• Cows

    Cows, a staple of the bucolic rural life Anya has swapped for London town

Miscellaneous

Look everyone we got an ace new intern so come meet Anya Lawrence...

Posted by Rob Alderson,

When I left university I spent the summer mainly eating peanut butter and coming up with grandiose titles for my possible novel (Recompense was a particular favourite). But nowadays these kids have drive and ambition right off the bat and they’re ready to get up and get on asap, and so we’re delighted to welcome our shiny new intern Anya Lawrence, who’s joined us straight from Cardiff University’s excellent journalism school. Here’s her introducing herself in her own words, touching on coffees, cafes and the difficulties of negotiating south east Asian borders with would-be rudeboys…

How do you explain what you do to your parents?

Something along the lines of exploring my way around London, writing about things I love and meeting some nice people along the way. Coming from a village right in the thick of the countryside, journalism there doesn’t tend to stretch much further than tales of cats getting themselves stuck up trees so the suggestion of writing all day about art is enough to keep my mum both happy and intrigued. 

Who do you look like? 

Currently I am donning a curly hair bob, I thought this may make me look semi-professional and maybe a little older than my baby face may suggest but instead I am told I look like a spaniel. Failing that I look like my mum, she tells me this is incredibly fortunate but I am yet to be convinced. 

Did your education count?

Absolutely. I studied journalism in Cardiff and I learnt a lot along the way. I didn’t know what exactly I wanted to do when I started out as a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed 19 year-old and somehow three years of library sessions, late-night writing and one or two wise lecturers later I ended up here. I’m still bright-eyed and bushy-tailed but miraculously I am no longer entirely unsure of what I want to do. 

What’s the best mistake you have ever made?

I’d like to say it was something really daring that changed my life in ways that I never imagined possible but instead it was probably just taking a wrong turn (this happens often) and discovering a really nice cafe at the end of the road that sells wonderful cakes. 

“A smile goes a long way, worrying about stray crumbs is a waste of time and a coffee always helps every situation.”

Anya Lawrence

When did you realise that this is what you were good at?

I am not sure that I have completely realised just yet, but hopefully I am on my way to getting there. I fell in love with writing a long time ago and for now I hope that is good enough. I think if you love something enough you can eventually become good at it. 

What rules do you live by?

A smile goes a long way, worrying about stray crumbs is a waste of time and a coffee always helps every situation.

What makes your day?

A little bit of old fashioned chivalry goes a long way – somebody holding the door open for me or a smile on the bus to work is nice. A granny smith apple is pretty good too. 

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

A cereal-making air hostess. It may seem like a strange combination but I really liked cereal at the time and I suppose for a six year-old combining this with flying seemed an exciting yet completely reasonable career path. Unfortunately my hopes were dashed when I took my first flight and not a single bowl of cereal was in sight. 

What one thing would you like to be remembered by/for?

That despite my imperfections and my scattiness I ended up doing something just a tiny bit great. I’m not quite sure what great is quite yet, it could be writing something really wonderful or it could just be finally mastering how to roll my tongue or doing a dance routine to Steps really really well. 

What’s your favourite combination?

Rather simply, salt and vinegar crisps and chocolate. 

What’s the funniest thing you have EVER seen?

Attempting to cross a border between Thailand and Cambodia with a charismatic rap star wannabe. After discovering he’d lost his camera he proceeded to shout and swear (in his rap lingo) his way through the crossing despite the notorious no-nonsense, gun clad security.

The whole hour-long experience was hilarious if slightly unnerving but the highlight has to be him ‘pound-hugging’ a tiny Cambodian security guard with such enthusiasm that he lifted him off of his feet. Needless to say his camera was finally returned. 

Ra

Posted by Rob Alderson

Editor-in-Chief Rob oversees editorial across all three It’s Nice That platforms; online, print and events. He has a background in newspaper journalism and a particular interest in art, advertising and photography. He is the main host of the Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Miscellaneous View Archive

  1. List

    Here’s one of those projects that turns out to be way more interesting than it originally sounds, and it comes courtesy of San Francisco studio T2D (Tomorrow Today). Metragramme takes 32 of your Instagram pictures and combines them into a single image created via pixel-comparisons across the set. The result is therefore a kind of average Instagram picture, and although on first glance many of them look similar; when you explore each a little further you tease out intriguing details, as well as drawing broader conclusions about form and colour palette. We’ve included a few examples below but this is probably one of those tools you;re going to want to try out for yourself – you can visit the site here.

  2. Main

    Sometimes the sad story of Arthur Russell’s life mixed with the whimsical howling and rousing sounds he creates is altogether too much to even bear – but we still torment ourselves, tuning in even when going through a break up or driving alone in the rain. When surreal, sad music is accompanied by something as funny as, say, The Muppets – something peculiar and unexpected can happen. In this edit by John Michael Boling we see a perfectly (and I mean perfectly) cut mash-up of Arthur Russell’s haunting That’s Us / Wild Combination and scenes from The Muppets Movie. The reason people think art is hard to make is because they don’t understand how such a simple idea or a wild combination can work so incredibly well. Thank you John Michael Boling for reminding us of this fact. Thank you.

  3. House-announcement

    Sound the conch folks, we have some exciting news from It’s Nice That HQ. We’re restructuring and expanding our team and so we have not one but two great opportunities to come and be part of our team.

  4. Main

    A sincere, golden corner of the internet here: The Datamath Calculator Museum. The online museum is a historic, matter-of-fact and outrageously in-depth look at the history of calculators in the modern world. Remember the first time that a “scientific calculator” appeared on your back-to-school list? This trove will take you hurtling back to sitting in double maths using that very machine to write “boobless” (80087355) over and over again until the bell rang.

  5. List_image

    Over the course of seven years It’s Nice That has been providing creative inspiration on a daily basis through our website, our publications and our events programme. But never ones to rest on our laurels, we are always reviewing what we do and how we do it. This is where you (hopefully!) come in. As part of our ongoing development of the It’s Nice That platforms, we’re super-keen to find out a bit more about who you are and find out what you like about the website, what you don’t and what you might like to see in the future. This way we can move It’s Nice That forward with plans that put our readers front and centre.

  6. List

    If ever the high and the low brow were to come together in the project of my dreams, it would look like this series by James Kerr, AKA Scorpion Dagger. The artist and frighteningly capable GIF wizard has struck an absolute goldmine with his website devoted to Renaissance artworks reworked into outrageously funny GIFs. In case you’re not persuaded, this isn’t the equivalent of an Oprah hairflick or Barack Obama looking at a fly; these GIFs have narratives, they have beginnings, middles and ends, they have multiple settings and jokes and punchlines and they are almost too good to be true.

  7. List

    There’s a day for for everything now; and last week we all celebrated World Emoji Day didn’t we? What do you mean you didn’t know? Seems pretty remiss of you if you don’t mind me saying. Anyway luckily the excellent folk over at Funny Or Die were much more on the ball than some people we won’t name and they marked the momentous occasion with a ridiculously silly blog of Rejected Emojis. With the help of Jesse Benjamin, Avery Monsen and Darryl Gudmundson, they compiled a Tumblr of offerings which ranged from the surreal to the sinister, the bizarre to the almost-could-be-true. That sad clown will haunt my dreams.

  8. List

    It’s common for people to imagine that they see faces made out of the shapes and folds of everyday objects: It seems to be a human trait that we like to see ourselves in the world around us. We look up at the clouds and imagine that we see the outlines of faces and body parts, and at night we convince ourselves that a rumpled item of clothing thrown over a chair is really a sinister grinning figure.

  9. Main

    Well, this is terrifying. Internet-loving artist Mario Santamaria has taken advantage of Google’s scheme to take the world into art galleries and ornate buildings all over the world by collecting screenshots of moments where the Google camera catches its own reflection in a mirror. Ghostly figures interact with the camera in some shots, and in others the machinery is draped with a weird silver cloth – first prize goes to the person who can identify what this cloth actually does. For me this is the best Google-related blog since Jon Rafman’s 9 Eyes and is hopefully a new dawn for simple, spine-tingling projects that linger with you just a smidge longer than you’d like.

  10. List

    Webcomics are another medium to emerge from the digital sphere, and a very interesting one at that; Bird’s Eye China is just another example of how funny, accessible and scathing they can be. The Tumblr blog is made up of screenshots from Baidu maps, a kind of Chinese online mapping service not dissimilar to Google Maps, but brilliantly, looks just like SimCity.

  11. Main1

    “The sun is always rising somewhere; breakfast is always just about to happen. Dinner time in Dakar is breakfast time in Brisbane. And in the background of breakfast is radio, soundtrack to a billion bowls of cereal or congee, shakshuka or api, porridge or changua.” Well, we certainly couldn’t have put that any better ourselves. Global Breakfast Radio arrived in my inbox courtesy of ex-It’s Nice That writer Bryony Quinn. The concept is simple and immediately engrossing: a live radio that streams breakfast shows from around the world as and when they happen. In their own words, “it’s the equivalent of a plane flying west with the sunrise, constantly tracking the chatter and music of people across the planet.”

  12. List

    Creative briefs come in all shapes and sizes, but opportunities to create work for one of the most popular and ubiquitous brands in there world don’t come round very often. That’s what makes this one so exciting, with our friends over at Talenthouse on the hunt for artists, designers, filmmakers and animators to create artwork for Spotify’s new #nowfeeling campaign which is built on the way music inspires and informs our relationships with the world, and each other.

  13. List2

    The amount of games out there is fairly mind-boggling and there are new ones flooding the market all the time. In the face of this kind of overload what’s needed are curators; people who know what they’re talking about, who can be trusted and who have great taste. Step forward then Cowboy Picks, a new archive of “inspiring game design” put together by the fine folks behind interaction design agency Hover Studio and animation production company Animade.