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

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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?


  • 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
  • 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: 

 Contact information/website.

You can contact me via my website Check out my YouTube videos at: or e-mail:


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,        



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. 



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.

Celebrating 2 Successful Seasons!!

To celebrate the completion of Seasons 1 and 2 of my Internet radio interview series, on June 9th, 2009 I was pleased to host a dinner for 14 show guests who lived in the general vicinity.
Igniting Imagination Guest Celebration Dinner June 9, '09

Igniting Imagination Guest Celebration Dinner June 9, '09

In this group photo, from left to right are:  Marci Segal, Kevin Loberg, Wendy Woods, Marty Lager, Sandy Naiman, Moira Sutton, Claire Sookman, me, Cliff Sutton , Sandy Offenheim, Thelma Barer-Stein, Marlene Walker, Joel Walker, Michele Mele and, in front, Marla Lukofsky. (Click on any photo to see an enlargement.)

On arrival, each guest was handed a place card with their name to reserve their spot at the dining table, a name tag, a pencil, and a sheet of paper with an icebreaker exercise.

Ice-breakers, name tags, etc. ready and waiting....

Ice-breakers, name tags, etc. ready and waiting....

Lesson Learned #1: We can have conversations with anyone if only we know what to ask.

The purpose of the icebreaker was to (1) give people an opportunity to meet and talk with everyone, (2) demonstrate how each of us has so many points of reference,  (3) open the door for interaction and exchange of information, and (4) indicate the various ways we are connected.

Lesson Learned #2: If you show a genuine interest, people like to talk about themselves and share their histories.

Whether guests were introverted or outgoing all bravely took part, fully buying into the concept. The hour before dinner was filled with laughter and conversation as all were busy talking, sharing, introducing each other and helping fill in the forms. It turned out that many people had much in common, several knew each other previously and some made connections for the future. By the time we sat for dinner, there was such a spirit, laughter and camaraderie that permeated the rest of the evening.

Mary Minaudo sent her regrets and this beautiful bouquet of roses-my favourite flower!

Mary Minaudo sent her regrets and this beautiful bouquet of roses-my favourite flower!

Try the challenge. Download the icebreaker: Radio Guest Celebration Dinner-Matching Game. Match the columns. I made the mistake of asking about allergies and food dislikes and received back a considerable list – which became part of the game.

Lesson Learned # 3: We’re aware of only a fraction of what there is to know about the people in our lives.

How well do you know your family members, colleagues or friends?  Interview them and create your own game. If you do it in the style shown here, you can have as many columns and categories as your wish. For example, in one column, list their names. In another, list degrees, qualifications, volunteer or work positions each person has held. In a third, list a current job title or theme and, in the fourth, such items as passions, positive characteristics, favorite pastimes, colours, foods, movies, TV programs or books.

Getting to know each other more deeply not only adds to the enjoyment of relationships, but is also a process that can  teach us a lot about ourselves.

Creatively Yours,



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

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

Twitter:@nelliejacobs                                                                                                                    Linkedin:

* Lessons learned from people I’ve met-Part 3


oil wellIn November, 1946, Imperial Oil sent Vern “Dry Hole” Hunter to Leduc, Alberta to set up a drilling rig on Mike Turta’s farm. For 10 weeks of freezing weather, his crew drilled to the depth of 1,544 metres – with no success. The men wanted “to give up, but Hunter had them drill just one more metre.”  On Friday, February 13th, they hit the gusher that began Alberta’s post-war oil boom. *

What does this true story have to do with my own experience? It’s all about that extra step. I have a very small story about someone I met a couple of months ago that illustrates the point.

On February 14th,  my husband and I leisurely drove around Lake Muskoka, arriving in Bracebridge, Ontario in late afternoon, both of us a bit cranky with hunger – we hadn’t yet had lunch.

On the outskirts of town, he suggested we stop at the local Harvey’s/Swiss Chalet for a quick bite. I refused.


Click on design by NJ

“Look,” I said, “it’s Valentine’s Day, we tried to book a dinner at our two favourite restaurants. We were disappointed that they were each closed for the season.  So, I’m happy to prepare a dinner at home; but, the last thing I want now is a quick bite of fast food even though I’m really, really hungry. Let’s make this a bit more romantic and pleasurable.”

He agreed. We parked on the main street and walked down its hill and and then back up looking for an imaginary little shop, quaint in decor, clean, inviting, with loving home-cooked meals and decent, caring staff. We found stores closed (a sign of the times) and cafes that promised good food but didn’t deliver it. 

Colder, much more tired and much crabbier, we ended standing next to the car, ready to get in and drive home. “Let’s just go up the hill a bit and see if there’s something new there,” I suggested. To his credit, my husband again agreed.

Fine Thymes restaurant window. Bracebridge, Ontario

Fine Thymes restaurant window. Bracebridge, Ontario

Just one shop further up the hill we found it! Hestitatingly, we opened its door, stepped into the warmth and  the delicious aromas of home-cooked soups and baked goods of the Fine Thymes Restaurant and Tea-Room.

Proprietor Elizabeth welcomed us and waved us to a table next to  the picture window overlooking the street. There was obvious attention to detail in every corner. Tables and walls were even decorated with red hearts, honouring the day. As soon as we sat down, the proprietor welcomed us with complimentary hot, pink drinks served in small glasses.

We ordered freshly made soups, sandwiches, and salads. Elizabeth used unusal ingredients and herbs. Food was delicious. Since it was late in the afternoon, we chatted until closing time with her and her partner Claude about their backgrounds, business, fishing, and travelling. It was such a delightful time to spend with lovely people – and we made a newfound discovery to recommend to all our friends!

 Lessons Learned

1. To achieve any goal, identify what you want, and why.

2. Persevere to find/get what you’re looking for.

(To read about and listen to Episode 4 about Perseverance, the creative theme of my talk radio interview with Neil Doctorow, turn on your speakers and click here)

3. Often, getting to your goal means taking just one more step.

Creatively Yours,




Internet Radio Show:





* From the National Post newspaper, Friday, February 13, 2009.

*Announcing the Launch of “Igniting Imagination with Nellie Jacobs” Internet BlogTalkRadio show


Live Broadcast: Thursdays, 10-11 am EST/7-8 am PST 

Nellie Jacobs

Nellie Jacobs

On October 13, 2008 I  joined the burgeoning front ranks of Internet radio hosts with the launch of my weekly Internet talk radio show “Igniting Imagination with Nellie Jacobs,” broadcast live on Thursdays at 10-11 am EST, 7-8 am PST.

 Why take on such a vast new project at a stage in life when most people are either retiring or winding down?

I believe I offer an essential service to people. In these tough times, most everyone needs to look at new opportunities, possibilities and solutions in very creative ways. 


My intention was to provide a forum for interaction and communication of creative ideas, resources and personal experiences. This was all researched, planned and in place well before the current devastating economic downturn.


My expectation was to feature creativity academics and specialists as well as creative business people and ‘extra’ordinary individuals. Each program would focus on a creative topic of the week. The show would entertain, educate, inspire and creatively stimulate listeners worldwide.


Power of the Internet

I quickly realized that the best way reach a wide, international audience was through the Internet. The promotion material of Voice America states that Internet radio listeners are estimated to total 90 million Americans, a number that is growing quickly (having quadrupled in 3 years) and account for 42% of online spending.


Research and Choices

When I decided to take my message online, I spent months researching the Internet radio marketplace and found dozens of networks such as Alltalkradio and syndicate Talkzone offering various packages to potential hosts.


The ‘catch’ of course is that hosts must  buy airtime in exchange for some training, a show producer, support systems and framework for promotion – depending on the package. The concept is somewhat similar to vanity publishing except that networks and each host partner share their show’s revenue – according to a sliding scale, depending on who is the initiator of advertisers.


Networks package prices are wide-ranging, starting from LA Talk Radio‘s $69 (US) per episode. Voice America’s basic program begins at $6700 (US) for a 13 week pilot series with additional options which include streaming video and E-commerce. Networks such as WS Radio also require hosts to buy their audio equipment.


Committed to the idea, I waivered about the quality of sound, the true support I’d get and, most definitely I worried about making a very costly commitment to something I didn’t know would work. And then, just  about to take a chance with one network at high cost, I surfed the web one last time and discovered BlogTalkRadio.


Similar to written blogs which are available to anyone who signs up, BlogTalkRadio offers virtually free access to broadcasting online. The site’s features compare very favourably with networks that charge fees. Co-founded in 2006 by CEO Alan Levy and COO Bob Charish, it has grown by leaps and bounds. Thousands of BlogTalkRadio hosts broadcast their shows daily, weekly or monthly. Hosts can also opt into a program offering shared revenue of advertising.



What I like about this system is that we hosts are in control. During our shows both switchboard and chat line pop up on our computer screens. We can click on icons to open lines for callers and mute them when necessary.


Although there are inevitable technical glitches, especially with a new system, for me it’s worth the effort.



In fact, I tend to spend hours preparing guests for their show, pre-interviewing them, making notes, writing up a press release and developing a three to four page script used as a guideline.


I see this enterprise as a partnership. Each step of the way is discussed and everything I write about the upcoming interview and in the script is shared with the guest beforehand. I want listeners to get the most possible for tuning in. What’s amazing is that each guest more than buys into the concept. That’s what makes this whole, labour-intensive process so exciting. 



Each hour-long episode is divided into four parts:


Part 1: Guests reveal relevant tidbits about their background; the road they took to get to this point in their lives; their reasoning, influences, support systems, mentors, heroes; and how this all relates to creative topic of the day.


Part 2: Guests discuss in more detail their specialty, their objectives/purpose, what they offer or have available for listeners.


Part 3: Guests expand on a ten point list of ‘hints, suggestions and lessons learned’ they develop exclusively for their episode.


 Part 4: Phone and chat lines are open for questions and discussion.


I chose the time of day specifically so it can be accessed live by virtually anyone, anywhere. Statistics indicate that listening is highest during work hours when terrestrial listening is reduced. 41% listen for 3 hours or more. Listeners can phone in, chat and email to live shows.



Immediately after airing, each show is archived. Listeners can tune into archived shows at their leisure anytime. Archived episodes can be converted to podcasts, sent to ITunes, and uploaded to desktops, websites and blogs. Most of my followers listen to archived shows.



In addition to BlogTalkRadio technical staff, a support network of its hosts help each other find solutions to problems they encounter. I’ve learned to edit episodes using Audacity, a free program downloaded after finding out about it through the host listserv.


Every step of the way has been an enormous learning curve; however, I creative-x-spot-toolboxlove the challenge. You have to really like figuring things out and being in charge. This system is perfect for me. 


This show is another device in the Creative X-Spot® Toolbox I’ve developed to stimulate people’s creative thinking and doing.



To market the show, I write a weekly e-newsletter detailing that week’s episode, its guest and upcoming events. I send it to my list, media and organizations. My guests also forward it to their networks. I also created this weblog in which I write about issues related to the interviews and  include links, In addition, I post show announcements on a myriad of online social networks.


Guest Profiles

Guests are vibrant, imaginative personalities who share their knowledge, passions, experience and expertise in exciting ways. This show provides a wonderful opportunity to spotlight incredibly talented, multi-faceted individuals who have so much to offer. Many of them might otherwise not have had the platform to share so many aspects of what they know with so vast an audience.  These are ordinary ‘real’ people – very much like you and me – who work diligently, often overcoming  considerable challenges, roadblocks and economic downturns to follow their passions and achieve their dreams. 


I’m proud to say that every single one of my guests is more than willing to share his/her life stories and reveal their creative secrets. Each one generously offers loads of stimulating practical advice, ideas, suggestions and lessons learned. Anyone can identify with the issues discussed during these shows. Everyone who listens is sure to be inspired in one way or another.


For the roster of past and upcoming dynamic guests and topics, visit either my BlogTalk Radio site or my own website.


Each episode is truly a fantastic free seminar to ignite the imagination of audiences worldwide.


Still Life with Candles

Still Life with Candles


Creativity Consultant Nellie Jacobs is an award-winning artist and best-selling author whose programs and books stimulate creative thinking and doing.





For more information about Nellie’s radio show, criteria for guests, programs and to sign up for Igniting Imagination with Nellie Jacobs weekly e-newsletter, visit