history

now browsing by tag

 
 

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.


Discrimination of LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender) community people in the States.

Discrimination of LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender) community people in the States.

When you Google the definition of Human Rights you find several long winding explanations. What they boil down to, or should boil down to is, the right of being yourself and being accepted as such. I’m not a part of the LGBT community, but I have friends that are, I follow actors, musicians and writers that are. People I respect and admire, people that have a good heart and an open mind. Humans that live as I do, they work, pay taxes, raise families, and often help others out.

When I read about laws being passed to subdue and discriminate those who have a different sexual orientation, I want to resort to violence towards the idiots passing those awful laws. Since the French Revolution liberty, equality and fraternity have been goals we fight for. For freedom of being who we are, of being accepted as who we are as equals, for being part of the large brotherhood of human beings.

What certain states in the USA are doing at the moment, the laws they are passing, are not only discriminating, they are a launching pad for the same mindset Adolf Hitler had. It’s the beginning of the end. What will come next? Any religion that isn’t fitting the mindset will be condemned, then people with handicap or learning disorders, and what then, back to when other colored people were slaves or less?

When I was little, the United States where a synonym for human right movement, for the goal of equality and freedom. Now I look over the border, and see only one thing, the horrors of the past. If we allow laws to pass that set part of our society apart from the rest, if we allow them to be singled out, prosecuted for who they are, what they believe in or their sexual orientation, we might as well start shovelling graves for them.

I was born in Germany, I know how it started with the Jews, everyone who ever was in school or watched history channel know it. Are we willing to let it happen again by staying silent? I will sign any and all petitions against such a thing, will stand up and speak my mind, because I will not let happen what my great parents or their parents allowed to happen. I will not silently stand by and watch when people who are not the perceived norm are being discriminated and persecuted. I know I’m not alone, several celebrities like Bruce Springsteen and Bryan Adams are against those laws as well and standing up. You should to, every voice counts, because when enough people speak up, and stand united against such discrimination, it becomes a force to be reckoned with.

Speak up, say your piece, sign petitions, do what you can before history repeats itself.

Icebreaker review

You wrote and published a book, spend weeks, months, maybe even years on it, so you get it right and it’s the best book you can create. But you have a hard time selling it. Sure once in a while you sell one, you get many downloaded when you offer it for free, but the moment your reader has to pay, it stagnates. It’s frustrating, annoying and sadly part of being an independent author.

One strong point in selling are reviews, and not just because they let other readers know what to think of your book. Amazon won’t promote you until you have some reviews, and it takes at least 50 reviews before they will help you promote.

The thing is, nobody leaves one. You have a few hundred books out, most of them during a free download campaign, but still, why is nobody saying anything? It makes you wonder.

Am I that bad? Does my writing suck that much? Do I do bad marketing? Can’t they even find my book? Did I put it in the wrong category, or maybe the whole thing isn’t working right?

I know, it’s not different for me. However, back in the day when I with a publisher back in Germany, my publisher hired people to write so called ice breaker reviews. Ice breaker reviews are not always good or bad, often they are neutral just pointing out some pro and cons for a book. Quite frankly I don’t think the people my publisher hire, ever read the books.  Still, once there was one review, others followed.

I know that big publishing houses do the same, or at least I know they hire reviewers, so their books quickly have a few reviews, making it easier and more comfortable for the reader to say their own piece.

The thing is, big publishing houses have big budgets to buy those reviews, or at least the time of a reviewer. We as indie authors often don’t have that budget. We try to ask friends, other authors, and family even. However, most people either don’t feel like what they write sounds fair, or right and others don’t have the time to actually read your book. I had it more than once, that I handed a free copy over with the promise that they would write a review, and never heard of them again. I did swaps with other authors, finished mine within a few days and never got the review I was promised while I had posted mine already on Amazon.

So, yeah… been there, done that and it’s frustrating like hell. (To all of you who still owe me a review, hurry the hell up. I didn’t write War and Peace, my books aren’t that long, it does not take half a year or more to read them.)

Now, the thing with new indie authors is, and I belong it that category more than others, our books are rarely perfect. It’s called a learning curve, yet without reviews and response to what we wrote, we can’t get better. We need the response in order to grow and evolve, to make us better authors.

So, that brings me to what I am offering.

If you need an ice breaker review, I will help you by writing one.

How it works.

You send me a copy of your book in pdf (certain genres only) and I will read it. Why pdf? Two reasons, I can attach sticky notes, and unless I want to be mean, evil and destroy any reputation I have, can’t meddle with your text. While I read your book I will attach sticky notes, but not only for myself to help me write the review, if I find spelling mistakes, or typos I will point those out as well. When I’m done, I will write my review, even when I think your book sucked, I will find something that is good about it. My review will concentrate on those good points. Then I send you back your file, with the sticky notes and what I intend on writing in the review. It’s your call if I post it on Amazon and Goodreads or not, however I will post it on my own review blog.

If your book makes it in the three star and more category I will also add it to my own online bookstore.

Now, we all know thing are rarely free in these times. However, I am cheap (pun intended). When I send you back your file, I will attach a donation link to PayPal, you decide what my help is worth to you.  In addition I will send you a collection of links to my website, blogs and bookstore to choose from. Please place one link to any of those sides on your website, blog or storefront.

I think that is a fair offer, and as I said if you think my help isn’t worth anything, you just don’t donate anything. I will still post the review on Amazon and Goodreads, unless you don’t want me to.

If you are interested feel free to contact me either by email at author@nicolekiefer.com or via Facebook messenger.

Genres I take on are:

Romance, erotica, fantasy, history, paranormal in any combination of those and their subgenres. Young adult is fine too, as long as it is within those combinations.

Update Utopian Saga

The Utopian Saga, is born of my love for old legends, myths and history. So many things in our history are unclear, hidden in the mists of time, sometimes making what we know, seem blurry. If it is the Templars, King Arthur or gods and goddesses from mythology. Sunken city’s like Eldorado, continents like Atlantis, or the mystical island of Avalon.
Creatures like the Hydra, that couldn’t have existed, but sprung into existence somehow, ending up in our legends. Something must have inspired it, or was there such a thing, and it’s simply gone without a trace?
Human history has many proven facts, but at the same time is pliable because of its mythology and legends. And there is nothing more fun, then rewriting History as we know it, simply by making what seems to be a myth, a truth.
The Utopian Sage tells not only the love story of Alastair and Lisa, but History as we don’t know it. It tells the story of Atlantis, the many believe systems throughout the ages, the story of the Holy Grail, and King Arthur.
Alastair tells the story of the Celts and their religion, of Avalon and the Druids, because he is the last Merlin, and the first, immortal yet still human.
You will find Arthur resurrected, to fulfill his destiny, finding his wife again, and trying to make right what once he did wrong.
Gods and Goddesses in danger, yet hero’s at the same time.
Find out what happened to the Spear that killed Jesus, and what really happened to Atlantis.
History is amazing, if you take only one part of myth and make it real, all we know, all we believe to know, changes.
And it all begun with one prophecy.

I hope to share in the not all too far away future the stories of Alastair and Lisa, Arthur and Gwen, Danu and Bail and Asclepius and Amun Ra. As four couples, (yes one of the gay) not only try to hold on to love, but to save the world, before darkness and evil dominate without a hope of saving.

Tomorow is the announcement of the Novel Suite 1st chapter competition, where many of you helpt me through your votes to make the first place in the first part of the competition. If I would win, my wish to share this wonderful story with you would come true sooner then I hoped. If not, well, then it will simply take a little bit longer.

 

The Prophecy that will safe the world

The Prophecy that will safe the world, If Lisa survives trying to fulfill it.