Interview with Nils Westergard



Nils Westergard has been a constant artistic force in Richmond, VA for several years. Introduced to paint sets and screen-printing kits in high school, Nils, now a VCU arts grad, creates mixed media prints and paintings. It is said the Nils is always working on something.



Hi Nils, today MoW selected 8 of your artworks inspired by music, can you tell MoW why you chose those music artists? What was the music behind the artworks? What inspired you to create them?

Sure, all of these artists were always playing in the background while I was painting growing up. Aesop Rock above all else is an enormous influence on me. He is my favorite creative entity. The rest are incredible too, I needed to stay busy with some smaller pieces and the records lent themselves too well to these hip-hop artists. 

Why is music important to you and your art? 

My art takes a lot of time, so I'm almost always listening to music. These are the people I listen to.

If you had to choose between the artworks presented today, which of your artwork would be your favorite? And why?

I'd say Aesop has the greatest influence on me, without a doubt. But formally I think Slug from Atmosphere is my favorite piece of these, the colors work so well with each other and I was very pleased without how the final product came out. 

Can you tell MoW more about the techniques you used. How old is your technique? How did it start? How long does it take you to make an artwork?

These are all painted with spray paint using 5 stencils each that I hand cut. I've been doing it for about 8 years. I can finish a record in a day, but my larger pieces often take months.

Watch Nils painting a Mural in Richmond :

Do you have plans on creating new artworks insipired by music ?

Yes, I make music videos as well. I am currently in production of my thesis film, which is a street art animation consisting of thousands of individual cut-paper frames. You'll see it. 

What is the song you liked the most lately? The album ? What was the last gig you went to ?

Outside of some local acts the last show I saw was Earl Sweatshirt in DC- it was incredible. I've been listening to a lot of Inland Ocean and Earl. 

Are you a musician yourself ? If so can you tell MoW more about your music projects ? 

I'm an awful musician! Im working on some music videos though.

Check out a video directed by Nils Westergard