Interview with Niels Meyer-Westfeld


We welcome a new artist, Niels Meyer-Westfeld onto the Excio platform today. He is an artist who creates beautiful, realistic illustrations depicting New Zealand's birds and wildlife. In this interview, you can learn more about Niels and his work.


Niels Meyer-Westfeld with his book Land of Birds

Niels Meyer-Westfeld with his book Land of Birds

What is it about birds that inspires you?

It is nature’s design that fascinates me. There is incredible beauty in every detail, you can look at any single feather and there is so much to it, more than the eye can see. This is what keeps me going and I’ll never stop because I’m never quite happy with my work and I always have to do another one!

Recently someone brought me a dead Tui and it was probably the first time I held one in my hands and it was really incredible. It has amazing colours in the feathers – photo's never do it justice. You suddenly realise how beautiful they are. On a cloudy day they look like a black bird but really they are not. But even a black bird is beautiful in its own way. You just start looking at structures and every detail – branches or moss as you go into the forest and start noticing small details everywhere.

Birds come naturally in NZ as a subject, the underlying thing is nature, it could have been anything. If I lived in Brazil ,for example, I would draw exotic animals and in Africa, elephants. But I live in NZ and here birds come naturally. Natures design, perfection, details are amazing! I have got a Condor feather – it sits on their typical wings but it has such an amazing curve and perfect design!