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

1641 articles
  1. Mainmix

    Howdy! The new issue of Printed Pages magazine is out, and we’re happy to announce that deep within its wondrous pages lies an in-depth article studying the impact of Americana on art and design. To celebrate the launch of the mag we thought we’d dedicate this week’s mix to Americana, and the seemingly infinite pot of inspiration that artists and musicians have been delving into through time that is the United States. Read along with your own copy of Printed Pages you can get from over here.

  2. Mainb

    Double dose of good news here for fans of magic wand-fingered artist Patrick Kyle. He’s got a new publication out! It’s called Distance Mover and it looks incredible. “It’s a science fiction comic that follows the exploits of a character called Mr Earth and his flying machine the Distance Mover, a vehicle capable of moving great distances at fantastic speeds!” Patrick told us.

  3. Main

    HELLO and welcome to another episode of Studio Audience. This week Rob, Liv, Maisie and James are chewing the fat about the world of art and design and content. What are you waiting for dum-dums? As ever you can listen using the SoundCloud embed below or you can subscribe via iTunes here.

  4. Main10

    Some may think it’s easy to shoot Kate Moss. People have been doing it for years, but to my knowledge no one has ever done it poorly. Today we can say for sure that a major element of shooting Kate with real oomph is having a sheer passion for the model – as Alister Mackie explains in this interview. The creative director describes her energy as “buzzing” and speaks warmly of their time spent in her back garden as she lay in the grass for this AnOther Magazine cover shoot with the tone of someone who’s just coming down from a transcendental experience. What’s really great here is how someone like Alister, whose career is already packed full of things we proles can only dream of, can speak of a fashion shoot with such pure, palpable excitement.

  5. Main1

    I have ALWAYS wanted to know the ins-and-outs of the whole beans and farts thing, and there is no one else on this earth I’d rather have explain it to me than Rami Niemi. This animation commissioned by Men’s Health and animated by Vancouver creative studio Giant Ant is the perfect blend of funny, well-executed and actually informative. A lot of the words popping up such as “oligosaccharides” or “pepsin” took me winging straight back to double biology, followed by the joyous realisation that I am now a grown up and I have the option to turn off or walk away whenever I get bored – wahey! Saying that, this animation is so well made it doesn’t even reach boring – if only all scientific matters could be explained in a one-minute-long animation by your favourite illustrator.

  6. Main

    Considering New York band Parquet Courts recently announced in an interview that they were staying away from social media and the web because it wasn’t “punk,” it comes as something of a surprise that lo-fi punk master Ty Segall has just released a music video with an accompanying interactive website. I guess this is what happens when you make brilliant, unique music – artists start queuing up to interpret it for you, be it through artwork, remixes or websites.

  7. Main

    In light of New York Fashion Week’s main event, a star-studded play put on by Opening Ceremony entitled 100% Lost Cotton, the It’s Nice That team began to ponder their own individual dream play, and what that would look like if they were given the chance to direct it. The results are pretty weird to be honest, but you can’t deny the appeal of each and every one in its own way.

  8. Main

    Here it is, the third issue (or volume) of KENZINE, the spectacular publication sporadically released by the fashion brand that never fails to be utterly garish and desirable at once. This time the magazine has been taken over by the TOILETPAPER lads, Maurizio Cattelan, Pierpaolo Ferrari and Micol Talso. KENZO have been known for producing some of the most colourful, zany stuff out there in the fashion world of late – so to collaborate with their publishing counterparts seems to be something of a match made in heaven. Want one of your own? Good luck, “KENZINE Vol.3 will be available from 27th September 2014 exclusively in KENZO stores worldwide and from March 2015 in other selected retail stores.” We asked the KENZO press guys for a copy and were told no way, so if you see one – grab it! For now, the pictures below will have to do.

  9. Main

    Due to their consistent brilliance we tend to drop everything when we hear of a new Metronomy video. Well, today it’s happened again, this time for their new single Month of Sundays. The video was directed by filmmaker Callum Cooper and was shot on a cloudy London day in the Barbican and other famous Brutalist residential buildings in London. Using a clever spinning technique not dissimilar to the skipping rope GoPros of old, Callum followed and shot the band as they strolled around and posed among various dark stairways and openings. Taking one of the UK’s favourite bands and buildings and combining them together to create a simple and utterly compelling music video makes for some of the best watching we’ve had in ages, even if it does make us feel a bit seasick at times. You can read more about it in this interview with him and the band over on Nowness.

  10. Main

    We love Jack Hudson. Sometimes I find myself staring at his drawings open-mouthed like a magic eye image – the level of minuscule is like in a Wes Anderson film, every time you go back to an image you’ll find something you didn’t notice before. The clever bunch over at Computer Arts decided to commission London-based Jack to make their magazine look sweet, and so he did. We caught up with him to find out how on earth you go about designing a magazine cover, and to find out the back-stories of the teeny characters featured within it. First one to spot Mr Bingo wins a Kit-Kat!

  11. Main9

    Simon Penochet is responsible for making one of the sexiest adverts for a chocolate factory ever! In fact, we featured his career-making short back in June this year. We wanted to know more about the director, and what better way to get a good idea of his influence than by asking him to pick his favourite music video? Well, there probably are better ways to be honest, but this will do for now. Also anyone who picks a film made by CANADA must be on to a winner. Take it away Simon!

  12. Main9

    Just when you thought the only time you’d get to see some fruit getting jiggy with each other was the last time you ate a Moam bar, here’s Amelie von Wulffen’s paintings. Amelie’s work is a refreshing, sometimes sinister, sometimes sexual series of water-colour paintings depicting a strange mixture of food and tools interacting with each other as if they were humans – eating ice cream and going to music concerts and the like. As well as reducing mankind down to what it really is – a bunch of ridiculous creatures bumbling around the earth – Amelie’s real success here is bringing dark comedy into the largely unfunny art world, and for that she should be praised.

  13. Main

    When drinking warm cider in a park starts to get boring it’s good to know that autumn is there waiting like a trusty friend in a really great jumper just around the corner. Did you know that the season is as treacherous as it is beautiful? More people step in dog poo in autumn than in any other months. Fact. It lurks beneath kickable piles of leaves. On the plus side it is well-known for its magic feeling of refreshment – a certain back-to-school vibe that makes new projects and friendships seem exciting and energised.

  14. Main

    Welcome! Welcome to the podcast we make weekly for your enjoyment. Yep, we put our blood sweat and tears into sitting around and chewing the fat so that you can just listen to us while you sit on the train and be totally “in the know” about all things art and design. We don’t just talk about art and design actually, we sometimes cover British folklore or, more commonly, how James used to be a goth.

  15. Gwmain

    For me the commissioning, content and tone of The Gentlewoman are absolutely unparalleled in the magazine industry, and it gives me nothing but sheer joy to open a copy and have it satisfyingly flop on to the table to devour. Here at It’s Nice That we look forward to seeing the new cover and the choice of woman featured on it more than any other publication. The new cover of the bi-annual must-have magazine is out, and this time the star is Swedish electronic music artist, Robyn.

  16. Main1

    Redesigns are so often chewed up and spat out in the design world, so when one comes along that simultaneously blows the socks off each and every one of your colleagues upon seeing it, you know it’s going to be worth digging a little deeper. When that redesign is an online space it becomes so much more intriguing than a print publication doing the same thing; the web is like a constantly surging ocean and to move with the tide can be treacherous.

  17. Main

    This week Editor Liv Siddall addresses the world’s distraught reaction to the announcement that MSN Messenger will terminate after 15 years in operation, and wonders if we should get so nostalgic and wet-eyed over technology.

  18. Main

    Cosmic brilliance here from Jesse Fillingham, whose fantastical work is sending shivers all over me this morning. His confident line images seem to draw inspiration from teen sci-fi novels, video games, Shakespeare and the work of Roger Dean, bringing it all together to form a heady combination of past and future. Jesse graduated back in 2010 from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and has since been exhibiting his work across American and Europe to what I can only imagine are die-hard fans. If you find yourself lost in the bizarre nature of his Kate Bush digital image or the transient surreality of Cosmic Contemplation 2, take your eyeballs for a gander at his simple line drawings. Extract / Sunset / Pointer is insanely well-drawn and I can’t stop looking at it. One for the “favourites” folder I think.

  19. Main

    WARNING do not watch this if you are afraid of family members dying and then being messily devoured in front of your very eyes by OTHER members of your own family. Seriously, parts of this video were deemed unwatchable by most of the It’s Nice That editorial team, which I think is perhaps why I love it so much.

  20. Main3

    An old soul such as myself appreciates when modern-day designers and illustrators go out of their way to make something look like it fell out of a cardboard box that hasn’t been opened since 1972. When I first came across SEEN I was convinced it was a whole group of people, but it turns out it’s just one really talented guy called Rob Carmichael. He alone is responsible for creating some of the best album artwork around at the moment.

  21. Mixmain

    Great mix this week from the lady with the hair, Ella Eyre. Ella went to the Brit School and has since gone on to be a very successful singer whose collaboration with the likes of Rudimental, Wiz Khalifa and Naughty Boy have caught the attention of, well, pretty much everyone. Most of the world is talking about her hair (mainly on Twitter) and why not? It’s certainly the best hair I’ve ever seen. This mix from her is a good old fashioned combination of her influences and faves and is a perfect way to kick-start the weekend. Want more? You can read a fun interview with Ella over on Noisey

  22. Mjmain

    A bright red book emblazoned with gold type exclaiming “MICHAEL JACKSON” is like the art publication version of click-bait. Michael Jackson and Other Men is a collection of drawings by artist Dawn Mellor, produced when she was a teenager and she was really, really into Michael Jackson. “However commonplace these kind of adolescent drawings might be, they are a precursor to Dawn’s concern with celebrity and fan culture; also functioning as subjective social documents,” say Studio Voltaire, who published the title. “There is something endearing, and somewhat pathetic, about the Jackson drawings – both as a reminder of a tragic cultural icon and the indication of the burgeoning sexuality and artistic ambition of the young artist.”

  23. Main

    A few weeks back we posted about a music video for a band called Plurabelle which was directed by Mattis Dovier. Curious as to how he had created the pixel effect, we ventured into his online portfolio which was like an Aladdin’s Cave of excellent, juicy GIFs. What is it about GIFS? Why the appeal? There is something inexplicably wonderful about seeing or hearing something on a loop, it seems naughty – something you shouldn’t waste your time doing, like throwing a ball against a wall or spitting over a bridge. I think we can all agree that the best GIFS out there show people (or dogs) hurting themselves or being clumsy in some way, which is why Mattis’ violent and very well-crafted selection went down so well with us. Our favourite? The running sumo or the motorbike spin, hands down.

  24. Main

    Let’s get this straight – no one uses colour pencils like Yann Kebbi. His rushing waves of familiar greens and reds depict street scenes filled with fumes, scowls, ageing pedestrians and whooshing movement – always with a dry happiness and a side order of mystery. Recently Yann’s wry depictions of human life have been featured in The New York Times and other prestigious rags, but some of his most interesting work lies in the personal sketches he whacks up on his blog for people like me to dribble at. The seemingly slapdash paintings of his family and the Hockney-esque sketches of the French countryside are exquisite, and proof that Yann has got so many more styles to try out yet before he perfects his repertoire.

  25. Main

    Sometimes the sad story of Arthur Russell’s life mixed with the whimsical howling and rousing sounds he creates is altogether too much to even bear – but we still torment ourselves, tuning in even when going through a break up or driving alone in the rain. When surreal, sad music is accompanied by something as funny as, say, The Muppets – something peculiar and unexpected can happen. In this edit by John Michael Boling we see a perfectly (and I mean perfectly) cut mash-up of Arthur Russell’s haunting That’s Us / Wild Combination and scenes from The Muppets Movie. The reason people think art is hard to make is because they don’t understand how such a simple idea or a wild combination can work so incredibly well. Thank you John Michael Boling for reminding us of this fact. Thank you.

  26. Main

    I always had a hunch that Bruno Bayley was the kind of guy with a great bookshelf – you can just tell that he’s a hoarder of the weird, the kind of person who would rather stumble upon someone’s diary in a forest than, say, a suitcase full of cash. London-based Bruno is the European managing editor of Vice, which allows him to take his curiosity for the dark corners of the world and pump them out to those who want to know but perhaps can’t be bothered to look. His articles are some of the best on Vice at the moment, so go and check them out after you’ve read his deeply interesting, peculiar top five books. Excuse us while we go and subscribe to the Fortean Times

  27. Main

    Let’s get this straight, Anna Victoria Best’s work is maybe some of the most exciting photography I’ve ever seen. That may sound like a total exaggeration but it’s true – it is not often that someone’s work is so consistently brilliant throughout an entire portfolio, or that a few simple portraits can hold such a huge amount of power. If I wasn’t taken with the photos of Ashley Williams (which I was, a lot) then the fashion editorial shoot for Varon was like the photographic equivalent of pudding. You can almost hear those shoes squeaking on the lino as they do the Twist.

  28. Mainmix

    Most of London is dirty and smelly all year round, but lovely, pretty west London really only gets a good old fashioned soiling once a year for the Notting Hill Carnival. The August bank holiday is here and yes, it’s Carnival time. We were going to make an in-house mix but then we realised what a bad idea that was (we tend to listen to things like Bob Dylan and that weird song by Bill Wyman). In our panic we asked south London DJ Bradley Zero to help us out, and he’s given us a well-informed mix of songs to take us through until terrible Tuesday. He also included some snaps of his time in Dominica to go with the mix he’s put together, which you can see below.

  29. Tumblr_n4iq1a8swj1qdf776o1_1280

    Anyone you know a downright sourpuss? Treat ‘em to a link to work by Hungarian designer Anna Kövecses. Here at It’s Nice That we give high praise to work that is candy-coloured and cute – as long as it never falls under the tasselled umbrella of “twee.” Anna’s work is a perfect example of that as beneath the childish exterior lies a wealth of design knowledge and style.

  30. Main

    Oi! Listen up! This week it’s Liv Siddall in the hosting throne, with Rob Alderson, James Cartwright and the new voice of our editorial assistant Amy Lewin to brighten up your week. Fancy hearing Rob and James have a spat over art critic Jonathan Jones? Choose your side and keep tuned in for the second half folks. You can listen via the SoundCloud below or subscribe via iTunes over here.

  31. Main

    How refreshing to see a music video that isn’t three minutes of slowly buffering and ultimately mind-bending CGI. The videos we cherish are always a combination of great idea plus low budget – which is what makes this new one for White Fence so perfect. Why has no one thought about putting a lead singer of a band in a prison for a music video before? I love the idea that no matter how much we worship bands and frontmen, if you threw them in the clanger for even an hour they wouldn’t last five minutes.

  32. Main

    Apologies if this is a slightly dismayed post, but upon thinking I had stumbled across a gem via Nieves’ announcement of some new zines I was excited to be the first to write about Keegan McHargue on It’s Nice That. Alas I was not, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t shout about his brilliance once more.

  33. Main

    We’ve been posting music-related art and design articles on It’s Nice That since the very beginning. In fact the first music video ever posted on It’s Nice That is this one by Koichiro Tsujikawa back in May 2007. Since then we’ve covered countless festival posters and identities, record sleeves, band logos, ad campaigns and tour photography amongst pretty much every other kind of music-related content you can think of, barring only reviewing music itself.

  34. Haim

    This is great! Haim have actually had a really great back catalogue of videos so far, proving to everyone that this medium is still mega-important as to how a band is seen (Metronomy also do this well). Now I may not recognise many (any) of the trendy music names that star in this video, but what I do know a lot about is chat shows. The whole video is a pastiche of ubiquitous telly fodder like Jerry Springer, Jeremy Kyle and Oprah – the gross chairs, beige set-design and on-screen graphics that remind you of Saved by the Bell that we all know and love.

  35. Main8

    Google Jack Kerouac’s The Dharma Bums and almost every book cover design that appears either depicts someone hitchhiking or it has the aesthetic of a grotty travel diary of someone who’s been “finding themselves” along a motorway for a month or two too long. Kerouac’s novels don’t even need covers, right? They’re stand-alone pieces of literary genius. Big applause is needed then for Copenhagen designer Torsten Lindsø Andersen who has taken the rulebook of second-rate Kerouac book design and thrown it out the train window on to the track where it belongs. These ambient, sterile designs he’s proposed for the author’s back catalogue are the perfect fit to the words within: weird, unpredictable, drunk and unique.

  36. Main

    Hey there’s a big floppy pepperoni on that Palomino! Most days I’d find the idea of wasted pizza an atrocity not worthy of further promotion, but I guess this photo series is kind of different. In a somewhat strange diversion from his otherwise rather professional work, this photographer has chosen to take countless pizzas into the great outdoors and capture them against the backdrop of the natural world. Jonpaul Douglass, whose name is a little like someone drunkenly writing John Paul Douglas, has snapped the humble pizza on sun loungers, in bushes, draped over basketball hoops, and even clinging for dear life over the barrel of a military tank. Why is this good? It just is; the quality of the photos is terrific, and ten extra points to Jonpaul who braved looking mega-weird in public to get these shots.

  37. Main

    Happy-go-lucky party animal Ewen Spencer is responsible for taking some of the most nostalgic series of photographs of partying we’ve ever come across. He made it his business to attend every underground rave or “it” place to be for the last 20 years or so, and has subsequently given much pleasure to members of the public who, for one reason or another, struggle to remember exactly what these places were actually like. As something of a hero of subculture, we were keen to ask Ewen about his favourite music video. It’s not a rare grime track or a blurry UK hip hop banger, it’s actually just a really lovely song by R.E.M.

  38. Main9

    Anyone who designs a clock that reminds you to “have a nice day” must be a good person, and it turns out Joe Cole Porter is not just nice, he’s also incredibly good at what he does. His work is the perfect balance of well-informed and actually fun. How many times have you watched through your fingers at corporate brands trying to be fun and ending up just being boring with a healthy dose of wacky? Exactly. They should take a leaf out of Joe’s book and produce design that is cheerful and colourful but intelligent enough to get the job done at the same time – a bit like a friendly builder, or a cheeky plumber. Some of Joe’s most exciting stuff is his record sleeve design, and we hope to see a little more of that in the future.

  39. Main

    Fantastic mix this week from London mix-merchants Shock World Service. “I find it difficult to sum up what the podcast is,” says creator Jon Averill. “On one hand the Shock World Service is just another mixtape. On the other it is more music and sound collage, music and spoken word interwoven with sounds and dialogue recorded around the city – best suited for long train journeys or flights, ideally late at night and played loudly on headphones.”

  40. Main

    A sincere, golden corner of the internet here: The Datamath Calculator Museum. The online museum is a historic, matter-of-fact and outrageously in-depth look at the history of calculators in the modern world. Remember the first time that a “scientific calculator” appeared on your back-to-school list? This trove will take you hurtling back to sitting in double maths using that very machine to write “boobless” (80087355) over and over again until the bell rang.