Create, introspect, improve – insights and tips for harnessing your creative edge, from the Akanksha 2019 artists

PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 345 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festivaltelecom expomillets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.

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The Akanksha 2019 exhibition, held recently at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath in Bengaluru, featured over 500 artworks by 55 women artists, showcased for six full days. In Part I of our photo essay, we interviewed curator Shyamala Ramanand on the mission and journey of the exhibition; see also Part III for more artist insights.

The artist lineup includes Anusha Reddy, Tanu Gupta, Sunitha Krishna, Saroj Revankar, Pareejat Gogoi, Sindhu Rani, Aakriti Agrawal, Ahila C, Suvidha Bolar, Vedha Sreeram, Yamuna Padmanaban, and Sangeeta Agarwal.

Saroj Revankar has a range of artworks reflecting her upbringing in rural India. “Art is a never-ending learning process for me. A few workshops have helped, but I believe we learn from our mistakes and from regular practice. Art is my passion, and gives me peace and happiness,” she says, in a chat with YourStory.

Her artworks feature the tribal people from her village, and are priced in the range Rs 2,500 to Rs 25,000. “View art not only from your eyes but also from your heart,” Saroj advises audiences. “Don’t be afraid to take the ideas from your mind and put them on canvas or paper. Keep practicing and follow your passion,” she offers as tips to aspiring artists.

Self-taught artist Pareejat Gogoi specialises in realistic and semi-abstract art. Her works are priced from Rs 3,000 to Rs 25,000; at the exhibition, she displayed paintings titled Bodacious and Devotion. “Akanksha is a great platform for artists, and has set a benchmark of excellence. There is so much history at the venue itself, Chitrakala Parishad,” she explains.



Sindhu Rani showcased her landscapes and traditional paintings like Kerala murals and Madhubani painting, priced from Rs 5,000 to Rs 30,000. She sees success coming from developing a unique style and getting recognition for it.

“I would like to make audiences feel that presence of self inside my paintings, and experience the depth in each,” Sindhu says. She advises artists to spend time planning before starting to paint, in order to get a clear idea of how to compose the artwork.

“Art to me is happiness that I can share with the world without saying a word, by living my dreams, by creating little things in nature that I so love, on canvases. Art is therapeutic and has the power to cure any ailment in this world,” says Ahila C.

Her artworks are priced in the range Rs 6,000 to Rs 9,000. She is working on creating some authentic Kerala mural artworks. She advises audiences to enjoy the sheer creative energy of art. “Art is a planet of thoughts you can transport yourself to,” Ahila enthuses.

“Love what you do and do it with utmost sincerity, absolute hard work and pure thoughts! Don’t go after sales and fame. They will pour on you anyway, if your work has the purity and the power to speak to the world,” she adds.

“Have you seen people go through old photographs to relive moments of the past? I use art to do the same,” explains Suvidha Bolar. Success for her is seeing art taking form as she imagined, and receiving genuine appreciation or constructive criticism. The ability to do artwork as per the needs of a customer is equally important. Her artworks are priced from Rs 7,000 to Rs 9,000.

“There is no failure in art. Everything which didn’t turn out the way you want teaches something and there is always the chance of a beautiful accident,” she evocatively explains. She says she is not sure if she wants to stick to a style or have her unique signature as yet.

“Sometimes I do things which convention or many art schools would say are not to be done. One of them is the predominant usage of black in my paintings in order to break the cliche that black is associated with something dark, bad or negative,” Suvidha explains.

For Akanksha 2019, she featured works with the theme ‘Colours of Prayer.’ She hates being repetitive, and is also working with clay and learning techniques of blue pottery under the guidance of Gyanesh Mishra.

She urges audiences to turn out in large numbers at galleries and studios to support art. “Artists need viewership to thrive,” Suvidha emphasises. She advises aspiring artists to keep learning. “The attitude to learn is very important. As artists, we cannot be stagnant and should never cease to learn. Learn, practice and stay positive,” she sums up.

Yamuna Padmanaban sees art as a medium to create ripples of positive vibrations while taking the audience on a mystical journey. Success for her comes from seeing viewers immersed in her art.

“Through every work, I try to paint a gentle story that has touched me in some form and is a joy to share,” Yamuna explains. With the theme ‘Positive Vibes,’ she created works titled Innocence and Fairy for the Akanksha exhibition. Her works are generally priced from Rs.3,000 to Rs.50,000.

She advises audiences to approach art with an open mind, take time to observe and interpret it, and communicate their thoughts to the artist. “We are always glad to hear back,” Yamnua enthuses. She advises artists to explore without constraints and stay original.



Vedha Sreeram practices and conducts workshops on Mandala art, combing her passion for painting and teaching. “Mandala art is mainly for inner exploration and achieving meditative effects through radial symmetry and intricate patterns,” she explains.

For the Akanksha exhibition, she featured works titled Sahasrara, Aishwaryam, Anantham, Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient, with variations of ruby, emerald, gold, sapphire, silver, and hues of blue, yellow and purple. Her works are priced from Rs 500 to Rs 18,000.

Artforms like Zentangle and Mandala attracted Aakriti Agrawal. “A year back, I was having a tough time both in my personal and professional life, I was becoming negative, prickly and sour to the world. I started doing art as a distraction to fight stress and depression, but soon it became a passion and a sacred practice that I try to do daily,” she explains.

Her artworks are priced from Rs 2,000 to Rs 20,000. Aakriti sees success as attaining the ability to innovate and be creative. “I try to include many patterns in one object, making it more appealing and beautiful. Regular practice and being up to date with the ongoing trends in art motivates me to develop and work better each time I do it,” she adds. Her mantra is to never hesitate to try new things.

For the Akanksha exhibition, she prepared works inspired by Mandana, a traditional form of art done on the floors and walls of central India. “Being from Chhattisgarh, I was always attracted to this traditional artform,” she explains; it is very similar to rangoli. Her other projects centre on the Chakra Mandala.

Aakriti urges audiences to appreciate the hard work and patience that go into artworks, enjoy their beauty, and derive positive energy. She advises aspiring artists to practice and innovate regularly. “I follow the cyclical process of Create – Introspect – Improve, it helps things fall in place,” she signs off.

Now, what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule, introspect on your creative side, and achieve your true potential?

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Got a creative photograph to share? Email us at [email protected]!

See also the YourStory pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups,’ accessible as apps for Apple and Android devices.

[“source=yourstory”]

Analytics, Insights Create Exceptional Donor Experiences

It’s an undeniable fact: The experience you create for donors is directly tied to your ability to retain and upgrade them. According to a recent study by Bloomerang, 46 percent of lapsed donors cited they stopped giving because the organization failed to provide a meaningful experience. Today’s donors want to feel recognized, heard, and valued. They want the same kind of personal and relevant experience they get from other brands on a daily basis.

However, creating that kind of donor experience involves more than just assessing a donor’s wealth and giving history. It also involves creating a complete picture of who they are and how they are engaging with your organization.

The methods of engagement was the topic of a session “The Art and Science of creating meaningful experiences at scale for your high value donors,” presented by Hilary Noon, senior vice president, insight, analytics, and experience at Pursuant and Bente Weitekamp, vice president of development at the Community Health Network Foundation in Indiana during the 2018 Bridge To Integrated Marketing Conference.

For some organizations, that might be understanding your donors’ connections to the mission or understanding when your last point of connection was or how they were impacted by your organization. Described below are a few ways your organization can build more meaningful relationships with your donors by applying what you learn from “listening” to them, according to Noon and Weitekamp.

* Dig Into All of Your Data Sources: Look at all of the data and insights you have about your donors — including information that lives outside of the development department or a structured system. This might include determining if and how they benefited from your organization, event registrations, marketing activity, etc. Tap into anecdotal feedback from your staff and volunteers on the front line who interact regularly with your donors.

Look at online behavior. What are they clicking on? What content are they consuming? What sites are they coming from before they arrive at your page?  Where are they going next?

Using data to find out everything you can about your donors enables you to provide them with an experience that is tailor-made to their specific passions and interests.

* Capture Motivations And Preferences Through Primary Research And Social Insights:One of the simplest ways to listen to your donors is to ask them. There are many mechanisms for doing this including surveys, focus groups and social listening. Surveys that ask donors why they gave, and how and when they’d like to hear from you ensures you’re not bombarding them with information they don’t care about and allows you to avoid wasting money. This is most effectively done as close to a transaction as possible. Just be sure you clearly communicate why you are asking for their feedback and how it will be used. Help them see what is in it for them.

While it might seem like giving donors’ the option to choose how and when they hear from you is giving up control, it often leads to greater response rates and increases the likelihood that the donor will feel more connected with your organization’s brand.

Using a social media monitoring or listening tool will provide insight into what people are saying about your organization, the volume of the buzz and the sentiment associated with your brand. Conversations about specific events or programs that your organization hosts can provide great insights into the experiences people are having and where improvements can be made. Keep in mind that social media is often where people go to share opinions in the extreme so use these tools along with the other tools mentioned to give you a more balanced view.

These tools can give you an important view into the hearts and minds of your donors. The key is to use the information you capture to improve the donor’s experience.

* Create Immersive Experiences That Drive Engagement: Immersive experiences are difficult to offer to all donors. Digital fundraising provides nonprofits with a new opportunity — at scale — to not only engage donors, but “listen” to them based on how they respond and interact.

For organizations that are fortunate to have a bricks and mortar presence, such as a hospital, a school or an arts organization, immersive experiences can be delivered in person. Today, every organization has the opportunity to create similar experiences through an interactive digital campaign that unlocks why donors care about your cause.

It isn’t as easy as simply putting an experience online, however. Gather what data and insights you have about your donors from listening to them and then map out the kind of experience that would be most meaningful to them. Be open to continuously refining and improving upon it as you go forward.

Where and how to start

Before you set out to build a listening program, determine which donors are highest priority to focus on. Prioritizing will allow you to go deep with one segment and improve the likelihood that you will create a relevant experience that will drive results.

The speakers suggested zeroing in on a specific aspect of your priority donors’ experience. Choose something that is meaningful to your organization and where you are most likely to have an impact. Consider choosing an experience that is led by a colleague who really supports your desire to focus on the donor experience.  Having a champion for your work will make the whole effort more enjoyable and will improve the likelihood that you will see positive results.

Transform the Donor Experience

Developing an exceptional experience isn’t just a “nice” thing to do for your donors. It’s one of the leading influencers in their desire to give again. It’s what transforms “transactional” fundraising, where you’re primarily soliciting donations with every touch, into a long-term “transformational” relationship-building approach to fundraising.

Taking the time to consider how your organization can leverage analytics and insights to create a more an intentional and meaningful experience will pay off… for your donors AND your organization.

[“Source-thenonprofittimes”]

How to Create, Edit, Delete WhatsApp Status Updates

How to Create, Edit, Delete WhatsApp Status Updates

HIGHLIGHTS

  • You can now add photos or videos as WhatsApp Status updates
  • You can upload multiple images or clips as updates
  • The updates all disappear after 24 hours

When WhatsApp turned eight in February, it has launched a new feature that seems to be pointing to a future where the app moves away from text messages, and relies much more heavily on photos and short videos – the ephemeral status update. This newest feature from the Facebook owned messaging company bears more than a passing resemblance to social rival Snapchat, and the update hasn’t just added a new tab for the status in the menu on top of your screen, but also a camera button right in the middle of things, which can be used to update your status, or a contact, or group. It’s an exciting change, and it’s really straightforward too, but in case you have any doubts about how to use the feature, here’s what you need to know about the revamped WhatsApp Status updates.

What happened to my old text WhatsApp status?

You mean the line which most people completely ignored, leaving it on the default “Hi there, I’m using WhatsApp”? Well, that’s gone. Put the past behind you. According to some people the old text status is still visible, but it’s gone for the most of us, so try restarting the app if you’re still seeing the old status. Of course, the user backlash over the beloved text status made the company bring it back in March.

How can I set a photo or video as my WhatsApp status?

There are a couple of different ways to create a WhatsApp status you can do. Let’s look at them.

How to create a WhatsApp Status using the Status option:

  1. Open WhatsApp.
  2. Tap on Status.
  3. Tap on My Status. If you’ve already got a status, tap the little circle with a + sign on the top right.
  4. Take a photo by pressing the shutter button, or hold the button for a video. Or select one from the camera roll at the bottom of the screen.
  5. Add a caption if you want by tapping on Add a caption, and then tap on the Send icon at the bottom right.
  6. You can tap on it to view, or press the menu button on the right side to check how many people have seen the update, or to forward it. Tap on the eye icon to see the names of the people.
  7. The WhatsApp status will disappear in 24 hours.

whatsapp set status WhatsApp

Here is another method to create a WhatsApp Status:

  1. Open WhatsApp.
  2. Tap the camera icon on the top left.
  3. Take a photo or video, or select one from the camera roll.
  4. Add a caption if you want. Tap the green tick to finalise.
  5. Next you can either send it to a contact, or select My status to update your status. Tap the Send icon at the bottom right.
  6. You can now go to the Status tab to see your status, as above.

I messed up, how do I delete my WhatsApp Status?

Made a mistake? Don’t worry about it, you can easily delete these updates. This is how you can delete your WhatsApp Status:

  1. Open WhatsApp obviously.
  2. Go to the Status tab. Scroll to find the status you want to delete.
  3. Tap on the eye icon that shows how many people have seen the status.
  4. This will show a list of the people who viewed your status.
  5. Tap the trash icon, and tap Delete to confirm.

whatsapp delete status WhatsApp

There doesn’t seem to be a way to delete multiple WhatsApp Status updates in one go though, so don’t mess up too much!

How do I edit privacy settings of WhatsApp Status?

You can set it so that only specific WhatsApp contacts can see your status, or you can make a list of contacts who can’t see these, or set it to show to all your contacts.

This is how you can change the privacy settings of your WhatsApp Status:

  1. Once again, naturally, open WhatsApp.
  2. Go to Status and tap on the Three dots menu icon on the top right, and tap on Status privacy.
  3. Alternatively, you can tap on the menu button in the main chats screen and open Settings > Account > Privacy Status.
  4. There are three options here, My contacts, which is all your contacts; My contacts except.., which lets you pick contacts to exclude; and Only share with.., which lets you pick contacts to share with.

And that’s it, you’re done, that’s all you need to know about WhatsApp Status updates. To know about more things, do check out our How to section, and tell us what you think about this new feature, or ask us your questions via the comments below.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

MailChimp Gives Users the Ability to Create Facebook Ad Campaigns

You Can Now Create Facebook Ad Campaigns With MailChimp

A company known for more than a decade as a email marketing platform is launching into social media advertising as well.  Email provider Mail Chimp has announced the introduction of Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) Ad Campaigns, which according to the company will help users engage with existing customers and reach out to new ones.

The platform for Facebook Ad Campaigns can be accessed from the same place on the site where MailChimp users create their email marketing campaigns. And using its reporting tool, you will be able to monitor which ads are delivering so you can better target your audience.

Facebook Ad Campaigns With MailChimp

You start by logging in to your Facebook account with Admin user permission on your page so you can post an ad through MailChimp. The process of creating the campaign involves using the three steps in Facebook’s Ad Builder by providing information on the audience, budget, and content.

Create Facebook Ad Campaigns With MailChimp

Once you confirm all of the information, MailChimp will send the ad to Facebook for confirmation. You will then receive an email when it is approved and posted to Facebook. It is important to note, Facebook can reject an ad, which will require another submission. If your ad is approved, it will start running on the news feed of your target audience and their Facebook sidebar.

This is a paid feature. But as a MailChimp customer you can buy a campaign and target users on Facebook starting at only $5 per day without additional fees. The overall cost will depend on your audience size and how long you plan to run your campaign on Facebook. But with such a low point of entry, you can experiment with your campaign, audience and budget until you find that sweet spot.

According to MailChimp, the first thing the company did when creating the new feature was to make it easier and faster, and with a total of 30 steps from beginning to end. It doesn’t get much simpler than that to manage your own Facebook Ad Campaigns for your small business.

MailChimp was founded in 2001, and since then has helped send billions of marketing emails as well as automated messages and targeted campaigns, the company claims. Now customers can use the service to target customers on Facebook too.

Image: MailChimp

More in: Facebook

[“source-smallbiztrends”]