And so with the inevitability inherent in any list like this, we’ve reached the home straight, the last hurrah and the final curtain all rolled into one in the form of this year’s top 10. Ready to find out which articles hit the very heights and in particular which creative can proudly boast of being the top viewed on It’s NIce That in 2012? Then read on friends…
10 – Berndnaut Smilde: Nimbus/Cumulus (February 28)
Kicking off this final countdown is Dutch artist Berndnaut Smilde as his mesmerising ability to create clouds in art galleries through a combination of heat, light and moisture trickery. They might only exist fleetingly but this article has been consistently popular throughout 2012.
9 – Jamie McGregor Smith: Borrow, Build, Abandon – Athenian Adventures in Concrete and Steel (August 7)
Just as the Olympics took centre stage in London, Jamie McGregor Smith gave us first look at his exquisite series focussing on the dilapidated venues used for the 2004 Athens Games. A beautiful, moving series whose eerie quietness taught us something about the difficulties of creating lasting legacies.
8 – Five friends take the same photograph (August 6)
Posted just the day before Jamie photos instead, this supremely silly article ensured a very big week for us in early August. The idea is simple – starting in 1982 five male friends had taken a meticulously recreated self portrait every five years – but the response was massive both on the site and much further afield.
7– Channel 4: Meet the Superhumans (July 18)
On the evening of July 17 I sat transfixed as Channel 4’s extraordinary Paralympics advert aired for the first time – first next thing next morning I posted it on the site. An extraordinary, courageous and powerful piece of advertising likely to effect lasting social change.
6 – Dan Witz: Mosh Pits (March 12)
There’s something bewilderingly impressive about hyper realistic painting when it focusses on a single static object, but that admiration is multiplied exponentially when it is used to depict a writhing mass of gig-goers. Dan Witz wowed us with his Mosh Pits and he wowed you lot as well.
5 – William Miller: Ruined Polaroids (April 24)
There’s a fascination with artworks that results from entirely unpredictable processes and so it is not too surprising to see William Miller’s work so high in this list. After coming across a broken Polaroid camera by chance he started experimenting with similarly flawed devices with haunting, otherworldly effects.
4 – Thomas Brown/Anna Burns: Pop Pop Bang Bang (November 7)
By far the most recent project to appear in our top 10 but it’s not hard to see why. It is though kind of hard to sum up pithily – essentially photographer Thomas Brown and creative director Anna Burns created an homage to B-movie motifs through umbrellas and fireworks. Seriously.
3 – Andy Gilmore (May 9)
Few creative undertakings require more painstaking patience than Andy Gilmore’s work. His amazing kaleidoscopic illustrations produced in standard Adobe programmes are hypnotic, pulling viewers into worlds where pattern, shape and colour combine to produce artworks that are utterly compelling.
2 – Will Sanders (March 28)
Photographer Will Sanders has an excellent portfolio full of funny, interesting and arresting visual treats. But one photograph in particular remains one of the most charming pictures I’ve seen all year. Take a flat beach and a blue sky and add loads of massive inflatable animals and you’re onto a (nearly) winner.
1– Elisa Noguera: Perhaps Finally Alone (October 19)
How fitting it is that the top article on It’s Nice That from 2012 is something that so perfectly encapsulates our approach to showcasing art and design. Fusing technical skill with a real sense of playfulness these images of animals’ backs against gharish wallpaper are the work of recent graduate Elisa Noguera. A splendidly worthy charttopper!
- Brooklyn-based Jyan Ku’s naive pastel works are oddly charming
- Jules de Balincourt’s vivid paintings of public spaces play with reality
- Harry Israelson photographs a renaissance fair in sunny California
- Pentagram’s Domenic Lippa designs the inaugural issue of YES & NO Magazine
- Introducing graphic designer Moonsick Gang
- “Non-league football is our punk rock” – Alex Brown’s work for Eastbourne Town FC
- Animator and director James Curran’s amusing 30-day Gifathon project in Tokyo
- Photographer Sophie Mayanne’s new personal project celebrates imperfection (NSFW)
- Animator Saiman Chow’s trippy idents for Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty
- The daily grind: Louis Quail’s photographs of fascinatingly mundane offices
- "Before I was a graphic designer I had nearly no idea what one was": meet Austin Redman
- Matthew Raw: the east London artist making clay great again