Developing Clarity, Intention and Business Strategy

The smARTist Telesummit has been around since 2007, but I first heard about it earlier this year from Lindy Gruger Hanson who raved about her experience and how much she had learned. I contacted Ariane Goodwin, Ed.D, the passionate writer and art career coach who runs this learning extravaganza for artists, and we spoke on the phone recently.

The first thing we did was throw out the written questions and simply talk about her vision and her methods. She asked if I had read The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level by Gay Hendricks, a book which states, among other things, that whenever we break through the ceiling of success, we end up getting sick, hurt, having a fight, or another experience which takes us back to the familiar, the comfort zone, our “cage.”

It is that cage that the smARTist Telesummit is freeing artists from – and shaking it up by taking the artist past their starting point, that exciting place where we make a few sales and realize that others respond to the art we feel so passionate about making.  It can come as a shock to us to realize that as we were caught in the momentum, we were turning a corner and starting a business without knowing it.

An artist taking the leap from having a “day job” or other means of support, to a business and then a career, may feel unsure or even scared about marketing and the everyday tasks involved in the business world. They don’t have clarity or intention; their definition of “success” may be undeveloped or not defined at all.

The smARTist Telesummit helps artists create a path for their career. A Vision Questionnaire completed before the event establishes a benchmark from which the artist can grow. A private conference website with a forum – where artists share resources, stories and feedback from each other, as well as have direct access to Ariane – creates community and relieves the isolation so many of us experience.  The question “What is Success?” could be answered very differently by the artists throughout their career life.

Historically, artists have existed outside the mainstream, and even embraced this mystique. It wasn’t until the 1970s and 1980s that “artist as businessperson” became a mindset and a model for success in the arts today. Now the next age is upon us.

Ariane says, “The internet has created a different universe with different rules of gravity. Things don’t fall down, they expand infinitely. If you don’t participate, you handicap yourself with self-imposed limitations. Online, every imaginable interest is available. There are millions of people, and you can find the exact audience that resonates with your art in ways never before conceived.”

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