• Top

    Joe Cruz’s bookshelf: Matisse

Bookshelf

Five inspiring books from the shelves of illustrator Joe Cruz

Posted by Liv Siddall,

The amount of times we’ve checked out new work from Joe Cruz at It’s Nice That and just sat around with our heads in our hands, gobsmacked at how simple and effortlessly beautiful his work is. Not just that, but his style is probably one of the most easily recognised of the editorial illustrators we chat about here. We love him so much that we even asked him to illustrate a piece in our own magazine, Printed Pages. Here’s Joe on the artists, books and African fashion that have influenced his work over the years. Take it away, Joe!

  • 1

    Natural Fashion Tribal Decoration From Africa

Natural Fashion Tribal Decoration From Africa

This is a collection of photos from tribes of east Africa and, as the title suggests, their natural fashion/decoration. This book for me has been so useful for mark-making ideas, I was constantly referencing this book when I needed a shake up with my own line work. All the photographs are beautiful, the figures have a strong nobility but also a strong sense of fun especially with the portraits of the children.

  • 3

    Max Beckmann: Modern Masters

Max Beckmann: Modern Masters

At school Max Beckmann was the first artist I really engaged with and pushed my interest in art. I am fascinated by German Expressionism and by Germany during this period of history. Beckmann’s works are very dark, strong and expressive. He hugely influenced my way of working, as I was constantly trying to reproduce his drawing style.

  • 6

    Pierre et Gilles: 30 Postcards

Pierre et Gilles: 30 Postcards

This book always brings a smile to my face, it pops with its cheeky, fun imagery. Their works play with subject matter I find very appealing in art history and religion, and their aesthetic is graphic, colourful and homoerotic. 

  • 8

    Welt Ausstelung Der Photographie

Welt Ausstelung Der Photographie

I collect a lot of photographic books as I find it’s a great way to study composition. This is my favourite photographic book, it’s from Germany and showcases a beautiful collection of the world’s best photographs. The works are fantastic: the layout, the feel of the paper and the abundance of imagery makes it constantly engaging.

  • 2

    Matisse

Matisse

I have quite a few Matisse books but this is my favourite due to its simplicity and selection of works. Matisse is probably my favourite artist, his work is warm and is always very aesthetically friendly. He is a constant inspiration, his themes and subject matter are very appealing. His works give me the impression he was a nice man.

Ls-300

Posted by Liv Siddall

Liv joined It’s Nice That as an intern in 2011 and worked across online, print, events and latterly Features Editor before leaving in May 2015.

Most Recent: Bookshelf View Archive

  1. Come-de-bouchony-itsnicethat-pienkowski-list

    We’re pretty big fans of French graphic designer Côme de Bouchony in the It’s Nice That studio – we’ve covered his work again and again and again on the site. So it comes as no great surprise that underneath all of that sharp, reference-laden work lies a Bookshelf bulging with first-rate printed matter. The ten most influential people in magazine design, illustrator Jan Pieńkowski and one very long Italian sausage all have their place. Roll up, roll up!

  2. David-luraschi-bookshelf-coveritsnicethat-list

    Paris-based photographer David Luraschi is as adept at photographing undulating hills as he is sprawling nudes, and he brings his unique perspective to both. You might know him best for his series of photographs of people spotted on the streets of Paris photographed from behind – a project that started on his Instagram and has since been splashed about all over the internet.

  3. Charlotte-mei-list

    Now I’m not saying that the Bookshelf feature should act as a barometer of how much we want to be friends with the people we feature, but if you can’t identify niche interests in a kindred spirit by way of their favourite publications, when the bloody hell can you?

  4. Parterre_de_rois_list

    Biannual magazine Paterre de Rois seamlessly weaves contemporary culture with relevant masterpieces from the past. The latest instalment, titled Rebellion, is a hot mix of punchy, full-bleed images, engaging copy and an assortment of paper textures. Editors Molly Molloy (fashion designer for Marni womenswear) and Gianni Tozzi (creative director for FutureBrand Milan) are passionate about print, and here Molly selects five books that proudly sit on their bookshelf. Informing their work past and present, these publications have provided guidance, inspiration and visual delight in one form or another for the pair.

  5. Studio-toogood-bookshelf-itsnicethat-list

    From furniture design and a fashion line to a series of installations, Faye Toogood is a material aficionado. Her interior and environmental design work is founded in artisanship and “the irregularity of the chosen material,” meaning that no corner of the creative industries has been left untouched by her influence. We caught up with Faye to find out which five books hold the greatest sway on her bookshelf, and her inspirations – from Yohji Yamamoto to Barbara Hepworth – are evident throughout her expansive practice.

  6. Sh_books-itsnicethat-list-2

    From googly-eyed palm trees oozing California cool to a cheeky yellow thumbs up sign against a backdrop of a bright American flag, artist and designer Steven Harrington has been wafting LA sunshine our way via his cartoonish characters for years now. His work is a staple reference for anybody making Americana-influenced illustration, and spans huge hand-screened prints to limited-edition skateboards, all of which is doused in his sunny, funny style.

  7. Laurabradley-bookshelf-itsnicethat-list

    There are few corners of the internet which remain sacred nowadays, but anothermag.com, the online counterpart to Dazed ’s sister publication AnOther Magazine, feels something like a tiny jewel-bedecked cave in the midst of a vast wasteland. Hosting a curated collection of insights into the lives of legendary artists and craftspeople, alongside photographic series, handwritten letters and aspects of the fashion world which might otherwise go unnoticed, the site is a rare gem, and at its helm is editor Laura Bradley.

  8. Ng_inside_2bookshelf-itsnicethat-list

    London-based fashion brand Eley Kishimoto was founded in 1992 by Japanese-born Wakako Kishimoto and her Welsh husband Mark Eley, and has since earned a global reputation for bold print design and collaborations with the likes of Louis Vuitton, Alexander McQueen and Jil Sander. We were lucky enough to pin down co-founder Wakako to find out which publications have most inspired and influenced her on her trajectory thus far. Her response? A beautiful old Japanese/English dictionary, a Jean-Charles de Castelbajac-clad Snoopy, and an old old issue of the National Geographic and all of the treasures inside it.

  9. Alex-tieghi-walker-itsnicethat-list

    When we invited Alex Tieghi-Walker to contribute to the Bookshelf feature we didn’t realise he was in possession of what basically constitutes a library. A looming wall of books, teeming with colour, insight and inspiration. Look at it! It’s enormous!

  10. Book-shelf-list

    If you’ve been for a walk in Hoxton, east London recently there’s a good chance you’ve come across One Good Deed Today, a recently-opened shop selling a curated collection of lifestyle and homeware objects. The objects on sale are lovely, but the approach taken by the owners Romain and Alev is even more so – the products are chosen based on how and where they are made, making it a very responsible collection, and five percent of all proceeds from the store are donated to a charity chosen by the customer at the time of purchase. Nice, huh?

  11. Spuren_cover_00-int-list

    Brighten the Corners (the name comes from the Pavement album!) is a design studio split in two – it’s made up of Frank Philippin and Billy Kiosoglou and based in both London and Odenwald, Germany – so it makes sense that it has two bookshelves to show for it, too. The studio’s portfolio of work includes some very impressive stuff for the likes of Anish Kapoor, Frieze, the British Council and the Department of Education, and with fingers in such diverse pies we were keen to see the books Billy and Frank were drawing on for inspiration. So here they are!

  12. Allbook_spines-teal-triggs-int

    What a treat we have for you today! The one and only Teal Triggs, professor at London’s Royal College of Art and all-knowing figure in everything concerned with print, graphic design history, self-publishing and feminism, has spent some time digging five of the most influential and inspiring books she owns out of her bottomless collection to share with us.

  13. Laserigraphie_cover-int-list

    If you aren’t already familiar with Atelier Bingo then I can’t think of any better way to introduce their joyous work than to have them present five of their favourite publications, in their own words. The atelier consists of Maxime Prou and Adèle Favreau, a creative couple living in an impossibly beautiful barn in the French countryside where they experiment with illustration, graphic design, surface and textile design on a daily basis to create an endless array of utterly unique and distinctive works for clients including Vogue, The Plant, Wanderlust and Wrap magazine. But also just for fun, because why wouldn’t they?