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

1755 articles
  1. Angiewang-int-main

    Angie Wang is FANTASTIC, she’s hands-down my absolute favourite new illustrator. Her work is an explosive, jelly bean-coloured tangle of cool girls, comic books, hair, nature and clouds: dreamy waves of cuteness and attitude floating along on the backs of ghosts. Some of her drawings may appear silly and adorable, but underneath the fuzziness is a melancholy wisdom of the world around her. She has an ability to capture what only the best kinds of comics do: aspects of life that are loving, scary, otherworldly and magnificent.

  2. Craigoldham-int-main

    Last week a book arrived in our office via the hands of It’s Nice That director Alex Bec. He told us all it was created by Craig Oldham, who he had just seen give a brilliant talk about the creation of the publication. It’s called In Loving Memory of Work, and it is a spectacularly well-designed, excitingly and refreshingly well-informed book documenting the UK miners’ strike between 1984 and 1985. For something so long, violent and shocking that happened in recent history, I’ve sometimes felt that the miners’ strike hasn’t really been talked about as much as it should have been. But I can see why: it’s hard to get to grips with something that horrible happening to so many people and so nearby.

  3. Studio-audience-lemon_list

    Fantastic podcast this week in which we discuss some art and design news including the new Alexander McQueen show at the V&A, a Tinder bot sensation sweeping over SXSW Festival, and how you can delve into the creative culture of a city when you are only there for a short while. Thanks to everyone who got in touch this week and for your kind words and a BIG thank you to designer David Pearson who submitted our opening question. Any other feedback much appreciated, just tweet in or leave comments in the box below. See ya next week!

  4. Claudialegge-int-2

    Just off the coast of Cancun there is an area of ocean floor that has been transformed into a mysterious sculpture park. Aside from the occasional tourist and bull shark, it’s pretty deserted but for the stone figures scattered in the white sand, placed there by artist Jason deCaires Taylor back in 2009. Claudia Legge, a London-based photographer with a passion/addiction for shooting underwater, found out about this creepy tranquil sculpture park when she was in Mexico and wasted no time in getting below the surface with her camera to check it out. We spoke to her about the pretty breathtaking results of her dive, and the technical difficulties of doing such a shoot.

  5. Gmnieves-main-int

    The only thing more joyous and fascinating than peering at Geoff McFetridge’s paintings is seeing the sketches that were made by his hand in the lead-up to their creation. We’ve gushed before about Geoff a lot, particularly about the fact that he more often than not works from his mind rather than from life. His sketchbooks are full of diagrams and viewpoints invented by his brain and scribbled down before evolving into beautiful, serene paintings, and have just been collected into a new publication from my very own favourite publishers, Nieves.

  6. Tomvek-main

    This month we are going to be studying the much-recognised connection between art and music. To kick things off we have designer and musician Tom Vek to make a speech of sorts about this very connection, and who better to do so than someone so involved in both fields. Lately Tom has been working on Sleevenote, a new free app that allows you to view artwork LP-style on your phone, which is well worth a look once you’ve read this fantastic piece of writing on the beautiful relationship between art and music.

  7. Jasongalea-int-main

    I came across Jason when I was ogling at this poster for the Panache Spring Fling featuring White Fence, yet another ear-watering gig that I won’t be able to make it to because it’s across the Atlantic. Panache is a boutique booking agency in LA which represent bands like Ty Segall, Chris Cohen, Jacco Gardner, Fuzz, Juliana Barwick, U.S Girls…I could go on. In keeping with its roster it commissions the likes of Melbourne-based visual artist Jason Galea to make the posters and sleeves look as cool and apt as possible. Jason clearly knows what he’s doing with these posters, record sleeves and animations. This is the work of someone who has studied the music visuals of the past, sat around a Ouija board, reincarnated them, and smoked the spirits up in an acid-green infinity bong before splurging them out as art. It’s okay to rip stylistic qualities from eras gone by, but only if you, like Jason, genuinely love the music, and know exactly what you are doing.

  8. Studio-audience-lemon_list

    WELCOME my little podlings to this week’s episode of the It’s Nice That podcast Studio Audience. Join me, Liv Siddall and my guests Rob Alderson and Maisie Skidmore in talking about this week’s most pressing art and design news Including Bjork at MoMA, Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel designer Annie Atkins, Apple watches opening garage doors, Zoolander sequel and Women of the World. Then we move on to discussing Dublin’s Offset festival and what makes an event worth going to. We also chat about the sheer brilliance of seeing or reading about a sage older creative speak about their career gone-by. Thanks to Nelly Ben Hayoun for her bizarre opening question, and thanks to Perrin over at AIGA’s blog for their gush-worthy post about this very podcast.

  9. Icinori-int-main

    French duo Mayumi Otero and Raphael Urwiller are a couple united by their unbridled love for print. When their visual arts/illustrative forces are brought together they go by the name of Icinori, and create some of the most beautifully considered, traditional publications, pamphlets, concertina books and posters around. Considering the staggering detail present in every single image they piece together and print, it’s shocking how much new work they’ve just whacked up on their site.

  10. Graphicmeans-int-main

    Ever stopped to think as you adjust text, step backwards and copy and paste at the speed of light on InDesign that once upon a time you would be doing all of that with GLUE and PAPER? It’s obvious, but when you really think about it, your respect for the graphic designers of yore increases tenfold. Briar Levit, an assistant professor of Graphic Design at Portland State University, decided to bring this to light via a film in which designers who never used computers are interviewed about the difficulties they had. It wasn’t all doom and gloom of course – you could easily argue that the hand-designed work they produced back then was much more considered than it tends to be now.

  11. Rubenfischer-main-int

    Aha, some “digitale malerei und grafiken von Ruben Fischer,” a new protégé of Eike König over at Hort in Berlin. It’s no secret that Eike has spectacular taste in who he hangs around with in terms of design talent, and Ruben is a prime example. His digital collages in fun, primary colours are all untitled, which suggests that he’s not yet doing work for clients and the like. But to see someone crack out posters, record sleeves, identities and illustrations just for the hell of it is fantastic and refreshing. Something tells us Ruben has a unique way of looking at the world, and some computer skills up his sleeve – some very important strengths in this day and age. You can see some of his more recent work on his very, very colourful Instagram feed.

  12. Main-books

    Guys it’s World Book Day! One of the only “days” of the year that people should really give a shit about (yeah I’m looking at you “National Play your Ukulele Day”). People all over the world are encouraging kids and adults to get their hands on a brand new book, or just glance at the spines of your well-thumbed publications on your dusty shelf that perhaps changed your life at some stage or another. In honour of this sacred day, we book-lovers at It’s Nice That have decided to pay homage to our own favourite tomes by listing them here for you today in our very own It’s Nice That Bookshelf. So in no particular order, here are the It’s Nice That editorial team’s favourite ever books. Tweet in yours too!

  13. Euan-int-main

    Before I begin can I just say that what you see in these photos is not LARP (Live Action Role Play), it’s SCA which stands for The Society for Creative Anachronism. The difference is where LARP is more playful, going out with your mates wearing costumes and wearing padding and bashing each other on the head, SCA is actually recreating aspects of primarily Medieval history down to the smallest detail in trams of craftsmanship. A bit like a theatrical production, but with jousting.

  14. Mirandajuly-badman-int-main

    The problem with Miranda July is that everything she says or does is great, so editing the interview I did with her the other day has been a bloody nightmare. In this half of our two-part feature Miranda discusses health, drugs, sex, ideas, and – of course – some of the themes in her spectacular new novel The First Bad Man. You know what? Here’s some homework for you: read part one of this interview, then read this, then go read the book. Trust me, you will enjoy all three. Here she is…

  15. Mirandajuly-badman-int-main

    Last week I went to visit Miranda July in a somewhat archaic hotel in Mayfair. Turns out she wasn’t even staying there, but had been placed in a small room on a sofa to talk to journalists all day about her new book The First Bad Man. Although she was meant to be speaking primarily about that, I wanted to talk to her about some of the themes in the book and how they tie in to her own life – particularly as a few times in the past she’s almost cast herself seemingly unawares into her own projects. Miranda had a baby while she was writing this novel, and so this interview also covers how one continues to stay creatively motivated when confronted with eternal busyness, and the ways LA shrinks and doctors can help – or hinder – your work ethic.

  16. Paulinelepape-int-main

    Exciting new student alert! Meet Pauline, currently working on her advanced degree in type design at École Estienne in Paris – how glamorous does that sound? It’s rare to find a student with as much consistently fantastic work on their site, and for a while I didn’t actually twig that Pauline was still studying. She’s designed typefaces, had a bash at letter pressing for her business cards, and made some publications that I’d actually buy. The way she represented a bunch of Stéphane Monnot short stories is well-designed without overshadowing the writing, and that publication about the concept of an ornament just looks fantastic. Remember this name: Pauline Le Pape, she’s got big things ahead of her.

  17. Californiasunday-markmothersbaugh-int-main

    When you hear the words “branded content” you probably don’t get that excited, right? Well, times are changing. No longer do brands want to settle for something that isn’t going to whet the imagination of an audience, and so they’re recruiting fantastic creatives and partnering with cool platforms to make it actually worth everyone’s time. With this in mind, check out this pretty breathtaking animation created by Google Play in collaboration with Creative Sunday.

  18. Geicoad-int-1

    When an insurance company challenges you to not skip through their latest ad on YouTube, your first reaction is likely to be “try me.” But you know what? They have actually pulled something pretty remarkable together for their latest advert. Well, I say remarkable, it’s pretty low-budget, but the idea behind it is great. Knowing that the majority of people wouldn’t watch an insurance ad on YouTube unless you were holding a gun to their head, they made their advert two seconds long. Then if like me you enjoy the first two seconds, you can stay for the whole thing. Best thing about this ad is how they didn’t even green screen the family, and you can see them wigging out and twitching as that dog goes all Beethoven on their dinner. Well done The Martin Agency for keeping us on our toes.

  19. Stefaniemoshammer-int-main

    “Las Vegas is the strip club capital of the world,” says Stefanie Moshammer, an Austrian photographer whose recent project led her to the underbelly of Nevada’s shimmering city. Stefanie began work on a series called Vegas and She, in which she documents strippers, nightclubs, and various bits and bobs that represent Las Vegas culture: bright pink limos, dust trails, palm trees, and diving boards into sapphire pools.

  20. Stevenchorney-int-main

    The reason design blogs and Pinterest are overcrowded with hand-painted signs, hand-made furniture and hand-printed textiles is because (you guessed it) it’s made by hand – and the joy of seeing craftsmanship is never, ever going away. The world is changing, and the more we demand, and the shorter our attention spans become, the less we’re spending time on getting things just right.

  21. Jc-int-main1

    London Fashion Week is officially over, and we have now come to the end of our Workwear feature. We thought we’d round the series off with Jack Cunningham, a London animator who works at Nexus Productions. We chose to finish with Jack because he represents an enormous chunk of mid-twenties creatives in London – he’s just a nice chap who wants to not look like a scumbag and be able to get his hands on good quality clothes. Below Jack tells us how to get away with buying expensive things for cheap, and chats about how shit men’s high street fashion used to be compared to nowadays. Once you’ve read this, check out how good he is at animating things.

  22. Gaeanwoods-int-main

    Gaea Woods caught our eye the other day with the portraits she took of her friend Samantha, seemingly covered all over in Vaseline. A bit of research led us to finding out that Gaea is actually a photographer with a whole host of talents under her belt, particularly when it comes to shooting things really close-up. Gaea was born in rural northern California and now resides in LA, where she’s making her career as a photographer.

  23. Josephmann-int-1

    Remember that really racy animation about loads of people getting it on by the seaside? Well the guy behind it – 2009 It’s Nice That Graduate and now BlinkInk director Joseph Mann – is back with a fantastic new animation which is just as well-made, but maybe features less pubic hair. This time around, Joe has helped put together a music video for a band called Police Dog Hogan, featuring a crowd of ne’er do wells in a scummy old boozer, watching the band perform. In true Young Ones style, we are taken below the floorboards to where the rats live, and watch as they begin drinking the beer sloshed on the floor by the humans above. Fantastic animation by Joe, and a pretty high-quality, entertaining music video for a song that is essentially a love letter to the West Country.

  24. Studio-audience-lemon_list

    Welcome, podders! Fantastic episode this week featuring me, Liv Siddall, and Billie Muraben and James Cartwright from the It’s Nice That team. After a great question submitted by Hattie Stewart we chewed the fat over the latest art and design news, including the new identity for the Royal Albert Hall and the much talked-about cover for The Gentlewoman. In section two we discuss London Fashion Week, the sartorial habits of creatives, our new Workwear feature and the effect social media has on the the world around fashion week. Any comments, complaints, compliments – just get in touch via Twitter, email, or the comments box below.

  25. Simonwhybray-workwear-int-main

    He may not grace the covers of magazines or the red carpet, but designer Simon Whybray is more famous than you think. When you’re lurking about on the internet and being entertained by seriously cool and interesting stuff – do you ever stop and think, who the hell made this? Well, occasionally, it’s Simon. Designer by day, Tumblr scroller by night, Simon spends most of his time tucked up in his bedroom overlooking Old Street on his laptop. Sound lazy? It isn’t. He’s busy creating products, GIFs, designs, logos, club nights, clothing, memes, typefaces, music…you name it. Being on the internet all day has fed Simon’s brain like a drip, and subsequently he’s now asked by big brands to come in and teach them what the hell is going on out there in the real – well, online – world.

  26. Matamatyka-int-main

    LA artist Misia emailed in last week with a bunch of her drawings and paintings, and I was super impressed. She’s managed to mash up Nick Sharratt’s illustrations from Jacqueline Wilson books with The Babysitter’s Club, The Fresh Prince and a bunch of other pop culture references – all drawn in well-practiced monochromatic inks. Unique and skilful aesthetic aside, what I truly love about Misia’s drawings are the characters in them – GIRLS. Girls barefoot doing acrobatics in living rooms, girls lounging on beds listening to music, girls hanging out together doing nothing, girls wearing zigzag leggings and looking bored. These pictures remind me that I’m a girl, and being a girl is SO cool. They make me want to text every female I know and arrange some sort of day where we can watch TV for hours and eat peanut butter on crackers and cereal out the box. I hope it does the same for you.

  27. Main-nt-int

    We’ve had a bit of a hunch for a while now that all you lot are pretty into magazines, so we decided to dedicate this month’s Nicer Tuesdays to the people who know most about that very topic and theme the night all around publishing. Port’s David Hellqvist, Dirty Furniture’s Anna Bates and Elizabeth Glickfield, Steve Watson of Stack Magazines, and Tim Noakes of Dazed and Confused all came together to deliver some home truths about the tricky, expensive, but ever-adored world of printed content. Thanks to all who came along, we hope you enjoyed it and see you again soon.

  28. Sonyadyakova-main-int

    Now London Fashion Week is in full swing, welcome to the second week of our Workwear feature, in which we interview creatives about the clothes they really wear. This time we’ve taken a short trip to Sonya Dyakova’s London studio from which she runs Atelier Dyakova. Sonya is a Russian designer who produces some of the most informed, delicate publication design out there. Most of the books she turns her eye to are artistic publications, which she brings to life with clever typographic systems and cheerful colours that are the toast of the art world – not to mention the fact that she is the art director of Frieze and Frieze Masters magazine. Sonya’s natural ability to work with artistic books stems from her time working closely with Alan Fletcher at Phaidon in 2005 where she was responsible for “commissioning, art directing and designing books on contemporary and fine art, fashion, food, design, architecture, and photography.”

  29. Yurisuzuki-int-main2

    Yuri Suzuki is pretty magical. He was born in Tokyo with a natural curiosity for electronics and taking things apart to see what’s inside, just so he could transform it into something else. He wants to show the world the enormous amount of possibilities when it comes to sound, especially with the technology available in the modern age.

  30. Davidgalasse-skate-int-main-

    Fun little short here from animator Antonio Vicentini with a little help from Brazilian designer David Galasse. Using a load of fluoro squiggles and some very good animating skills, the duo has put together an informative film about the history of skateboarding. A lot of people make projects about skating, but hardly anyone can pull off a five-minute-long animation about it without showing anyone actually skateboarding. That’s why this works so well: they went for the relaxed, rebellious vibe rather than just showing someone jump down some steps in a barren shopping mall, and it’s way more interesting for it. David actually designed a typeface especially, but the rest of the visuals were just stolen off the internet – which is just the icing on the cake. Great voiceover, too.

  31. Collectionrevue-gif

    What could be better than six cool pals getting together to make a whopper of a comic book? Meet Collection Revue, a French sextet formed in 2010 and made up of Sammy Stein, Vanessa Dziuba, Marine Le Saout, Antoine Stevenot, Jean-Philippe Bretin and Julien Kedryna. For a year they spent their time and money putting on a bunch of small shows in Paris, exhibiting the work of cartoonists, visual and graphic artists and illustrators to what I can only imagine is a very cool and good-looking crowd. They now channel their collective obsession into very, very appealing publications.

  32. Studio-audience-lemon_list

    HELLO podlings. Boy has there been a lot of news in the world of art and design this week, ready to catch up? Join me, Liv Siddall, and my guests Rob Alderson and Karl Toomey to fill you in on all you need to know. In this episode we chat the new Skoda ad , The New Yorker’s 90th birthday (happy birthday, we love you), the NME (maybe) going free, London Fashion Week and the very exciting nominations for 2015’s Designs of the Year.

  33. Hattie-main-int

    Hattie Stewart never stops giggling. It’s infectious, she’s a hoot. Her current solo show at London’s KK Outlet is under way, with a whole bunch of her now notorious, collectible doodles on magazine covers and, more recently, leather jackets. A Kingston graduate, Hattie now works for the likes of Rookie, House of Holland, Pepsi, and whoever else wants a big old dose of colour and weird magic injected into their brand. Her working style is instantly recognisable, and you’d be right in thinking that the nature of her work ties in to what she wears day-to-day.

  34. Juliahasting-akademiexmain-int

    A few weeks back, an enormous book the colour of a tube of Love Hearts landed on my desk. It was Akademie X: Lessons in Life an Art. Not often does a book look this succulent: the weight, texture and little details were enough to have the whole editorial team cooing over it. Published by Phaidon, it’s a collection of lessons written by artists such a Miranda July, Katharina Grosse, Walead Beshty, Marina Abramovic, Tim Rollins, John Stezaker and many others.

  35. Izumimiyazaki-main-int

    Life can be pretty boring when you’re a teenager. Rather than turning to the gory allure of video games and SnapChat, 18-year-old Izumi Miyazaki decided to take matters into her own hands and make a series of selfies that make yours look absolutely rubbish. By utilising household items and foodstuffs as props, and sometimes going as far as building her own sets (see head in the clouds photos below) Izumi transports herself into far off lands, so far off that they’re on a different world entirely. Her fixed, deadpan stare throughout makes the project not just endearing but also worth much more than if she was just larking about. It’s art, man. FYI she also sells badges and other small merch items – get ’em while you can.

  36. Robryan-workwear-int

    London Fashion Week is fast approaching, so we decided to cover it in our very own special way: visiting artists and creatives and interviewing them about the garments they wear day to day. First up is Rob Ryan, a visual artist whose romantic paper-cut works bring squishy happiness to cold hearts all over the world.

  37. Anastasiakorostevla-classmates-main-int

    This post comes by way of submission from young Russian photographer Anastasia Korosteleva. You may have seen her Girls series over on Dazed in which she burnt out the faces of the subjects of her dream-like photographs. This series entitled Classmates takes Anastasia to sunny East London in South Africa where she turns her lens to school kids. Once you get past how fantastic their uniforms are, and that feeling of nostalgic schoolyard bliss has passed, notice just how fantastic Anastasia is at contrasting the primary colour uniforms against the stark, school-y backgrounds. Also worth noting is how clever she is to not make the project cutesy in the slightest, but just a study of a group of innocent, cheeky mini adults.

  38. Wongping-doggylove-int

    You know what it’s like when you’re of that age, when even the sight of certain pieces of fruit and veg can turn you on faster than you can say “wet dream.” Cantonese animator Wong Ping decided to take all of the cosmic lust he felt as a teenage boy, and channel it all into one seriously hot animation made exclusively for NOWNESS. Watch as a teenage boy becomes intensely obsessed with a girl in his class whose bosom is on her back, until he can take it no longer and starts placing objects in-between and and top of them without her noticing. Things get racy, then racier, but because it’s produced in Wong’s happy, colourful style, seeing people have sex and jerk off in the toilet isn’t even that weird. You know what is weird, though? Wong Ping’s interview over on NOWNESS, in which he says the first time he had a crush on a classmate he “sniffed inside her school bag and tried to lick her books. I was ashamed of myself and have suppressed my emotions ever since.” Okay…

  39. 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!

  40. 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.