• As_big
Illustration

2010 Review: Andy Smith

Posted by Alex Moshakis,

Our desire to work with Andy Smith was realised this year having asked him to illustrate Issue #4’s back page. His reaction: a seemingly ‘cool’ and/or lazy dog (in ‘shades’) reclining on top of the word ‘Nice’. He is a man capable of many very great things – something a quick tour of his portfolio will confirm.

Andy’s image of the year: “A picture to sum up my year is a bit of a difficult one, I’ve drawn lots of hand lettering this year as well as the odd creature so here’s a selection.”

Mark out of 10 for 2010?

8. It was a pretty good year but the cold start lost it a point or two.

What broke? How did you fix it?

My horrible office chair. I bought it about 11 years ago very cheaply from MFI. It was one of those old fashioned puffy ones like you’d see in a second hand car salesmans office. I didn’t fix it but have replaced it will a much more sophisticated eames copy.

What was the best thing you saw this year?

The best thing that I sawed was some old floor boards I found in the loft. I had just bought a new saw and it went through them with no effort.

What was your favourite day of the year?

I’ve had loads of nice days when I’ve walked along the Hastings seafront in the summer sun and thought of all you poor people in London sweating it out on the tube – no more days like that for me!

Most dangerous/scariest moment?

Climbing on to the roof (admitably with a scaffolding tower) to remove a massive build up of old seagull nests from the roof. It wasn’t exactly bear grylls but felt dangerous for me. They will be back next year so maybe it will be the scariest moment of 2011 too.

Best Google image search of 2010?

Pet capybara – I was drawing them for some reason, theres one sitting on a sofa that I really like.

Best man/woman of the year?

Edmund my German neighbour for inviting us to lunch on the day England played Germany at the world cup and then insisting that we eat outside on the hottest day of the year with no TV. What a guy. And I’m not even into football.

Your finest moment?

Work wise there were lots of good moments: I’ve done quite a few book jackets that worked out well this year and some nice Sight and Sound covers, also doing a newspaper with the Newspaper Club and a book for The Do Book Co. Outside of work it would be standing on that roof.

If you could only take one thing that you bought in 2010 into 2011, what would it be? 

I am right now wearing some very woolly slippers that look a bit like ladies slippers that I have to be careful anyone coming to the door doesn’t see. I need them in early 2011 as my studio is very cold. I’ll bring them.

What would you like to say to 2010?

As they say about wars and world leaders – ‘history will be your judge’.

Portrait8

Posted by Alex Moshakis

Alex originally joined It’s Nice That as a designer but moved into editorial and oversaw the It’s Nice That magazine from Issue Six (July 2011) to Issue Eight (March 2012) before moving on that summer.

Most Recent: Illustration View Archive

  1. 5173

    As the creative world digests last night’s big D&AD winners (those that scooped Black and White Pencils), there was a host of interesting work recognised in the 44 Yellow Pencils given out at the London awards bash. In total, the D&AD juries considered 847 projects this year and so less than one in 20 made the prestigious Yellow Pencil cut. Here’s our rundown of those winners that caught our eye for one reason or another – you can see the full list of winners over on the D&AD site here.

  2. Mattbooker-electiondrawings-itsnicethat-list

    It’s only been a couple of weeks but already the UK election seems a lifetime ago. If you’re into that kind of thing, there’s an undeniable drama about it all as the tension ratchets up across the campaign and breaks on election night itself as the results filter through from around the country. Topolski Studio commissioned eight young artists to capture the goings-on through the medium of drawing and the results will be published in its upcoming Election Chronicle.

  3. List-george-douglas-holy-mountain-its-nice-that

    George Douglas seems like a pretty cool guy – he’s chosen to immortalise David Lynch’s notoriously tricky Inland Empire and Alejandro Jodorowsky’s weird-as-hell surrealist classic The Holy Mountain in poster form, after all. But it’s not just his penchant for the peculiar side of celluloid we’re interested in – it’s his deft approach to collage, a medium often done shoddily but all the more impressive when done well. George is based in Edinburgh, and alongside his film posters he also creates well-composed works formed of abstract shapes and often murky colours, which could work just as well across the pages of a creatively minded commissioning editor’s publication as on more esoteric applications.

  4. Kate_prior_itsnicethat_list

    Kate Prior’s bright, tongue-in-cheek and colourful illustrations have secured her commissions for The New Yorker , ASOS, Adidas and Pitchfork among others. Kate is currently working as an in-house illustrator for Urban Outfitters in Europe and the USA, but she still remembers drawing in more humble surroundings at her parents’ house, “as a way to keep me quiet.”

  5. Andygilmore-itsnicethat-list

    It’s no real surprise to learn that image-maker Andy Gilmore is also a musician because his geometric compositions feel orchestrated. The New York-based creative brings colour, shape and pattern together in tightly formatted visual symphonies which swell to become more than the sum of their parts, dazzling the eye and tricking the brain simultaneously. It’s been three years since we last featured Andy’s work on the site but he’s as in demand as ever, with clients like Ogilvy NY, Wired and The New York Times queuing up for a bit of his brilliance.

  6. Janbuchczik-int-list

    If Jan Buchczik were to start a fan club – one which you could enter only by correctly spelling his surname 15 times or more – we’d be first in line, happily clutching our Jan badges. And not least because we’ve got his name down. Finally.

  7. Thokamaer-itsnobiggie-itsnicethat-list

    It was way back in 2012 that we first featured Thoka Maer’s it’s no biggie, a blog of joyous GIFS that capture little moments in life, by turns sweet and surreal. A lot has happened since then – not only the fact that we can now actually embed GIFs on our site and show you Thoka’s creations in all their glory. She meanwhile has graduated from the Visual Communication course at the University of the Arts, Berlin, and inb (as all the cool kids are calling it) won the self-initiated category at last year’s Association of Illustrators awards.

  8. Gigi_rose_gray_solo_show_its_nice_that_list

    There’s a beautiful vividness to Gigi Rose Gray’s illustrations – reds are crimsons, blues are ceruleans and yellows have seeped into deep ochres. Gigi crops into the small moments and hones in on a handful of people or the facade of a building.

  9. Adamhigton-itsnicethat-main

    Did you ever see that copy of Die Zeit with the front cover illustrated by Adam Higton? A cheerful, smiley sunflower resting on a retina-searing yellow to declare to all the grumpy, cold commuters that SPRING was finally here! Adam doesn’t often do high profile mag covers like that, he tends to spend his time cutting out shapes, arranging them into creatures and characters, creating collages and photographing them in woodland environments.

  10. Tuesdaybassen-itsnicethat-list

    Most of you probably have an inkling of who Tuesday Bassen is; she’s a powerful LA illustrator, brand consultant, public speaker and all-out entrepreneurial maverick who can already count folks like Playboy, Lucky Peach, The New Yorker and The New York Times as clients. She’s doing pretty well for herself. But somehow – SOMEHOW – we’ve never given her portfolio a good airing on the site. I feel just awful about this because I spend at least half an hour a week watching her compelling process videos on Instagram that demonstrate the deftness of her brushwork as she inks images of gnarly skate chicks and stony-faced punks. So without further ado; Tuesday, everyone, everyone, Tuesday. I’m sure you’re all going to get on famously!

  11. Robertnicol-itsnicethat-list

    It’s been a few years now since we posted the work of artist, illustrator and Camberwell tutor Robert Nicol, but our tardiness only means there’s a heap of new work for us to enjoy in his portfolio. From paintings to book covers, editorial illustrations to ceramic sculptures, Rob’s able to turn his versatile talents to a number of different ends. It’s interesting to look at his work together and see how he can amplify or refine certain traits depending on the job in hand. So we have his wonderful paintings where bold colours and surreal characters are given free rein, contrasted with his stylish book covers where hints of narrative achieve a lot in a quieter context.

  12. Alexanderrobyn-itsnicethat-main

    I wouldn’t say I fully understood a lot of Alexander Robyn’s comics, but it says a lot for his skill with a set of pencil crayons that I fully disregard that fact when I happily browse though his endless Tumblr stream. Alexander’s work is a patchwork quilt of sci-fi, human behaviour, sex, violence, talking mooses, cuss words and technology, illustrated on natural paper in vibrant crayon and graphite. Part of Alexander’s trademark style is the way he uses neat, childish stencil typography in his comics. The aesthetic of stencil type gives his comics and beautiful drawings a naive quality, which is totally offset by the wit, skill and wry, adult humour evident in the content. To top it off, he’s bloody great at drawing geodesic domes.

  13. Unnamed-1

    GIFs are just a part of life now, like shoes or the BBC. In a world overrun with these oddly satisfying little snippets of expression, the general vibe of GIFs so far has been leaning much more on the quantity level than the quality. When you find yourself scrolling cross-eyed through the internet and you come across GIFs with such delicate majesty such as these by Rebecca Mock, it hits you like a pixelated smack in the face. Rebecca is an illustrator from New York who creates exquisite digital illustrations for the likes of The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Medium among others. Her illustrations are subtle and somewhat tender moments represented in GIF form, un-showy and delicate. Sometimes the only thing moving in the whole image is a flashing light on a laptop, or the endless sideways scroll of an iPad. How refreshing to see someone leaping on this medium, and using it to illustrate the strange new digital world we’re in.