• Ashingdon-block
  • Adrians-story---jim-the-warden
  • Cuddington-block
  • Daz_s-story---late-night-footy
  • Garages
  • Heygate-windows-2
  • Heygate-windows
  • Stairs
  • Susan_s-story---interupted-proposal
  • Walkways
Illustration

Student of the Month: Daniel Clarke

Posted by Bryony Quinn,

Staying local for a self-initiated urban explorative project, Daniel Clarke, an illustration student at Camberwell College of Arts, focussed on the misconceived “Mugger’s Paradise” that is the Heygate estate in London’s Elephant Castle. Reductive, observational drawing and surface collections created during frequent visits to the doomed council estate made him familiar to the seven remaining residents still occupying the empty flats. From them, he came by the stories of former inhabitants and the estate’s history, which he made into a book, sitting next to his own careful, textured documentations.

The attention paid to the desolate architecture took the form of drawings, rubbings and collected surfaces which were then photocopied and manipulated into the flat-perspective collages of the buildings and imagined scenes of Heygate’s heyday. As a project we were drawn to Clarke’s simplistic yet thorough detailing and the overall aesthetic effect of such a personal and dedicated approach. Lovely stuff.

At the time of making/creating this project, who or what was your biggest influence?

I was slightly detached from my usual way of working. I realised I wasn’t going to find any inspiration within the four walls of my cramped, dingy bedroom, so I was spending a lot of my time outdoors exploring, looking for new inspiration.

Through doing this I found the most important part of the project – these were the stories I gathered from the residents of the estate. Without talking to these people I wouldn’t have had anything to go with, these people made the project work. Whilst these had a huge impact on the project, I was heavily influenced by the architecture of the estate – the different materials, surfaces and structures of the buildings which influenced the visual language of my illustrations.

What is the most valuable thing you have learnt at university to date?

The power of friends – being able to talk to my course-mates is the best. They’re in the same boat as I am, so who better to communicate with about my work? At the same time, studying at Camberwell I have the opportunity to get great feedback from some of my favourite practitioners which has definitely helped me push my work substantially over the past two and a half years.

What would you be doing now if you weren’t at art school?

I’d most likely be working with my old man as a painter/decorator, sanding down walls with hands too rough to even consider working as an illustrator. 

Where are you making/creating most of your work?

Currently I produce most of my work at home – I live about 100 yards from college so that’s pretty handy. Plus I’m far too messy to work in the studio at uni as I’m sure I’d annoy half the class with the swarm of ink and photocopies that I seem to spread all around me. I always tell myself to take advantage of the printing facilities at college but I always find I have too much going on to get up there – hopefully this will change over the coming months!

What are you working on at the moment?

A project based on the short story Chronopolis by J.G Ballard. This is a course project set by our tutors for which I am creating an animation based on the city’s system of time. It should be completed soon so keep an eye out on my website to see the finished thing. I’ve also just finished a series of skateboards for the brand Blueprint Skateboards which you can see here I’m just about to get started on a new bunch which I’m excited about.

You can apply to be our January Student of the Month here

Portrait9

Posted by Bryony Quinn

Bryony was It’s Nice That’s first ever intern and worked her way up to assistant online editor before moving on to pursue other interests in the summer of 2012.

Most Recent: Illustration View Archive

  1. Cripsta-itsnicethat-list

    Alessandro Crippa, aka Cripsta, is a Milan born image-maker and one fifth of the TURBØSAFARY collective, about to complete an MA in Illustration here in London at Camberwell. There’s not a whole heap more information about him out there but no matter, we’re more than happy to let these images speak for themselves. This recent work collides various motifs – classical, Egyptian, and just sort of weird – into colourful and mysterious creations – named after various gods – which gently mock the viewer, challenging us to find meanings but playfully suggesting that such a hunt is entirely futile. His varied portfolio suggests Alessandro is still experimenting with his style but this work will hopefully herald more of the same as his fledgling career develops.

  2. Barbara_dziadosz_itsnicethat_list

    It was in summer 2014 that we last featured the wonderful illustrations of Barbara Dziadosz. Hailing from “a little town in northern Poland” the illustrator is currently finishing her studies in Hamburg, and with one scroll through her Tumblr it’s clear she’s been hard at work.

  3. 5173

    As the creative world digests last night’s big D&AD winners (those that scooped Black and White Pencils), there was a host of interesting work recognised in the 44 Yellow Pencils given out at the London awards bash. In total, the D&AD juries considered 847 projects this year and so less than one in 20 made the prestigious Yellow Pencil cut. Here’s our rundown of those winners that caught our eye for one reason or another – you can see the full list of winners over on the D&AD site here.

  4. Mattbooker-electiondrawings-itsnicethat-list

    It’s only been a couple of weeks but already the UK election seems a lifetime ago. If you’re into that kind of thing, there’s an undeniable drama about it all as the tension ratchets up across the campaign and breaks on election night itself as the results filter through from around the country. Topolski Studio commissioned eight young artists to capture the goings-on through the medium of drawing and the results will be published in its upcoming Election Chronicle.

  5. List-george-douglas-holy-mountain-its-nice-that

    George Douglas seems like a pretty cool guy – he’s chosen to immortalise David Lynch’s notoriously tricky Inland Empire and Alejandro Jodorowsky’s weird-as-hell surrealist classic The Holy Mountain in poster form, after all. But it’s not just his penchant for the peculiar side of celluloid we’re interested in – it’s his deft approach to collage, a medium often done shoddily but all the more impressive when done well. George is based in Edinburgh, and alongside his film posters he also creates well-composed works formed of abstract shapes and often murky colours, which could work just as well across the pages of a creatively minded commissioning editor’s publication as on more esoteric applications.

  6. Kate_prior_itsnicethat_list

    Kate Prior’s bright, tongue-in-cheek and colourful illustrations have secured her commissions for The New Yorker , ASOS, Adidas and Pitchfork among others. Kate is currently working as an in-house illustrator for Urban Outfitters in Europe and the USA, but she still remembers drawing in more humble surroundings at her parents’ house, “as a way to keep me quiet.”

  7. Andygilmore-itsnicethat-list

    It’s no real surprise to learn that image-maker Andy Gilmore is also a musician because his geometric compositions feel orchestrated. The New York-based creative brings colour, shape and pattern together in tightly formatted visual symphonies which swell to become more than the sum of their parts, dazzling the eye and tricking the brain simultaneously. It’s been three years since we last featured Andy’s work on the site but he’s as in demand as ever, with clients like Ogilvy NY, Wired and The New York Times queuing up for a bit of his brilliance.

  8. Janbuchczik-int-list

    If Jan Buchczik were to start a fan club – one which you could enter only by correctly spelling his surname 15 times or more – we’d be first in line, happily clutching our Jan badges. And not least because we’ve got his name down. Finally.

  9. Thokamaer-itsnobiggie-itsnicethat-list

    It was way back in 2012 that we first featured Thoka Maer’s it’s no biggie, a blog of joyous GIFS that capture little moments in life, by turns sweet and surreal. A lot has happened since then – not only the fact that we can now actually embed GIFs on our site and show you Thoka’s creations in all their glory. She meanwhile has graduated from the Visual Communication course at the University of the Arts, Berlin, and inb (as all the cool kids are calling it) won the self-initiated category at last year’s Association of Illustrators awards.

  10. Gigi_rose_gray_solo_show_its_nice_that_list

    There’s a beautiful vividness to Gigi Rose Gray’s illustrations – reds are crimsons, blues are ceruleans and yellows have seeped into deep ochres. Gigi crops into the small moments and hones in on a handful of people or the facade of a building.

  11. Adamhigton-itsnicethat-main

    Did you ever see that copy of Die Zeit with the front cover illustrated by Adam Higton? A cheerful, smiley sunflower resting on a retina-searing yellow to declare to all the grumpy, cold commuters that SPRING was finally here! Adam doesn’t often do high profile mag covers like that, he tends to spend his time cutting out shapes, arranging them into creatures and characters, creating collages and photographing them in woodland environments.

  12. Tuesdaybassen-itsnicethat-list

    Most of you probably have an inkling of who Tuesday Bassen is; she’s a powerful LA illustrator, brand consultant, public speaker and all-out entrepreneurial maverick who can already count folks like Playboy, Lucky Peach, The New Yorker and The New York Times as clients. She’s doing pretty well for herself. But somehow – SOMEHOW – we’ve never given her portfolio a good airing on the site. I feel just awful about this because I spend at least half an hour a week watching her compelling process videos on Instagram that demonstrate the deftness of her brushwork as she inks images of gnarly skate chicks and stony-faced punks. So without further ado; Tuesday, everyone, everyone, Tuesday. I’m sure you’re all going to get on famously!

  13. Alexanderrobyn-itsnicethat-main

    I wouldn’t say I fully understood a lot of Alexander Robyn’s comics, but it says a lot for his skill with a set of pencil crayons that I fully disregard that fact when I happily browse though his endless Tumblr stream. Alexander’s work is a patchwork quilt of sci-fi, human behaviour, sex, violence, talking mooses, cuss words and technology, illustrated on natural paper in vibrant crayon and graphite. Part of Alexander’s trademark style is the way he uses neat, childish stencil typography in his comics. The aesthetic of stencil type gives his comics and beautiful drawings a naive quality, which is totally offset by the wit, skill and wry, adult humour evident in the content. To top it off, he’s bloody great at drawing geodesic domes.