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Selected as a Leader in Contemporary Art 2020: an immense privilege!

Capsules Book, a known Australian publisher just issued its new art book: ‘Curatorial Volume 2: Leaders in Contemporary Art 2020’.

The book is a captivating documentation of today’s leading contemporary artists showcasing current artwork of the highest calibre.

I was selected and featured in the volume as well.

This book takes a rare and insightful behind-the-scenes look at the lives and creative practices of artists working in multiple disciplines from around the globe.

It is an essential guide for marketing and design teams, interior decorators, art buyers and creative practitioners who want to connect and collaborate with influential contemporary artists.

Naturally, having been selected as a leading voice in today’s artworld by Capsules is an immense privilege for me

 

 

You may peruse my selected portfolio and all the artists of the book following this link: https://www.capsulesbookportfolios.com/victoria-schaal-1

If you wish, you can purchase a copy of the volume on Capsules website.

All proceeds from book sales of Curatorial Volume.2 will be donated to Book Aid International

https://capsulesbook.com/new-products/curatorial-volume2-leaders-in-contemporary-art-limited-edition-book

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Turning 25 in confinement

Yesterday, 29th of April, I turned 25 years old. 

It was a bit bugging to spend the day alone working at home but hey… it’s quarantine time.

So, I could not find a cake here on Martinique island where supply as easy to acquire as in other cities. 

So… I did this:

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It’s been a year… Let’s not forget

It’s been a year since that dreadful evening in Paris.
On the 15th of April 2019, a symbol of Christianity and of France was about to succumb: Notre-Dame Cathedral was on fire.
Despite the bad times we are currently experiencing, let us not forget the past.

Notre-Dame is on fire

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My latest work

Hello all!

Thanks for all the comments and emails you sent me. I really appreciate it, especially in these hard times.

If you would like to see my most recent work, just follow me on Instagram!
My profile is victoria_schaal and your comments are welcome on IG too!

Thanks everyone!

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Me in brief

I am a Franco-Italian marketing professional and a visual concept creator living in Martinique (French Central American terrritories).

I was born in Paris, France, yet I grew up mostly in Venice, Italy and in England. Accustomed by my family and driven by my curiosity for the world, I have travelled extensively and lived in various countries across Europe, Asia and Central America.

Capsules Book selected me as one of the Leaders in Contemporary Art 2020.

The British Years

At 16, I moved to the UK where I settled for five years. At first, I stayed in Sussex living and studying at Worth School. Once the International Baccalaureate achieved, I spent a summer volunteering in Thailand.

The University of Exeter was my first choice, thus I moved to Devon. While achieving my degree in Management and Marketing with Advanced Proficiency in Spanish at Exeter University, I worked as a Marketing Researcher and Quality Analyst for the world leading marketing consultancy firm, BPA Quality, where I had the privilege to deal with accounts of the calibre of Emirates, Samsung, Honda and more.

It was also during my business studies at the University of Exeter that my creative adventure started. 

I was walking in the street when I saw in a pawn shop a Nikon. It was love at first sight. Within a few months I became a stock photographer.

Being extreme by nature, two of my greatest passions are backpacking around the world and climbing volcanoes, as my photography witnesses it. I also indulge in water sports such as diving and sailing which I combine with my love for photography. 

The Malaysian Years

Once I achieved my degree at 21 years old, I felt I could finally let my dream of leaving for far lands come true. I flew to Indonesia to chase its volcanoes and after a while I ended up in Malaysia. I got a volunteering job that gave me a place to sleep and an opportunity to get to know the country while I was looking for a permanent workplace and a residence visa. Eventually it happened.

From 2016 till 2019, I lived in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where I worked as a marketing specialist for 123RF and its umbrella business Inmagine Group, one of the largest creative companies in the world. 

The opportunity enabled me to discover further the creative industry but also to observe closely the way business is handled in Asia and compare and contrast it to the West, as I  coordinated numerous people and several projects mainly across Europe and Asia.

It also provided me with the tools to develop extra skills, such as copywriting, publicity concept planning, EDM implementation, and to enrich my IT skills: on top of Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, I am experienced with WordPress, CRM and Google Analytics.

It was in Malaysia that I further explored my artistic interests, going beyond photography and indulging into sketching, illustration and digital art together with graphic design and web design.

 

 

In 2018, I designed the books ‘Cosa fanno le mie piante quando non ci sono’, ‘Iceberg contro Iceberg’ and ‘Il Problema del Mese di Aprile’ by Francesca Schaal Zucchiatti, illlustrating their covers and editing the pagination.

 

In February 2019 I published my book ‘HOW DO YOU LIKE IT? Customer services: Personalisation or Standardisation’ which is now available on all Amazon market places.

 

Today: Central America

 

Today I live in Fort-de-France, Martinique, French Central American Dept.

I work independently with photography, video, marketing and design. My clientele lists businesses and artists, which I assist with the creation of advertising campaigns, video trailers, photography, corporate identity graphic elements, book covers design and self-publishing plans.

Capsules Book, a known Australian publisher issued its new art book where I am featured amongst the leading artists of the year: ‘Curatorial Volume 2: Leaders in Contemporary Art 2020’.

I am a fierce opponent of today’s business models which separate graphic design and marketing planning into different departments, teams and workers.

I present myself as a bridge between marketing and visual creativity to stress the importance of approaching commercial graphics with one single mindset which can both conceive marketing material and create it concretely.

Marketing and graphics should be done together by a unique team or person.

I also continue to produce stock images as well as participate in online discussions about stock photography online with the valuable insights I have gained by working at 123RF.

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Creative Block? Try Hypnosis

Do you ever have a creative block? You know … Those days when you feel completely uninspired… when you spent so many hours on a chair that your butt has become square shaped and all you produced is good enough to wipe off your desk the stains of those dozens of coffees or glasses of red wine you had to fuel your imagination?!

If you say no, you’re no real creative. If you say yes, then welcome to the club.

Now… I know some solve this problem with procrastination. ‘Today’s no good. I’ll just leave it till tomorrow‘. And fair enough, it’s generally a good choice. But sometimes you have deadlines and projects and expectations and clients and so on… so you gotta produce something and it better be good!

So what can you do? To some people a nice walk in the outdoors does the trick, I know of many who get liquid inspiration from a bottle while some prefer a brief one-to-one with Maryjane..

But these don’t always work and some are not very healthy either.

There’s a healthier way to get inspired. Don’t get high on substances, get high on your brain.

If you’ve never practised meditation, it is time for you to try. Yeah I know, the title of this post is hypnosis. But you see, you always need to start with a little meditation to be able to advance to hypnosis.

Meditation sounds easy and in fact it actually is at its most basic level, which is achieving relaxation. However, meditation can be used for more complex achievements such as coping with grief or trauma, overcoming phobias, suppressing addictions, and much much more, like problem solving.

Creative blocks can be huge problems, especially when you’re on a tight deadline and your boss is prepping a firing round.

You can solve such an issue with a meditation that focuses on the problem you have. The broad explanation of how it works starts with total relaxation. For a brief time you will allow yourself to relax physically and mentally, letting go of all thoughts and issues and emotional interference. After you have cleared your mind, you will see how easy it’ll be to focus on just the one problem you have, without stress.

Like most things in life, the more you practice meditation, the more effective the experience will be. It’s easier to start with short meditations ranging from 5 to 20 minutes. When you get more experienced you’ll manage to meditate for longer.

Auto-hypnosis is harder, although I noticed that the beginner’s luck is common. Many people told me that the first time they tried to auto-hypnotise themselves, it worked and they had amazing experiences. It was the same for me, the first time was astounding and seemed rather easy peasy to me. Yet, I was wrong. It took me several attempts before I managed to enter in a hypnotic state again. But this didn’t stop me from trying and it shouldn’t worry you either.

Not entering in the hypnotic state is no biggie, failure simply translates to a deep meditative experience or a simple short doze. Both are refreshing experiences and both can unleash your clogged creative juice.

You may try to meditate on your own. However, auto-hypnosis without any external help requires a lot of experience and skill. It’s for pros really.

What I use are guided meditations and hypnosis sessions with specific videos.

There’s a plethora on YouTube. You can choose the ones you like based on what you want to achieve and your experience level. An expert on YouTube is Michael Sealey whose videos are all over the hypnotic and meditative categories. However, there are many others who are equally good.

Here below I embedded two videos I really like and that work on me.

The first is a meditation and I highly recommend it to newbies and those of you who have a particularly stressful time.

The second is a hypnotic session. I chose it because I found it quite effective on me and rather easy to focus on.

However, if these don’t work out for you, have a look yourself. As I said there are thousands of good guided sessions on YouTube. And above all, please don’t give up on it if it doesn’t work perfectly at your first attempt. You can’t just go to the Olympics and expect to win a gold medal straight away. You need practice and training.

Happy meditation 🙂 and let us know how it went on the comments!

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Famous blogger Rachel Lerch interviews Victoria Schaal on stock photography industry

I had the privilege to be interviewed by Rachel Lerch, a now famous blogger and vlogger who fascinates every week her thousands of subscribers and viewers with her enriching videos about photography. Naturally Rachel has talked several times about stock photography as well.

Thus, it was a pleasure for me to participate in her latest video and answer all her questions about the industry with my knowledge and insights from when I was Marketing Exec at 123RF.   

You may see the video below.

I also strongly recommend Rachel Lerch’s other videos, which I find extremely useful to improve photography skills and highly engaging. Rachel also has a beautiful website where you can see her work and read her blog.

You can visit it here: https://rachellerch.com/2019/08/10/stock-photography-employee-shares-inside-scoop-how-to-be-successful/

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”How Do You Like It?”: My New Book

In February 2019 I published my latest book. It is available on Amazon worldwide. Get your copy here.

HOW DO YOU LIKE IT?  Customer Services: Personalisation or Standardisation?

Abstract: This research faces two practical questions, which have arisen in the past decades and have not found a concrete solution yet: how do individuals expect customer services to be delivered and which is the most effective approach to retain customers.

The importance of customer retention is now widely recognised and the vital role of customer services in it has been agreed. Yet, the bridge that links customer services and customer retention is a field still mined by discussions and arguments.

Scholars depict two main approaches in order to retain consumers: standardisation and customisation. Although academics have produced extensive studies on these approaches and have evaluated both, none has gathered primary data on the matter in order to reach a more realistic, reliable and applicable conclusion.

This dissertation explores the numerous academic works, but also attempts to obtain results through the production of an inductive qualitative research aiming at interviewing consumers in order to discover concretely what are their preferences and the reasons behind their reactions and behaviours.

The results of the research provide concrete answers to this dissertation’s questions: they indicate the exact expectations customers’ have in relation to how customer services agents should serve them and illustrate how individuals’ favourite approach changes depending on subjective factors. Furthermore, this dissertation can serve as a basis for future studies on the topic, as well as represent a priceless starting point on which organisations may train their customer services. Based on academic theory and the research’s findings, it attempts to provide guidelines to create a successful training program for businesses aiming at customer services improvement and consumer retention.

Wherever you are in the world, get your copy on Amazon.com  If you’re in  -United Kingdom, get it on Amazon.co.uk  // Italy, Amazon.it // France, Amazon.fr // Germany, Amazon.de //  Spain, Amazon.es // Japan, Amazon.jp

 

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Level Up Conference in KL 2018: Report

Last week I had the chance to attend the famous Level Up conference in Kuala Lumpur.

The atmosphere at Level Up was truly electrifying. Seeing all these youngsters showing their artistic creations was absolutely marvellous.

The conference talks were held by a plethora of speakers from a wide range of backgrounds within the gaming, digital art, software and hardware industries.

I found particularly interesting the presentation given by HTC regarding VR and their future intentions for the new technology. The speech was quite technical but luckily I had gone to a VR lab the week prior to Level Up to try it out as I wrote in my previous article. My first experience was quite…..hilarious. If you’re interested in seeing a ridiculous girl pretending to ski in VR and falling by herself, click here to watch the video.

A disappointment, however, arises from the lack of debate regarding the ‘side effects’ of VR.

We do not know how the human psychology will react once VR is easily accessible to everyone or even a future commonly found at home tech, like they all seemed to predict at Level Up. Controversial studies have been carried out and subsequent correlations have already been found between violent videogames and real life aggression. And this was with 2D on screen games, so what’s it going to be with VR games? And we also have lots of cases of gaming addiction, particularly in Asia where bootcamps are held for rehab from technology. So what’s going to happen with VR in the mix too?

I loved some of the games that were exhibited and was mesmerised by the new Prestige range of MSI laptops. In fact, I am very tempted to buy the P42: such a powerful laptop and yet so thin and light. A masterpiece truly. If you’re interested, you can have a look at its features here. After all, both 11.11 and Black Friday/CyberMonday are getting close so we won’t feel to guilty to buy a new toy if it’s discounted!

So all in all, the success of Level Up is totally justified. It was well organised, the location very neat and pleasant, the crowd quite varied and the speakers capable.

But to me, the best of Level Up was seeing so many young minds attending, each showing a great passion and a strong will to succeed in an increasingly competitive environment like gaming, apps and digital art.

In a way a contradictory but also reassuring observation I made was that several of these digital talents were still sketching on paper all the time, even during talks. It is nice to see that art evolves but the starting point remains traditional: the hand sketch.

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VR, my first time: amazing but disturbing

I live in Kuala Lumpur and at this time of the year the monsoon hits us hard especially during the afternoons and evenings. The rain floods streets and the humid heat renders the air stale and tiring.

So what to do on a Saturday night in this weather? Go to spend an hour at the VR lab.

Last Saturday was my first time (VR-wise) and my boyfriend suggested a ski game to, as he put it, ‘experience fully the power of VR‘. Sure. Why not.

As I was ‘experiencing fully’ the thing, he decided to film me in one of the most ridiculous moments of my young life. You can see it too here.

In conclusion, I found VR to be an extrordinary thing. It’s incredible how effectively real everything feels. I say feels and not looks, as it’s not the graphics that make you believe you’re in other dimension. It’s the whole interaction between the visual illusion and your brain that drives you nuts.

I did feel nausea when jumping on my skis, scared when some snakes tried to eat me, tired after a pub fight and I had a strong headache afterward. But it was totally worth a try and I will likely go again some time.

Yet, I cannot prevent myself from thinking about the potential consequences of VR on human psychology. Using it an hour at an arcade is no biggie but VR will likely become more and more affordable and am sure a good portion of the population will end up having it at home, always accessible.
Controversial studies and correlations have already been made regarding violent screen-videogames and real life aggression. And we also have lots of cases of gaming addiction, particularly in Asia where bootcamps are also held for rehab from technology. So what’s going to happen with VR in the mix too? How many individuals will prefer the virtual reality they build themselfves to their actual lives?

How many people who may already be prone to addicition, violence or psychological trouble will lose their minds with VR?

This is not a criticism. I leave these questions open as I am clueless of what’s going to happen. Yet, I do find that these questions are not asked enough.

Next week I’ll go to the Level Up Conference in KL and hope to find some answers.

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I’m on Behance

It seems that a visual artist or photographer must be on Behance these days…and on Instagram… and on Facebook and on LinkedIn and on a website and on Twitter and on Pinterest…

Jeez, the time and energy wasted on all these publicity channels is crazy… all time not being used to create. It really frustrates me.

Yet, am not here to change the world so I gave in to some of these channels. Some..

And today i announce that I am on Behance. I am just starting, beware. 

If you’d like to help me by putting a like on a project, it’d be real nice:

https://www.behance.net/vicschaal071a

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