How Did Van Gogh Become Famous?

I was fortunate to visit the remarkable, thought-provoking Van Gogh exhibit at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.

I came away with my mind spinning with all sorts of thoughts/inspiration/ideas. However, the particularly burning question that consumed me was how Van Gogh-who barely sold a painting in his lifetime-without current influence of social media became so famous in the years following his untimely death.

Curiosity overtook. I conducted intensive research (simply Googling “How did Van Gogh become famous?”) and, to my surprise, I discovered two sites that begin to answer the question:

1. The Woman Who Brought Van Gogh to the World

2. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger

Barely a year after Vincent’s death, his own brother and steadfast supporter Theo died. Theo’s wife Joanna was left a widow with a baby, an art gallery – and an entire catalogue of her brother-in-law’s paintings. Relying on her late husband’s advice to keep the collection together, as well as the experience and support of trusted friends and experts in business, she set out to create a buzz….

Johanna’s strategies were so successful over time they became what we would now refer to as viral.

Always curious about the road people travel towards their successes, I would love to know exactly how YOU created a buzz for your products and services? Share with readers your experiences, viewpoints, and suggestions in the comment section below.

Creatively Yours,

Nellie

Are you member or facilitator of a book club, study group, organization, educational institution or workplace?

Marci Segal, founder of World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15-21 featured in chapter 5, speaking at "Making Opportunity Knocking" launch.

Marci Segal, founder of World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15-21 featured in chapter 5, speaking at “Making Opportunity Knocking” launch.

“Making Opportunity Knock” provides excellent material for in-depth group discussion and debate as well as personal insights and self-discovery. For details, visit http://www.ignitingimagination.com/bestsellingauthor/makingopportunityknock.html

 ________________

LINKS:

Website: http://www.nelliejacobs.com

Internet Radio Show: http://blogtalkradio.com/igniting-imagination

All episodes are numbered, archived, and available for your listening enjoyment anytime, anywhere.

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My Journey to Self-Publishing: Marketing 1-My Press Release

Igniting Imagination with Nellie Jacobs Internet talk radio show is now celebrating 10, 600 listeners …and growing more than one hundred listeners a week! Take the Listener Challenge! Click here for details and stat updates.

On Tuesday, I checked the printer’s proof of Making Opportunity Knock, and it’s a go! The book will be shipped to the warehouse book distribution centre in the next two weeks.

As part of my marketing plan, I have taken considerable time and re-writes to develop two letters.

One is a personal email to be sent to my friends and wider network, telling them what I’ve been up to, with details about Mining Your Resources series of books and in particular  Making Opportunity Knock, the first to be published this month, who it’s for, what it’s about, and that it can be currently be purchased on my site. I’ve attached two pdf documents:

1. Click here to see/read beautiful back/front bookcover of Making Opportunity Knock
 2. Click here to download/print “Mining Your Resources” bookmarks to use/distribute.

I ask friends and relatives in my network to forward that email to their networks.

The second letter is a press release to be sent to media.  It is copied below-and images added:


 For Immediate Release

Upheaval in Publishing = Infinite Opportunities

With such venerable institutions such as book distributor H B Fenn—Canada’s largest independently owned book distributor—and publishing house Key Porter shutting down, and Borders filing for Chapter 11 in the United States (effectively closing about a third of its 674 retail bookstores), what future does an author face?

“The publishing world is definitely experiencing an upheaval,” says best-selling author Nellie Jacobs, a former Newsletter Chair of the Writers Union of Canada. Jacobs believes that these events in the publishing industry reflect what is happening in other fields around the world. Yet, she says, these devastating changes can be blessings in disguise.

 “Just as the economic downturn forced all types of businesses globally to retract, downsize or collapse altogether, fantastic new opportunities are emerging for both companies and individuals in any industry.”

Jacobs concludes that because so much is unpredictable and unknown today, there is no one expert who can tell you the right thing to do or path to follow. Everything is in flux. It’s all about transformation, rejuvenation—and making opportunity knock.

Jacobs knows about such things. During most of 2010 she underwent tests and appointments in preparation to donate her kidney. To calm anxiety about the upcoming surgery, she immersed herself in a frenzy of creative activity. One outcome is the upcoming “Mining Your Resources” series of books she is proudly self-publishing.

 Click here to download 12-page 2011 full colour catalogue.

“There are no distinct rules or business models right now. Think about what happened to the music industry, and how songwriters and performers must keep adapting ways to reach an audience in an ever-changing environment.”

Studies indicate that “52 percent of all books are not sold in bookstores.”[1] In considering what marketing and market opportunities might be available, Jacobs says she was motivated by the individuals who generously shared their personal stories and lessons learned in interviews for her inspirational, self-help series.

 

Determined to follow their entrepreneurial spirit, she decided to market the series’ first book in new ways, starting at a grass roots level.  While approaching Canada-wide non-traditional retailers in addition to traditional bookstores, Jacobs expects to market with book signings/talks through home parties, book clubs, study groups, businesses, schools and organizations as well as offering online presentations and interviews. She’s taking advantage of social media networks. To spread the word and reach listeners—and potential readers—worldwide, beginning in mid-March she will be co-hosting a “How Have You Made Opportunity Knock?” phone-in series on her Internet talk radio show.

She is also chronicling her self-publishing journey on a blog.

Continually mining her own resources, Jacobs is an award-winning artist who has designed her own business cards, bookmarks*, 12-page full colour 2011 book catalogue, and website.

“Mining Your Resources” Business Card

“It’s all about creative thinking and innovative solutions. It’s about mining the vast resources within you, along with identifying and taking advantage of infinite opportunities available out there.”

March 21, 2011 is publication date of Making Opportunity Knock, volume one in the “Mining Your Resources” book and workshop series developed by Nellie Jacobs.  For more details, visit www.nelliejacobs.com. A portion of proceeds from these books will be donated to Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation to support ongoing research for the Kidney Transplant Program at Toronto General Hospital.


You are welcome to make comments.

All the best!

Creatively Yours,

Nellie

Next Post: Marketing 2 

 ________________

LINKS:Website: http://www.ignitingimagination.com

Internet Radio Show: http://blogtalkradio.com/igniting-imagination

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/nelliejacobs

Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/nelliejacobs

Twitter: http://twitter.com/nelliejacobs

____________________________________________

[1] http://selfpublishingresources.com/resources/books-news-and-publishing-industry-statistics

Interview with Author/Artist Nellie Jacobs

Igniting Imagination with Nellie Jacobs Internet talk radio show is now celebrating 7, 132 listeners …and growing one listener at a time! Take the Listener Challenge! Click here for details and stat updates.

I experienced the pleasure of my first online interview about my two upcoming books Magical MousePainting®-A Tool for Computer Creativity and Making Opportunity Knock , volume one in my Mining Your Resources self-help book and workshop series.

Click on the photo above to access the full half hour chat during which entertaining “Liquid Lunch Show” hosts Randy Thomas and Marla Lukofsky and I discuss creating and marketing the Arts in today’s reality, publishing houses vs self-publishing, Print on Demand (POD), agents (to have or have not) and their roles, support systems, social media …and more.

All the best!

Creatively Yours,

Nellie

_______________

Your comments and feedback to this posting are more than welcome.

If you would like to send your own opinions, ideas and experiences, click here for the questions. If you would like to share your personal creative story, click here for more questions. When you’ve completed your answers, click here to send your responses and contact details.

You and your story may be mentioned in Nellie’s  book-in-progress about mining creativity, with acknowledgement and reference to you and your contact information.

Please forward the link to this site to anyone in your network who might be interested in reading them and/or contributing.

To listen to archived Igniting Imagination with Nellie Jacobs broadcasts, click here.

* Nellie cannot guarantee the safety or reliability of any linked website.

For information about upcoming radio broadcasts, creative opportunities/events, and news, sign up on this site in the right column to get notification of a new blog posting.

Twitter:@nelliejacobs

Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/nelliejacobs

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/nelliejacobs

Upcoming Launch: Magical MousePainting® and Mining Your Resources Book and workshop guides.  Save on multiple orders. Order Now/Pay Later!!! Click here for details.

Nellie’s artwork and photography is available for sale on hundreds of products. Since its opening, more than 2,300 visitors have dropped by her Igniting Imagination online store. Click here to view.

Starring Violette Clarke!! Turning Passion into Products & Services-Part 8

Now celebrating 6, 470 listeners …and growing one listener at a time! Take the Listener Challenge! Click here for details and stat updates

This is the eighth in an ongoing series featuring worldwide creative-thinkers’ responses  to questions about creativity posted previously on this site.  

Violette Clark

Please welcome artist Violette Clark who years ago shared her  personal story on my Creativity-Bites blog.  Violette is a fabulous marketer of her products and services, and generously offers her  tactics below. (Click on any image to enlarge)

What you do and what product(s) and/or service(s) you offer that developed as a result of your passion.

I am an artist and creative spirit. My passion is to inspire people to embrace who they are through the vehicle of their creativity. I have had a book published – Journal Bliss: Creative Prompts to Unleash Your Inner Eccentric (North Light Books).  From there I created a couple of online classes on Visual Journaling.  I’m in the process of creating self-esteem kits for teens. I also teach visual Journaling to teens and women. I have been teaching workshops – in different art forms for 30 years.  Right now I’m focusing on teaching Visual Journaling/mixed media to teens and women. 

 
 

 

Violettes Products and Services

 How you came about to create it or them?

How did I come to create them? 

Well the path to my book Journal Bliss was not an easy or quick one.  First I had my art and projects published on online zines, and then on physical magazines. Then from there to paper arts magazines like Cloth Paper Scissors, Somerset, Altered Couture, Haute Handbags, etc.  The book opened doors which led me to create online classes.

As for teaching workshops I have been doing this for 30 years in some shape or form artistically. Regarding my online classes I had to teach myself how to shoot video and how to work in Indesign (so I could create PDF files).

 It’s been a big learning curve for me. I am fortunate to have a partner who is a techie so he can help me along the way.

 Your target market

Violettes Studio

My target market is women between the ages of 40 and 65. However, I’ve had folks as young as teens interested in my work (as is evidence from the workshops I am teaching) and women into their 70’s.

 How do you market?

I

  • have an e-zine
  • blog 5 days a week (and have done so for 5 years)
  • took out ads in a paper arts magazine
  • article market (e-zine articles)
  • do online interviews/podcasts
  • have had virtual book tours
  • create YouTube videos
  • have been on TV locally and internationally (HGTV Weird Homes and numerous Local TV shows)
  • do art demos in local craft and art stores/galleries
  • been in the newspapers promoting my book and classes
  • have a Ning site, Flickr site, Cafepress store
  • recently had a table at the B.C. Art Teachers Conference with my books and promoting classes
  • had my website on the back of my van (it’s now sitting idle in the driveway)
  • wear my art – literally – my soldered art prints, painted purses (which cause people to ask me about it and then I tell them what I do)
  • had projects in magazines with my contact info on the bottom of the article
  • create colourful bookmarks with my information on the back and give these out freely to folk
  • had contests on my blog and given away art and books
  • am on Facebook and Twitter and talk about art and blog posts on there
  • am a designer for The Art Glitter Institute, so create projects online for them at http://artglitterblog.blogspot.com/
  • call local women’s centers and also neighbourhood houses to see if they would like me to teach a class – and am teaching Visual journaling to teens as a result
  • recently called my therapist (from the past) and given her my self-esteem kit to see what she thought of it – she now might have me teach a class on self-esteem using art. 
  • joined Toastmasters so that I can go out and do some public speaking on creativity which will enable me to sell my books and products after the talks.
  • created short YouTube videos to promote my book and 2 online classes (I also have a third class) I am sure I’m missing something.

Violettes Art

As you can see I try many different things to get the word out there.  You can find some articles and projects here:

http://www.creativity-portal.com/howto/a/violette/index.html 

 Contact information/website.

You can contact me via my website http://www.violettesfolkart.com. Check out my YouTube videos at: http://www.youtube.com/user/creativeboho or e-mail: violetteclark@shaw.ca

________________

Your comments and feedback to this posting are more than welcome.  

If you would like to send your own opinions, ideas and experiences, click here for the questions. When you’ve completed them, click here to send your responses and contact details 

You and your story may be mentioned in my book-in-progress about mining creativity, with acknowledgement and reference to you and your contact information.

 Please forward the link to this site to anyone in your network who might be interested in reading them and/or participating.  

 All the best.   

Creatively yours,        

Nellie 

__________     

To listen to archived Igniting Imagination with Nellie Jacobs broadcasts, click here.

Do you want to share your creative story? Click here to send your answers to the above questions.

* Nellie cannot guarantee the safety or reliability of any linked website. 

Twitter:@nelliejacobs  

Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/nelliejacobs

Now Published!

 Nellie’s newest book,Volume 1 in “Mining Your Resources” Series. Details, and to order:  Click here

Nellie’s artwork and photography are also available for sale on many products.  Click here to view.

Creativity: Questions & Answers-Part 7: Barbara Florio Graham

Now celebrating 5, 773 listeners …and growing one listener at a time! Take the Listener Challenge! Click here for details and stat updates

This is the seventh in a series featuring worldwide creative-thinkers’ responses  to questions about creativity posted previously on this site.  

Please welcome Barbara Florio Graham, a writer, teacher and communications consultant. Her book “Musings”  was a winner in the 2002  Cat Writers’ Association, Inc. communications contest. Visit Barbara’s website at  www.SimonTeakettle.com

 1. What is a creative environment?

Any environment can be enhanced to stimulate creativity. If you work all day in a small cubicle with neutral walls decorated only with calendars, charts, and the occasional family photo, it’s very difficult to think creatively.

 How do you define it?

 A creative environment is full of things that stimulate your right brain. The ideal surroundings include plants, running water (perhaps a table fountain), a view outside where you can see nature (my office overlooks a large pine tree and bird feeders), and lots of visual images: not just photos, but posters, drawings, abstract as well as conventional art.

What do you need to be at your creative best? How do you/can we develop a creative environment to promote day-to-day creative-thinking and solutions at home, school and in business? (You can refer to physical space, attitudes, systems, beliefs, etc.)

 In addition to the surroundings I’ve described above, anyone can move into a space that’s more right-brain friendly, such as the courtyard or lobby of a building where there is art, plants, a fountain, and different kinds of seating from your office chair. Taking a walk outdoors is helpful, and those who work at home (or tend to brainstorm problems while they’re at home) will find that taking a shower or a bath can help. Water is a great stimulant for the right brain. 

 2. What are the common obstacles and fears people commonly face when called to use their creativity?

I mentor writers, and many complain about writer’s block. But that is almost always caused by fear. If you don’t attempt something, you can’t fail! Thinking you might not be able to do something is a sure way to shut down and become more frustrated.

 What solutions do you have?

 I teach an online course, called Tapping Your Innate Creativity, that has received rave evaluations from participants since I first began to offer it in hands-on workshops two decades ago. The lessons and exercises are original with me, and everyone who has taken the course tells me they really work.

3. What strategies are available for people to access their creativity?

I describe a great many in my course, and work individually with participants to help them along the way, because each person  is different.

4. In what ways are you creative?

 The best testament to my creativity is my famous cat, who owns the company, has been featured on radio and TV, wrote an award-winning book, and has a blog. I created the persona more than 30 years ago, and the third (real) cat to carry the name Simon Teakettle heads a MEWSical Society with 33 cats from six countries plus a parrot. He now has a Facebook Fan Club, and the fan page on his website includes several dogs, birds, a rabbit, an alpaca and a llama. How creative is that!

In what ways do you contribute to the creative process/outcomes for others?

By working with writers and entrepreneurs I mentor, and through my online course.

________________

Your comments and feedback to this posting are more than welcome.  

If you would like to send your own opinions, ideas and experiences, click here for the questions. When you’ve completed them, click here to send your responses and contact details 

You and your story may be mentioned in my book-in-progress about mining creativity, with acknowledgement and reference to you and your contact information.

 Please forward the link to this site to anyone in your network who might be interested in reading them and/or participating.  

 All the best.   

Creatively yours,        

Nellie 

__________     

To listen to call-ins discussing “Creativity and Innovation in Our Homes, Schools and Workplaces” with co-host World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15-21 co-founder and Creativityland CEO Marci Segal, click here to tune in to Part One on Episode 29 and Part Two on Episode 30

* Nellie cannot guarantee the safety or reliability of any linked website. 

For information about upcoming radio broadcasts, creative opportunities/events, and news, sign up on this site in the right column to get notification of a new blog posting. 

Twitter:@nelliejacobs  

Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/nelliejacobs

Upcoming Book Launch: Order Now/Pay Later!!!
    

 

 

Nellie’s newest book “Magical MousePainting®– A Tool for Computer Creativity” . One book/two covers. You choose. Details:  http://bit.ly/31ZE8Z

Life Metaphors

#1 - MountaintopIn my introduction for the last Internet radio show of Season 2, (Episode 24-Cliff Sutton: Communicating Effectively)  I said I love using metaphors. Metaphors help clarify, exemplify or simplify complexities facing us.
 
For example, years ago, I became fascinated with rocks. Over time, until today, I’ve photographed and painted them.

 My very first large sheet of water colour painting, Life Series #2, was created in one of several series of classes I took that were led by Elaine Gitalis, an extraordinary instructor and fine artist. 

Life Series #2. Copyright Nellie Jacobs 2009

Life Series #2. Copyright Nellie Jacobs 2009

Since then, I’ve created many rock paintings in all kinds of styles and media:
Life Series # 5. Watercolour. Copyright 2009 Nellie Jacobs

Life Series # 5. Watercolour. Copyright 2009 Nellie Jacobs

   Life series #1, below, was my first experiment in shape, lighting and shading. It was also a study in negative and positive space:

Life Series # 1, Rocky Crag. Watercolour. Copyright 2009 Nellie Jacobs

Life Series # 1, Rocky Crag. Watercolour. Copyright 2009 Nellie Jacobs

When I began Magical MousePainting™ (computer painting with a mouse using the Microsoft Paint application), I couldn’t help but create illustrations of rocks and mountains:
 rocks
Same drawing, inverted colours:
rocks-invertcolours
 
Here’s a different perspective:
Picture Perfect. Copyright Nellie Jacobs 2009

Picture Perfect. Copyright Nellie Jacobs 2009

In the week-end nature and photography retreat I attended in April, rocks were again a focus of many of my pictures:

Copyright 2009 Nellie Jacobs

Copyright 2009 Nellie Jacobs

Lessons Learned

1. Rocks can represent the positive characteristics of people.

Copyright Nellie Jacobs 2009

Copyright 2009 Nellie Jacobs

Rocks symbolize steadiness, permanance, reliability and strength. All of these are fine features I look for in colleagues and friends.

2. Like rocks, people come in all different sizes, shapes and colors. The source of their creation and their history are varied, as well. 

Copyright 2009 Nellie Jacobs

Copyright 2009 Nellie Jacobs

3. Like rocks, people can be surface (interested mainly in events) or deep (interested in ideas).  

Into the depths. Copyright Nellie Jacobs, 2009

Into the depths. Copyright Nellie Jacobs, 2009

 I love the way these rocks below nestle into each other like friends sharing secrets, or maybe recipes:

Copyright Nellie Jacobs 2009

Copyright Nellie Jacobs 2009

What are some metaphors you like to use or that fascinate you?

Creatively Yours,

Nellie Jacobs

______________

Through her Igniting Imagination programs and services, creativity consultant Nellie Jacobs stimulates creative-thinking, providing tools to individuals, organizations and companies to help ‘mine’ hidden or latent human resources for the personal and professional betterment of all.

All Igniting Imagination with Nellie Jacobs talk radio episodes are numbered and archived for your listening pleasure, inspiration and convenience at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Igniting-Imagination.

Seasons 1 and 2 guest photos, profiles, topics and links to their episodes are posted on at www.ignitingimagination.com. Just follow the links.

Twitter:@nelliejacobs                                                                                                                   

Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/nelliejacobs

Michael Jackson Eulogy: “I didn’t Know …”

michael jacksonExtravaganza and spectacle aside, there is no question that anyone listening to the eulogies for Michael Jackson learned a lot more about the man.

I certainly didn’t know he donated hugely to widespread charities and causes; that he laughed – a lot;  that he was a caring and excellent friend and mentor; that he loved his family as much as they say he did; or that his very favorite song was “Smile”. (I also didn’t know that this song was written by Charlie Chaplin.)

EulogyIf you think about eulogies, consider this question: why is it we only get the fuller picture of  any person – whether a celebrity or not – at their funerals?  

As example, immediately after my brother, sons and I gave eulogies for my father in an overflowing funeral chapel in 1999, people came up to say, “I didn’t know…” or “I had no idea…”.  The son of my dad’s close friend admitted that, although he’d known my dad for most of his life, he now realized how much he could have learned from dad’s wisdom and only wished that he’d asked him more questions when he was alive.

MINING YOUR HUMAN RESOURCESTruth is, how much do we really know about our family members, friends, colleagues and acquaintances? Why don’t we know more about each other’s  wonderful qualities and rich resources?

A friend whose son invited her to a hugely successful community event he was instrumental in developing admitted, “I didn’t know he was into this.”

There are strategies to get to know each other better.  As a radio interviewer with a significant Curiosity Factor, I ask questions in advance of each broadcast logo-radio-show7about the guest’s history, background,  philosophy, and experiences. 

By honoring the individual with my full attention – listening without distraction  my guests know I’m interested – and respond accordingly.

I transfer that interest to anyone I know and to people I meet. Not only have I found within them so much useful information, their personal experiences resonate with my soul.  They also offer tons of skills and lessons that I can apply to so many aspects of my life.  And, hopefully, I return the favors.

Lessons Learned

1. Meaningful conversations  include  ideas, philosophies, and psychologies (not only a list of previous and upcoming events and gossip).

2. So much is learned by exploration and digging deep.

 3. Most people have abilities, talents, experiences and knowledge that their personal and professional networks don’t know at all.

 The next consideration is, “How much do we know about ourselves?” That’s a question for another time….

Creatively Yours,

Nellie Jacobs

______________

Through her Igniting Imagination programs and services, creativity consultant Nellie Jacobs stimulates creative-thinking, providing tools to individuals, organizations and companies to help ‘mine’ hidden or latent human resources for the personal and professional betterment of all.

All Igniting Imagination with Nellie Jacobs talk radio episodes are numbered and archived for your listening pleasure, inspiration and convenience at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Igniting-Imagination.

Seasons 1 and 2 guest photos, profiles, topics and links to their episodes are posted on at www.ignitingimagination.com. Just follow the links.

Twitter:@nelliejacobs                                                                                                                    Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/nelliejacobs