Ms-300

Assistant Editor Maisie joined It’s Nice That fresh out of university in the summer of 2013 and has stayed with us ever since. She has a particular interest in art, fashion and photography and is a regular on our Studio Audience podcast.

ms@itsnicethat.com@maisieskidmore

985 articles
  1. Production-type-itsnicethat-list

    It seems to me that half the job when you work at a type foundry is finding the best way to showcase your wares. In an industry now bubbling with interactive websites, weird apps and even the occasional trailer, typeface specimens are an old fashioned means, but as Paris-based digital foundry Production Type proves, they’re often the best.

  2. Inside-abbey-road-itsnicethat-list

    There are a lot of things I’ll likely never be able to do in my life. I’ll never be an astronaut, because I’m shit at science for starters, and I’m never going to record a world-changing album, because in reality I didn’t get much further than playing The OC soundtrack on the piano. So when a digital experience comes up that allows to you pretend you might be sailing around the moon aboard the Soviet Union Luna 2, say, or to peruse the hallowed studios of Abbey Road among the likes of the Beatles and Tony Bennett, I’m more than happy to take it.

  3. Obv-campaign-itsnicethat-list

    The impending general election in Britain is encouraging a spurt of striking advertising campaigns and creative efforts to encourage potential voters, not least Pentagram’s “Give an X” campaign, and this new offering by Saatchi & Saatchi for Operation Black Vote is particularly powerful. The campaign is intended to boost the numbers of black, Asian and ethnic minority voters, in order to attain greater representation of Britain’s diverse population in government. Featuring Paralympic athlete Ade Adepitan, actor David Harewood, rapper Tinie Tempah and footballer Sol Campbell with their faces painted white, the campaign reasserts the quotation “If you don’t register to vote, you’re taking the colour out of Britain.”

  4. Wardheirwegh_itsnicethat-list

    Some graphic design projects seem straightforward; a lovely foil, and Bob’s your uncle! Others demand a bit more attention, however, and for those we call in the likes of Ward Heirwegh. Based in Antwerp, Ward specialises in design for exhibitions, translating complex, abstract concepts into coherent, understandable printed accompaniments. In my opinion this branch of design requires a very specific and quite elusive skill for compressing and transforming information.

  5. Neil-krug-itsnicethat-list

    Some bands are happy to leave the creative direction of their gig posters and visuals up to their labels, but others, and these are often the more special of the bunch, put as much care into their visual representation as they do their music, carefully building a coherent image with every photo shoot, illustration and album sleeve. First Aid Kit is one of the latter. The Swedish sibling duo has accrued quite a roster of preferred illustrators and photographers to design their posters, channelling their one-of-a-kind amalgamation of Scandi heritage, folk symbolism and references into each one. We spoke to Johanna and Klara about the process of commissioning their posters, their favourite illustrator to work with, and keeping creative disagreements in the family.

  6. Alisondubois-after-itsnicethat-list

    Alison Dubois is a San Francisco-based illustrator who channels all of the vitamin D from her native temperate climate into her work. Take After, for example, a collection of re-creations of works by great masters, including Henri Matisse, Peter Doig and a handful of Paul Gauguins. Her drawings are rendered in felt tip and dominated by primary colours, and looking at them for too long feels something like consuming a bottle of Sunny D via an IV drip.

  7. Thomas-slater-mosaic-itsnicethat-list

    It’s a good job “Thomas Slater, Illustrator” has such a nice ring to it, as we seem to be spending a lot of time on his website of late. His newest undertaking is for Mosaic, the science-led strand of the Wellcome Trust which is using commissioned illustration and photography to make even the most opaque of articles on their journal absorbing. For a piece entitled Do You Need to Go to Parent School? Thomas has created a series of drawings depicting kids both being encouraged by, and outsmarting, their ambitious parents – putting them on school buses, playing at being doctors from their buggies, or having their brains measured while diligently sipping on juice cartons. It’s the kind of commission which shows editorial illustration at its most challenging, but somehow Thomas manages to convey broad ideas about parenting and education with a simple and bold colour palette, outsmarting us all in the process.

  8. Milton-list

    “I knew that I was obsessed with drawing as a child, and that it was a source of my greatest pleasure. There was nothing else I would prefer doing than drawing. Actually that is persistent to this very day.” So begins The New York Times’ short film looking at the spectacular life and career of Milton Glaser, and if this wonderful clip doesn’t restore your faith in design (and in the same amount of time you’d spend making a coffee, too!) then I don’t know what will.

  9. Ng_inside_2bookshelf-itsnicethat-list

    London-based fashion brand Eley Kishimoto was founded in 1992 by Japanese-born Wakako Kishimoto and her Welsh husband Mark Eley, and has since earned a global reputation for bold print design and collaborations with the likes of Louis Vuitton, Alexander McQueen and Jil Sander. We were lucky enough to pin down co-founder Wakako to find out which publications have most inspired and influenced her on her trajectory thus far. Her response? A beautiful old Japanese/English dictionary, a Jean-Charles de Castelbajac-clad Snoopy, and an old old issue of the National Geographic and all of the treasures inside it.

  10. Maya-fuhr-itsnicethat-list

    Maya Fuhr is a photographer with an inexplicable ability to photograph young faces without losing any of the youthful disdain, muted excitement or quiet rebellion that play an integral part in being young. Which more or less makes her a natural fit for a fashion brand to shoot their campaign, don’t you reckon? John & Jenn has cottoned on, commissioning Maya to shoot their new collection of simple and structural pieces, and she did a lovely job of it; the resulting images are textural and tactile while maintaining the models’ quiet air of not-giving-a-shit. Somebody give the girl a billboard.

  11. Random-studio-itsnicethat-list

    I don’t know what it says about our relationship with technology that fancy websites are still providing a source of joy so long after the internet was invented, but there’s nothing like a bit of magical and unexpected web trickery to wake you up from a dull afternoon slumber. Case in point is eccentric Italian design house Fornasetti’s website, which has just been given a good jazzing up from Amsterdam-based Random Studio.

  12. Karlanders-heavybirthday-itsnicethat-list

    I don’t know how much of it can be attributed to the wonders of Google translate, but the “About” paragraph for Karl Anders’ new issue of Der Zirkel, der macht is a hoot. “The worst party of the city follows naturally an equally weighty magazine,” it states. “Divided into the categories of ‘cake, card, candles,’ we penetrate horrible-beautiful and forgotten photo albums of the nineties.”

  13. Weekender-itsnicethat-list

    Some Fridays drift into the abyss of the weekend with gradual abandon; other pivot off that 5pm blue touchpaper and fire off into the freedom of two sweet nectary days. This week is the former – maybe it’s the sunshine here in London – but we feel we’ve arrived here on the cusp of nothing rested, ready and raring to go. Sound. Those. Trumpets.

  14. Margot-fabre-itsnicethat-list-4

    Friends aren’t really friends until they’ve gotten together with a bundle of felt tips to draw a bunch of pornographic illustrations; which is precisely what makes graphic design student Margot Fabre and her mate Frederik Stender such good ones. The pair have combined their creative skills in the purest of ways, doodling a collection of wildly imaginative and not altogether innocent sketches of a couple – and occasionally an extra character or two – having a really, really nice time. It’s filthy and hilarious and completely unafraid to have a giggle at itself, and we bloody love it.

  15. Ezra-jurman-itsnicethat-list

    One man who evidently has patience in truckloads is Joseph Brett, the filmmaker and animator based in London who is responsible for creating this music video for Ezra Furman’s new song Restless Years, which might be the single most ambitious stop motion music video I’ve ever seen. In it, Ezra explores the San Francisco Bay Area in thousands of still frames. He walks down streets, through tunnels and around a vintage clothes shop donning more and more women’s clothes at every step, not to mention pausing at intervals to dance with friends or to wander curiously around a library. It must have taken weeks to make, let alone to edit together, and the sheer amount of effort which has gone into it makes it completely irresistible. Joe, we salute you.

  16. Aakash-itsnicethat-list

    When we last wrote about Aakash Nihalani we described his practice as a series of interventions, and now that he has graduated from playful street art compositions to full blown technological mind-blowers, that vaguery seems even more apt. His newest piece sees him create a series of interactive installations which respond to the movements of the subject stood in front of them. The video demonstrates it better than I could ever hope to, so wrap your eyes around it and try to keep your jaw off the floor. Aakash is entering a new age, people; just imagine the possibilities!

  17. Apple-emojis-itsnicethat-list

    It’s only been a few years since Apple introduced emojis onto our iPhones, but they’ve already transformed our syntax irreparably, and my fellow die-hard emoji users will be interested to hear that the tech giant has delivered on its promise to create a range of racially diverse faces. The new selection includes over 300 extra characters, including tiny faces and thumbs up signs in a choice of six different skin tones which – while it’s long way from being exhaustive – certainly allows for a far greater diversity than we’ve become used to. The newbies also include same-sex families and a bunch of complex technological gadgetry. Dancing lady! Crying happy face!

  18. Joni-kirton-itsnicethat-list-2

    Multi-disciplinary designer Joni Kirton designs from the bottom up. He specialises in creative strategy and analysis, meaning that his thing is creating solutions to problems, rather than drawing up aesthetically pleasing ideas which fail to do what they were intended to. And when you cast an eye over his portfolio with his in mind, the diversity of projects he has worked on is even more impressive – from an identity for a packing and removals company, to one for a small indie record label based in the North of England.

  19. Ines-longevial-itsnicethat-list

    Inès Longevial is an art director and illustrator based in Paris, whose beautiful paintings of intertwined bodies are likely to have you looking twice. She breaks up the human figure into segments in a fashion Picasso himself would admire, rendering different parts in contrasting but muted colour palettes to disguise the physicality of her subjects. The effect is quite beguiling; hands play across hips and colour distinctions hint at the seams of clothes, but nothing is clear cut. It’s a geometric play on anatomy, and it has clients including fashion brand Amélie Pichard and sportswear giants Nike coming back for more.

  20. Cinderblock-itsnicethat-list

    You Work For Them is the next foundry in line to present a new font with a snazzy dedicated website, and this time they’ve take the presentation one step further with a trailer. Yes, a trailer – the kind that usually promotes a film – except this is dominated entirely by Cinderblock, their newest typographic offering.

  21. Brooklyn-museum-basquiat-itsnicethat-list

    There are few artists who have had the impact in their entire careers that Jean-Michel Basquiat achieved in his 28 years. The self-taught Brooklyn-born artist was inspired by everything he came into contact with, creating work influenced by hip-hop, politics, advertising and children’s drawings to perfectly encapsulate the culture he inhabited. As such his notebooks – filled with sketches, fragments of poetry and personal observations about race, class and culture – have been elevated to the status of sacred relics. Luckily for us, these relics are currently on show at The Brooklyn Museum, offering a never-before-seen glimpse into his inner life.

  22. Hannahwaldron-itsnicethat-list

    “I wish I knew how to weave,” I found myself sighing longingly while clicking through Hannah Waldron’s portfolio. The UK-based multi-disciplinary artist and designer has transitioned seamlessly from grid-based image-making to create works in textile form since completing an MFA in Textiles at Konstfack, Sweden, and it looks like she’s well at home in the medium. Map Tapestries is a series of woven works inspired by various city scenes – Kreuzberg, NYC and Venice, for example – in bright colours, evocative shapes and simple geometric forms, and it’s wonderful.

  23. Alex-tieghi-walker-itsnicethat-list

    When we invited Alex Tieghi-Walker to contribute to the Bookshelf feature we didn’t realise he was in possession of what basically constitutes a library. A looming wall of books, teeming with colour, insight and inspiration. Look at it! It’s enormous!

  24. Beach-bums-itsnicethat-list

    Beach Bums by The Great Nordic Sword Fights is the kind of animation that should come with some kind of a warning – and not because it contains any illicit materials, just because it feels something like Spongebob Squarepants on acid. Created by director duo Ricky Jonsson Jr and Kristel Brinshot for an episode of American cable network Adult Swim’s Off the Air, it features a motley crew of hairy psychedelic creatures surfing wildly through a tropical ocean to a digital soundtrack by Groundislava, interrupted only by the pursuit of what might be a giant poo floating through the ocean.

  25. Jen-stark-whirl-side-int-10

    If it isn’t broke then there’s absolutely no need to even think about fixing it, as artist Jen Stark is fully aware, and there’s nothing broken about her geometric papercut sculptures. The LA-based artist has been making such work for literally as long as It’s Nice That has been running – here’s the first time we ever posted about her, back in 2007 – and although her work continues to grow in intricacy, she’s stayed true to her roots. These days her sculptures are made more and more often inside huge, unassuming black and white boxes, recreating the feeling that you’re a child about to unbundle a giant parcel of joy on Christmas morning, and they’re still as impressive as they were eight years ago.

  26. Boyocollage-int-list

    Some budding young design talents fresh out of university might harbour resentment about being thrust into a new job at a design studio as a “photocopier boy” (his words), but Patrick Waugh is not one of them. Instead he took full advantage of the rich archive at his disposal in his earliest and most junior jobs to make copies. Lots of them. And then took a scalpel and some masking tape to them, and transformed them into something altogether more exciting.

  27. Book-shelf-list

    If you’ve been for a walk in Hoxton, east London recently there’s a good chance you’ve come across One Good Deed Today, a recently-opened shop selling a curated collection of lifestyle and homeware objects. The objects on sale are lovely, but the approach taken by the owners Romain and Alev is even more so – the products are chosen based on how and where they are made, making it a very responsible collection, and five percent of all proceeds from the store are donated to a charity chosen by the customer at the time of purchase. Nice, huh?

  28. Nicer-tuesdays-extra-int-3

    As host Liv Siddall helpfully reiterated last night “we’ve all been children at some point,” so the theme of Childhood is a surprisingly appropriate one for a night of talks from people doing brilliant work in the art and design world. Among the ones who spoke at Nicer Tuesdays last night we heard from Toby Parkin, who is lead curator of the hotly anticipated New Interactive Museum at London’s well-loved Science Museum, comics artist Kev F. Sutherland who has drawn characters for the likes of the Beano, Katie Johnston from Playology and Dean of London College of Communication, Lawrence Zeegen.

  29. Nic-natives-int-list

    What happens when you take five very talented artists and makers, and send them all off together to a a stone barn in the Lake District to draw, make music, write poetry, take photographs and generally spend time exploring together? Beautiful things, that’s what, as Nicolas Burrows (who is one third of brilliant collective Nous Vous) soon found out.

  30. Pacman-int-list

    Prepare your mouse-clicking finger for what might be the best collaboration since Madonna, Britney and Christina Aguilera snogged live on stage – Google Maps has transformed into an interactive and completely playable version of Pac-Man, and it’s bloody brilliant. You can take the yellow-faced protagonist to your local high street, New York’s Time Square, or hop right over to Niagara Falls and run riot in those streets too. Basically, wherever Google can go, you can play.

  31. Serenmorganjones-int-list

    With the centenary of British women receiving the partial vote coming up shortly, artist Seren Morgan Jones decided it was time to focus on the Welsh suffragists who helped to make it happen. “I think it is important to show that there is more to Wales and its history than coal mining, rugby and men,” she explains, “and to draw people’s attention to the fact Welsh women were so involved in the fight for women’s rights.”

  32. Joe-melhuish-int-list

    Idyllic mountainous landscapes are fine and funny domestic settings are good too, but it’s not often we see illustrators tackle the subject of intricately designed custom weaponry. We appreciate Joe Melhuish’s new project all the more for its originality. He first started drawing bizarre pockets knives that look more like the jumbo Super Soakers while researching for a commission for “quite a big pop musician,” and soon became fascinated in the way weapons might grow to become an accessory to one’s identity.

  33. Factory-int-list

    We get sent a lot of cool music-related ephemera at It’s Nice That, from vinyl, CDs and cassette mixtapes to gig posters and flyers, and while we want it to sound fantastic, the music it’s all about isn’t always our first priority. So we thought it would be interesting to speak to somebody firmly at the music end of the spectrum. Namely Jason Carter, the man responsible for setting up BBC Introducing. 

  34. Weekender-list

    If you like art, music, design, illustration, photography or animation you’re not even ready for the bulk of it that’s abut to land on your computer screen like a wet fish onto a ship deck. Are you? You are? Right then. Here it is.

  35. Samchirnside-int-list

    I don’t know what it is about seeing colours up close that’s so mesmerising, but Sam Chirnside is all over it. The Melbourne and New York-based artist works predominantly with oil paints to create strangely beautiful distortions, which work best when overlaid with a band logo to create album artwork, or cut out in geometric shapes. His works resemble planetary compositions straight out of a senior school physics textbook or a happy spillage in an art classroom, and we can’t get enough of them.

  36. Chevalvert-int-list-2

    You wade into Chevalvert’s portfolio rubbing your hands across your eyes, unsure of what you’ve stumbled across. The Paris-based studio was founded in 2007 by Patrick Paleta and Stéphane Buellet and describes itself as being based on an “open, multidisciplinary approach,” which might go some way to explaining why it feels like a cave laden with treasures. So many treasures.

  37. Morganlevy-int-list

    The “commissioned” tab on Colorado-based photographer Morgan Rachel Levy’s website is a pretty diverse place. It spans a project about public schools, a series made in Ferguson following the shooting of Michael Brown and one collection about a map maker for Monocle among others, and nestled happily into the mix is this absolute stonker. 

  38. Sam-coldy-penguin-int-list

    Is it just me or is Penguin killing it at the moment? The publishing house only recently celebrated its 80th birthday by launching a range of its classic titles for 80p each, accompanied by a slick website and a poster campaign which has reached even the furthest corners of London’s transport system. And right now, they’re in the midst of a new campaign called On the Page which celebrates women authors and characters in literary masterpieces.

  39. Hiro-murai-int-list

    If his music videos for the likes of Flying Lotus, St Vincent and Childish Gambino hadn’t already marked him out as one to keep an eye on, Hiro Murai’s latest directorial offering, the music video for Earl Sweatshirt’s new single Grief, should do it. Filmed on a thermal camera and played out in black and white, it’s in the same league as Never Catch Me which stunned us with its simple but incredibly original storyline. In this instance Hiro has taken the level of restraint one step further with a slowed down, monochrome approach – it’s brave, effective and perfectly matched to the pace of the emotive song. Somebody pin him down for a short film, sharpish.

  40. Jg-street-demon-int-list

    Got the mid-week hump-day gloom, friend? Allow me to do away with it for you with a bumper-pack of animated GIFs by the talented hand of illustrator and animator Julian Glander. He once came up with a clever app which transformed colour data into sound for an eight-note synth and made us all into synaesthetes for a day, which was intricate and complicated enough to warrant a dose of fun to follow. A gang of tiny blob men whirling their arms over their heads at impossible speeds? Yes, please. A tiny man on a bicycle riding in tiny circles forevermore? Go on then. Great things are in the pipeline for this master of 3D shapes, bulgy eyeballs and jumping hamburgers. You mark our words.