Amy

Amy joined It’s Nice That in July 2014 as a freelance editorial assistant. Previously she studied English at Oxford University and has worked at several media and film production companies.

al@itsnicethat.com@amylew27

74 articles
  1. 5.35

    Suited and booted we come to you for this week’s Studio Audience, dressed, as Maisie points out, like an awkward family waiting to go to a wedding. (It was our AGM you see, AKA Annual Dress Up For Work Day.) Don’t worry though, we’re our usual barmy selves despite the posh frocks, talking about our bread and butter, art and design. You can listen using the SoundCloud embed below or you can subscribe via iTunes here.

  2. Thingslist

    Quite frankly, I’ve gone mad for mags this week. Once you delve into the world of independent magazines, you realise there are more on offer than your commute could ever possibly be long enough give you time to read them all. Those cherry-picked by yours truly this week explore documentary photography and the photo-essay, (Huck and Aint-Bad ), cruel corporations (Adbusters ) and independent magazines themselves (Gym Class). For a dash of variation and because it was simply too lovely to leave out, a box of charming notebooks printed by French studio L’imprimerie du Marais for your visual delectation.

  3. Gwlist18

    Even if you haven’t seen it, you’ll have heard of it, because Gone With The Wind is still, 75 years after its release, the most successful blockbuster of all time. David O. Selznick’s multi-Oscar winning film has weevilled its way deep into the American – and the world’s – subconscious, creating so vivid a cultural memory we’re almost tricked into believing we lived through it all too. Even a lass like me, “southern” only in the east London sense of the word.

  4. Pepelist09

    Bronia Stewart first caught everyone’s attention back in 2013 with her project Babe Station. With this gritty series taken behind the scenes at an adult television channel the LCC graduate dove into salacious subject matter showing maturity, confidence and creativity beyond her tender years. Where could she and her camera possibly venture next?

  5. Listve-wir3-02

    With the Writers in Residence series, Alain de Botton and Visual Editions sure have hit on an awesome recipe. Take one rather brilliant writer, mix with a mysterious organisation, throw in some tasty design and some crisp photography, and you have yourself one extremely readable publication.

  6. Eslistst-columba's-wells_-londonderry-(derry)-_-n-ireland_-1965-(c)-edwin-smith_-riba-library-photographs-collection

    Edwin Smith’s England is a faraway place, and yet a familiar one. It’s a land inhabited by long-skirted ladies with perms, where brass cash registers are used on high streets fronted by butchers and bakers and grocers. No surprise then that the people’s poet Sir John Betjeman dubbed Smith a “genius at photography” because he has, in his vast collection of photographs of city and countryside, inside and outside, captured the essence of the now-distant England portrayed in the writer’s verse.

  7. Listlachapelle_landscape_03

    The dazzling lights of David LaChapelle’s hyper-realistic photographs, glinting from neon and metallic and shimmering objects, send a hazy glow into the dark background; a magical aura that conjures up memories of fairground rides and bonfire nights and hot breath misting up the air in front of you. The photographer’s images are no less magical really; they draw you in, bedazzled and bewildered, like a ditzy moth drawn to a lamp, and then surprise you by being even more brilliant than you realised at first.

  8. Lalistallenby

    Several years ago, Luke Archer came across an antique camera in his mum’s shed. It was in amongst heaps of equipment from his grandfather’s studio, who was also a photographer, and originally belonged to Alexander Bassano, a Victorian society photographer. Out of this discovery, Inheritance was born; a project about the hereditary peers whose ancestors were pictured by Bassano but also about the portraitist tradition itself.

  9. Thingslist

    Pardon the puns, but when you have a project as eggcentric as 12 dozen egg cups amongst your Things, it’s simply irresistible. If literally hundreds of photos of eggs doesn’t crack you up, perhaps you’ll go all runny inside for a eggcellent poster from Rose Blake and an eggstraordinary comic from the marvellous NoBrow Press and writer and illustrator Roman Muradov. Failing that, you’ll surely get eggcited by Phaidon’s new series of introductions to the life and work of modern masters or by some prints celebrating the eggceptional pioneers of the poster. Right then, onwards, because I’m fresh out of yolks.

  10. Main

    Political, powerful and poignant (although not always all at the same time), Abram Games’ work earned him a place as one of the 20th Century’s most iconic and influential graphic designers. Notoriously, one of his posters was banned by Churchill in post-war Britain and, although he crafted advertising for the Times, Transport for London and Guinness, his most impactful work was created for noble causes. During the Second World War he designed hundreds of recruitment posters and images discouraging waste, with slogans like “Use Spades, Not Ships” and bold dynamic graphics.

  11. Listrop.8991_4

    New York-based visual artist Roxy Paine has achieved the mind-boggling feat of recreating an entire airport security checkpoint out of wood. This follows on from the mysteriously named Machine of Indeterminacy and Scrutiny and takes his maple masterpieces to a new degree of complexity. Sadly, he declined to tell me just how many trees went into the making of Checkpoint, which is part of his solo exhibition Denuded Lens at the Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York, but he has answered a few more sensible questions about just how he creates his crazily intricate works which explore “the discourse of the diorama.”

  12. Andrealist

    Sometimes the simplest things can be the hardest to pull off, but that is precisely what Andrea Evangelista’s graphic design achieves with quiet aplomb. I imagine most young creatives would quail at the notion of designing a book titled Trafficking Survivor Care Standards, but Andrea’s work is confident and careful, lending the text the clarity it demands. He lets the content sit in plenty of white space inside its buttercup cover, resisting the temptation to chuck in a bunch of pretty images.

  13. Thomas

    If I were to draw my own picture of Thomas Colligan (having never met the talented chap) I’d attach a little funnel to his back, because the man is a veritable illustration engine, churning out heaps of great work just this year. This impression also owes something to the plethora of cars and factories and engines puffing out plumes of smoke in the busy worlds of his illustrations, where a population of Flat Stanley-like characters tootle about. Alternating between gouache and coloured pencils, Thomas creates scenes with grass as green as the Swiss hillsides he hails from, and balaclava-clad bank robbers as gutsy as those in the movies set in his new home of New York.

  14. Listalextennapel1

    The best portrait photography is truly mesmerising; a compliment which can surely be paid to Alex Ten Napel’s series of Alzheimer’s patients. In a somewhat ironic manner, the Dutch photographer has created enrapturing, memorable images of elderly and enigmatic faces. They’re both heartbreaking and joyful, delightful and despairing, as Alex has caught “that specific moment portrait photographers wait for: the moment in which posture and facial expression come together in a meaningful manner.”

  15. Main1

    Using block pastel colours and precise pen outlines, Alessandro Apai is part of what seems to be a new trend emerging in illustration. His work is simple and funny, taking what could be perfectly normal everyday interactions and making them just that little bit odd and infinitely more interesting. Featuring a character who looks like a modern day, grown-up version of Hergé’s Tintin and some dark-haired playmates, his drawings show potential to tell even more quirky and fully developed stories. Italian Alessandro’s still a student, so we hope for great things in the future!

  16. Fixlist

    You can’t go wrong with a video set to honky-tonk piano music featuring some fresh-faced youngsters who get to work solving a granny’s sock problem. Designers Dan Jackson and Sophie Both are the “Fixperts” who puzzle over how to help “fix partner” Edna get her socks on in the mornings and come up with a creative solution in this short, jazzy film.

  17. Coslist

    Spectacularly creative Dutch duo Lernert & Sander have made a film for COS, The Sound of COS, in which the artists imitate the sounds clothes make. In their studio they crush salt, open umbrellas, slip on oven mitts and stomp about to create the soundtrack for a fashion video. Meta, eh? The concept is ingenious, because as we’re paying heightened attention to the pop of the button, the zip of the jacket and the jingle of keys in a purse, we’re also paying extra close attention to COS’ Autumn/Winter collection in all its lovely detail.

  18. How-do-you-love-me_mac-conner_1950_courtesy-of-mcny.jpg-1

    It isn’t often that we have a centenarian on the site, so today there’s double cause for celebration because not only is designer Mac Conner 100 years old, he’s also a ruddy legend. Mac spent the 1950s living and working in New York as one of the real-life Mad Men, illustrating for The Saturday Evening Post, Cosmopolitan and Good Housekeeping.

  19. Thingshome

    Our poor postman is going to need a nice cuppa and a good long sit down this weekend after lugging so many parcels full of creative delights to our studio the past few days. Making the cut we have a collection of Jonny Hannah’s artwork, a tote bag bursting with awesome illustrated t-shirts and a calendar full of pictures of meat. Yep, you heard me. Accompanying this troop of treats is a children’s book about a ghost having a great time by Antonio Ladrillo and some snazzy soap. Bet you’re all in a lather now, so let’s commence.

  20. Main

    Daniel Gray is an illustrator, but a past manifestation of himself wore a white coat and a stethoscope. He says he dropped out of Medical Science “when he realised illustration had a much lower patient mortality rate.” Looking at his portfolio though, I’d say he’s a guy drawn to tricky jobs.

  21. Madeyoulooklist

    How do traditional creative industries survive alongside the new digital kid on the block? By going back to basics. Made You Look is a documentary about the UK’s DIY graphic arts scene, exploring how creatives, publishers and agencies are sticking with and returning to tactile means of making things. They’re using pens on paper and acrylic paint along with new technology to create works which can be held onto instead of disappearing into the ethereal web.

  22. Main

    Looking at Pawel Mildner’s illustrations is like going on a little adventure. A really fun one. Your imagination is invited into lunar landscapes where grumpy flowers scowl at astronauts and wild woods where bearded Norsemen hunt for pesky rabbits which hop away gleefully. There’s a sense of wonder in the drawings; in one a giant dove gawps at a big yellow sphere which could be an oversize bowling ball or the moon or a previously undiscovered planet and in another a whale springs out of the sea. Some of Pawel’s work is editorial, but he’s also illustrated and written a children’s book, Ciekawe, co myśli o tym królowa, or “Wonder what the queen thinks about it” in case your Polish is a bit rusty.

  23. Wrecking-yardtop

    Riley wanted to be like Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn when he grew up; he wanted to hunt for treasure and go on adventures. Riley’s never forgotten the magical lure of finding hidden pennies and bottle tops, silver and scraps, and when scavenging he finds himself transformed into a mythical adventurer like a character in a tale by Mark Twain.

  24. Drippedlist

    Slip on your headphones and slide into 1950s New York watching this Jackson Pollock tribute animation. Dripped, a short film by Léo Verrier and produced by Chez Eddy, explores Pollock’s quest to find his creative voice. In a world tinged with sepia, in which men wear brown corduroy suits and plum velvet jackets, Pollock tries to find how he fits in with the greats in the galleries. The film has a dash of cops ’n’ robbers intrigue and superhero-esque feats – scaling buildings and bounding from roof to roof – as Pollock pilfers art in an attempt to discover his creative identity. In his drab apartment, frustrated by painting still lifes and full of the fodder of famous works, Pollock finally discovers his characteristic, colourful style. Set to the sound of twinkly piano notes and mournful oboes, Dripped is a clever and beautiful ode to inspiration and innovation.

  25. Main1_10.13.57

    Kit Russell’s Flatland poster isn’t just any old poster, oh no – it’s a poster that can be turned into a sphere. Or a sphere that can be turned into a poster. Recent illustration graduate Kit has also created a poster that morphs into a square, and the pair are an imaginative interaction with Edwin A. Abbott’s 1884 novel Flatland. Subtitled A Romance of Many Dimensions and written under the pseudonym “A Square”, Abbott’s tale is a social satire commenting on the hierarchy of Victorian society. The narrator – a square – lives in a two-dimensional world where he is visited by a sphere and convinced of the existence of another world, a three-dimensional world. Sadly, no-one else in Flatland will believe Spaceland exists and Square is ignobly dunked in the slammer. Lewis Carroll meets M.C. Escher and the Mr Men, if you will.

  26. List

    The Twittersphere went cuckoo for the Emmys this week, but those stingy folks over the pond only hand out awards once a year; here at It’s Nice That we give a big thumbs up to five lucky Things every single ruddy week! Sitting around the table of Things in their tuxedos and posh frocks today we have a book collecting together the splendidly surreal works of Jim’ll Paint It, a poster from master print-maker Anthony Burrill and a new zine exploring the passions and peculiarities of crafty creatives. There’s also a pack of Artists Top Trumps and a book full of photos of a toy town Tokyo. Pop the champagne: let Things commence!

  27. Main

    Where do dreams come true? “Disneyland!” squeal the indoctrinated masses. Sadly, the dream’s over for the exhibits of Yesterland, which is a photo archive of rides, restaurants and rodeos which are no more. Or, as Yesterland likes to style itself, “a theme park on the web.”

  28. List

    German design studio Hort prides itself on being an “unconventional working environment” and a “place where work and play can be said in the same sentence.” In this video by Analog Mensch Digital, Hort’s much-loved creator Eike Konig talks about their work and ethos whilst rolling paint and printing a poster. The camera wanders about the studio past leaning bikes and big white desks, scrolling up bookcases and dwelling on the Anthony Burrill posters gracing the walls. Eike is always worth listening to, whether he’s musing on the differences between international and German clients, traditional and digital work and the morals of design. He says: “Visual language is a strong language. We have responsibility in the use of this power.”

  29. Kk7list

    There’s something wonderfully honest about Kieran Kesner’s portraits of Ukraine. His camera acknowledges there’s a civil war tearing the country apart – there are protests and soldiers and guns and casualties – but this isn’t the sum total of what is happening there. There are still priests saying prayers and farmers plucking potatoes from the fields and cyclists on their bikes; what we see on the news is only part of the story Kieran suggests.

  30. Main

    This week editorial assistant Amy Lewin ponders the cultural impact of the potential England/Scotland split. As ever, feel free to leave comments below.

  31. Listnh

    Colourful costumes, coconut curries and calypso aside, at the heart of Carnival is the celebration of a community. New book Carnival: A Photographic and Testimonial History of the Notting Hill Carnival, published by Rice n Peas Publishing, champions the magic, the musicians and the makers of the Notting Hill Carnival. In it, authors Ishmahil Blagrove Jr and Margaret Busby look back at the origins of the festival in the 1950s and 60s, before crime and crowd control began to hog the headlines.

  32. Thingslist

    Where else in the whole wide web would you find a tubby hippo in the company of a superhero and a life-size illustration of an intestine? We here at It’s Nice That do our very best to bring you creative wotsits in all shapes and sizes, so for this week’s Things we invite you to venture into the big bad city with a large mammal in need of a dentist, fly into the blue yonder with a Buzz Lightyear lookalike and flick through Pete Gamlen’s latest zine. If that doesn’t sound entertaining enough, then have a browse of Marijke Timmerman’s brilliant book which illustrates our frankly rather odd relationship with food, and peruse the pages of The Velvet Cell’s photobooks.

  33. Olafurlist

    “Riverbed is running.” So tweeted Studio Olafur Eliasson yesterday – a poetic press release if ever I heard one – to announce the opening of the Danish-Icelandic artist’s latest epic installation. Something of a titan in the art world, having already created moon, he’s now built riverbed in the south wing of the Louisiana Musuem of Modern Art in Denmark.

  34. Main9

    In an untidy apartment in Milan, a lion roars. Nearby, an armadillo sniffs a pile of papers. An ibex is fed up; he can’t see very well for all the bubble wrap around his head. But these aren’t escapees from the zoo; they’re a failed diorama.

  35. Thingslist

    Well, well, well, what have we got here? Only a whole bunch of really rather scrumptious things. Miss May Van Millingen has done some gorgeous illustrations of little beasties and nobbly pumpkins, while our friend Tom Sewell personally delivered a psychedelic print which is brightening up the studio. Somewhat more stormy is Alex Booker’s print of a ship stuck out at sea, which looks like an adventure worthy of Ernest Shackleton. As for books, we’ve got our mitts on a copy of Grayson Perry’s latest, which is a guide to getting your noodle around what the heck modern art is all about, and a fun children’s book which is an adventure in colour. That’s what I call a cracking collection.

  36. Main6

    “AMERICA: Who Stole The Dream?” reads a poster in the newsroom of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Amid towering piles of papers and notepads, styrofoam coffee cups and creaking, half-broken office chairs, this is the question asked by photographer and writer Will Steacy.

  37. Scclist

    If Quentin Tarantino made ads, they’d look like this. The scene is a dark, chintzy bar. Our protagonist wears a studded denim jacket and glitzy gold earrings. There’s a song in the background about Little Red Riding Hood, and I think we all know who’s the Big Bad Wolf.

  38. Patlist

    Taking on the art direction of a musical installation touring about British woodlands sounds like a somewhat complex task. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what a musical installation set amongst trees would even involve. I assumed it wasn’t anything to do with singing pixies.

  39. Main

    Unless you’ve recently relocated from a teeny tiny little hut atop a snowy, sheep-covered mountain miles from the nearest village, you probably know that the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is on. It’s only the world’s biggest arts festival, after all. What you might not know is how it all began. Back in 1947, when corned beef was still a dietary staple and your granny was grateful for her bread and dripping sandwiches, eight rogue theatre troops gatecrashed the Edinburgh International Festival. These unofficial performers staged shows on the outskirts of the festival, and so “the fringe” was born.

  40. Listdie-tollen-hefte-01

    When you ask a couple of creatives who work in a former kindergarten in east Berlin (as we learned in an interview many moons ago) to show you their book collection, you hope to see some pretty cool and quirky publications. Doris and Daniel of Golden Cosmos have not let us down.