The Designer in me

Company Logo 500x500Ever since I got my first Computer with Windows I have been designing in one way or another. I was 12 back then, and my work was mostly school related. My mom had a print business and it wasn’t long that I discovered her software and instead of cutting out pictures from magazines to improve my homework, I used Corel Draw and it’s many clip-arts to do so. I helped design flyer's for school events, and created button designs to be sold at such events. Yet, it never crossed my mind that I could do such a thing for a living. I was just combining, altering and combining graphics and slapped them on paper. To me a designer was always someone who could draw, and I’m not very good at drawing; or so I thought.

I liked working with clip-arts and whenever I had the chance I would design something, from invitations to greeting cards. Flyer's and menus for the bar I worked at, advertising or anything else. I did that for free, or just the print costs, because I didn’t see it as a job. It wasn’t boring, I didn’t have to force myself to do it and instead had fun. Couldn’t be a job...

When Internet became affordable and easily available I started to play around with photo-shopping, photo-manipulation and after I published my first book I began to design my own book covers. Sometimes I would feel the need to actually draw or craft something, but only for me and even when others told me it was looking good, I thought they were just polite, because I thought it sucked. I had very distinct picture of what art had to look like. Back then art was painting on canvas or large murals like Michael Angelo Last supper, It was Van Gogh and Picasso, Salvatore Dali and Rembrandt.

Rainbow wingsI smartened up since then. Art and Designing isn’t the same, but more then that Art is expressing something. telling a story with a picture. Art is not just the great masters that died poor and gained fame after their corpses were rotting. Art is sharing a piece of your soul. And just like every person is different, and souls are as colorful as rainbows, so is art.

When I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and a few years later had to give up my work as a cook, a job I loved, I was at loose ends. I think I’m still kind of at loseFront Water of Life 5.2 ends, because so far I’m not making much money with what I’m doing. Then again, who ever said success was easy? Nobody who has success I think. I started to write again, which in itself is an art-form. I quickly realized that hiring a professional cover designer was out of my financial reach. So, I began to design my covers myself, and got mostly positive responses and was asked if I would do some for other authors. From there I started to dive deeper into the areas of photo shopping, photo manipulations and such. I started to try my hand in crowed sourcing platforms and compete with other designers for commissions. Admittedly not with much success. However, I don’t think the problem was my work, as much as that I easily get frustrated with people looking for a design and not knowing what they want. Briefs that basically told me nothing but the title of a book and sometimes that they wanted a spaceship in it, was simply not for me.

I still wander some crowd sourcing sites and when I find something that interests me I’ll compete but it’s no longer my goal to make it my main source of income. Too much hustle, for not enough money and too many hours spend on trying to figure out what the customer wants, rather then designing what they want.

Throughout trying all of that, I noticed that I often had whole designs or part of a design that had no use. Unless I gave it a use and purpose. Design is creating something with the specifications and ideas of your customer. No matter if that is a logo or a book cover. I’m not bad at that, but neither do I think I excel at it. What bothers me most often that many people want something that is kind of already on the market and just want it changed so it fits their needs and isn't getting into trouble with copyright.

While exploring the author and designer in me, I ended up discovering another part of me, the artist. I still do design and always will but I’m more specializing now on custom designs, not unlike with crowd sourcing, I just became more picky as to what and whom for I design.

 If you are looking for something for your business, like menu, flyer, business card, etc. I will do that, but please think about what you want before hiring any designer. Nobody likes traipsing around in the dark.

If you are a fellow author and need a book cover, let me know and we’ll work together on a cover that represents you, your story and will be norm-conform with most or all retail outlets.

If you are looking for a special gift, invitations to an event, or a personalized greeting card, let me know.

For in detail information visit my designer website




Nicole Kiefer

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