Portrait16

Anna is a writer and illustrator who joined us as an editorial intern after studying at Cambridge University and Falmouth university. She wrote for the site between January and March 2013.

87 articles
  1. Snail-list

    David Janes sent us a small book of a green pop-up paper house. Complete with building instructions and a watercolour of several emerald houses dwarfing London, it’s a nice way to showcase his skills in artwork, mock-ups, guidelines and visual trickery.

  2. 4panel-list

    Once upon a time four panel strips were rife. But the thinning of newspapers brought the thinning of the back page funnies. Longer comics and graphic novels have their own strengths, but the self-contained, consistently sized strip has a satisfying pleasure all it’s own. Shorter comics have for a while now found a growing home online, and, excitingly, we’ve just discovered a place dedicated to the four panel kind.

  3. Cosmic-list

    Dom Sylvester Houédard was a Benedictine monk, scholar, concrete poet and pivot in the post war avante-garde. Since his death twenty years ago, Houédard’s varied, experimental work has barely left the hands of private collectors. The publication of Notes from a Cosmic Typewriter: The Life and Work of Dom Sylvester Houédard, edited by Nicola Simpson, seeks to reintroduce this maverick to a wider audience.

  4. List-things

    Here are some of the Things that dropped into It’s Nice That’s hands this week. From the deepest, bluest oceans to activists in Australia, from Kingston fabric to Portland paper to Dutch illustration, Things went to great lengths to deliver these goods. Go on, have a look.

  5. List-wallinger

    For the uninitiated the Tube can look like an inexplicable maze. But once you grasp Harry Beck’s iconic map, those chaotic lines form a manageable labyrinth. So goes the thinking behind London Underground’s biggest ever art commission: 270 permanent, unique artworks by Mark Wallinger soon to grace the walls of every Tube station.

  6. Yan-nascimbene2

    We’ve only just discovered the beautiful watercolours of Yan Nascimbene. The late French/Italian artist and writer produced over 60 illustrated books and over 300 book covers. His details are exquisite and his smooth, rich washes are gorgeous. But it is the space in Nascimbene’s work that really makes the viewer draw breath.

  7. List-crb

    Café Royal Books was set up by Craig Atkinson in 2005. Based in Southport, he publishes around 15 short run artists’ editions a year. The mostly black and white photographs and drawings form an eclectic library ranging from China Slides to Geriatric Kama Sutra. Uniformly presented as stripped-back zines and wordless save for title and artist, each fascinating little book is produced on quality paper with a smooth finish.

  8. Raw-list

    These oversized, misshapen, foamy straightjacket bundles were made by Eindhoven-based duo Raw Color for design collective Dutch Invertuals. In a sweet range of minty pastels they look like they should provide a comfy bed, but wrapped around a head they’re more likely to suffocate.

  9. Cosy-list

    With sun-dappled bookshelves, stacked multi-coloured stools and copper candlesticks in rows, Johannes Romppanen’s beautifully shot project for Monocle magazine, Cosy Residence, is a very nice sight indeed for sore Tuesday morning eyes. Johannes has captured daylight playing across floor boards, hinted at sculptures perched on sides or placed in corners and honed in on some extremely nice chairs. That’s more than enough for us. Nice work Johannes!

  10. List-things-01

    Through the letter box this week we received Southampton’s industrial infrastructure, a comprehensive guide to contemporary typography, evolving brand identities, a young invalid’s visitors and a white porcelain conversation piece. Go on, get stuck into this week’s Things.

  11. Horowitz-list

    Phallic carpet snakes, fish-headed maids and electric blue intestines all feature heavily in Daniel Horowitz’s 365, the project in which he made a drawing a day for a year. His surreal creations are witty, disgusting and guaranteed to make you question your own free association. There’s lots of sex, skeletons and, fittingly, Rorschach tests.

  12. Murder-list

    Eccentric sleuths, private eyes, inexplicably locked-rooms and crucially timed trains: for terror, bafflement and satisfaction, few things beat a good detective novel. A new exhibition at the British Library traces the history of this treasured genre through an enlightening illustrated alphabet.

    From the foxed pages of the earliest forays into crime in the late 19th century to the rubbed spines and cracked joints of well-fingered contemporary paperbacks, there are some choice books on display. Illustrated covers of crime give a wonderful overview of the age: there are the Victorian pen and ink drawings of subterfuge under lamplight, the swift lines of mid-century green-spined Penguins, 1980s watercolours of bucolic villages with ominous shadows and, of course, the red lipped femme fatales with much to hide who frequented the 1940s American hardboiled crimes.

    Along with the books is a miscellany of thrilling finds. There’s Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original manuscript of the later Sherlock Holmes story The Adventures of the Retired Colonel, an annotated script of Agatha Christies’ Murder on the Orient Express, a couple of crime adventures penned by footballers Terry Venables and Pele and some inspiring lady detectives. The Golden Age of detective fiction falls in the period between the two world wars. During that time the fashion for mystery went well beyond books. There were jigsaw puzzle murders and “crime dossiers” stuffed with clues such as human hair and cigarette ends which players had to wade through to solve. Makes Cluedo sound a bit lame, doesn’t it.

  13. Laura-callaghan-list

    Laura Callaghan draws girls. Bookish, Frieda Kahlo-browed girls in patterned vintage wear who never smile. Rarely fully dressed, they spread their white limbs awkwardly in suffocating, multi-coloured rooms. Sometimes the unflinching eyes of another girl will be mirrored in an overwrought frame. There’s lepidoptera and there’s also Lolita.

  14. Opinion-list

    This week, in the excitement of Pride and Prejudice turning 200, Anna Trench is wary of the extent to which celebrations of a work peddle pre-conceived readings. We welcome your comments below.

  15. List-toby

    It’s a bit dull having just the one identity so why not ape a cartoon hero and create two? Toby Leigh sketches dodgy Londoners, makes little comics and uses 0.3mm mechanical pencils. Tobatron creates retro instruction manual parodies, produces satirical tea towels and prefers Adobe suite.

  16. List-neuromantics

    You don’t have to be a card-carrying bibliophile to appreciate that an old book’s better in the flesh. It’s not only the texture and smell, it’s the way the colours change over time. With the sad demise of the UK’s fine libraries, we’ll no doubt be increasingly relying on blogs like Bunker to dust off design tomes for our online perusal. That can, however, bring its own perks.

  17. Ghost-stories-list

    This tantalising trailer comes from the excellently titled Late Night Work Club, a “loose, rotating collective of indie animators”. They’ve gathered together to reveal their non-commercial, nocturnal creations in an upcoming animation anthology Ghost Stories.

  18. Cara-phillips

    In sterile rooms spot-lit chairs take centre stage, ready to seat the next nip/tuck client. Against cold grey walls, liposuction machines on wheels stand with clean beakers and drooping tubes. In a corner, above a large pink chair, a gilt-framed mirror reflects a wet babe emerging from the ripples. Apart from the kidney dish splattered with blood, Cara Phillips’ photographs of plastic surgery clinics move by insinuation. Her photos are of empty rooms: the viewer is invited to imagine the procedure, the real life cutting and pasting, and all the insecurities that must accompany it.

  19. List-things

    This week – like most weeks – a myriad of terrific things came through the door of It’s Nice That. Scroll below to discover well packaged queer cinema, mauled hands and apple cores, cosplay, clean planners and a very sweet orange and blue intro.

  20. List-golden-comics

    When Superman swooped onto the front cover of Action Comics #1 in June 1938 he transformed the world on and off the page forever. The next decade was hijacked by dozens of masked and caped saviours in tights, many of whom are still ubiquitous in art and pop culture today.

  21. Big-idea-list

    Joe Dixon’s tender video for the new Black Books’ song The Big Idea shows a romantic evening between a lonely man and his painted thumb. Having created his date’s perfect skin tone, big blue eyes and cascading golden locks, we follow the man and his hand’s coy conversation. They enjoy a Lady and the Tramp-inspired dinner for two, with the spaghetti carefully slurped between a red lipped finger and thumb. Then, after a shared (and impressively exhaled) cigarette by the fire, the couple twirl to a Roy Orbison track. But as his shadow plays across the floral wallpaper, a woman’s shadow joins the man’s.

  22. Tetris-list

    Ah, Tetris. The primary coloured, geometric video game that happily whiled away so many primary school hours. If you’re good at it, it can give you an early taster of a job well done. It’s just a shame the same compartmentalizing technique can’t be used for all the 3D stuff that gathers when you grow up.

  23. Gray-list

    When we came across Nothing Specific, a strange thing happened. The site, made up of the photography of Christopher Gray, is restrained to the point of enigmatic, but disappear into one of his portholes and one needs no explanation.

  24. Tom-rainford-list

    Animator and illustrator Tom Rainford only graduated from Winchester Art School a couple of years ago, but the showreel he sent in whirled us away with its original characters, confident colours and lovely rhythms. After sharpening his craft for a year at London animation studio Art & Graft Tom’s wisely headed to the countryside to make animation magic far from the madding crowd.

  25. List-powers-bowman-3

    They’ll strain your eyes and give you sea sickness, but J Powers Bowman’s imaginary worlds are completely worth it. Illustrating endless variations on hatching and stippling, the elusive Californian’s extraordinarily intricate drawings of utopian cityscapes, seascapes and landscapes seem to be built up freehand from what look like a million black and white patterns.

  26. List-office

    A paper replica of an eighties ad agency office is pretty meta. A paper replica of an imaginary eighties ad agency office is super meta. Alexis Facca, who showcases his love of paper, set design, shapes and colour under the alias Paper Donut, has created this marvelous shrine to the creative eighties by purportedly replicating the real office of the Walter R Cooper ad agency, who, as you’ll know “became one of London’s most celebrated agencies as it created glossy adverts that often combined humor, music and sexual energy and came to define the Eighties.”

  27. List-7-eleven

    7-Eleven has been leading the way in conveniently placed conveniences since 1927. But while it’s likely you might pop in for a chocolate bar and a cup of coffee, it’s less likely to be your first port of call for a graphic design fix.

  28. Things-list-18-01

    This week the Things sack gave us an intoxicating magazine about cider, seven beautiful zines, drawn dreams, global graphics and a book of washed out photographs. Enjoy!

  29. Mark-newgarden's-sketchbook-list

    Sketchbooks are used to plot and draft, but also to doodle and dream. So what’s wonderful about looking at Comics Sketchbooks, a collection of pages from over 80 comics artists, is not just seeing how roughs relate to finished work, but scribbling’s lack of self-consciousness.

    The revelations in sketchbooks can make the creator vulnerable – stripped bare of glossy finish, we can all look a bit rough – and it’s interesting in a book like this which pages the artists chose to present. Some use their pages to practice, others to fantasise. Some show obsessive neatness, others get messy. The ones that show process are fascinating to follow, and their annotations are exciting to decipher. But the pleasure of this book mainly comes from the feeling that seeing cartoonists trawl faint blue pencil for the perfect line to ink is akin to being let in on a great secret.

  30. List-momo

    Ever wondered what would happen if Where’s Wally metamorphosed into a beatnik canine and relocated to Twin Peaks? Me too! Unlike us though, a chap called Andrew Knapp has actually put the effort in and bestowed on us a wonderful series featuring his beloved pooch, Momo. Aptly chameleon-like for this snowy, rocky landscape, collie Momo blends in beautifully – sometimes it’s really hard to find him! But if you’re a dog lover in search of a saunter in the wilderness or you’re just a bit bored on a Thursday afternoon, this is the perfect pastime.

  31. Aspen-list

    Launched in 1964, the insanely avant-garde Aspen was a three-dimensional, multimedia magazine in a box. Inventive to the last, the New York-based publication included reels of Super-8 film, postcards, phonograph recordings of spoken word, jazz and electronica, sewing patterns, essays on critical theory and LSD, musical scores, posters, poetry, scripts, booklets and – hidden at the bottom – an advert or two.

  32. List-neapolis

    Parisians Ill Studio play with typography, photography, installation and art direction to create slick, creative surprises. They seem happiest when blurring lines and merging disciplines, so we won’t do them the injustice of pigeoning-holing them here. Suffice to say they have made some very nice stuff for some very big clients, and have turned our heads many a time before. Most recently they’ve self-published a a very nice looking book: Neapolis. Featuring works and words from a range of world class photographers, critics, sculptors, choreographers and designers it’s sure to be a fascinating read. With a bold yet minimalist design, this book oozes quiet confidence.

  33. Love-and-rockets-list

    When a long-running comic book series rejects the timeless universe to embrace aging, the gradual crow’s feet and readjusted dreams can be incredibly moving to follow. Love and Rockets, first drawn and stapled together by brothers Jaime, Gilbert and Mario Hernandez in 1981, is currently celebrating a remarkable 30 years as a trailblazer in alternative comics with a retrospective at San Francisco’s Cartoon Art Museum. The series has not only embraced aging, it’s aged brilliantly itself.

  34. List

    Who knew slow motion skateboarders in white plastic overalls being pelted with colourful water balloons would be the perfect accompaniment to ambient electronica? Well, directors Lamar + Nic knew. That’s why they went and made a video out of it. It’s simple, a little surreal and must have been extremely fun to shoot. Let’s just hope it doesn’t become a craze because one thing I do not need is an unexpected water bomb hitting my face as I ollie, nollie, slide and grind across London, thank you very much. But lovely to look at it happening to others.

  35. Pereira-luckman-lax-list

    Despite overflowing with architects and designers, Los Angeles has been always been a surprisingly staid city when it comes to urban innovation. A potential upcoming exhibition at the A+D Museum will reveal some of the visionary projects and discarded dreams that have floated around the City of Angels but for some reason or other never progressed beyond the drawing board.

  36. Web-things-list

    This week Things falls down London’s coal holes, wanders through the woodland of Berlin and ends up on the beaches of Melbourne plus ironic word games and perforated pink philosophy.

  37. Rb-list

    Since being one of our 2009 Graduates, Rose Blake has given us a fair bit to rave about. Founder of the ingenious Studio Music, member of film collective This Is It, creator of Playlist/Painting, maker of enviable t-shirts and illustrator for a number of top-notch clients such as The New York Times, its a wonder she’s had time to update her website.

  38. Megg-list-5

    Turning beloved children’s book characters into depressed junkies is always going to be a gamble. Simon Hanselmann’s Megg and Mogg comics are tragic, sick and sort of sacrilegious – they’re also absolutely wonderful and have been my favourite thing on Tumblr for many, many months now.

  39. List-okolo

    Liguria: coastal region of north-western Italy, home of pesto and Christopher Colombus, and now inspiration for the beautiful fourth issue of OKOLO’s annual magazine. We last praised Czech publishers OKOLO for their imaginative tribute to Italian designer, architect and ski enthusiast, Carlo Mollino. Now they’ve teamed up with collector and curator Fulvio Ferrari of Casa Mollino to produce this exploration of the “hidden architecture, design and culture gems of Italian Liguria coastline.”

  40. Herero-list

    Shot in the bright, white light of the world’s largest desert, Jim Naughten’s portraits of the Herero tribe of Namibia look almost unreal. Dressed in ceremonial garb creatively re-appropriated from their colonial past, the men, women and children stand statuesque with distant stares. They could have been set up in an early 20th century photographer’s studio, with a propped-up backdrop and a Victorian fancy dress box to hand.