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

 ________________

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

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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 

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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

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

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

PRESS RELEASE 

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

 www.blogtalkradio.com/igniting-imagination 

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. 

Goals 

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.

 

Benefits

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.

 

Preparation

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. 

 

Format

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.

 

Archives

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.

 

Support

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.

 

Marketing

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 www.ignitingimagination.com.