• Big_bear

    Big Bear

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    Dungeness Drawings

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    Dungeness Drawings

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    Dungeness Drawings

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    Dungeness Drawings

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    Dungeness Drawings

  • Human_cover

    Human (adj.)

  • Animals_fighting

    Human (adj.)

  • Fox_screenprint

    Human (adj.)

  • Human_lion_1

    Human (adj.)

  • Human_bear_1

    Human (adj.)

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    Human (adj.)

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    Human (adj.)

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    Human (adj.)

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    Human (adj.)

  • Lithograph_storm_lion

    Human (adj.)

  • Portrait_2

    Portraits

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    Portraits

Illustration

The Graduates 2011: Sarah Maycock

Posted by Bryony Quinn,

After a “tough two years” at a boy’s grammar school and one more in Brighton City College, Sarah Maycock arrived at Kingston University to study Illustration and Animation. Her work, with its painterly details and canny knack for character, is an excellent amalgamation of her meanderings between the fine art and illustration studios back in Brighton, and a very special ability for obsessive mark making “mixed with total order.”

Kingston posed her the opportunity to “take charge of my artist’s temperament with some nice shiny briefs.” And she certainly channelled that nature into quite a number fascinating projects. Examples being a book of Dungeness drawings and some accomplished sketchbooks showing her to be a quick and able reportage illustrator, while a book on animal similes reveal an extraordinary explanatory power to the hasty lines and use of colour. Lovely stuff.

If your portfolio was on fire, and you could only save one piece/project, which would you choose, and why?

It’s too big to fit in my actual portfolio, but it would have to be the Bear painting I made for my final exhibition. I stood/sat/lay/crawled on the paper to paint him, so he and I are quite intimate now.

If you could collaborate with another artist/designer (or a number of artists/designers) to make a piece of work, who would you work with and what would you make?

I don’t know if this is a project as such, but I would love to play the drawing game, “Consequences” with Hieronymus Bosch, Egon Schiele, Thom Yorke, and Henri Matisse (to name a few, this list changes every time I try to think about it). The quality of drawing, conceptual thinking and surreal imagination would be mind blowingly inspirational. All condensed into folded drawings of figures. And maybe Denys Fisher (the man who invented Spirograph) so we could make an incredible painting machine.

What was your finest moment at art school?

Three come to mind. I was recently invited to Ken Garland’s studio, that was brilliant. Or the end of year show at the Red Gallery. It felt like my first “real” thing. I worked with several others on the identity, which was a huge responsibility, but such a good experience. I think it’s given me a taste for art direction. Oh, I also invented the term “tug of war seesaw” and used it in the conclusion of my dissertation.

We believe it was the Jonas brothers who once said “we’re the kids of the future.” How, if at all, do you relate to that?

I don’t feel like a kid anymore, I think I have aged about twenty years in the last six weeks or so. As for relating to the Jonas Brothers, I’d rather not. I have a real thing about men who look like they preen their eyebrows more than I do.

Can you give us ONE prediction about you and your work for the next year?

I will move home for a little while and work in the local pub, which will be a reminder that the world doesn’t (always) revolve around paper gsm and colour space and pagination, all the while exploring my interest in portraiture and paint.

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

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    If you happen to be in central London doing your Christmas shopping this week you might well come across a rare gem of a shop in Soho, home to glacéau vitaminwater’s unique pop-up, in which a host of young creatives have been creating bespoke wrapping paper for those gift-givers who are all fingers and thumbs, and don’t fancy giving their presents in your standard brown paper packaging.

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    None of us at It’s Nice That could work out exactly what it was about Daniel Guerrero Fernández’s drawings that we loved, but we all agreed it was great. Clouds, mountains, planets, yin-yangs, waterfalls, swords – something about his portfolio is a cross between K-pop and Game of Thrones with a pinch of Studio Ghibli thrown in for good measure. Anyone that can pour that amount of joy on to a page is fine by me, I just hope that after this great interview over on Urban Outfitters he’s still got some of those pin badges left.

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    Try to look upon Will Laren’s work not as a series of spot illustrations, but as comic masterpieces in their own right. He’s effectively moulding a new genre according to these novel and very specific needs. Rendered in acrylic, Will’s aesthetic is comprised mainly of colours and patterns that look like they belong side-by-side only on the rails of a forgotten charity shop, but somehow when they’re juxtaposed with Will’s pallid looking, wrinkly-faced characters spouting grotesque and hilarious things to one another, they seem very much appropriate. Explaining the joke will kill it in a second, so check these wonders out for yourself.

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    I am a bit cynical about the concept of guest editors (for obvious, selfish reasons I suppose – “no not anyone can do this!”) but WIRED getting Christopher Nolan to helm their December issue is something of a coup. Subtitled Beyond. A Story in Five Dimensions, the special issue focussed on line, planes, space, time, and the multiverse. Longtime friend of the site Mario Hugo was brought in to create an array of visualisations for the cover, contents page and throughout the rest of the magazine and he worked with Hugo & Marie colleague Sam Hodges (once of this parish) on the intriguing final images.

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    Wrapping presents is easily our least favourite part of the festive season; in fact we can’t really see any issue with Smithy’s ingenious tin foil solution from Gavin & Stacey. However it may just be that we’ve been using the wrong kind of wrapping paper all these years – vapid creations covered in tired stereotypes.

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    Mysterious French artist Sarah-Louise Barbett has been comfortably residing in my favourites folder for years now. She updates her Flickr every now and again with more beautifully painted watercolour scenes of some of the most poignantly boring scenarios imaginable. Sarah-Louise sees the world differently to everyone else, she records odd mundanity with extraordinary beauty and wit – capturing the moment someone leaves a bottle of Fanta on a car roof, or when she catches her dog sitting casually on a sofa. Some people might prefer to use a camera to quickly snap these scenes, but that’s why I love Sarah-Louise so much: she chooses to paint them. That one she did of the chubby black labrador (she does seem to have a thing for dogs) is probably one of my favourite images from this year.

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    David Shrigley’s got a whopper of a new book out entitled Weak Messages Create Bad Situations. I couldn’t agree more. Sometimes, at this time of year, when you look back at those annual round-ups and “photographs that sum up 2014” it can be easy to feel like the world is just so full of disaster and crap. It seems that the people running this planet have been giving us weak, nay wrong messages this whole time! How mean. And what have they created? A bad situation. We love David’s new book, which totally sums up the feeling of helplessly skidding downhill on a bicycle with no brakes towards a cliff. Here he is on the book, dreams, and the world in general.

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    Over two and a half years have passed since Robert Fresson graduated from the Royal College of Art with his Masters in visual communication. Two and a half years of moving out of London, buying himself a barge in Bath, taking up teaching on the illustration BA at Plymouth and of course busting his nuts creating a plethora of new work – or “illustrating his socks off” as he’d most likely put it. I’ve always been envious of Rob’s work (we did art foundation together so it’s a lasting envy) for its masterful approach to traditional techniques, colour processes and wonderful use of line, which goes from strength to strength as the years go by. He also has the work ethic of a single-minded shire horse, capable of subjecting himself to unfathomable hours of dedicated labour on a project that particularly excites him. And that’s why he’s so bloody good!

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    There’s something resolute about Laura Breiling’s illustration; it has a kind of strength of character about it that fully explains her growing client list. Whether her subject is a burly naked man gazing into a bathroom mirror with an uncapped lipstick lying next to him or a fabulous older lady lying fully clothed in bed sipping on a cocktail and gazing unflinchingly at the viewer, Laura’s confidence and consistence in her heavy jewel colours and printed textures command a kind of awe. Or at least they do for me. The Germany-based illustrator creates a huge volume of work, experimenting in different styles and subjects to form a style of working unlike any I’ve seen before, and it’s right up my street.

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    There’s a lot of joy at It’s Nice That HQ when our favourite illustrators hit the big time. When Aisha Franz had her latest graphic novel Earthling published by Drawn and Quarterly, it was once again time for celebration. Earthling is the story of an all-female family (two sisters and a mother) who each retreat into imaginary fantasy worlds in order to escape the mundanity and struggle of ordinary life. That makes it sound quite heavy going – but it’s not. It’s full of dark humour, sex and hilarious snippets of perilous teenage life that you’ll be glad are far, far behind you. Also, we’re so used to Aisha’s work being so brightly coloured that this book – drawn entirely in scribbled pencil – is a very interesting new venture for her, one that I personally am a big fan of. Anyone you know who’s into the witty, sarcastic humour of Daniel Clowes’ Ghost World definitely needs to get their hands on this.

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    We came across Cozy Tomato’s illustrations when studying the Mr Porter Journal for our Behind the Screens feature. Cozy Tomato (whose real name is Koji Tomoto) gets commissioned by the guys over there all the time, to add a retro, fun element to their articles on fashion and lifestyle. Cozy’s work is reminiscent of 1950s children’s books and quilts, lots of pointy nosed people with gravity-defying ponytails having a wild, leisure-filled time in the great outdoors. What’s marvellous about Cozy is how his illustrations are so well-researched that they actually could have been lifted from back in the day, and are so packed full of unadulterated, candy-coloured joy that they can spice up even the most intellectually treacle-like article. Perhaps that’s why he gets so many commissions from Monocle.

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    Talk about ramping it up – it was only a couple of months back that we were marvelling at the amount of work Cynthia Kittler had taken on since graduating, and now she’s back again with shedloads more.

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    In April this year Josh McKenna was still a student, working his way through third year illustration down in Falmouth. Since then graduation’s taken place, he’s traded the peaceful coastal town for the incessant throb of London and he’s found himself producing a fair bit of lovely commercial work. When last we met Josh’s work was all poolsides and exotic colour palettes, but his subject matter reflects his move to the metropolis – huge red buses, commuter cyclists and smart phones now dominate, but there’s still that characteristic sense of fun in there too, as a personal project on bums reflects. It seems like Josh has moved up in the world, and his image-making shows that off beautifully.