about Niels Meyer-Westfeld

Niels Meyer-Westfeld flings the word 'nature' around a lot.

But that's as it should be for a man obsessed with the natural world around him.

"My father is a passionate lepidopterist and botanist and growing up in Germany, I was lucky enough to accompany him on trips around Europe while he pursued his interest,” says Niels. “His love of nature inspired me artistically and I've always drawn the flora and the fauna that surrounds me."

After studying graphic design at the University of Hannover, Niels completed a Masters in communication design at Central St Martin’s in London. Shortly afterwards, the freelancing world beckoned, giving Niels the opportunity to wave his creative wand over clients such as MTV, Topshop, Hilton Hotels, Dr Martens and the Body Shop. He eventually formed his own company, unit4, which specialised in developing and maintaining corporate identities.

Love, however, stepped in – in the form of Kiwi wife, fashion designer Deborah Sweeney - and Niels packed up his paints and moved to the other side of the globe.

Since then he’s mainly worked with Deborah in her business, creating everything from a global brand and unique fabric prints to the look-books and campaign imagery, as well as managing the marketing and web design.

Any spare minute has been spent learning about his adopted country’s natural history, particularly the bird-life, and in 2006 Niels started sketching the winged creatures who frequented the bush surrounding his Eastbourne home.

Fast forward to October 2014 and Niels’ collection of 40 beautifully illustrated birds species is captured in his first book, Land of Birds (Craig Potton Publishing). Inspired by the tradition of naturalist journals, Niels has created a very personal and sensitive tribute to Aotearoa’s remarkable birdlife.    

 “natures designs offer an endless stream of inspiration and for that reason I will never get tired observing our beautiful birds of New Zealand”

Land of Birds will appeal to anyone with a passion for New Zealand’s stunning natural environment, as well as those with an interest in art and illustration.