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Have you ever had problems, questions, or doubts about your art career and didn’t know where to turn?

You’re in your studio stuck on a new technique…you’ve landed a show in the venue of your dreams and want to crow… you’ve just gotten off the phone with a cranky collector… you’ve been on a creative roll for days, but worried about flagging markets… your best gallery has closed, maybe for good… so, where do you turn for help, for advice, for an understanding ally who gets your ArtLife?

When doubts come into your ArtLife, and you’ve been flying solo for forever, it’s exasperating figuring out who to ask what.

And what’s exasperating is the fact that you don’t have a readily available place to go ask. Sure, you’ve lots of information about different facets of your ArtLife, from workshop notes on technique and skills to eBooks on marketing and business.

You’re serious about your art career.

Yet, despite all the work you’ve done, in and out of the studio, questions and doubts come up… of course they do. But staring at a screen or pulling out a book feels like the same ole, same ole. And sure, you could muscle through, again. Maybe even solve that problem, or challenge, or doubt by yourself.

One. More. Time.

Only, how much creative energy are you wasting? How much creative resilience drip, drip, drips out the door because you don’t have access to a place, when you truly need it, that gets you and what you do.

Have you ever wished you could talk with other artists when you’ve hit unexpected turbulence in your ArtLife? When the doubts get louder than your confidence? Or you want to celebrate a hard-earned landing (that big commission!) with more than your significant others (as supportive as they might be)?

Time for your solo journey to choose a new flight path and a safe place to land.

But how are you going to know where to go, never mind what’s waiting for you when you get there?


Curiosity Cocktails Ariane of smARTist

Introducing Curiosity Cocktails…

A Community for ArtLife Conversations…with a kick!

Come flip art-career doubts into the thoughts, words, and actions that challenge you to dare greatness!

Here is a safe place to land where you can ask (and respond to) questions, explore and diffuse your doubts, or work out a vexing problem with other artists around the world.

When you’re tired of spinning wheels in your head, our Curiosity Cocktails community gives you access to kindred travelers, other artists and me, Ariane, so you can luxuriate in the collective spirit, heart, and brain power that comes when more than one person works alongside you.

By balancing your time alone with access to a community like this means you’ll free up more creative energy.

Being alone is one thing; being weighed down when you are needlessly struggling alone is something else altogether.

We think about our art, practice our art, and market our art by ourselves because the flow between our internal creative space and our external art practice is unique to each of us, and sacred. The Curiosity Cocktails community honors this solitary part of your journey.

At the same time, this community offers you an energy lifeline to other artists.

With questions that dive deep, with conversations that throw a new light on old problems, with refreshing connections to people who care about what you do because, at its heart, it’s what they do…that just might change your life.

And, I’ve structured this community so you can lead when you want to, and follow when you don’t. You can ask questions, or answer questions. And I’ve taken the one-size-fits-allartists out of the equation.

So, what is this one-size-fits-all-artists that I’m talking about?

All of the online artist communities I’ve found seem to come in only two sizes:

Petite Size #1) communities set up for artists who are participating in a specific online course.

Oversized #2) generalized forums ranging from critiquing any and all art, to narrow, specialized genres (3D art, Diviant art, etc.), to overly general, genre-specific art (sculpture, digital, painting, etc.).

Size #1 is so specialized that the community flies toward the singular vision of a workshop leader and then disembarks, for the most part, when class is over. Size #2 is so generalized that a member has to navigate thousands of posts from mostly peers—no pilot, or flight plan, not even any landing gear!

But what if you had access to a community aligned with the areas of your art-life that are most important…to you? Where your fellow artists are curious, engaged, and life-affirming, dedicated to art as a career…with an olive, lemon peel, or cherry on the side?

With CuriositCocktails you’re going to have life-changing results with connections that refresh your creative spirit.

The reason why you’ll refresh your creative spirit is because of three simple principles:

Principle 1: As my graduate course in Organizational Development viscerally taught me, more brains (and hearts and spirits) always, always, always solve problems better than one!

Principle 2: With purpose, kindness, and accountability, connection to others is the beating heart of our humanity. And every single time we engage our humanity, it sustains the lifeline to our creative production.

Principle 3: With a seasoned pilot who understands, and vets, her passengers, you can kick back with your iced questions and juicy answers. Knowing your ArtLife doubts and questions will be piloted with care, there’s nothing but safe landings ahead!

Ariane, the first time I did the smARTist Telesummit it was the home edition because I wasn’t aware of your live program. But the live program is soooo much more powerful. And the information gleaned from the forum has been amazing! There have been rumors of continuing the forum throughout the year and I hope this is doable! This is such a wonderfully caring and helpful group of artists. I am honored to be among them! There is power in numbers~Thyra, a three-time, returning smARTist Telesummit alumni

So, how does Curiosity Cocktails work? And how can it help you?

Here’s a small window into your experience when you step into our Curiosity Cocktails community.

  • Reset your creative instincts. Following a tried-and-true routine may be as comfortable as pjs, but creativity thrives on serendipity, the unexpected, the mysterious. Stepping into our ArtLife community encourages you to reexamine what’s comfortable. It frees you from an eternity of elasticized pants so you can try on fresh ideas and exciting perspectives.
  • Satisfy your hunger for intellectual dialogue while improving your brain. Did you know our brains are so preoccupied with social connection that we have a 24/7 “default” network? Like the little man behind the curtain, our brains incessantly contemplate ourselves, others, and how we’re connected. Pull back this curtain with other artists so you can stimulate, and shape, your desire for intellectual growth.
  • Connect to other artists. Yes, it’s a constant delight to talk shop with someone who gets it. But more than that, when we connect with people in our in-group, our brains reward us by releasing hormones to calm any nervous system unsettled by uncertainty and powerlessness.
  • Share ideas with kindred spirits. When you kick back with fellow artists, in a shared and safe environment, the cross-fertilization of ideas can swing open gates onto unexpected landscapes in your mind. Just imagine how that can excite and ignite your creative spark!
  • Nourish what’s important to you. How stimulating would it be to discuss our place as artists in an ever-changing society, tackle taboo subjects (what about art being the equivalent of sex?), explore the impact other artists have on us (for good or ill), brainstorm a new idea, go deep and be vulnerable about why you create… or anything else that’s on your mind? Lead as often as you’d like…or follow! You get to choose, curious cocktail in hand, while you dare greatness.
  • Share experiences about living the artist life. A mysterious mist swirls around art, artists, and the creative process…which you encounter when a show opens, or you talk to collectors. But when’s the last time you articulated its impact on your own ArtLife? Talking with other artists helps you shape this conversation effectively—for yourself and for your audience.
  • Experience the freedom of being enough. When your doubting self goes into overdrive (Is my art good enough? Will I ever know enough to be successful? Why can’t I communicate better with my potential collectors? Why do I doubt myself so much?), you need to shake out the cobwebs and let a supportive, grounded community bring in some fresh air.
  • Cultivate your career with an art community as committed as you are. Commitment challenges you to step up. But without accountability to something besides yourself, commitment can be a tunnel into permanent stalemate. This is where a supportive, engaged community comes in that has your back.

Only, an online community needs three things to serve its members with commitment:

  1. A life-affirming purpose; here’s ours: Let’s flip art-career doubts into the thoughts, words and action that challenge artists to dare greatness.
  1. A focused structure; here’s ours: Six mindmap-themes for your daring ArtLife conversations
  • SELF AWARENESS: Internal / External
  • CREATIVE PROCESS: Inspiration / Artistic Purpose / Creative Behavior / Artistic Fingerprint
  • ARTISTIC RELATIONSHIPS: Collectors / Exhibition Spaces / Mentors & Teachers / Fellow Artists
  • STUDIO TIME: Skill & Technique / Dedication & Commitment
  • GROWING YOUR ART: Career / Practice / Business
  • STUMBLING BLOCKS: Perfectionism / Insecurities / Worthiness / Confidence
  1. An awake, aware, and adept pilot to keep us flying on course, here’s ours:
Ariane, this has been much more important to me than I’d thought it would be. You keep things on point and nonconfrontational, which is the downfall of many communities. You encourage, which is the soul of success.

You applaud appropriately and disagree gently, so things always keep going. And people feel free to let their minds really go for it.

The calls have a rich brainstorming component, where the original topic or question might morph into something much more meaningful than the original topic or question. Often, they dig very deep, forcing much thought. Thank you!  ~ Kate Aubrey, a Blue Stocking participant

So, what happens once you step inside the community?

Well, let’s start with what happens right before that, when you request membership, shall we?

Our community membership will be both limited and by-invitation-only because authentic connection inside the community must be built on trust, emotionally intelligent sharing, and knowing you are in a safe environment.

What does that mean?

By-invitation-only means that I’m asking prospective members to [ps2id url=’#cc-form’]fill out a form at the end of this page[/ps2id], which I will personally review and let you know:
1) Yes, there’s still room and we’d love to have you step into our online lounge, or …
2) Right now, membership has closed, but I’m happy to put you on a waiting list.

Why am I limiting membership?
For one, it’s a new venture for me as well as you, and it’s easier to see how it plays out if we keep it small. For another, I want true engagement, which can’t happen if the community is too large. (I don’t have an exact number in mind because I’m waiting to see who asks to join, and what intuitively feels like “enough.”)

As for [ps2id url=’#cc-form’]the invitation by questions[/ps2id] ahhh, that gives me a tiny window into how committed to this experience you might be and what level of comfort you might have.

I want to design an experience alive with curiosity and filled with fun, where vulnerability with boundaries is encouraged and honored, where truth-telling arrives wrapped in compassion, and your valued contribution adds to the thoughts, words and actions we all need to dare greatness!

This vision is an experiment unlike anything you can find online or off. And I can’t do it without you!
I love what Ariane said about art being the heart and soul of civilization. That turned on a light in me, a recognition of why I am doing what I do. It began to dawn on me like the first light of morning.

I love being around other artists. I really do. But it’s not like nursing or being an office manager—those are tangible careers. Sometimes I think people who aren’t artists find it hard to wrap their minds around why we do what we do. I think that’s why I dearly love being around other photographers and artists…because they get it!   ~Roni, artist participant in the smARTist Telesummit forum

Okay, once you’ve answered my questions below, you’ve been accepted, registered, and you’re in, now what?

First, you’ll see this:

Curiosity Cocktails Art Life Conversations Mind Map

Which opens the door to so much potential that it’s nearly impossible to capture all the ways we will turn our art-career doubts into the thoughts, words and action that dare artistic greatness!

Here’s a sample from our Six Mindmap Themes for Curious Conversation:

SELF AWARENESS (Internal / External)

  • How do we recognize self-talk that pushes us away from the right choices?
  • How do we create the compassionate self-awareness that leads us away from defeating behaviors and toward actions that make us feel curious and alive?
  • How can a committed, band of artist allies turn critiques away from a questioning paralysis of our work and toward inspired action?
  • What are some new ways we can untangle self-doubt with the support of a community that respects our creative vision?
  • Why should we reverse the unconscious reflex to take care of ourselves last and pick on ourselves first?
Only 10% of happiness is predicted by external environment.
90% is through individual processing.
~ Shawn Achor, author & co-founder of
The Institute for Applied Positive Research

CREATIVE PROCESS (Inspiration / Artistic Purpose / Creative Behavior / Artistic Fingerprint)

  • What’s it like to be socially involved with other artists—who fundamentally understand the ArtLife—so our resilience increases?
  • What’s it like to increase our resilience, which increases our tolerance for risk, which in turn increases creative production?
  • How can new perspectives help us identify and use our artistic fingerprint to move good art toward great art?
  • What’s it like to regularly engage with other artists and experience where our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual reserves support creativity?
  • What’s it like to go deep into the quirks of our own creative behavior even as we learn about how other artists view theirs?
  • How does sharing parts of our ArtLife—what’s working, what’s not—with like-minded folk in a safe place raise our C-IQ: Creativity Intelligence?
  • What would it mean to have access to compassionate, smart support that moves us toward the light of our most daring, creative selves?
A human mind, once stretched to a new idea,
never returns to its former dimensions.
~ Oliver Wendell Homes

ARTISTIC RELATIONSHIPS (collectors / exhibition spaces / mentors & teachers / fellow artists)

  • How does harnessing the collective power of other artists exponentially increase our chances to thrive?
  • What can we learn from the mistakes of other artists before we make them?
  • What can other artists share about their ArtLife challenges and successes that would move us closer to greatness? (… like how to host our own, highly successful exhibition or which art instructor has proved most helpful, or how we can navigate a big risk?)
  • What’s it like to engage with a community who “gets” what we do, and feel our brains improve? (Research shows engagement with others improves our brains far more than going it alone!)
  • What’s it like to experience how social connection releases enough oxytocin to lower both anxiety and depression?
  • What experiences can we offer others about getting and keeping collectors, galleries, or other ArtLife necessities?
  • How many, let me count the ways, nitty-gritty opportunities pop up when inspiration and influence meet over a steaming cup of (spiked, anyone?) espresso?
Motivation occurs when you see the possibilities.
Put yourself in touch with others who are where you want to be.
~ Robert Genn, from his Twice Weekly Letter

STUDIO TIME (skill & techniques / dedication & commitment)

  • Want that great feeling of giving back? What studio techniques & tips have you discovered that could help someone else?
  • Bring up your own topics, like: Why should toxic art materials matter to you? How do you decide how much time to work on your art?
  • What techniques have you struggled with the most? What gets you through the tough spots?
  • How do you access and work from your ‘edge’? How do other artists experience their ‘edge’?
  • What’s been your most successful project recently, and why?
  • What’s been your most unsuccessful project recently, and why?
  • What’s the biggest risk you’ve taken and how did it pay off?
  • What’s it like to talk shop with other artists and experiences breakthroughs that never stop!
The mind is not a vessel to be filled,
But a fire to be ignited.
~ Plutarch

GROWING YOUR ART(career / practice / business )

  • Why do you consider your ArtLife a business, a practice, or a career?
  • What’s it like to tackle practical exercises that move you past the more and more information roadblock to actions that work?
  • What do you need to offer your artwork with the authenticity and confidence that helps you cut through the competition noise?
  • What alternative ways can other artists share for tracking down new places to show your work, so you never again have to chew your nails over gallery acceptance (or not!)
  • Which presentation materials mark you as a creative professional, and which scream “amateur”?
  • What tips from other artists will spur you to follow up on potential sales?
  • What happens when you claim art as a career with a community that can hold you to compassionate accountability?
A community becomes a ‘symphony of souls,’
a sustenance greater than romance or material wealth
 for those wise enough to join in.~Anonymous

STUMBLING BLOCKS (perfectionism / insecurities / worthiness / confidence )

  • How do we free ourselves from nagging self-doubt, flagging confidence, and old patterns blocking our path?
  • How can we cultivate optimism, overall resilience, and emotional acceptance with a community of like-minded artists?
  • What’s it like to experience how connecting with others in our creative clan diminishes illness, increases longevity, and strengthens immune systems?
  • How does a unified community create a sense of belonging beyond sharing through acceptance, attention, and support from people who share points of commonality?
  • What’s it like to experience meaningful social connection that increases our ability to overcome obstacles, face challenges, and reach your full potential?
  • How much precious time do we lose spinning our wheels instead of getting support to work on the thoughts, words, and daring actions that move us forward?
  • When we need some perspective, what better place than a community of fellow artists?
If you cannot identify and be proud of your strengths,
it’s impossible to nurture them in the face of self-doubt.
~ Caroline Rose Giuliani

Okay, so you’re a member inside the Curiosity Cocktails community… then what?

After you’ve [ps2id url=’#cc-form’]filled out the form at the end of this page[/ps2id], (and the community is open), and I’ve said, Yes, come on in!… you will be able to…

1: Create your account.

You know the drill, yes? Your username, email, a password.

2: Set up your profile.

You can upload images or videos of your work, tell us about a current project, your most satisfying art experience this year, what you want out of participating in Curiosity Cocktails, and three quirky things you’d like us to know about you.

3: Decide which ArtLife theme you’re most curious about.

After your profile, you’ll be redirected to the mindmap graphic below, where you can click on any theme or sub-theme, which takes you to that specific forum-lounge where other curious artists are also hanging out.

And so you are never lost, each forum-lounge begins with this basic information.

  1. Garnish Before You Sip (principles of participation)       2. How the Forum Works

4: After you click on a mindmap conversation theme–which sends you to that specific forum-lounge–you can select the curiosity cocktail question of your choice…

… drop in a maraschino cherry, a pickled baby onion, or a slice of lime and

let your curiosity flow!!!

Curiosity Cocktails Art Life Conversations Mind Map

We don’t have everything inside our community fleshed out because we are still tinkering with the details. But, even when we are ready to fly, I still want to leave space to be curious, to evolve with everyone on board, to figure out what we want and need as we explore this newfangled idea. If the ride’s a bit bumpy at first, that’s a good thing!

Because this is not about me, it’s about us. My intellectual well needs refilling too. My curiosity about the ArtLife needs to be fed just as yours does. I’m looking to you with the same excitement and curiosity as you will be looking to your fellow, curious artists and me.

Right now, I can tell you this:

You will be able to talk to other artists one-on-one, or me. Give me ideas about what you would like to see inside our community. Ask me anything and I’ll do my best to respond and make it happen!

When the time comes, we will set up groups for a specific purpose or an event that arises out of a conversation.

As the conversations become more sophisticated, we can also initiate a buddy system , or we can decide on theme-specific exercises, like: asking to be held accountable to a project deadline, practicing a new technique, etc.

You can upload images of your work, videos from you or others that you feel are relevant to a question; offer ideas, questions, share whatever is on your artist-mind.

From time to time, I’ll pop in a surprise. It might be a live event with artists who want to show up in real time (like we did in the Blue Stocking). Maybe an interview here and there with former, smARTist speakers or artists of interest. Perhaps, I’ll offer a practical article to flesh out a specific conversation, or answer a question more fully.

Why You Should Join the Curiosity Cocktails, ArtLife Community…

Goodness, let me count the ways…

#1: Motivation, Commitment, Accountability

Most continuous forums and online artist communities are big and unfocused with no skillful pilot on hand. Or conversely, other forums have exclusive agendas as part of an online course or workshop. One forum host told me the expectation for year-round forums is 1,000 members–yikes! How do you have a conversation worth anything with numbers running the show?

Curiosity Cocktails is year-round and will stay appropriately limited so everyone can dive deep and experience compassionate, energizing connections that lead to motivation, lasting commitment, and supportive accountability in daring greatness.

#2: Sustain Your Creative Visions While Being Curious About Your Blind Spots

The biggest problems with online forums are a lack of structure, no intellectual curiosity, and little to no investment in the personal side of our art lives. Curiosity Cocktails gives you six, major ArtLife themes with 19 offshoots that direct you to specific conversations—from the practical to the esoteric—so you’re never lost for intellectual engagement, relevant help, or a chance to be listened to and heard.

#3: There’s no risk

Curiosity Cocktails is a huge value that could be priced at $299 a year and up. But I want to sip this idea slowly, see how we connect, and what level of “deep” we can get to.  So, registration into the main community is FREE. And, you show up when you have time, anytime.

However, pocketbook free does not mean it is freely accessed.

Because I’m committed to limited participation by invitation only, you will first need to [ps2id url=’#cc-form’]answer the questions[/ps2id]  at the end of this page and wait to hear back from me.

I want to be sure everyone who asks to join this community is a great fit—for my sake and yours!

Curiosity Cocktails Ariane of smARTist

Curiosity Cocktails is a pioneering, artist community designed to go deep, to go real, and to keep us all compassionately accountable to daring greatness. One area I feel especially committed to is supporting women artists, who have challenges unique to gender that must be front and center.

This kind of engagement, artist-to-artist, is ancient. Artists have been getting together in every century around the globe because the ArtLife entails experiences and conditions that are uniquely based on a dedication to creating through imagery.

Yes, social connection has proven beneficial to our human condition in every way imaginable: to our brains, our immune systems, our loving hearts, as well as our need to be seen and heard.


I have to admit, a bit of sadness has hit me this morning as I realize this afternoon is our last day of sessions.

A real sense of belonging has come over me with this group. And that’s something I’ve been missing as I work day in and day out to create and market my work.

I hope the magic of belonging continues. I’ve really enjoyed this forum and hope many more people chime in during the days and months ahead. Staying connected is our lifeline!  ~Tom Hlas, artist participant in the smARTist Telesummit forum

But meaningful connection is rare. And honest engagement is even more rare.

Inside Curiosity Cocktails, I promise to pay attention to the undercurrents in our conversations, to encourage intellectual stimulation and creative growth. I understand how to point out (kindly, but firmly) where we might be going off track, or being too harsh, or hearing someone else through our own filter. Or, where someone has something valuable to say, but might feel hesitant.

I too will be vulnerable. I too will engage in conversations around my present life and where it’s taking me. I want a curiosity-cocktails-all-around experience. If I have information that I think will add value, I’ll share that. And if I’m off track, you are encouraged to call me on that too.

If I have a place where I’m confused or unclear, I’ll let you know. I’ll ask for help when my life hits a rough patch. Or share a shining moment that’s come up.

When conversations show me there’s a thirst for more, I’ll make sure you have access to supplemental information.

And always, you have control over how much time you to spend in the community, where you want to engage, with whom, and when.

I see it, Ariane, you’re an artist whisperer.  You make us feel safe and heard, and that it’s all right to come out into the light of our creative being. ~ Lori Wolfson, painter & co-host of The Blue Stocking conversations
I try to stay in groups where I feel comfortable and where I know people are willing to help each other…like this one!  I think we are truly safe here. Ariane will make sure people treat each other with respect and care. She will never let it get out of hand. So, if finding a group where you feel safe is something you need or want, you can count on her! ~ Karen Williams Smith, sculptor and participant in the smARTist Telesummit forum
You are very intuitive, Ariane. 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, lead on…I’m still following! ~ Pamela Kingsley Seay, artist and First VP/Regional Coordinator for the Tennessee Watercolor Society, and Editor for TWS Regional Roundup & ArtBeat Mag

At its heart, Curiosity Cocktails is about flying as high as we want, laughing together, drinking to our accomplishments, challenging our assumptions, and being silly just because… you know, it’s fun to have fun!

As the poet, W.H. Auden, famously remarked:

“We are all here on earth to help others;
What on earth the others are here for I don’t know.”

So, my fellow, creative travelers… come fly with me!

[ps2id id=’cc-form’/]Fill out this quick and easy form and I’ll let you know about lift-off time:[/ps2id]

Ariane Goodwin Writing The Artist Statement. Writing and Editing relief for the Creative Entrepreneur.