For over a year, I’ve been living in Accra, Ghana. Although I manage the revenue & marketing departments of a luxury hotel, living in this part of Africa is a continuous source of great photographic shots.
Apart from being a serial expat and a passionate photographer, I am also a philately maniac. Thus – I thought- why not combine it all? I decided to release some of my newest artworks via post, sent from Ghana to all over the world (which is easier said than done).
I call it my ‘Photo Mail’ and I distribute it mainly through postcrossing or upon request.
Due to the hardship of its journey form Africa, receiving my Photo Mail has stirred quite some interest. Furthermore, each design is a limited edition, making it rare, collectable and tradeable. However, my Photo Mail is original and valuable only if it has stamps, cancels and my official ‘VS’ seal.
If you’re on Postcrossing, you may be lucky to get one in your mail box. Otherwise, feel free to reach out to me!
This is my Postcrossing profile: https://www.postcrossing.com/user/vicschaal
https://victoriaschaal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/postcard.jpg6281124Victoria Schaalhttp://victoriaschaal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/VSHEADERrtranswhite2021.pngVictoria Schaal2022-06-02 17:38:082022-06-01 22:11:06PHOTOMAIL FROM GHANA WITH LOVE: POSTCROSSING
https://victoriaschaal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/bbcnews.jpg771825Victoria Schaalhttp://victoriaschaal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/VSHEADERrtranswhite2021.pngVictoria Schaal2022-05-28 17:21:362022-05-28 17:24:26BBC and my picture on the theme of WATER
I have been listed in Photographize’s annual book about the best 100 photographers of the year 2021!
Photographize Best Selected 2021 recognizes those who inspire us. In this book, Photographize collects the works of 100 visionary artists that pushed the limits, and we are thrilled to share them with the world. We dreamt of this book for a long time and put all our love on every page, we are proud to present our second issue this year.
During these challenging times, artists unleashed their imagination and connected us to our humanity. They found new ways of expression and of reaching their audiences. More than ever, art became a safe oasis where we could find beauty and inspiration. This book is a tribute to these artists and their incredible work.
It is naturally an immense pleasure to be included.
To view the digital version or buy the volume, please click here: https://www.photographize.co/book/
https://victoriaschaal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/photographize-1.jpg14151416Victoria Schaalhttp://victoriaschaal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/VSHEADERrtranswhite2021.pngVictoria Schaal2021-12-31 19:13:262022-01-01 20:36:43LISTED IN BEST PHOTOGRAPHERS 2021 BOOK BY PHOTOGRAPHIZE!
Having been an expat around the world for ten years, a photographer and a philately enthusiast, I decided to create my ‘Mail Photography’. At the moment I live in Ghana and I sent a postcard to Graham, star of the increasingly popular Exploring Stamp Youtube series. Almost unbelievably, my postcard travelled all the way from Accra and arrived safely in New Jersey. Resultantly, my mail photography was featured on an Exploring Stamps episode, which you can watch below.
Having been ab expat around the world for ten years, a photographer and a philately enthusiast, I decided to create my ‘Mail Photography’.
I send my photographic artworks by mail; they can be collected, traded, purchased and sold like any other artwork.
Some photographs are common as they have been sent to several people. Others are rare.
Sometimes their rarity and value change pending on the extraordinary things that happen during their travels via mail across the globe. Basically they are like stamps and contain stamps!
Some people purchase them directly from me and I send them via mail, others are lucky to get one in their mailbox via postcrossing for free.
My mail photography is original and valuable only if it has stamps, cancels and my official ‘VS’ logo.
Contact me if you’d like to receive one. At the moment I live in Ghana, making the postcard even more interesting!
https://victoriaschaal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/asfastaslight.jpg834873Victoria Schaalhttp://victoriaschaal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/VSHEADERrtranswhite2021.pngVictoria Schaal2021-03-08 23:26:402021-12-31 17:27:09New Artworks on Saatchi Art Gallery
https://victoriaschaal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/worth.jpg18382000Victoria Schaalhttp://victoriaschaal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/VSHEADERrtranswhite2021.pngVictoria Schaal2021-03-05 17:29:442021-12-31 17:27:09Worth Society: 'Victoria Schaal: A Leading Light in Contemporary Art'
https://victoriaschaal.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/DSC_6799RECT-1.jpg10131460Victoria Schaalhttp://victoriaschaal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/VSHEADERrtranswhite2021.pngVictoria Schaal2020-06-20 00:05:142021-12-31 17:27:10Selected as a Leader in Contemporary Art 2020: an immense privilege!
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!
https://victoriaschaal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Capture3.png620851Victoria Schaalhttp://victoriaschaal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/VSHEADERrtranswhite2021.pngVictoria Schaal2019-08-12 00:37:062021-12-31 17:27:13Famous blogger Rachel Lerch interviews Victoria Schaal on stock photography industry
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
https://victoriaschaal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/howdoyoulike2rectangle.jpg13391554Victoria Schaalhttp://victoriaschaal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/VSHEADERrtranswhite2021.pngVictoria Schaal2019-03-04 23:01:002021-12-31 17:27:47''How Do You Like It?'' Book by Victoria Schaal
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.
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.
https://victoriaschaal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/samsung-odyssey-vr-headset-windows-mixed-reality-1.jpg10801920Victoria Schaalhttp://victoriaschaal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/VSHEADERrtranswhite2021.pngVictoria Schaal2018-10-25 14:58:182021-12-31 17:27:47VR, my first time: amazing but disturbing