• 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. Main

    The work of Brian Edward Miller is a cross between the digital and the retro: his sketches could easily be found in the satchel of a 1950s art student, but when put into the computer and twiddled with they look just as at home in a high-tech animation for a company like Adobe.

  2. List

    I don’t think it’d be an exaggeration to claim that we were bowled over when Toni Halonen dropped a bunch of new work made in a radically different direction earlier on this year. What’s more, being the dutiful deliverers of all things exciting in the art and design world it only seemed fair to let you know that he’s made even more in the aforementioned bright, blocky aesthetic since then, and it’s still top notch. Alongside commissions for Bloomberg Businessweek and Trendi Magazine Toni has also been working on a huge A-Z project for commissioning kings KENZO Defying the tried and tested solutions to such a brief, however, he’s put together a series of offbeat and brilliantly weird images, from cuddly punks and stair-sets to a sideways wheelie in a red sports car. Toni, we’re really into what you’re doing. Can we be friends yet?

  3. List

    Blastto is the pseudonym of London-based Spanish illustrator Carlos Llorente, a 33-year-old designer and illustrator originally from Guadalajara. His portfolio is packed full of surreal illustration and graphic design for predominantly editorial clients, but there’s also animation and app UX thrown in for good measure. Blastto’s work is defined by its bold colour palettes, whimsical subject matter and aesthetic diversity – his images range from solid digital linework to textured geometric forms; sleek 3D renders to experimental type design. All of it is imbued with a sense of experimentation and fun; and when you’re creating illustrations about the rigours of a daily routine, a sense of fun is pretty essential.

  4. List

    Eike König and his HORT studio are celebrating 20 years of genre-blurring graphic design work with a show at London’s KK Outlet at the moment, and we felt this was a milestone well worth marking. So we’re excited and delighted to unveil three specially-commissioned t-shirts on which we have worked with Eike’s brilliant team.

  5. List

    Tokyo-based illustrator Hisashi Okawa is a veritable model of wide-eyed joy that we should all aspire to replicate. His charismatic illustration, rendered in painstakingly-applied felt tip and finished with his trademark Opie-esque dot eyes, is succinct and charming, securing him commissions from the likes of Bayerische Straatsballett, the Debrief, and Apartamento. Just see if you can scroll through his admirable portfolio without being drawn into the alternative universe he has constructed, full of artfully recreated street style shots, fantasy landscapes and sartorially sharp dogs.

  6. List

    Rachel Levit’s understated illustration lends itself perfectly to ending the week; it’s understated, oddly enamouring and full of the kind of humour which carefully treads the tightrope between sweet and sinister. The Brooklyn-based artist has perfected the simple line drawing, conjuring up figures with the vaguest impression of an outline. Don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s all she can do though; she’s just as happy creating fully fledged editorial illustration for The New Yorker website, communicating obscure and complicated ideas through the careful placement of an object or a witty observation.

  7. Thomas

    If I were to draw my own picture of Thomas Colligan (having never met the talented chap) I’d attach a little funnel to his back, because the man is a veritable illustration engine, churning out heaps of great work just this year. This impression also owes something to the plethora of cars and factories and engines puffing out plumes of smoke in the busy worlds of his illustrations, where a population of Flat Stanley-like characters tootle about. Alternating between gouache and coloured pencils, Thomas creates scenes with grass as green as the Swiss hillsides he hails from, and balaclava-clad bank robbers as gutsy as those in the movies set in his new home of New York.

  8. Main1

    Using block pastel colours and precise pen outlines, Alessandro Apai is part of what seems to be a new trend emerging in illustration. His work is simple and funny, taking what could be perfectly normal everyday interactions and making them just that little bit odd and infinitely more interesting. Featuring a character who looks like a modern day, grown-up version of Hergé’s Tintin and some dark-haired playmates, his drawings show potential to tell even more quirky and fully developed stories. Italian Alessandro’s still a student, so we hope for great things in the future!

  9. How-do-you-love-me_mac-conner_1950_courtesy-of-mcny.jpg-1

    It isn’t often that we have a centenarian on the site, so today there’s double cause for celebration because not only is designer Mac Conner 100 years old, he’s also a ruddy legend. Mac spent the 1950s living and working in New York as one of the real-life Mad Men, illustrating for The Saturday Evening Post, Cosmopolitan and Good Housekeeping.

  10. List_2

    If you’re finding that your Monday is lacking in mystery (don’t they always?) allow me to introduce you to Nicholas Stevenson, an illustrator who practically daubs it onto his pages as he draws. Preferred subjects include long-armed humans, giant beasts, secret trapdoors and food fights, all of which are endowed with an equal measure of fantasy the likes of which doesn’t often exist beyond the pages of children’s books and the odd Wicca community.

  11. List

    If she’d been drawing back when I was consuming children’s books so fast that my parents ran out of printed matter and had to give me an Argos catalogue instead, one of Mari Kanstad Johnsen’s numerous children’s books would undoubtedly have been in my top ten. In fact, she might still be on that esteemed list given that my chosen career path allows me to spend an inordinate amount of time flicking through books intended for kids. It doesn’t even matter that I don’t speak Swedish.

  12. Main

    Daniel Gray is an illustrator, but a past manifestation of himself wore a white coat and a stethoscope. He says he dropped out of Medical Science “when he realised illustration had a much lower patient mortality rate.” Looking at his portfolio though, I’d say he’s a guy drawn to tricky jobs.

  13. Main

    Cosmic brilliance here from Jesse Fillingham, whose fantastical work is sending shivers all over me this morning. His confident line images seem to draw inspiration from teen sci-fi novels, video games, Shakespeare and the work of Roger Dean, bringing it all together to form a heady combination of past and future. Jesse graduated back in 2010 from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and has since been exhibiting his work across American and Europe to what I can only imagine are die-hard fans. If you find yourself lost in the bizarre nature of his Kate Bush digital image or the transient surreality of Cosmic Contemplation 2, take your eyeballs for a gander at his simple line drawings. Extract / Sunset / Pointer is insanely well-drawn and I can’t stop looking at it. One for the “favourites” folder I think.