Niels is an artist and skateboarder from Germany
"After living in Colchester for eight years, I moved back to Berlin in 2010, where I'm still living now.
In England, aside from gaining a pretty strong Essex accent, I grew up skating with an awesome crew of friends, who have all since moved to London and are still my best mates (big up Instagram.com/esse_ldn.
I'm currently still at uni studying Visual Communication, a pretty broad subject that includes illustration, graphic design, animation, photography and more. Anything to do with pictures really
I'm still experimenting with a lot of different mediums and but my main passion has always been drawing. Whatever I'm doing, I generally prefer making things by hand rather than working only digitally. In my eyes, it's often the mistakes and imperfections that inevitably give a work its character and make it interesting.
Skateboarding and art have obviously been closely linked since skating began, and today, I think this connection is as apparent as ever. The meditative qualities of making art happen to be the perfect counterbalance to the physical exertion of shralping, which explains why a lot of skaters have other creative outlets. Also, I think skateboarding attracts imaginative people, which makes it such an interesting community to be a part of.
Seeing as skateboarding has ruled my life for the past 15 years, I'd say all of my work is influenced by it in some way.
Although I also take inspiration from other things in life like graffiti and street art and the internet, I probably wouldn't even have gone in this direction if it wasn't for skating. There are so many things within the culture that inspire me so it's hard to pick out any single thing.
I am a huge fan of brands like PASS~PORT. Bronze56k , Anti-Hero skateboards, Polar Skate Co.'s Pontus Alv, Epicly Later'd and Jeff Grosso's Love Letters, cool skate graphics and steezy skate clothes and so on and so on. I think the desire to make stuff myself stems from my passion for all these things.
I think The No Comply Network is really great. Discovering new artists is always interesting, especially when you know they skate too, and I really like that it includes such a wide range of creators, from musicians to illustrators to photographers.
No Comply helps all this art to spread while also creating a platform for potential collaborations. I also really appreciate that you feature and support lesser-known artists too, alongside bigger, more established names.
This winter I have to finish my final project for my uni, which, whatever it turns out to be, will be a bigger project that I'll be putting a lot of work into. I also may get the opportunity to animate a music video for a relatively well-known producer from Berlin, which would be really exciting.
Lastly, I have recently started filming skating again and would love to start some kind of skate-related project in the next few months. Keep 'em peeled and more importantly keep skating and creating!”