Nik van Es

Nik van Es is an illustrator living and working in Utrecht. His eclectic and colorful style is easily recognizable, as are his rounded shapes and colors. Nik never stops working and creating beautiful artworks, straight out of his personal and sometimes even weird fantasies.

Hi, where do you live / where are you from?

Hi! I’m from a little village located near the center of the country, the so called ‚het Groene Hart’ (Green Heart?) of The Netherlands. I moved to Utrecht to study Illustration and I’ve been living and working in Utrecht for a few years now.

How does this place influence you as an artist?

I don’t think that Utrecht influences me subject wise because the work I create takes place in a world of it’s own, which mostly comes from my own fantasy, mixed with dreams, thoughts, music and experiences. What I’m trying to say is that my work doesn’t rely on a spot or specific location, I basically just need a place to work.
But as far as Utrecht I really like the fact that it feels like something that’s inbetween a small village (like the one I’m from) and a bigger city like Amsterdam. You can be anonymous if you want to be, but at the same time it’s a sort of small place and it’s really easy to connect with other (creative) people.

What are you focusing on in your work right now?

I have a never-ending focus on improving my craft. I like to force myself to try out new things, techniques and / or materials. I basically create, decide what works and what doesn’t, take whatever I learned and keep it moving from there.

What’s your favorite piece of (design) furniture? And why?

I really like (my) retro Gispen desk(s)! They're really solid and heavy and have this industrial look, which is something that I really like.
The linoleum tabletop is great to use and overall it's a really nice workstation. It's a combination of functionality and design: best of both worlds!

What are your finest moments?

I can’t really make a living off my art yet, so at the moment I’m trying to balance out working a side-job and working freelance.
My finest moment is when I come home from the side-job and I’m tired and all that, but still have the desire and will to create. I can’t really describe it, but I suppose it feels a little magical and also a little bit naive. I hope this desire to create never really fades away!

And your worst?

I don’t like to have too much time to make decisions or complete an assignment. I tend to overanalyze and overthink the idea, style, characters and / or setting which messes up the whole thing. Spontaneity is a very important element of my work.

How do you begin creating a new work?

Creating new work relies heavily on the previous work. I try to learn something from every work I create, it’s pretty much one big process.
When I’m working on an assignment for a client I tend to give them a little bit more insight in the product by showing them really rough ideas or in-between shots.

Final question, what do we really not know about you yet?

I got shot with an airgun, dropped out of school, started working fulltime in a chicken factory and ended up being an illustrator!

Nik van Es