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    Owen Gildersleeve’s Bookshelf

Bookshelf

Bookshelf: Illustrator and designer Owen Gildersleeve shares some of his favourite tomes

Posted by Maisie Skidmore,

Our weekly Bookshelf feature must be fairly nerve-wracking stuff for book artists like Owen Gildersleeve, whose recurring presence on the walls of It’s Nice That is about as unquestioned as the changing of the seasons. How do you represent your own book collection when half of your practice is about creating images for new ones? Fortunately Owen’s passed our test with flying colours, a 10 out of 10 for his five publications that have not only informed and educated him, but make excellent eye candy for us book-lovers too. And if you keep your eyes peeled, you might just spot a very exciting new one all of his own, due to hit bookshelves very soon…

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    Joe Crocker: Vendoin

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    Joe Crocker: Vendoin

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    Joe Crocker: Vendoin

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    Joe Crocker: Vendoin

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    Joe Crocker: Vendoin

Joe Crocker: Vendoin

This is one of my favourite books that we printed while I was working at Nobrow during the early days, by the exceptionally talented illustrator Joe Crocker. Written in an entirely made up language, the book tells a charming story of a man who is searching for his right stiletto. Joe predominantly works with inks, and I love how his textures have translated through the screen printing process. Every spread of this is a gem.

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    Anselm Kiefer: Karfunkelfee

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    Anselm Kiefer: Karfunkelfee

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    Anselm Kiefer: Karfunkelfee

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    Anselm Kiefer: Karfunkelfee

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    Anselm Kiefer: Karfunkelfee

Anselm Kiefer: Karfunkelfee

Anselm Kiefer is one of my all-time favourite artists. His huge canvases, often themed around German history, are truly awe-inspiring, and I love the way he combines found objects and raw materials in his paintings. His tactile, hands-on approach was a big influence in my early work. Having been a great admirer of Anselm Kiefer’s work since my school days, it was really exciting to see his largest ever London show in 2009. Karfunkelfee and The Fertile Crescent were held simultaneously at the two White Cube galleries in Hoxton and Mason’s Yard. The exhibition really blew me away, especially Karfunkelfee at Mason’s Yard, where he showed a range of large canvases depicting dark forest-scapes, inspired by tales of the Carbuncle Fairy.

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    Creating With Paper

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    Creating With Paper

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    Creating With Paper

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    Creating With Paper

Creating With Paper

A beautiful papercraft book from the 1960s. There are some really fun projects and tips in here, such as “Mask Magic,” “Paper Puppet Magic,” “Paper Mobile Magic” (starting to notice a theme here?) and “Start a Paper Club” which is something I’m seriously considering.

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    Sing Statistics: You Are the Friction

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    Sing Statistics: You Are the Friction

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    Sing Statistics: You Are the Friction

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    Sing Statistics: You Are the Friction

Sing Statistics: You Are the Friction

The latest book by good friends Sing Statistics, and the third in the Friction series. The book features 12 short stories inspired by illustrations, and twelve illustrations inspired by short stories. Jez and Lizzy put a lot of time and love into this, so I’m really happy for them that it has come out so nicely. Both the stories and illustrations featured are absolutely fantastic, and the debossed Ray Fenwick cover illustration is a dream!

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    Graphic Though Facility: I Am a Camera

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    Graphic Though Facility: I Am a Camera

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    Graphic Though Facility: I Am a Camera

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    Graphic Though Facility: I Am a Camera

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    Graphic Though Facility: I Am a Camera

Graphic Though Facility: I Am a Camera

I was given this book while studying photography at school. Unfortunately I never got to see the exhibition that the book accompanied, but it’s such a thick tome that it seems to nicely capture what the show was about. This book really opened my eyes to a whole new world of photography and fine art, and introduced me to the likes of Thomas Demand and Andreas Gursky who have since been huge influences to me and my work.

Ms-300

Posted by Maisie Skidmore

Assistant Editor Maisie joined It’s Nice That fresh out of university in the summer of 2013 and has stayed with us ever since. She has a particular interest in art, fashion and photography and is a regular on our Studio Audience podcast. She also oversees our London listings guide This At There.

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    Yesterday marked the launch of the brand new issue of bi-annual hardback Twin magazine, the defiantly substantial glossy publication that clubs fashion, art and culture together through interviews and gorgeous imagery. This issue includes photographs by Petra Collins, an archive of childhood shots of Kate Bush taken by her older brother and an interview with the remarkable Neneh Cherry, so to celebrate we thought we’d have founder Becky Smith show us the five books which have inspired and influenced her. In the process, we learned who her favourite photographers are, whose rare books she’s lucky to have laid her hands on and the unlikely inspiration behind the name “Twin”. Read on!

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    When we get in touch with the people whose work we admire to ask if they’d like to be involved in the Bookshelf feature, we ask them to pick books which have been particularly inspiring or influential to them in their lives, and this brief might never been more closely followed than by Jessica Svendsen. Jessica is a graphic designer at Pentagram and teaches Typography at both Parsons and Pratt in New York, as well as working on a number of freelance projects which are as remarkable for the degree of research which informs them as for their bold, impactful imagery.

  4. Lisst

    Longtime fans of Toro Y Moi will already know Chaz Bundick to be a man with impeccable visual stylings, and a portfolio which stretches way beyond logos and album covers to include album launches turned art exhibitions, screen-printed posters and a heavy involvement with the concepts behind his music videos as well. Today marks the launch of Chaz’s debut album Michael under the name of his dancier side project Les Sins, which we decided made for an ample excuse to get a look at his Bookshelf. And my god it’s a good one.

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    Where some printed publications shy away from British culture as it exists beyond Union Jack flags and Yorkshire tea in floral china, LAW Magazine, which stands for Lives and Works is already knee-deep in the grit and the grime. Now in its fifth issue, the staple-bound bi-annual describes itself as a platform for “the beautiful everyday… A window into the world of the current undercurrent that nobody is catching and which is therefore of greater importance to document.” It’s a kind of Britishness so ubiquitous that you’d have to be wandering the streets with your head in a bag to miss it – one defined by full-suspension mountain bikes, Sunday League referees, Hackney estate maps and Vauxhall Novas.

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    Having founded London-based design studio Build in 2001, creative director Michael C. Place has amassed his fair share of books in his time, with a healthy combination of design knowledge to be found tucked between the spines on the studios (admirably well-organised) shelf. We’ve been championing Build’s work on the site for some time now, so what better way to get an insight into the inspirations behind their snazzy work than by hearing from the creative director himself about his favourite reading material? Between Letraset catalogues, reflections on legend Wim Crouwel and Michael’s mate Blam (who has excellent taste in books) we were not disappointed.

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    “In February 2013, 18 weeks pregnant, I was diagnosed with bowel cancer.” That’s the opening statement on the website of graphic novelist Matilda Tristram, who channeled this painful chapter of her life into a bestselling comic entitled Probably Nothing. We interviewed Matilda a while back on the site and were so intrigued by her story, we had to know more. In this revealing, insightful Bookshelf, Matilda shows us the fantastic books that have inspired her to be one of the most important and engaging graphic novelists working today. Here she is…

  8. Main

    Yay! Hato Press! We love them. A lot. Neighbours of ours, Hato have spent the last five years collaborating with some of the coolest young creatives and oldest institutions to create impeccably beautiful printed matter and design solutions. A number of the publications these guys have produced are some of the most beautiful I’ve ever had the pleasure of holding/smelling, and it seems that every single thing they do or work on is covered in a glimmering magic dust that is exclusive to only them. Before you go and wet your pants over their multi-disciplinary work on their very nice websites (here and here) check out the books that have inspired them over the years below. Enjoy!

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    Satirical artist and very funny woman Miriam Elia is something of a pro when it comes to books; last year she self-published We Go to the Gallery, a satirical reinterpretation of a 1960s Ladybird book which seeks to help parents explain sex, death and contemporary art to their young ones, complete with a handy glossary of new words to learn. She’s since co-curated an exhibition about Pastiche, Parody and Piracy at London’s Cob Gallery, while other past works include I Fell in Love With a Conceptual Artist… and It Was TOTALLY MEANINGLESS about her relationship with Martin Creed. Hilarious? Yes. Yes it is. Miriam’s Bookshelf includes lovingly weathered books about typography, photography, flesh-eating plants and Butlins holiday camps, giving a neat insight into her brain.

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    John Tebbs is an English gardener who, frustrated by the fact that “many of his working days are held hostage to the weather” founded The Garden Edit in the winter of 2013. His idea was to spend his downtime as productively as possible, creating an online store of beautiful objects which he sourced and sold himself. The resulting curated collection reflects John’s faultless aesthetic, selling “minimal, well-designed products from craftspeople, artists, publishing houses and family-run businesses” alongside a Journal which features short articles by some of his favourite figures about their own horticultural escapades, from rooftop gardens to illustrations of plants.

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  12. List

    With 25 years experience in magazine design, not to mention eight years of covering the extensive subject under the title magCulture, it’s a wonder we haven’t already metaphorically burst into Jeremy Leslie’s house and insisted he share his five favourite examples of printed matter right then and there. Instead, we caught him in the build up to The Modern Magazine 2014, the conference which takes place annually in the midst of London Design Festival to shine a torch on the current state of editorial creativity, as well as new directions for the industry.

  13. List

    Danielle Pender is the brain at the helm of Riposte magazine, one of the most exciting new publications created to champion the women doing exciting work in the creative industries today, as well as working at KK Outlet, the London outpost of communications agency KesselsKramer, so can you blame us for wanting to have a poke about her bookshelf? Her selection gives a generous insight into the process behind putting together a magazine, from the issue of National Geographic which led her and Riposte’s creative director Shaz Madani to consider a text-based front cover for the magazine (“I’m really happy we had the balls to go with it”) and the all-time hero she dreams of interviewing, with a few other gems thrown in for good measure. She technically stretched her five books to seven, but we let her off because they’re all so damn interesting.