Bookshelf

Every week we invite someone from the creative industries to share a rundown of their five favourite books in the whole ruddy world, which have inspired, excited or educated them.

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    This is the bookshelf of the editor of my favourite fashion magazine Oyster Magazine. Zac Bayly has sent us his top five most inspirational tomes all the way from Australia! Oh, the beauty of the internet. As well as editing the good ship Oyster, Zac has written for other fashion powerhouses such as Dazed & Confused, Candy, Wonderland_, Love, and has even interviewed the likes of Thom Yorke – yikes! And he’s only 24 years old! Let’s see which books have inpspired him along the way…

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    What a treat this is! A totally sci-fi themed selection from artist Fergus Purcell. Fergus (or Fergadelic if you’re going by his revealing pseudonym) has carved quite a name for himself in the underground art scene, with his trippy illustrations and designs for Palace Skateboards. Fergus loves the weird, the wild and the wonky, as you can see from his clothing label Aries and his absolutely spectacular collection of rare sci-fi reads. Without further ado, here he is…

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    Seetal has come a long way since being an exceptional Central Saint Martins grad. She now runs her very own studio which does everything from styling to screenprinting workshops, from menswear design to creative direction. What they really specialise in however is textile design – and what textile designs! Seetal has a serious talent when it comes to designing some of the most beautiful, well-informed repeat pattern you may ever have come across. No wonder she’s got the entire fashion world queueing up to collaborate with her. Her bookshelf is, unsurprisingly, injected with fashion, style and a big ol’ dose of craft. Enjoy!

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    We featured photographer Stuart on the site a few weeks back when he brought out Pig’s Disco, a book of photographs depicting British army soldiers going to raves in the late 1980s. His work often covers the gritty subjects that are more often than not swept under the heavy carpet of time, which is all the more interesting when you see his top five selection. Expect Diane Arbus, Hunter S Thompson and Henri Cartier Bresson in this fascinating collection of documentary-photography publications – a must-read for any budding photographer.

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    SUCH a good Bookshelf from illustrator Ben Newman here on this wonderful Tuesday afternoon. If you know Ben’s work, you’ll immediately understand how this truly beautiful collection of books has inspired his unique visual approach to illustration. Slightly retro and meticulously skilful in the printing department, I often think Ben could have time-travelled to earth in a 1960s spaceship to bless us with his creations. Did that make sense? I hope so. Here he is.

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    Like figure skating and expert-level baking, set design and prop styling is one of those crafts that looks mega easy but is most certainly not. Sarah McNabb used to put lovely objects in wonderful positions at Wallpaper* and is now with her skills honed, she is embarking on a freelance career doing what she does best. Her work is angular, vibrant and incredibly stylish, but always with a pinch of fun thrown in for good measure. Let’s see which books have inspired her through her career so far…

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    Will Robson-Scott has broken the rule of Bookshelf and chosen seven books instead of five, but we let him get away with it because his selections and write-ups are so interesting. Will is a freelance photographer and has worked for the likes of Vice, The Independent, Dazed Digital and many more. Fearless, and with a gritty, grimy edge to them, Will’s collections of images will have you transfixed. Before you spend a good chunk of time on his site, have a read of the delights of his book shelf to get you in the mood.

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    If you check out Jiro’s London flat on this recent edition of The Selby, you’ll see kitsch objects, weird art, ethnic rugs and enviable clutter EVERYwhere. One look at this floor-to-ceiling mass of artistic and hilarious memorabilia was enough that we presumed a very meaty bookshelf. We weren’t wrong. Jiro’s selection is full of rare and exciting tomes that he’s picked up throughout his life. Aside from the way he’s photographed his books – which could be one of the best examples ever, perhaps save Jaimie Warren – what we love about Jiro’s selection is his insightful description for each one.

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    You don’t often get a personal look into the brains behind a famous online publication, but this is your lucky day. First a royal baby, and now this! Cool Hunting is a blog that’s pretty dominant in the art and design world. They seem to cover pretty much everything that’s cool, be it bikes, shops, design, illustration, art, films, food, booze…I could go on. So what better people to ask to recommend us some ultra-cool books than the people that make the website happen?! Picking one publication each (well, in Evan’s case, two) to tell you about, here are the Kings of Recommendation, The Content Excavators, the Cool Hunting staff…

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    Although he’s still a student (with a whole year left until graduation no less) Luke Evans has produced one of the most innovative and engaging photographic projects we’ve featured on the site this year. Forge was an enigmatic series of images that appeared to be simple photographs of extraordinary landscapes. But what made the pictures truly extraordinary was that Luke had made them on his kitchen table with a variety of household objects. For such a young guy he’s clearly not short on inspiration (Forge is just one of a handful of exceptional projects) so we presumed he’d have at least a few interesting books knocking about the place to give him a creative kick. We weren’t wrong either.

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    Bianca Wendt is more or less our neighbour in the close-knit design community that surrounds east London, which we consider to be a privilege and an honour as she’s one of the best designers going as far as we’re concerned. We featured her in last year’s Annual for her work on Viewpoint magazine, a publication she continues to art direct, but she’s also constantly occupied with a huge range of fashion and arts-based clients, creating the kind of publications we like to unashamedly lust over. For someone with such a prestigious background in print we thought Bianca would surely be able to provide some interesting insights into her own personal bookshelf. And we weren’t wrong.

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    Maya Fuhr’s gritty portraits of men and women came crashing into our world a few months ago, resulting in is featuring her messy bedroom series which went on to be one of our most successful articles this year – fact! We couldn’t wait to find out which books inspire someone whose work is so closely connected to fashion, pop culture and contemporary youth, and her fantastic selection has not disappointed. Here she is…

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    If you don’t know what Haw-Lin is then go home later, make a hot chocolate, turn the lights off, go to their website, lean back and scccrrroooolllllll. Haw-Lin is a meticulously curated selection of some of the finest images in the world, ever. Largely based around pop culture, vintage babes and Michael Jordan, the website also offers images as doorways to some of the best art, design and sartorial picks the web has to offer.

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    We love Nat Russell over here at It’s Nice That. If you haven’t seen it before, Nat’s body of work is made up of fantastical paintings, prints and illustrations that are pretty hilarious on the surface, but are actually infused with a really strong sense of loyalty and love that is so rare in so many people’s work. It’s fascinating to have a peek into his shelves, and to see the corrrelation between his literary habits and the work that he creates. Welcome to Nat Russell’s incredibly dedicated fan-base, you’re going to like it here.

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    What an honour this is! This week we have Jeff Hamada, founder of Booooooom, one of the most inspirational art and design blogs out there. As well as running this absolute mothership of a creative resource, Jeff also creates his own spectacular artwork,including some really great murals which you can see over on his site. One of the great things about seeing Jeff’s top five books is thinking about how it all intertwines.

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    Meet the man behind the very well-designed pages of Dazed and Confused magazine, Claude d’Avoine. Claude is renowned not just for being one of the most stylish men on Old Street but also part of the Brighton talent-gang that burst on to the creative scene a few years back along with Suzi Kemp, Tom Edwards, Lydia Garnett, the list goes on…Claude, who has worked for such big dogs as BOB Design and Colors magazine, now spends his days as a designer at Dazed and Confused. His very neat, colour coded(!) bookshelf is an absolute treat. Read on…

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    What a selection! It is written in blood on the It’s Nice That Rules and Regulations list that the chosen one for Bookshelf must choose five books and five books only, but Julia’s gone and picked seven like it’s no big thing. That’s fine by us though, as her selection includes a Buffy the Vampire Slayer study guide and the Rookie yearbook – two titles you’d be mad not to purchase off Amazon immediately. Julia is an animator and once warmed our hearts with this First Crush animation. She’s now living it up in Brooklyn being all creative and great. Here’s her top seven titles…

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    If you haven’t yet seen Anton Alvare’s spectacular thread-wrapped furniture, you’re in for a treat. With the typical RCA-graduate mix of staggering intelligence and creativity in one go, Anton now spends his time constructing incredible furniture utilising machines that he designs and builds himself. Not bad, eh? His bookshelf is, unsurprisingly, an incredibly enjoyable read. Until, of course, you reach the bit about the limited edition Misaki Kawai book, then you just find yourself wondering how best to break an enter into his home.

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    Ever seen Anna Lomax’s creations? If you want to see some of the most exuberant, fun-infused set design you’ll maybe ever set your eyes on, you should check it out. Anna’s enthusiastic, colourful work has caught the attention of brands such as Topshop and Selfridges, and has made her the go-to girl for fantastically art directed music videos for the likes of Toddla T. So what’s on her bookshelf? Confetti? Ribbons? Sellotape? Probably, yes. But also some magnificent books…

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    What with Bookshelf’s shiny new midweek slot, who to show us their top five books than a man whose entire career has been based around the fascinating history of objects? Marc Allum is a miscellaneous specialist on much-loved BBC programme Antiques Roadshow and is also a freelance art and antiques journalist. His book collection and incredibly well-written captions reveal his wide-ranging variety of historic passions, and the objects scattered around them (human skull included) confirm his self confessed “collectoraholic” nature. Perhaps one of our best ever bookshelves. Here he is…

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    If you don’t know what Jim’ll Paint It is then SORT YOUR LIFE OUT. Just kidding, have a look at his website and see the magical commission-based, Microsoft paint world that is his pasttime. From requests ranging from “Please paint me the T-Rex attack scene from Jurassic Park, but the T-Rex is the band T-Rex.” to “paint me Timothy Dalton having an intense arm wrestling match at Stonehenge with Oprah Winfrey as William Shatner forcefeeds her Spandau Ballet cassette tapes” Jim makes people’s dreams a reality. So what’s on his bookshelf? Well, it’s a nice mix of sci-fi, soft porn and Doctor Who merch. Enjoy!

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    It’s safe to say we’re pretty big fans of Osma’s photography. He’s been featured and commissioned in our two most recent publications, and we’ve wasted no time in putting his work on the site as often as we can. We know that Helsinki-based Osma likes to linger around middle-eastern markets and in Finnish woodland to capture his perfect shot, but which books inspired him to choose to do this as a career? No time to lose, let’s find out. Over to you, Osma.

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    I don’t think any Bookshelf has brought me as much joy as this one by Tom Edwards. A long-standing favourite illustrator of It’s Nice That, Tom once walked on his knees across the office floor to shake hands with someone, which was really funny. Seriously though, Tom is one of the best illustrators in London, and he is also holds the crown of being one of the capital’s biggest medieval enthusiasts, letting his passions creep into the Bruegel crossed with Beano drawings that make up his body of work. You can see some of his exciting new work exhibited at Pick Me Up next week.

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    Lover of all things rainbow miss Jen Stark is here to brighten up your Saturday morning with her exuberant, super-visual book collection. A self-confessed pop-up book lover, Jen’s books tend to be the type you can move and play with, which is fitting considering the fun-filled colour explosions of her of her artwork that we’ve been admiring for many years now. She’s also got a pretty cute dog to boot. Here we go…

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    Hey! There’s rats on your shelf! Oh wait that’s also Matt Furie’s shelves, groaning with the weight of some of the best books ever made. Most of these books you probably wouldn’t even know existed before! And the best bit is that with each odd, rare publication comes a brief, yet candid explanation of why Matt likes each one. To know that the creatures he creates are spawned out of this kind of library is at once comforting, and hilarious. Thanks, Matt! And nice rats btw.

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    What would you expect the editor-in-chief of Dazed and Confused, one of the world’s coolest magazines to have on his bookshelf? Some big, clunky fashion titles? Some sort of bicycle book? A map of Hackney? Well you’re wrong. The very lovely Tim Noakes has kindly shared with us his selection of seriously fascinating books, a photo of his very cute son in their very nice living room, and some stories about Wu-Tang that will blow your balls off. Take it away, Tim!

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    Could you get a much cooler scenario than two young brothers getting their brains together to melt down years of eating sugary cereal in front of cartoons as kids into an actual career involving animating videos for Adam Buxton and making gloriously juvenile illustrations? I can’t. Paul and Matt Layzell have been blowing our minds with their hilarious videos and drawings for a few years now, so we were curious to see which books inspired them to become the fine young men they are today. With minimal squabbling they have chosen six books, and boy are you in for a treat…

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    Patrick Fry is GREAT. We at It’s Nice That had the pleasure of working with Pat for most of last year, and watched him blossom from a sandwich-loving freelancer into a…well, I guess he’s still the same. One look at his portfolio will show you what he’s capable of, and the huge range of people who have commissioned him to re-brand their whole company is testament to his talents.

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    James Jarvis is one of those people that, when scrolling through the infinite chasms of Instagram, you stop when you see his name because you know it’s going to be something good. More an artist than an illustrator, James’ signature characters are round, colourful men grappling with the world around them. We’ve been curious about the content of his bookshelf for a while, so we are very proud to announce that he has agreed to share it with you all. Enjoy!

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    Remember Meg and Mog from your childhood? Okay wipe them from your minds and meet the new Megg and Mogg, recreated by Simon Hanselmann whose art has made us laugh more than…well, anyone. Ever. Simon’s ever-changing style but consistent weirdness is exactly the reason we wanted to snoop around in his bookshelf. The fact that he chose to draw his bookshelves rather than photograph them is nothing short of heroic. Without further ado, here he is.

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    You may have been reading some particularly hilarious articles on Vice recently, and you may or may not have noticed that some of the sharpest, wittiest and generally most honest come from a girl named Bertie Brandes. Originally a writer, Bertie is now publisher of a magazine called The Mushpit which she co-runs with Charlotte Roberts.

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    Oh how we love Oscar Bolton Green, his squiggly, colourful illustrations spiced up the It’s Nice That 2012 Annual no end. Bloomberg, The New York Times, and even Rolling Stone are also fans of his work, and you can see a little more of it on his brand new website. Quite a quiet chap is Oscar, so we were keen to find out a little bit more about him, and what better way to do that than ask him his top five most inspiring books? First Mr.Men book ever chosen I think, nice one Oscar. We love you.

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    Emma Orlow makes up one half of “The Do Not Enter Diaries”, a website that allows teenagers to show display their bedrooms in Vimeo clips. Already praised by The New York Times and Rookie, Emma and Emily are an inspirational duo who are a pillar of the current teenage online revolution. Emma’s book choices are hilarious, passionate and very cool. I’ve pre-ordered the Suze Rotolo book on Amazon already.

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    A brief but brilliant selection here from the fabulous illustrator Sergio Membrillas. A favourite in the It’s Nice That HQ for his constant updates, Sergio’s editorial illustrations just seem to keep flowing out of his head! Naturally, his selection includes some of the nicest illustration books around. Dig in!

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    Animals, people, buildings – all things we see pretty much every day. But through the lens of Will Sanders these things become something much funnier, much weirder, much brighter — surely the mark of a great photographer? Expecting lots of photography books from his bookshelf? You’d be wrong. Cue kids books, novels, and a healthy dose of short stories – could this be the nicest photo of a bookshelf ever sent in? I’m willing to place my bets. Please welcome, Will Sanders…

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    Tom Hines is responsible for one of the most jaw-dropping pages in the It’s Nice That Annual, a double page spread of two girls holding an enormous loaf of bread. His portfolio has a certain feel to it that you just can’t put your finger on, something in between witchcraft, suburbia, a kind of dark magic in a world of permanent twilight. Read on to hear truly insightful reviews of the fantastic books that have inspired Tom’s work, and about his switch from book collecting to digital reading.

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    It’s been a very Jean-infused week at It’s Nice That and that is no bad thing! he’s only one of our favourite illustrators of all time! His Midas touch never fails to turn silly and sweet ideas into simple visions of beauty. In honour of his absolute smorgasbord of new work, we asked him to do a Bookshelf, so read on to find out just where this brilliant man gets his inspiration…

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    Wow! We didn’t know what to expect from Jane Stockdale’s seemingly bountiful bookshelf, but we had a feeling it would mirror her energised, powerful photographic skills that we have been gaping at in awe for years now. If you haven’t yet witnessed how Jane uses her camera to capture some of the world’s most electric moments from festivals to riots, it may be good to check out her website before you read on. You may have a new favourite photographer.

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    You may have seen the lovely fashion blogger Marie My popping up on all sorts of Tumblrs recently in some of her unbelievable outfit creations. But we were keen to find out what this Danish girl who’s just finished her A-Levels has on her shelves (apart from hundreds of pairs of carefully sourced vintage shoes). As it happens, Marie’s shelves are an absolute treat, boasting obscure visual reference books, informative fashion publications and some (tasteful) street art thrown in for good measure.

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    You may recognise Rob’s incredibly friendly illustration from such publications as the much-adored Young Colossus which almost single-handedly changed the way we look at album artwork. The publication, made in collaboration with Maccabees singer Orlando Weeks, is a testament to the good-natured, happy style for which he has become so well-known. This illustrative style seems to carry through to his bookshelf too, as you’ll see below when Rob tells us about the lengths he once went to to get Vladimir Nabokov’s Collected Stories to a friend…