We had the good fortune of connecting with Noel Nielsen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Noel, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I don’t know if I could live a life in which I’m not creating something. I think the urge to bring my imagination to life and to push myself to do something better than the time I attempted it before is a very driving force. I’ve never met a creative person who was fully satisfied with their work, and that dissatisfaction feels very compulsive to me. I think there’s something really beautiful about finding happiness and a sense of fullness or completion through an artistic endeavor that never feels fully realized.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I never saw myself as an artist- that always felt very unattainable to me. I had this notion that the people I found the most creatively inspiring were so far above and ahead of me that I would never catch up. I also have a very analytical, practical personality which often causes me a lot of internal conflict. I tend to overthink, and I’ve been learning over the last few years that it’s okay to experiment and grow up artistically in front of spectators. I thought I had to have a fully finished and flawlessly executed product to present because it was unprofessional to not show your “best” work. I’ve figured out now that we’re all really in the same boat. The photographer you’re working with is trying a new backdrop or camera settings, the model is trying new poses, the makeup artist is using new techniques. Something about that knowledge has really set me free.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m lucky in that my two closest friends live only a few miles away. If we were spending the week together it would probably be a lot of pajamas on the couch, cooking meals together, tarot readings, and reality show binging.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My mom is an artist and instilled in me a deep love and appreciation of art. She also has an impulsivity that I lack. She has complete faith that one of her ideas will work out, and if it doesn’t it was still fun and it’s no big deal. I’m much more serious and risk-averse, so that aspect of her personality has really encouraged me to push myself. It helps me to be reminded that these aren’t life-or-death situations, and that a failure isn’t a failure if you’ve learned something. My two closest friends are also creatives, and we have very different skill sets and backgrounds, which really help me gain outside perspectives. I think it’s important to surround yourself with people who don’t always see things the way you do.