• Hero

    Kyle Platts: Pick Me Up

Illustration

Illustration: Bic Macs and bean-blowing, we find out what Kyle Platts has been up to of late

Posted by Liv Siddall,

In case you were wondering (which you probably were) what Kyle Platts has been up to recently, the answer is rather a lot. Don’t worry, he’s still churning out drawings that resemble the illegitimate love-child of the Bash Street Kids and Beavis and Butthead at an unstoppable rate. His latest lump of work is, satisfyingly, much like his old work but even better – the detail is tighter, the colours and brighter and his choices of materials are getting increasingly varied. We caught up with Kyle for a chat about residencies, Pick Me Up, his new work and some fellow artists he’s excited about at the moment.

Kyle! How are you? Tell us about your work on show at this year’s Pick Me Up?

Hi! I’m feeling very good thank you. All the work in my Pick Me Up display was created based on the idea of a lack of mindfulness among people. We have come a long way intellectually but I wanted to point out in a playful and irreverent way how sometimes we let our basic impulses get the better of us. As much as I love humans, we sometimes don’t think through our actions, whether it be texting whilst driving, cyber bullying or using unmanned aircraft to anonymously kill our enemies.

I wanted to show all these silly acts together, from the prosaic to the world changing. Aesthetically I went on a mad’n and really enjoyed embellishing these pieces, I had a great time coming up with all the little patterns and details. An important part of the display for me is the Medic Dog that is in the centre of everything. He was designed to be a sort of baseline, all the frames either align from his various right angles or are actually held in his hands.

Can you tell us a little about what you were doing in Linz and how that came about?

I was approached by the curator of The Next Comic festival in Linz to take part in an artist residency there, which would culminate in an exhibition at the start of the festival. My friend Jay Wright had done the same residency the previous year, and having seen the great work he got done there I was keen to get stuck in.

  • 9

    Kyle Platts: Pick Me Up 2014

What did you learn from being in Linz? And is it something you’d like to do again.

Besides how to order a Big Mac in German I learned that I shouldn’t underestimate how important personal work can be for development and how that ultimately feeds back into commercial briefs. For example one of the drawings for the exhibition was this doodle that contained various characters and phrases such as “post justification is better than no justification.” After creating that I got a brief from Converse to do a gig poster and the visual formula from this drawing suited it perfectly. I’m going to look into potential residencies for next year, somewhere with a beach would be good.

The paintings you made in Linz were kind of anew aesthetic for you. Do you feel that your work is changing or evolving at the moment?

The paintings from Linz are a departure from my drawings because I wanted to make the most of the freedom I had there. So consequently they are more abstract and they are mostly non-linear. I’m not going to try and crowbar that style into my commercial work from now on but I can see how it could be appropriated into murals etc. The work in the Pick Me Up display is more of an indicator of where my editorial work is going. I’m still more interested in developing my actual drawing than the process itself.

  • 10

    Kyle Platts: Pick Me Up 2014

What are your plans for the near future?

There is an exciting project I am a part of that starts in May that I’m not allowed to talk about (which doesn’t make great interview content). However, I am designing my first board for Blast Skates in their next series. Designing a board graphic is way up there on my little list of personal goals, it’s going to be a good’n. I feel like the residency in Austria was a two-month holiday so I’m planning on spending the rest of the year working my bum off.

Tell us about some other artists or illustrators you’re really into at the moment.

On a recent trip to Vienna I saw a good collection of Mike Kelly work at the MUMOK which gave me a new appreciation for him. One of the paintings featured was a man taking a huge shit and a woman dressing the turd in children’s cloths as it came out. That piece captured my heart forever. In regards to illustration, Pick Me Up has been a bloody great big eye-opener this year, I’m particularly enjoying the Ed’s – Ed Cherverton and Ed Monaghan as well as Billy (a.k.a Alex Godwin). Jack Sachs is definitely one to look out for too, he is blowing my bean with his 3D renderings at the moment.

  • 7

    Kyle Platts: Nottanum Town

  • 6

    Kyle Platts: A$AP Ferg for Converse

  • 5

    Kyle Platts: Post justification is better than no justification

  • 90

    Kyle Platts: Studio in Linz

  • 91

    Kyle Platts: Studio in Linz

  • 4

    Kyle Platts: Graham’s Journey

  • 3

    Kyle Platts: Clegnut’s Demise

  • 2

    Kyle Platts: Chelsea’s Journey

  • 1

    Kyle Platts: Born to Kill

Ls-300

Posted by Liv Siddall

Liv joined It’s Nice That as an intern in 2011 and is now one of our editors. She oversees itsnicethat.com and has a particular interest in illustration, photography and music videos. She is also a regular guest and sometime host on our Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Illustration View Archive

  1. Img_1065

    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.

  2. Main_14.40.48

    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.

  3. Main

    They don’t come much sharper than Sara Andreasson, the Swedish illustrator who was on the site back in March but who has posted so much new work on her website that we see fit to feature her again already. The Swede has been hard at work, creating commissions for The Debrief, New York Times Magazine and Rolling Stone, toying with witty observations and reassuring block colour to demonstrate that she’s just as nimble whipping up images to suit a brief as she is with personal work. Her experiments with rasterisation and contrasting patterns are especially intriguing, hinting at a whole new technique which is ripe for exploration (and more of which can be seen of on her Tumblr.)

  4. List_2

    Julianna Brion is an editorial illustrator whose diverse portfolio houses projects for a bunch of fortunate clients. Like most creatives who make commissioned work though, when she’s not drawing to a brief she’s filling sketchbook after sketchbook with scrapbook-like doodles which are as beautiful, if not more so, than her finished images. Reclining figures, pastel dogs, picture-perfect houses and foliage all feature, rendered in a rainbow of acrylic paints and sketchy pencil. For me, looking at the sketchbook of a successful illustrator is kind of like peeping into the messy bedroom of an impossibly well-coiffed, super dapper gent. And who doesn’t like to be nosy?

  5. List_3

    Trust Helsinki-based illustration agency Agent Pekka to sign up some of the best illustration we’ve seen in a long while without so much as a cough to show it off! They’ve just added French illustrator Jean-Michel Tixier to their books, and he looks set to be an amazing addition.

  6. List_2

    When it comes to brightly-coloured multimedia creations Mike Perry is king, and as far as we’re concerned there’s little chance of anybody threatening to knock him off his throne any time soon. As if to strengthen his case, he’s just made My Mother Caught Me Doodling, a 160 page hardback celebration of the female form, which sees Mike create tribute after tribute to ladies. Naked ladies.

  7. Main

    Considering it had been a while since I had had a proper delve through this great guy’s portfolio, revisiting his site was a refreshing reminder of just how talented Gwendal Le Bec really is. Sometimes people can be frowned upon for aping or mimicking a style from someone else but in Gwendal’s case it’s different as he successfully takes elements from all the most infamous illustrators of times gone by and adds them to his own style.

  8. List

    We’ve been harping on about what a terrific illustrator, and all-round cheery chap Ryan Gillett is for quite some time now, and it seems people have been taking notice. Ryan now counts the likes of Virgin, The Sunday Times, Anorak and Smith Journal among his many clients, who keep him busy at all hours on commissioned projects. It’s not hard to see why either; Ryan’s cheerful scenes made with the sensibilities of a traditional print-maker ought to excite even the most severe clients. But he still finds time to do the nice things that remind us what a stand-up guy he is; like producing screen printed postcards to send out to all his fans (including us). When they arrived the other week they brightened up our days, and also made us realise it was about time to praise Ryan once again…

  9. List

    Thank God for Laura Callaghan! In an illustrated world saturated with images of pretty girls sweetly baking cupcakes, making daisy crowns and chasing after boys, she injects a much-needed dose of the sinister femme fatale. Her characters have undercuts and piercings instead of being clad head to toe in lace, they read lesbian magazines instead of Vogue and they wear vials of their lovers’ blood round their necks. What more could you want from a role model?

  10. Listleipzig

    Sergio’s back, and he’s as good as ever. With new tour posters for the likes of Mac DeMarco and Future Islands and a bundle of personal work, we decided to whack him and his pointy-nosed people up on the site once again. Retro and somehow futuristic at the same time, his prints steer clear of twee although smiley, bouncy-haired characters abound. Their massive forearms and John Lennon glasses say “I’m clever and I work hard” in a way reminiscent of early communist posters, mixed with a touch of The New Yorker; what a brilliant combination. I love Summer, a print of a sunbather on a beach gazing into a snow globe. It might not have occurred to Spanish Sergio, but to me this seems like a brilliantly British reaction to too much sun.

  11. List

    Roosje Klap and Mathias Schweizer have just finished work on a pretty extraordinary piece of digital collage for Dutch literary magazine De Gids – a publication that’s been in existence since 1837. The images on display propose rooms that reference literary voices of the past like Ovid and Baiga, compositing various erotic references into surrealist dreamscapes. The pair worked on them in tandem in the manner of an exquisite corpse – building on each other’s work in stages over time – only instead of strange little bodies as the final product, we’re met with what Roosje refers to as “graphic sex cadavre-exquis!”

  12. List

    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.

  13. Main

    I don’t go to Mr Porter to wistfully scroll through their accessories section like I used to, now I just visit them to go and meander through their journal – an online magazine put together by the team there that champions the important things in life: holidays, booze, sunglasses, cars and art amongst other things. Over the years the features in this section of Mr Porter’s webspace has become increasingly stylish, representing the brand’s core values using only the best editorial accompanied by staggeringly good commissioned illustration.