The Graduates 2015

Introducing the It's Nice That Graduates of 2015!

It's Nice That •
  1. List-nationwide_howitshouldbe1

    D&AD has announced the winners of the New Blood Awards, which celebrate young creatives. The winners were selected from designers that responded to real briefs set by Airbnb, BBC, WWF, Facebook, Nationwide, npower, Pantone, i-D, Monotype, John Lewis, TalkTalk, VICE, WeTransfer and WPP. The awards are open to anyone in full or part-time education, recent graduates who finished their course within the past two years and anyone 23 or under.

  2. Sophie-list

    Fashion communication and styling student and It’s Nice That Graduate Sophie Mayanne has an incredibly strong portfolio of images that play with the notions of self-expression. To Sophie, London seemed the obvious choice when deciding which university to go to. “I was living in a small countryside village and had this big idea that London was the place I needed to be,” she says. “So I scoured university courses for something that could be my indefinite route there.” During her time there, she saw it as a period of growing up: “Time at university matures you,” she says. “You learn, you’re tested, but still smiling at the end.”

  3. Ellen-list

    Ellen Syrjala’s work manages to capture the beauty in the everyday, and that’s part of the reason why photography student is one of our It’s Nice That Graduates this year. Studying at London College of Communication, it’s been a personal mission of hers to see beyond the commercialism of photography. “I chose to go to art school because a photographer once told me at the age of 17 that ‘you cannot succeed as an artist,’” she says. “It’s bollocks. I wanted to prove her wrong, and that there was more to photography than pillow adverts.”

  4. Anna-list

    With careful composition and a beautiful colour palette, it’s hard to resist illustration student and It’s Nice That Graduate Anna Skeels’ wonderful work. Finding her stride while studying at Camberwell College of Arts, Anna, like many of us, felt the stresses and pressures of university but has come out smiling: “I’ve met some of my favourite people there and am finally happy with the work I’m producing, so it’s definitely been worth it,” Anna explains.

  5. Joel-list

    Over years of putting together innovative degree shows and churning out ideas-based projects instead of aesthetically pleasing ones, Kingston’s graphic design students have established a firm place for themselves in the industry as thinking way outside the box. Joel Antoine-Wilkinson is the next in line proving this tradition to be true. The graphic designer is fresh from a degree at Kingston, where he worked on projects including a campaign intended to help young people connect with the NHS, using distorted mirrors in public bathrooms, and an exploration of man-made limits which took him inside the barriers at the British Museum and the National Gallery.[link]

  6. Dillon-list

    Graphic design graduate Dillon Biltcliffe Newell is one of a new generation of designers who are experimenting with traditional media in innovative and newfangled ways. Taking long-established means of communication from typography to print publications and blending them to create an authentic visual language, we were drawn to his experimental approach. With projects ranging from an investigation into forms of communication used by students at Brighton University, to a book of poems written by his beekeeper mother and preserved in wax, Dillon’s practice deals less in finding solutions to problems, and more with the new application of existing aesthetics. He’s forging a new discipline which blends illustration and design with more abstract concepts, and it’s compelling stuff.

  7. Lewis-list

    Lewis-John Henderson makes paintings that feel like a cross between Pop Art, and that episode of The Magic Schoolbus where they travel inside one of their fellow pupils’ bodies in order to see his red blood cells up close. His large-scale brightly coloured works, which veer from abstract line-based works to curvaceous blocks and recurring shapes, merge influences from contemporary art with something altogether new – and we couldn’t help by be swayed by them.

  8. Phillipine-list

    “When I was younger I wanted to be a farmer-painter,” Philippine d’Otreppe tells us nonchalantly, opening our eyes to farming-painting as a viable new profession. (Imagine it, a canvas set up in the corner of a barn. Idyllic!) At some point along the way she dropped the farmer element to concentrate on the art part – beginning with an Illustration degree at the Arts University Bournemouth, where she developed her practice. “At school I always wanted to study art, as it was what I was most passionate about. Then I decided to do a foundation in the UK, which made it even clearer for me that illustration was what I wanted to pursue.”

  9. Tommy-list

    “I remember when I told my parents I wanted to go to art school,” graphic designer Tommy Spitters tells us. “I said that I would rather look back and be glad I took a risk than not take the risk and regret it. I guess I went to art school to avoid the nine to five office job that I would have hated, which would otherwise have been my future.”

  10. Anton-list

    Graphic designer and It’s Nice That Graduate Anton Hjertstedt creates the kind of unexpected work we dream of finding. His website had us rubbing our eyes with joy, with 3D renders of the rude, the abstract and the plain bizarre.

  11. Michael-list

    London-based illustrator Michael Driver is only a few weeks out of his BA Illustration and Animation course at Kingston University, but he’s already swimming in commissions. His rich, textural work often condenses diverse and intricate concepts down into easy-to-swallow images and neat, cheeky animations, so it’s not hard to see why. But as it turns out, his decision to study a creative subject was something of an afterthought.

  12. Tilly-list

    The portfolio of graphic design student and It’s Nice That Graduate Tilly Thompson is sophisticated, beautifully presented and contains projects of real depth. While Tilly stood out to us, it’s taken some time for the student to find what she was good at and get recognition. “When I was younger I was never especially good at anything. It was only halfway through secondary school that I started going to life drawing classes and realised I could draw,” Tilly explains. “I had some great art teachers who helped me to ditch biology and join their class. There were seven of us from that same class who got onto the foundation course at Kingston, so they were definitely a bit of a powerhouse.”

  13. George-list

    “If I didn’t have the teachers I had at school I wouldn’t have even been interested in art in the first place,” George Douglas tells us of his life prior to starting his Illustration degree at Edinburgh College of Art. “When I was younger I didn’t have much confidence in my own creativity – even when I was on my art foundation course I was planning to go on and study Psychology, but the tutors I had while I was there really inspired me to pursue Illustration.”

  14. Charlie-list

    “Art education still baffles me, but I’m glad I trusted my gut instinct,” says photography graduate Charlie Hitchen, and so are we. It takes a certain kind of eye for a photographer to turn his lens on the iconic and perpetually bustling Coney Island fairground during its rare near-deserted moments, and one of the things we love most about Charlie’s work is how it manages to remain surprisingly human despite being almost exclusively unpeopled. One of our It’s Nice That Graduates, not only has Charlie built a beautiful body of work during his three years at Manchester School of Art, but he’s learned what works and what doesn’t work for him. Here, he talks us through carving out his niche and the new art collective he’s starting with friends.

  15. Nina-list

    Photography student and It’s Nice That Graduate Nina Band caught our eye with her sculptural shots of minimalist architecture – some of which are so subtly lit that they might be mistaken for paintings – and can you blame us for being seduced by them? Over the course of her degree at Falmouth university she’s formed a solid body of work ranging from documentary images to these architectural beauties, and establishing her tastes in between. We caught up with her to find out how she came to fall upon this niche, and why she’d like to show her portfolio to Piet Mondrian.

  16. Shannon-list

    Shannon Lea first piqued our interest when we came across her brilliant and intelligent self-initiated redesign of three of Phillip Larkin’s most well-known works. Taking cues from the themes in the poet’s writing, the graphic design student and It’s Nice That Graduate’s publishing designs are as immaculate as they are well thought out, and translated Larkin’s disdain for children into a family tree-inspired trilogy of covers. During her time at the University of Leeds Shannon has built an impressive body of work – including a light-sensitive digital illustration – that showcases her smarts. We caught up with her to hear about saying yes to it all, important lessons and moving to London.

  17. Alexander-list

    Whatever you think of Alexander James Wood’s excellent work, you’re unlikely to miss it. Working at a scale so enormous that I imagine it was a test of even Camberwell’s facilities – many of his screen prints are A1 and A0 size – the illustrator creates vibrant and richly textural images of domestic interiors and architectural touches, among other things. No detail goes unnoticed; from the label on a stray bottle of wine sitting on a side table, to the neighbours’ furniture which you can just about spot through the window of the apartment opposite. It’s no surprise we picked him out from over 900 applicants to be an It’s Nice That Graduate of 2015.