Author Archive: Liv Siddall

Ls-300

Liv joined It’s Nice That as an intern in 2011 and is now one of our editors. She oversees itsnicethat.com and has a particular interest in illustration, photography and music videos. She is also a regular guest and sometime host on our Studio Audience podcast.

ls@itsnicethat.com@LivSiddall

1716 articles
  1. Lovemixtape-main-int

    Hey gang! We can’t deliver you roses, we can’t buy you a puppy, and we certainly can’t reserve you a table at a restaurant in Soho, but we CAN make you a loving, sexy playlist for you to crank up in your place of work today. Hey, maybe tomorrow you could put it on while you stir red wine into a Bolognese de Lurve, or before you go out on the town with your mates to raise a toast to being single and free of all this Valentine’s crap. Regardless, this selection of crooners and crotch-awakeners will remind you that even if you haven’t got a special someone in your life, you have us, and we love you very, very much. Enjoy!

  2. Daniel_eckler-whereswallet4-int-lisst

    Find yourself losing your wallet a few times too often? On the bus after a couple of shandies? No longer in your pocket at a festival? On the cistern of a toilet? Yeah, me too. Luckily we live in the age of technology, so people all over the world are making sure dummies like us can keep track of our personal bits. Where’s Wallet has just made its online debut, and looks fantastic: “Thanks to cutting edge technology, each wallet features a thin, unobtrusive sensor, so you never have to replace your wallet, or its contents, ever again.” Sounds good to me! Before you get your shit old wallet out to actually pay for one of these babies, check out the brilliant interactive website for it illustrated by Harry Bloom. The Where’s Wally? aesthetic of the site asks you to locate lost items, and play fun quizzes about tech. Bash that auctioneer’s gavel down, I am s-o-l-d.

  3. Tod-papageorge-studio-54-int

    This is fantastic. An interactive, well-designed web article about Tod Papageorge, who photographed Studio 54 in its heydey, with accompanying photographs of said photographer by one of my favourite photographers Jeremy Liebman. And that’s not all, as you scroll down this slick, smooth site and learn about the glitter-smeared naughtiness of the club that notoriously only let in people with “high energy” and was once referred to as the best party in the world, ever, you are treated to soundbites from an interview with Tod about his new book.

  4. Taschen-psychedelicsex-list-int.png

    Unless we ask our parents (which we will certainly not be doing) us young’ns will never really know if sex in the 1960s and 70s was better than it is now. They say a lot of things are better when you’re on acid, so I can imagine the rumours are true: being naked in the company of someone else, and getting down and dirty on some hand-embroidered rugs sounds far superior than a quick bonk in the dark with your iPhone pinging in the background.

  5. Thefamilyacid-stonehengeunboundmain-int

    Books like this should be created much, much more regularly – and it’s odd that few people pick up on this. Take a spectacular photographer who’s had something of a colourful life, have a dig around in his archive and wrap the nuggets of treasure up in a profoundly beautifully designed publication. The Family Acid is a new drool-worthy book the colour of fresh orange juice, published by the cool guys of S_U_N_ over in LA. Their publishing back-catalogue is a witty library of books that transcend the olde worlde/modern divide like a big trippy rainbow – drawing on old zine formats and themes for their content, but remaining firmly enough in the present to secure tables at the coolest art fairs in the world.

  6. Awaytogo-main-int

    I very rarely struggle to start writing a post – but I have hit a bit of a wall with this. Bear with me while I try and get across the magnificence of this game. I just spent a while playing A Way To Go – a web game created by Vincent Morisset with the help of Caroline Robert, Philippe Lambert and Édouard Lanctôt-Benoit. I knew it was going to be super special before the gameplay started and it informed me that it “is an interactive experience for human beings between 5 and 105 years old. Maybe it lasts six minutes. Maybe it lasts forever.” Then it asks you to pretty much abandon your mouse. Abandon my mouse?! Are you crazy?! But you do, because you trust it. And then you’re in the forest and the game says to you: “Go on, make your way. Stop to see the smallest things. No one’s waiting, no one’s keeping score.”

  7. Waiwaipang-main2-int

    Is there something in the water at Brighton? Everyone from the Graphic Design and Illustration course seems to leave with a confident streak of joy and happiness, and humour that you just don’t get from a lot of other students. Classic example here in Wai Wai Peng, a 2013 graduate who soaks up all the positive vibes in the world and sneezes them out as cute (but not too cute) pencil and ink drawings. Simple though some of her drawings seem, a closer inspection of abstract pieces such as Drift and the intelligence and skill of Lamenting the end of Olympic speed skating action suggest true draughtsmanship. I just love it. Jeez I could look at them all day. Maybe I will. See you in a bit.

  8. Studio-audience-lemon_list

    Welcome to a rather exciting brand new season of Studio Audience. We’ve got fun new visuals by the talented Guy Field, a somewhat catchy new jingle from illustrator, animator and music-maker Paul Layzell, and we’ve generally had a little bit of a “spruce.”

  9. Kimkyuho-main-int

    Kyuho Kim’s a graphic designer from the Republic of Korea whose work is an explosion of colour and type nerdery. He doesn’t give much away on his site, other than his clear obsession with typography in all its forms. From posters made entirely out of typewriter lettering, to layers upon layers of words forming abstract images, Kyuho’s portfolio is as fascinating as it is varied. We were first drawn in by his Dublin project, which is the kind of simple, fun poster you just don’t see enough of these days. Fun, games, typography and colours aside, Kyuho knows how to work to a brief – his Great Gatsby book cover is beautifully informed, and his Zigzag typeface is killer. Oh, and he’s only 22!

  10. Inezandvinoodh-fourfiveseconds-int

    Maybe it’s because I spent all day Saturday watching Beatles documentaries, or maybe it’s because I’m feeling emotional and loving after a big lunch, but this is great. If you had told anyone five years ago that Rihanna, Kanye and Paul would team up with fashion photography powerhouse Inez and Vinoodh to create a music video, no one would have believed you. But, it’s happened. Sure Brandon Stosuy from Pitchfork just referred to it on Twitter as a GAP commercial, but I think maybe it’s stronger than that. When the collaboration was first announced I expected them to accompany it with a mindbendingly expensive blockbuster video à la Justin Timberlake’s What Goes Around…Comes Around complete with a car chase. But no, it’s stripped back, fashionable, kinda soppy and watchable. Well done Inez and Vinoodh, you’ve made this almost farcical musical trio somewhat more believable.

  11. Brechtvandenbroucke-the-fame-main-int

    Brecht, after five years of admiring your work I can happily say that I can spell your name without looking. And I can tell you that even though I’ve spent years admiring the skill of your painting, I can finally say that I think I actually get it. Over time, Brecht’s erratic artworks have become increasingly crowded with characters, pop culture references, logos, and his trademark long-limbed creatures.

  12. Emilystein-tobago-main-int

    From the talented woman who brought you photographs of teenagers going nuts in mosh pits and kids blowing bubblegum comes a new and somewhat more reserved series entitled Tobago. Emily Stein headed out to the tiny, remote Caribbean island with her camera and snapped a small series in a bid to create a portrait of the young people who reside there. The collection is cheerful and informative: from the charming school uniform donned by the teenage girls, to the cool cereal packaging on the shelf of a supermarket – each photo oozes a bliss only found in the carefree period of adolescence. It’s a succulent glimpse into a place you may well never get around to visiting, and more proof that Emily is a rising star in the photographic world.

  13. Janneivonen-imagemagazine-main-int

    Does anyone else still get a rush of excitement when you see someone using an iPhone in a film? I think it was while watching Superbad and you hear Michael Cera’s phone ringing the ubiquitous iPhone Marimba that I thought “Oooh! They’re using the technology that I use!” – because before that I swear every film apart from James Bond used really old fashioned brick phones.

  14. Lee-crichton-cod-main-int

    “C.O.D is what it says on the tin,” says Lee Crichton, editor and creator of Collection of Documentaries – a weighty tome celebrating a gritty adoration of British culture. “The magazine started off as me thinking I wanted to recreate The Face, which obviously was impossible. I starting researching British-inspired magazines and thought there was a gap to create something new and fresh. I then got in touch with Sheryl Garrett of The Face for advice on how to put such a publication together.”

  15. Davidtitlow-damonalbarn-int

    This year’s open submission Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize was awarded to London-based photographer David Titlow for a photograph of his toddler son. The photograph, if you haven’t seen it, is a hazy, Vermeer-esque image of David’s hungover friends on the morning after a party, passing his new son around in the cold light of the Swedish sun. Back on UK soil, David’s work couldn’t be more different. He seems to be something of a darling of the glossies: snapping models and celebs for the likes of Vanity Fair, Esquire, Nylon and Marie Claire. His impulsive, confident shots are a far cry from his tender, voyeuristic personal work – which is why we wanted to ask him a few questions about what he does. Here he is…

  16. Asger_carlsen-nymagthecut-int

    The annually ubiquitous words “resort collection” evoke whiffs of Campari and orange, sunset-lit terraces in The Hamptons, a suitcase of freshly pressed, pastel daywear. That’s why we were rather surprised when New York Magazine’s fashion branch The Cut decided to commission Asger Carlsen to help show off 2015’s sartorial offerings. Asger is a Danish artist living and working in New York, and is the go-to man for distorted, nightmare-like monochromatic images that have the power to send bolts of nerves fleetingly through your teeth.

  17. Arthurdrooker-merfest-main-int

    Cool Hunting used to be a place of current art and design, expensive watches, exclusive booze bottles, leather mountaineering accessories and cars you will never be able to afford. Nowadays it’s a place of exotic content nestled snugly in a brand new redesign that’s pretty ahead of the game. Recently it’s been championing the work of an American photographer called Arthur Drooker, largely focusing on his series entitled Conventional Wisdom. Arthur is something of a curiosity-lover, and his wild, weird series are the visual result of him being unable to resist the pull of “Bronies,” ventriloquists, clowns, re-enactors and taxidermists.

  18. Joedator-self-int

    Interviewing cartoonist Joe Dator is a real honour, because he’s a total hero and also a spectacular interviewee. Listen to him talk about his working life: “Everything revolves around Tuesday. The New Yorker cartoon meeting is on Tuesday, so that’s the day we all submit our new ideas to the editor…I usually work over the weekend and by Monday night I’m in full-on lockdown to get my batch of ideas ready. Wednesday is a day off. If you ever want to socialise with a New Yorker cartoonist, Wednesday is the day to do it.”

  19. Doug-hindson-disconnect-int8

    Maybe it’s because it’s January and yesterday was officially the most suicidal day of the year, but something about this animation really threw me. It was something to do with the throbbing pain in my thumbs from playing too much Candy Crush Soda Saga (in bed, on the train, in the bath) and that numb-eyed sensation that comes from scrolling through Twitter like a dead person, and refreshing Facebook without even knowing I’m doing it. Technology, as much affection we have for it, is a barrage of information that we don’t know how to handle – and the amount of time we engage with it is spiralling out of control.

  20. Robpybus-thenewrepublic

    It’s great to see Rob Pybus’ work again after a little bit of a break. Like many illustrators at the moment, Rob has been unable to resist the allure of GIFs, and has clearly been spending a lot of his time recently turning his marvellous, perspective-skewing illustrations into mini films. Rob’s also been busy working for a whole bunch of exciting new clients such as Wired, The New York Times, Jacobin and Original Source, among others.

  21. Main

    When we were up at Graphic Design Festival Scotland last year we met two nice guys called Dominic Kesterton and Orlando Lloyd who were assisting people in their design dreams by showing them how to make their own riso prints. A fantastic illustrator and designer respectively, Dominic and Orlando started up a small printing press, Workhorse Press, during their time studying in Edinburgh. We wanted to talk to them about why they’re still at it, the difficulties they face, and why Scotland’s print, design and illustration scene would be lost without them. Here they are…

  22. Main

    There are a lot of people talking about this documentary. It’s something of a whirlwind 12 minutes in which Guardian writer Kieran Yates and director Marcus Plowright immerse themselves in one of London, or perhaps the world’s most intriguing, exciting countercultures: Muslim drag queens. Through east London bedrooms and the back seats of taxis we are led into the world of men whose lives revolve around transforming into women and performing in increasingly packed-out drag clubs across the country. Kieran, who originally pitched this idea to The Guardian, kindly allowed us to ask her some questions on what is a small but phenomenally informative and powerful short.

  23. Mainjb

    Their home is Comme Des Garcons’ London superstore, Dover Street Market, and their trade is buying and selling some of the rarest, most desirable cult books in history. Who are they? IDEA Books. IDEA are Angela, David and Sandra, who spend their lives trawling the world (online and real) for rare, sometimes dog-eared publications that hoarders like me totally drool over; be it books on French style full of photos of a young Jane Birkin, old American high school films, rare catalogues from the screenings of films such as The Virgin Suicides or Over The Edge (two of my personal favourites) or even just image-heavy magazines and tomes that suggest a more bohemian way to live your life. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been presented with an online shop that has made me feel nervous with competition at the prospect of someone else owning the products rather than me.

  24. Main_10.00.34

    If I won the lottery I’d open a gallery, and when I opened my gallery I’d totally rip off everything that David Kordansky Gallery does. From the big stuff like the very well-curated, cool list of artists they represent, to the impeccable printed matter they produce, to the matter of their easily navigable and well designed website – these guys are celebrating people’s work in the best way possible.

  25. Unnamed-2

    Back to school, back to work – it’s not surprising everyone’s got anxious, upside down smiles at this time of the year. Most fresh starts are usually followed by fresh resolutions – and we’re no stranger to looking ahead and trying to predict what’s going to happen in our own lives, as well as that of the creative world. With that in mind, we’ve put our slightly mushy heads together and concocted a list of ten animators, designers, illustrators, magazines and artists who are about to spring from the perfectly acceptable “small time” to the much-lauded “big time.” Ready? Here they are in no particular order…

  26. Main2

    Did you know there are 722 Emoji options? I don’t know about you but I tend to use the same five over and over, they’re like talismans of my soul (if you’re asking: rowing man, sitting monkey, balloon, yellow sun face and chick coming out of egg). There’s a new site fluttering around the internet at the moment that allows you to pick any Emoji from the astonishingly extensive menu and create your own “art” with it. Slide the small toolbar in the bottom right to enlarge the Emoji of your choice and you can make scenes you have always dreamt of. For example: farting pig rides small stripey yacht while being chased by frog heads pushed along in the current by front crawl swimmers who, in turn, are being chased by happy little piles of poop. Fun! Also a big thanks to Josh King of King Zog for pointing us towards this gem.

  27. Main_11.47.10

    Now that pretty much everyone in the whole world has a blog, you don’t have to tell someone twice to share something about themselves with the entire web. I’d be inclined to think that a lot of people present themselves differently online to how they truly are in the real world, and it’s always so refreshing to come across an artist or illustrator who is just totally honest about themselves. Rami Niemi is one of those: as well as updating his website with his incredible, neat and brightly coloured editorial illustration all the time, he also gives viewers a chance to see a more personal aspect of his work via his sketches in a collection he calls The Polycottons.

  28. Main9

    You don’t get as much editorial illustration and art direction like this as you used to. Back in the day, this sort of visual pun-based work was used to illustrate pretty much every article under the sun in order to quickly get a hard-hitting point across and lure readers in to the actual story. Nowadays people like The New York Times Magazine are some of the only guys who still use this method – and when they do they call on Javier Jaén. The Barcelona-born designer spends the majority of his time collaborating with art directors, photographers and illustrators to concoct clever, pleasing visual cues that sit comfortably among the pages of big-dog publications such as The New Yorker and The Washington Post. You don’t get many more “simple idea, well executed” examples than in Javier’s portfolio, not to mention the rather beautiful last line on his online bio – “He has still not written a child, planted a book, or given birth to a tree. Everything is waiting to be done.”

  29. Main

    It was hard to go through Justin Fantl’s portfolio and hone in on just one project: his enormous selection of intriguing photographic series is vast enough to get lost in for at least an hour or two. Be it the wild, weird attractions of Vegas, the Mars-like landscape of Death Valley, fluffy dogs, dinosaur bones, Iceland, crowds, mini golf – you name it, Justin’s got a great collection of pictures of it.

  30. Main

    All over the world funny and loving music nerds who appreciate whale song, birds tweeting, technology and pizza are crying “Yay! Panda Bear!” The American musician who is currently residing in Portugal has just launched a brand new website, featuring an animated interactive slideshow to accompany the fizzing echoes of the music he makes. Just one tap on your computer keyboard and you can fly through strange, sometimes seizure-inducing audio and visual clips put together by Patakk, Marco Papiro and Danny Perez, with a little help from Seen Studio. Not totally unlike the freaky tunnel boat scene in the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, this cunning album promo is a perfect accompaniment to Panda Bear’s well-known and much-loved sound and vibe. You can read a really great interview with Noah Lennox himself over here on Pitchfork.

  31. Main3

    Sometimes when I see an artist’s work that particularly resonates with my brain, I work back in time to form my own private and completely fictional mood board. In the case of Adam Higton, his drawings conjure crisp autumnal smells, the Incredible String Band, children’s bedsheets, tree carvings, Morris Men, Steeleye Span, and the patterned variety of 1970s crockery you often see in caravans. Adam has something of a cult following: trendy publishers Landfill Editions made a fantastic book of his drawings and he’s been known to design some very desirable record sleeves. His mystical pseudonym Yule Bringer refers to his time spent dressed as a witch making live music on various stages around the country. See him over here playing at Bath Spa university to a bunch of design students who have each been given an item of percussion to help accompany him. So fun, what a wonderful man.

  32. Main_17.58.07

    Anyone whose surname is a perfect cross between biscuit and cup surely has some sort of magic dwelling within them. London-based David Biskup’s work is a pleasing medley of intelligent, bean-like characters and immaculately chosen colour fades. Not content with making fantastic editorial work for the likes of (deep breath) The New York Times, WeTransfer, Wired, The Sunday Times Magazine, Le Monde Diplomatique (DE) and Computer Arts, David moonlights as a particularly impressive cartoonist. He creates innovative, well-designed comic strips depicting man’s struggle that even at his young age mirror the talent of people such as Jim Stoten or even Chris Ware, and I can’t wait to see some of his printed matter in the flesh.

  33. Main9

    One half of Berlin-based print studio Palefroi, Damien Tran spends his days creating lo-fi gig posters for the various trendy happenings in his hometown. Using the ancient art of wielding shedloads of skill to make something look really easy (see ice skating, playing drums and football), Damien’s posters are a lot more intricate than they seem, and pleasingly stray away from the classic gig poster aesthetic we so often see. His style is so recognisable that I don’t doubt there are a few people in Berlin collecting the posters by him that they see fluttering on billboards in the cold wind, I know I’d nick that Micachu one if I could.

  34. Main

    If you’ve been staggering through the streets of London of late you may have clocked some funny murals and slogans in a curiously similar typeface, painted on undesirable street objects such as bins, skips, old mattresses and the like. This is the work of one of our all time favourite illustrators Ian Stevenson. His outdoor antics have caught the attention of a certain Russell Brand, who used Ian’s eye-catching, no-bullshit work to promote his somewhat controversial new book. We had a chat with Ian about what he’s been up to of late, and what it was like making work for Russell.

  35. Mjpc

    It’s good to start the year with some fresh, simply lovely illustration from a young artist, and these curious collage works are the brain-droppings of London-based Jean-Philippe Calver. I’d pretty much always stand by the idea that scrappy lo-fi collage is superior to the neat, exquisitely cut-out variety. Jean-Philippe’s work slots into the former category perfectly: his collage work is so lo-fi that it looks as if he’s been storing it on the floor of a studio that he shares with a chimneysweep. But there you go, that’s the charm with Jean, his website’s a bit shit and his work is thrown together from scraps – but somehow that’s what makes him truly brilliant. Don’t go changing, Jean-Philippe!

  36. List_editors-picks-misc

    The miscellaneous category is rarely added to, but when it is it’s usually with someone or something pretty spesh. I like to think of it a little bit like that drawer or cupboard in your house where you stash the really useful crap that is too good to throw away. In this list I’ve compiled a few of my favourites from 2014, from bread-simulation games to round-the-clock breakfast radio. If you’re still hungry for more miscellany, just head over here.

  37. Main

    10 hour days require some diverse, entertaining playlists. And with an office holding about 20 or so music fans beneath its roof, you can imagine there is quite a lot of different tastes floating around. In this mixtape we have tried to sum up the general nature of the music we listen to at It’s Nice That, meanwhile keeping it cool enough that you could probably put it on at a party and get away with it (apart from R.Kelly’s World’s Greatest – you may want to skip that in trendy company).

  38. Main

    Do you reckon Ai Wei Wei might like a bouncy castle for Christmas? We do. There’s a whopping total of SIX people in this podcast including It’s Nice That Directors Alex Bec and Will Hudson, and boy is it hectic. In it we discuss the creative world in 2014, the year gone by and the one approaching us, and tales of Rob going to church when he was little. Sound good? It’s better. Merry Christmas from the whole It’s Nice That team, and we will see you on the other side for more Studio Audience!

  39. List_liv-s

    Hello. My name’s Liv, and this year my best three moments have been hosting the Modern Magazine Conference, interviewing my sister for Riposte magazine, and flashing Robert Plant at the Camden Roundhouse. Merry Christmas!

  40. List_the-top-50

    Hello and welcome to the top 50 articles that have been most viewed on It’s Nice That this year. As always, it’s a pretty unexpected mishmash of really great work, viral gems and utterly weird nonsense. Congrats to everyone featured, there are a lot of people out there who have clicked on your project an awful lot of times. Alright, on yer marks, starting from number 50, here we go…