yearning

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The Puppet Master Always Leaves Clues: Part 2

puppet master

Last time, we were looking at how you ferret out the invisible puppet strings directing any aspect of your art career by paying very close attention to the choices you make that don’t lead you in the direction you actually want.

There’s another well known way those puppet strings can operate with what comes off as a reasoned, friendly approach, but with such expert control there’s no way of catching the Puppet Master in the act.

Most often, it’s called

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The Puppet Master Always Leaves Clues: Part 1

puppet master

Last week, I wrote about the invisible puppet strings directing the course of one artist’s career.

And how the entire trajectory of that artist’s career changed once the Puppet Master had been revealed.

Where once the career had been flat lining, now it was moving ahead at the speed of illumination.

There are 3 secrets to this level of transformation

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Puppet Strings

ariane smartist puppet strings

True story.

An artist with 20 years of experience, an international presence, an impressive list of collectors, and decades of gallery experience hit a career wall.

The artist’s galleries were closing. The work was changing dramatically and not appealing to the previous collectors. And even though this artist had created a significant social media presence with interactive fans throughout the world, sales had nearly stalled, no exhibitions were in sight, and new galleries remained elusive.

When I posed the question, Why are you not selling any art? I got the initial answer I expected.

“My galleries are closing, previous collectors aren’t

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The Blame Game

blame game

Oh, I’m so excited. Last Sunday I released the full version of my new Manifesto For Visual Fine Artists  and already the questions are flying in from around the world.

And they are doing exactly what I was hoping: asking for clarification.

I knew when I wrote this that some things were self-evident to my brain, but could very well be more mysterious to another’s.

And artist Leonore Alaniz pointed out for me exactly where…

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The Manifesto’s North Star

 

manifestos north star

Last Sunday, I talked about why fulfilling a career in the visual arts is the Mt. Olympus climb that it seems to be, and why I feel so passionate about artists bringing their visions into the ever-expanding light of human consciousness.

Which, of course, brings up the question about what holds artists back from bringing their visions into the ever-expanding light of human consciousness.

I know from experience how easy, and almost automatic, it is to focus on what seems to be …

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A Big Idea

smARTist_the big idea art

There are many reasons why fulfilling a career in the visual arts is the Mt. Olympus climb that it seems to be.

For one, we hold a tangle of ideas about the arts within our collective consciousness, within our art institutions (not-for-profit and for-profit) and within our individual perspective about what it means to be an artist.

What all of these ideas share

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Change she Is a comin’ ‘round the Mountain

smartist_change

Months and months ago (I refuse to get nailed down here because I’m hiding out from how long it’s really been!), I hinted that things were changing over here at smARTist.

I hinted because, honestly, I didn’t know what else to do at the time.

Things were changing – I was changing – but those changes were in a state of fluid transition and so elusive I didn’t know how to articulate what was happening.

And for those of you who have been following me for years now, you

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