Promoting Creativity. Selling Yourself.

sell-yourselfIt’s one thing to be chomping at the bit, ready-finally-to inspire and change the world; it’s quite another to let the world know you exist. These days, with a bit of imagination anyone engaged in the creativity field is in a terrific position to promote themselves and their creative passion. Countless platforms and websites offer simple tools to help you grow your network and achieve your goals.

If you haven’t already done so, for very little time, money and research, you can start a blog or send out an e-newsletter to your network. (If it’s too difficult to maintain regular postings, invite guests to contribute articles, or offer to write your own for other people’s blogs.) Pitch editors of traditional or online publications with an idea for a regular daily, weekly or monthly column. (Have some samples ready for submission). Consider writing and self-publishing a short e-book that might, for instance, offer a step-by-step guide to your insights, experiences, or expertise. Speaking of specialties, prepare a course to teach in-person or online. Initiate and lead supportive groups. Post comments and share links on social media. Conduct interviews of creative individuals on a podcast series-or offer yourself as a well-informed talk show guest.

BELCHATOW POLAND - MAY 02 2013: Modern white keyboard with colored social network buttons.

Creativity has become the buzz word used in ads, articles and media headlines around the world. The trick is to produce a ‘hook’ for a press release that will lead to a feature story. Plan events relating to current events or holidays. Identify a pressing public concern, its creative solution-and then act on it. As example, after internationally renowned creativity specialist Marci Segal read a 2001 newspaper banner that said creativity was in crisis, she was moved to establish World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 (Leonardo da Vinci’s birthday) to 21 (WCIW). Through networking and media coverage, WCIW is now celebrated in more than 40 countries worldwide!

WCIWHere’s an idea to promote creativity AND yourself immediately. Use WCIW as a newsworthy reason to go out into the community to encourage individuals and groups to do something special to celebrate creativity. Approach businesses, schools, recreation centers, clubs, and public institutions to establish partnerships or guide creative projects. For great ideas, explore https://wciw.org/. Add to the list!

-Nellie


This article was first published in the March, 2014 Creativity Coaching Association Creativity Calling! newsletter

Creative Thinking: Tools and Techniques Workshop

As generally happens, out of the blue I received an email inviting me to facilitate a creative thinking workshop, this time  for engineering students at the national Conference on Diversity in Engineering (CDE2016) sponsored by McGill University in Montreal,  November 18-20.

marci-and-nellie-being-funny
Marci and me having fun facilitating at our 2014 WISE workshop 

On her request in 2014, I’d partnered with Marci Segal  in developing and presenting a Creativity and Confidence workshop to female engineering students during their WISE (Women in Science & Engineering) National Conference in Toronto.

Apparently, a participant at that workshop recommended it to the coordinators of  CDE2016 .

I love working with Marci. She’s now living in Canmore, Alberta, so I immediately sent her a note asking if she’d be interested and available to plan and facilitate with me. “In a heartbeat!” she wrote back within minutes.

We sealed the deal with the conference team, and began to collaborate using Skype and Google Docs. An academic with an MS in Creativity, Marci has led creativity programs  worldwide (including NASA, PHD Canada, Ricoh), and is the creator of management training modalities and of World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15-21, now celebrated in more than 50 countries. I’m author, artist, and coach to creatives  who has studied art, screenwriting, and photography – and created original initiatives (such as skits, TV shows, mini-conferences, podcasts and Mining Your Creativity presentation) at virtually every stage of my adult life. Marci and I easily incorporate our different styles, background and experiences and have a great rapport in front of audiences.

After several conversations with members of the CDE2016 team as to their needs and objectives for this workshop, we came up with its title and description:

cde2016cre8-workshop-schedule-2

Marci and I pooled our resources, brainstormed ideas,  decided upon appropriate challenges for participants, chose illustrations, and  developed/designed the slides for a PowerPoint. Using Google Docs we created a logical outline and timeline:

cttt-timeline-002

We also created a Twitter hashtag for posting comments (click on it to go to Twitter):

#CDE2016cre8

 The weekend was a blast, yet getting there was a definite challenge for each of us. My husband was hospitalized with severe back pain earlier that week. As a result, on Thursday, the day before I was to leave, we had to turn down a potential kidney transplant. Until that evening I had no idea if I’d be able to leave. My kids urged me to go, promising to stay with my husband as much as possible. Marci, on the other hand, was stuck that same day in a snowstorm at the Denver airport where all planes were grounded, while only 2 of 27 de-icers were operable. She thought she was on her way to Calgary after leading sessions for Peace officers in San Diego. Instead, at 3 in the morning she was re-routed to Montreal through New York. Marci slept on the floor of the airport waiting for her flight to leave.

What we do to keep our commitments!

We had a wonderful time in Montreal. We each met long-time friends, rode the Metro, ate at the famous Snowdon deli, and enjoyed watching the terrific play Prom Queen. The best part, though, was the conference. During breakfast before our workshop and during lunch afterwards, we met so many enthusiastic students seriously committed to their futures. We chatted with them about their backgrounds and motivations for choosing engineering. We were amazed to learn of the multitude of specialties in engineering today, among them chemical, material, software, project, automation, mechanical, electrical, applications, power systems, etc. and on…

cde2016-lunch

CDE2016: Lunch with engineering student leaders who participated in our workshop. Marci is seated 2nd from left.

 

Our workshop was scheduled to start right after breakfast from 9:30 until 11:00. We arrived a half hour early to set everything up. Our seminar room has a spectacular view of the city and beyond and is situated on the 37th floor of the Marriot Chateau Champlain hotel. About forty people settled in at the long tables facing the front. We were introduced. Marci started speaking.

marci-speaking-cde2016

She introduced the topic and workshop objectives:

creative-thinking-tools-and-technques-sandbox-objectives-002

We gave the group our first challenge, a game: work individually or in groups to create a four word sentence connecting the hashtag #wciw of World Creativity and Innovation Week to the issues related to diversity discussed over the conference weekend.

cde2016-wciwgame-hastag

Here are some of the clever results:

cde2016-wciwgame-hastag3

and

cde2016-wciwgame-hastag2

and

cde2016-wciwgame

As we’d promised, our workshop was packed with techniques and tools to think creatively, including this slide:

cde2016-workshop2

Our audience listened carefully, took notes, worked in groups to address challenges, and shared their Eurekas:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

All in all, we had a great time presenting, offered tons of laughter, and received terrific feedback, including invitations to present this workshop at other universities across Canada. And afterwards, we had the unique experience studying the Trading of Crests, a long time engineering student tradition:

cde2016-exchanging-crests

________________________________

If you belong to, or know of, an organization, group or business that could use our Creative Thinking Tools and Techniques presentation, please contact me: Nellie Jacobs at Rogers dot com.

 

 

Letter to My Children

Friendship

I’m at that stage of life when I am sorting, organizing and eliminating clutter in preparation for moving out and on.  Digging through boxes stored away for years, I am making so many discoveries.  In the process, I read everything. Forgotten memories are stirred up. Letters to and from friends and relatives remind me of past relationships, events, losses and achievements. Among all that paper, I’ve come across notes I wrote to my children to help guide them through life. They grew up into loving, responsible, caring adults, now parents themselves. Hoping they will share this with their children,  written from the heart and unedited, here is one of the letters I wrote to them decades ago:

……………………

LETTER TO MY CHILDREN

Be true.

Discover your whole person.

Develop you.

Draw upon your inner resources.

Success is being happy.

Success is being fulfilled.

Success is being secure with yourself.

Be honest.

Analyze your shortcomings.

Work on a plan to improve.

ENVY

Envy no person.

No one can have it all. No one can have it all. If they do, at what price?

The rich lose their possessions; the beautiful, their looks.

The powerful, fall.

KNOWLEDGE

Learn from others.

Learn from yourself.

Read.

Discuss.

Watch.

Think.

Pause.

SELF-DEVELOPMENT

Identify your strengths. Build upon them.

Admire yourself.

Be proud of your accomplishments.

Identify your weaknesses. Attend to them.

Love yourself.

IMPROVEMENT

Not everything is self-fixable.

Get help if and when you need it.

Grow up.

Become mature.

Take responsibility for your actions and words.

Let go of blame.

CONSIDERATION

Be courteous.

Be irreverent but not rude.

THE RIPPLE EFFECT

What you don’t do can have a great – or greater – effect than what you choose to do.

Consider the effect of your words and actions on others.

SHARING

Carry your share.

Each excuse creates a heavier burden for the rest of us.

RESPECT

Don’t look down at others.

It’s too easy to be critical and patronizing.

LUCK

It is not everyone’s luck to be good-looking, bright, capable and privileged as you.

COMPASSION

Be forgiving.

You may never know what secrets your friends and acquaintances carry.

Be compassionate.

You may never know the burdens and tragedies of people you meet in your lifetime.

PRESUMPTIONS

Don’t presume.

Don’t presume you know all the answers.

You don’t even know all the questions.

No one knows. if he or she says they do, they are either lying or fooling themselves.

SUCCESS

Behind the face of every adult is a kid trying to figure out what the hell he or she is doing.

Some seem to accomplish it better than others.

No one is successful in every area.

The secrets of life are within yourself.

Have faith.

The world is wondrous.

Question values.

Hold onto humour. It may save your life.

FRIENDS

Choose friends you can love,

Choose friends who love you back.

ATTITUDE

Be open.

Learn to trust.

Accept love.

Guard yourself.

Don’t be naive.

Give yourself time.

Be patient with others.

Allow mistakes.

Reach higher, always.

GET HIGH

Forget drugs.

Learn about art. You will appreciate beauty.

Learn about music. Its rhythms captivate.

Study literature. Attend live theatre. Gather ideas.

Forget television and electronics. Interact with people. Volunteer.

Look for positive role models. follow their lead. Become a leader.

Mentor others, then set them free.

Recognize those who labour for you.

Acknowledge their work.

Be open-minded.

Consider new ideas and approach.

BALANCE

Balance your life.

Develop hobbies.

Cultivate interests.

Follow your interests and hobbies.

Become physically active.

Nurture family relationships.

Work at friendships.

Keep in touch. Regularly.

Visit.

Meet for lunch or dinner, movies, theatre.

Phone.

Write.

Email.

Be balanced emotionally, intellectually, physically and spiritually.

Believe in something.

Nurture yourself.

Pamper yourself.

Relax.

Take time.

Abandon sarcasm.

Don’t goad.

Encourage others.

Give compliments.

Be generous to those who deserve it.

image

 

 

 

 

 

 

Should individuals campaign for their own organ donors?

The following is my response to this week’s Toronto Star article:

toronto-star-article-re-advocating-for-organ

………….

I can’t believe that is even a question.

This is not a matter of rich and cute; the media chooses who to feature. Desperate people do desperate things to continue living, including posting signs on placards, cars, and billboards, and flying to other countries for purchased kidneys.

Why would anyone who can make a public campaign just wait in a long line for their organ to fail? Creating a public plea for living donors is beneficial to the thousands waiting for a kidney, liver, lung-or more-who do not have the voice, support or resources to do so. As you rightfully mention, the plea creates both deceased and living donor awareness, in addition to offering a potential spillover effect…

living-donor-registry-photo

Here’s a brief outline of my family’s story.

In 2010, my husband’s kidneys suddenly failed. Not one to ask others to do what I can myself, I went through 11 months of tests and was approved to donate my kidney to my husband. Two and a half years later, a rare reaction to the polyomavirus slowly attacked the kidney, and in January of this year my husband once again began undergoing four to five hour long hospital dialysis treatments three times a week.

Our lives changed drastically.

Since there is no living organ donor candidate list in Canada, we determined not to sit back and wait the current 6-10 years for his name to be reached on Ontario’s list for a cadaver kidney. My family leapt into action:

  • I created an online petition to create a living organ donor candidate list:
  • We composed a letter outlining our situation, what it means to be a living donor, who to reach for more information, and a request to sign our petition. We circulated the letter among our personal and social media networks, and to media outlets.
  • We created a Facebook page and Twitter hashtags.
  • Partnering with the Kidney Foundation of Canada, after seven months of intensive planning, we initiated a 30 kilometre six person – including a female Olympic hopeful – relay swim across Lake Muskoka on July 30th this year.

organdonorswim-logo

It was a remarkable day with remarkable volunteers, many of whom arrived as strangers to us. Not only did the swim raise awareness about organ donation through media coverage, it raised enough monies through donations to send 10 (!!!) children with kidney issues to a week at summer camp:.

BTW: This past Thursday, my husband was completely unexpectedly notified of a matching kidney from a deceased donor available for him. We prayed for the grieving family, and then hurried down to the hospital; he underwent a series of tests to evaluate his suitability; he stayed overnight, enduring more tests; our kids gathered in the morning. On Friday, just an hour before the scheduled surgery, we were told the potential donated kidney was unfortunately compromised.

Two liver and two kidney surgeries were cancelled. We returned home to continue our campaign—for ourselves, and for others.

…..

The Star article was based on results of a current paper released by The Canadian Society of Transplantation.

If you haven’t already signed your organ card, please consider doing so. Your donation can save or enhance eight lives. Click here for more information about making donation part of your legacy plan.

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.

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

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/nelliejacobs

Become a Friend/Follower on:

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

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

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.