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Weekender

Get yer party outfit on, it’s the bank holiday Weekender!

It's Nice That •
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    The death of legendary designer Deborah Sussman earlier this week has been keenly felt by the creative community at large. For someone who’d reached the very respectable age of 83, she was still ever-present in the public consciousness both for her continued influence over the visual landscape of Los Angeles and her seemingly boundless energy. She’d recently been the subject of a Kickstarter-funded retrospective at Woodbury University’s WUHO Gallery – proof if any were needed that she still had the ability to excite an audience – and as a result has been the subject of numerous magazine editorials over the past nine months.

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    Colourful costumes, coconut curries and calypso aside, at the heart of Carnival is the celebration of a community. New book Carnival: A Photographic and Testimonial History of the Notting Hill Carnival, published by Rice n Peas Publishing, champions the magic, the musicians and the makers of the Notting Hill Carnival. In it, authors Ishmahil Blagrove Jr and Margaret Busby look back at the origins of the festival in the 1950s and 60s, before crime and crowd control began to hog the headlines.

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    Where else in the whole wide web would you find a tubby hippo in the company of a superhero and a life-size illustration of an intestine? We here at It’s Nice That do our very best to bring you creative wotsits in all shapes and sizes, so for this week’s Things we invite you to venture into the big bad city with a large mammal in need of a dentist, fly into the blue yonder with a Buzz Lightyear lookalike and flick through Pete Gamlen’s latest zine. If that doesn’t sound entertaining enough, then have a browse of Marijke Timmerman’s brilliant book which illustrates our frankly rather odd relationship with food, and peruse the pages of The Velvet Cell’s photobooks.

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    Most of London is dirty and smelly all year round, but lovely, pretty west London really only gets a good old fashioned soiling once a year for the Notting Hill Carnival. The August bank holiday is here and yes, it’s Carnival time. We were going to make an in-house mix but then we realised what a bad idea that was (we tend to listen to things like Bob Dylan and that weird song by Bill Wyman). In our panic we asked south London DJ Bradley Zero to help us out, and he’s given us a well-informed mix of songs to take us through until terrible Tuesday. He also included some snaps of his time in Dominica to go with the mix he’s put together, which you can see below.

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    Here at It’s Nice That we spend an awful lot of time talking about, thinking about and writing about creatives but ultimately we don’t get too many chances to really see what goes on in their day-to-day working lives…until now. Our new collaboration with super-cool eyewear brand Ace & Tate – who believe in great design and ultimate customer choice – is taking us inside the studios, and inside the minds, of a host of some of our favourite creatives.

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    In the last couple of weeks the professional football season has returned in all its overhyped glory, but for thousands of amateurs around the UK it’s the start of the Sunday League season that really matters.

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    In the year-and-a-half since we first featured Belgian designer Vincent Vrints on the site his fortunes have risen with the quality of his work. We were always enamoured with his canny ability to create aesthetically astounding imagery and merge it with equally appealing layouts, but he’s refined his process and embraced some new digital techniques resulting in a portfolio that floats between the retro and the ultra futuristic.

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    Anyone you know a downright sourpuss? Treat ‘em to a link to work by Hungarian designer Anna Kövecses. Here at It’s Nice That we give high praise to work that is candy-coloured and cute – as long as it never falls under the tasselled umbrella of “twee.” Anna’s work is a perfect example of that as beneath the childish exterior lies a wealth of design knowledge and style.

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    Oi! Listen up! This week it’s Liv Siddall in the hosting throne, with Rob Alderson, James Cartwright and the new voice of our editorial assistant Amy Lewin to brighten up your week. Fancy hearing Rob and James have a spat over art critic Jonathan Jones? Choose your side and keep tuned in for the second half folks. You can listen via the SoundCloud below or subscribe via iTunes over here.

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    Three cheers to Portuguese illustrator Marta Monteiro for executing what I would have believed to be an entirely impossible feat; creating a series about tiny, lilliputian women living in a giant world without it being even the slightest bit cutesy. Her miniature characters are practically heroines; tying up villains with cotton from a giant reel, transporting a slice of pizza on their shoulders and playing tug of war with spaghetti, and all in the style which has won Marta commissions from some of the great champions of illustration out there, including the New York Times and NoBrow. This series has even been awarded a gold medal by the Society of Illustrators in the category of commissioned work, so if you don’t take our word for how brilliant it is, take theirs! here’s hoping for dreams of Borrowers for nights to come.

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    How refreshing to see a music video that isn’t three minutes of slowly buffering and ultimately mind-bending CGI. The videos we cherish are always a combination of great idea plus low budget – which is what makes this new one for White Fence so perfect. Why has no one thought about putting a lead singer of a band in a prison for a music video before? I love the idea that no matter how much we worship bands and frontmen, if you threw them in the clanger for even an hour they wouldn’t last five minutes.

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    If we’re honest we lost interest in 3D printing for a bit there. After all the home-made gun controversy and the constant assurances it would democratise production processes forever more we had to deal very quickly with the reality that most desktop 3D printers were only capable of producing very small objects, and the materials they made them from were structurally unsound. We’re still holding out hope though.

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    “Riverbed is running.” So tweeted Studio Olafur Eliasson yesterday – a poetic press release if ever I heard one – to announce the opening of the Danish-Icelandic artist’s latest epic installation. Something of a titan in the art world, having already created moon, he’s now built riverbed in the south wing of the Louisiana Musuem of Modern Art in Denmark.

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    Apologies if this is a slightly dismayed post, but upon thinking I had stumbled across a gem via Nieves’ announcement of some new zines I was excited to be the first to write about Keegan McHargue on It’s Nice That. Alas I was not, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t shout about his brilliance once more.