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Where art comes from

Where art comes from…

During this winter season as I went to trade shows, bazaars, and arts and crafts sales I was asked several times where my art comes from, where my ideas and inspiration came from. A question I couldn’t answer as easily as I would have liked, simply because I never thought about it.

No matter if it is writing, design or photography or any other form of art, it’s origin is unique to the person. At least that’s what I believe. Every person sees the same thing a little differently or even different. I look at a sunset and it’s beauty, the burning sky, the play of shadow and dimming light, takes my breath away. So… where does art come from?

Over the last few months I thought a lot about that and not just when asked and in the peril of trying to explain it. Where do my stories come from? Where do patters, pictures and designs come from? Why do I take a picture of the things I photograph?

I think the answer is the soul. Something deep inside us that simply needs to be expressed. A deep need to share that passion, emotion, or beauty only I can see and express the way I see it. Does this make sense to anyone but me? Maybe… maybe not.

When I write a book, it gives me the chance to not only tell a story but to shape the world in a way I want it to be, or create one I would like to be at. To bring characters to life I would like to meet or to fight. I can express my political, ethnical, and religious views, without making it obvious or offending. Most of all I can give it the happy ending we all deserve but rarely get in reality. Quite frankly, when writing, I can play god to my own little universe and have no competition.

It’s similar with art. I can express with colors, photoshopping, drawing and forming lines into shapes how I feel about a topic or in general. I can create something beautiful from nothing and share it with others. I can (within the rights of copyright) take something and reshape it, give something already existing a new meaning. With every art piece that springs into existence through the use of my hands and mind, I give birth to something new and unique.

I think, art comes from deep within us and reflects who we are, how we feel and think and what we dream about. Art is freedom, creation and expression.

Me an Artist? Well… Maybe…

Artist… I never considered myself an artist for the simple reason that when I think of artists I see man and woman with paint brushes and pencils. In my mind, I see people using their hands to create something on a blank canvas or piece of paper. I might even imagine someone in front of a piece of marble, ready to free whatever they see in the stone. I never once in my life imagined an artist in front of an computer, painting with a mouse or a stencil on a tablet. Never did it cross my mind to think of bits, bites, and pixels as art.

But what is art? I had art in school and learned about those old masters that painted in oil, hungered through life, and only became important when they were dead. As a kid or a teen, I could stand in front of some paintings, stare at them for an eternity and not see anything in them. At other times, I just looked at one and knew what it pictured, mostly because those were realistic drawings of things, places, or people. Most of the time I simply shook my head at the art I encountered wondering if the artist had been on drugs. If I could I would apologize to those artists today, unless of course I was right and they were on drugs while painting. In any case, I learned over the years that art is not one specific style or way of producing a picture. An artist is not just someone who studied it, or knows all the technical terms and names of styles. Art is not something inside a box that can be easily defined or explained.

Art is soul and passion. It’s heartbreak and pain, joy, and euphoria. Art is beauty in the eyes of the artist. Beauty that isn’t defined by the usual parameters we use going through life. The beauty the artists sees might seem to the next person like nothing more than a blob of paint, a smear on paper, or a clutter of material formed into something that has no definition. Art is emotion or the absence of them, it’s despair and love, it’s up and down. Art reflects life with all it’s spectrums and variations, taken to a level beyond what we see, hear, and feel daily. Art is the reflection of a soul. Most of all, art is unique as is the artist.

Sometimes I photograph, at other times I simply “doodle” until something grabs me and begins to grow into more. At other times, I create a 3D creature, scene, or person. And sometimes I mix it all together. Is it art? Yes, it’s as much art as what any other person creates. Art is creation. Taking something and making something else off it. If that is a piece of clay, a canvas or bits and pixels doesn’t matter.

Now, after all that there is one more thing I want to share my thoughts about, that’s the value of art. Realistically spoken, the exposure and prominence of the artist determine the value.  If your name is big enough, you can charge a fortune for a blob of paint on a blank canvas. It’s still art, don’t get me wrong, but the many zeroes in the dollar amount is for the name on the painting, rather than the painting itself.

To me art has no value that can be measured by money, art is priceless to those who look at it, enjoy it, or get inspired by it. Yet at the same time creating that art takes time if nothing else. Time that isn’t spend on a five to nine job with a fixed salary. Hence the fact that many artists will charge for a reproduction of their work and even more for the original. One of the wonderful things about digital art is that there is not just one of it. Unlike a canvas, that once sold is gone, digital art can be reproduced endlessly and in all forms. It can be resized, printed as photo or on a canvas, even printed in 3D if that is what one wants. Distributing art has become easy compared to twenty, thirty or a hundred years ago. Many think it should cheapen that art, that artists, especially unknown ones, shouldn’t charge much or at all for their art. Yet, one thing has not and most likely will never change when it comes to art. That’s the time consumption, the heart and soul and the emotions the artist’s pours into his/her work. And that’s what you pay for. Whenever you buy my art, you pay for a piece of my soul to share, a bit of passion and my time.

I do a lot of different work when it comes to art. I photograph, paint… well kind off, use 3D creation with Poser and DAZ, and mix it all together. I create greeting cards, patterns, and all kinds of things that I then place on platforms like Redbubble or Zazzle for you to buy in the form of a t-shirt, laptop skin or duvet cover to name but a few. Yet sometimes there is a piece, a picture or photo taken or created that I find stands out from all the others. Those go into my art gallery as well. It’s something new and I’m still working on figuring it all out, but some of my work is already available there to view and buy. So, go check it out, leave a comment or a like, and let me know what you think of my work. Better even buy some… not that you have to, but it would be highly appreciated because sadly one other thing hasn’t changed throughout the ages when it comes to art… it can’t be eaten. Well, most of the time it can’t.

 

Art to Wear

When I was in my teens, I loved going into museums, fascinated by the art exhibited there.  Once when I was sixteen our class took a several day’s long trip to Dresden (Germany) and there we visited the Gallery of the Old Masters. I was awed as we walked along the rows and rows of paintings and sculptures. More so because I knew I would never be able to do anything alike. Truly, give me a pencil and paper and the best you get is a squiggly line or some stick figure. To me the connection from my head, where beautiful pictures house, to my hand, is screwed up.

The one thing I believe about art is, that it is inside of you, like a force that motivates and drives you. That no matter what path you choose in your life, the need to create will find a way to be expressed, to show that passion, drive and need that’s inside an artist.

I know this sounds feministic and condescending, but I think women in general will understand my meaning better when I say women know how it feels to create something from nothing.  Creation is in a woman’s genes. Yes, it’s not exactly the same, but just like with a child that was created inside our body, the art someone creates is loved once it is finished and ready to be shown to the world. And just like a child, someone else might not like it, find it too squishy, ugly, or too loud. The difference is you would never tell those things to a mother, but you most likely will to an artist.

Child birth has a time limit for it’s creation, art however has not. Some people will discover their artistic outlet in a young age, like Mozart did. Others might be well into their 70s or 80s when they do, or realize that they have done art in one form or another for years.

In a way, I was always creative. As a little kid, I loved to spin tales to get out of trouble. Yes, it’s called lying, but I prefer to think of it as story telling. When my mother opened a small, home based print business I fell in love with Corel Draw and it’s clip arts, brushes and all the little gizmos. When I got my first camera I was fascinated by taking pictures, but not very good at it and it quickly got expensive. That was before digital cameras were on the market. Then later in life when I was in my twenties I began to write, despite my dyslexia. I think it was kind of a rebellious way of expressing myself, but at the same time I found joy and comfort in it, happiness even. I even did my own cover designs. Yet, I never thought of myself as an artist of any kind. I considered myself a writer and designer, but not an artist. Art is what you find in museums and galleries. Right?

Wrong! Art is everywhere and in every act of creation. When I was a cook I was an artist in the way of creating recipes, and using them to feed people. As a writer, I create worlds with words, bring joy, laughter, and pain to my readers. As a designer, I bring the ideas and concepts of others to life. As a photographer, I capture the beauty that nature paints. And I have gotten better in that department as well. In any case, art in general is filled with variations and ways of expression, of creating something. That has always been the way of art. What has changed over the centuries is how we distribute and access it.

As I said in the beginning I got my first real impression of the magnitude of art when going to the gallery of the Old Masters. Sure, I was replicas of famous art on someone’s wall, in shelves, and some people that had enough money even had originals. However, for a long-time art as in paintings, photographs and drawings, was often expensive and if you wanted something special and original, hard to find.

Today with modern technology, internet, and public domain picture collection (regard the copyright) art has not only reached a new level of opportunity, but has become easier to access and distribute. Where twenty years ago, you would have gone from one gallery to another to maybe get one piece of art exhibited, you now upload it to an art portal, or print on demand service and sell it directly. Mind you, I only discovered recently, as in two or three years ago, and it’s an ongoing process, how to utilize my artistic talents.

When my Fibromyalgia forced me to stop working as a cook, my dyslexia prevented me from taking an office job and my anxiety blocked me from doing something in customer service, I took to writing once more. First to give me something to do, then to share my stories and finally to make money with it without investing a fortune. That brought me to book cover design and from there it was a small step to creating something new and different all together.

Only when I started with digital art I wasn’t sure what to do with the finished picture/design. Remember the art gallery and museum. Most artist I think dream of at one time being exhibited in a museum. However, in my experience it’s most often the dead that get there and I don’t intent on joining their ranks any time soon. So, I no longer care about museums.

And art galleries are kind of a one-time deal. You put one picture, painting, or photograph up for sale and that’s it. Once it’s gone only one person has it. Yet I wanted to share my creations with many, and sell it more than once. It’s the business woman in me that wants to make money repeatedly.

That’s how I found Art to Wear. Yep, finally I’m coming to the point.

At first, I stumbled over Zazzle, which is a nice enough portal for distributing art, don’t get me wrong it has its benefits. However, it lacks in the graphic T department. Graphic tees are a wonderful way to share and sell art. For which I can recommend Redbubble, they have a great selection on graphic tees and a super easy platform to upload and present your work.

I guess art to wear is a very limited description, it’s more like, Art to put on everything that can be printed on. From normal shirts and graphic tees to lap top skin, mugs, and notebooks. Hell, even duvet covers and fleece blankets. Where thirty years ago, (god I’m getting old) I would have sworn to you that I’ll never be able to create anything artistic, I now offer my art on several portals for you to buy. The best is, thanks to modern technology the things I create are actually worth looking at. Sure, I still don’t use a pencil and paper, but who the hell cares? I now do anything from greeting cards you won’t find in a store, to duvet covers I would have loved to have growing up or even now. Anyone who ever wanted a piece of art on their wall, or body, can with the click of a button and a credit card.

So why not check it out? Not just my art but what those portals can do for your inner artist as well. Take a look at my website, Zazzle store and Redbubble store and the many different designs.


Book Cover Design

An appealing and intriguing book cover is almost as important as the book it contains. It is what your reader sees first, what will lure him to pick it up and open it, it’s your ice breaker, your lure and bait.

Now that said, not every author has the talent, resources or time to design their own book cover. Which is why I offer my service for as low a price as I can.

You can check out my store where I offer pre-designed cover. The choices are constantly growing, since I design a new one whenever I can spare the time. Nicoles Art World

However, if you can’t find something that will fit your story, but like my work, then contact me, I do custom designs.

What I need from you is a summary of your story (what it is about), the overall mood it should convey (fear, darkness, horror, crime, bloody, drama, romance, happy…. ), any ideas you have yourself and want incorporated, or if you have something that is a must… like a woman with red hair, or a man with a scar across his face. And of course, the Title and the author name / pen name you want on the cover.

Basic Fee is $80.00 Cad and then it depends on how complex and time consuming the cover is. I will design several for you to choose from.

If from all the covers I design for you, you don’t like anything, you don’t get charged.

If you are interested, contact me at customdesign@nicolekiefer.com

Here are a few examples:

Sci-fy

Alien breakthroughplanet earth in the starry background,abstract

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fiction

soldier propertywedding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fantasy

skull castledragon mystic angel man and dock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Horror

skull w sword Deadly drugs bloody skull

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Romance

romance 6 moon struck dark man in moon

Headers and social media page design

I don’t know about other, but since I need to promote my products and have a budget so low, it’s none existent, I use social media pages a lot. Especially the three big ones, Twitter, Google and Facebook. The amount on customizing on those pages isn’t big to begin with, but then again, it isn’t your own website.
The one thing you can customize is the header.
Yet all social media pages have different sizes for their headers, you can use any graphic in Jpeg but depending on its original size, it’s either cut off, miss happened, deformed, or plain ugly in the end.
I know that when I started out it was nerve wrecking and mostly annoying, mind you that’s a few years back by now. Still I remember it, and I still find it annoying to have to resize, refit, and redesign my header for each page.
Yet I’m kind of a crazy person, and instead of simply letting everyone struggle as I have in the beginning, I offer my services once again.
Well, and of course, I love designing things.
So starting today I added a new category to my shop, named headers. There you will find headers designed to fit Twitter pages, Facebook Pages and Google+ profile pages. There aren’t that many yet, and as of today none for Facebook, yet. I will continue to design and upload them on an almost daily basis, at least in the beginning.
Follow me on Twitter and Google+ and you can see them on my profiles, same counts for Facebook since all my posts show up there.
Hope to see you around the store and if you buy one of the headers and use it, feel free to send me a link to your profile and I follow you, or like your page.

Go To Nicole’s Word and Art World to expolore the Headers