Introducing...

Our Introducing… feature showcases the finest new talent working in the creative industries and helps you get to know them and their work a little better.

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    This week we realised that it’s been forever since we featured an artist who makes nipples and bacon out of latex, silcone and oil paint, and decided that it’s high time we rectify such a gross oversight.

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    Pol Solsona is a freelance graphic designer, illustrator and photographer who was born in Barcelona but who now works in Helsinki, Finland. His eclectic work varies from art direction, identities and print and web design to illustration and photography, and anything else he finds himself doing in between. We chatted to Pol to find out why he loves working in his neighbourhood in Helsinki, what he does for fun and why he appreciates the accidents that can come with working in a creative industry. Read on!

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    Meet Niek Pulles, founder of Eindhoven (but soon to be Amsterdam)-based studio Heyniek, who specialise in visual design. Don’t be fooled by the term visual design, though – it’s a deliberately all-encompassing label. Niek makes work that draws the viewer in and interacts with its surroundings, whether that be an installation about the romance of running for Nike, a series of wearable foam outfits for the Clash Project or a collection of strange clay masks for Dutch Invertuals in Dutch Design Week. To celebrate the New Year, he teamed up with We Make Carpets to film create a carpet made purely out of fireworks which were then set fire to, creating a veritable display of explosions.

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    Jack Sachs studied Illustration at Camberwell, graduating last summer full of youthful energy and with more than one string to his bow; his work ranges from the drawn and painted to digital animation, making him an excellent example of the versatility that can burst forth from the loins of a creative degree. He makes images about footballers, wizards, crisps and funny-looking people, with a stylistic tendency to lean towards the weird and grotesque – so he fits right in on It’s Nice That. We interviewed Jack about his working day, and you can have a read below!

  5. Alex-tait-stuio

    Secret hidden faces in illustrations are one of absolute favourite things, and at the risk of giving all the joy away entirely (sorry) I am going to let on that Alex Tait is a fan of them, too. Woop! He’s also into weird sea creatures, jungles and, er, melons; a fruity and strange combination which dictates that he’ll fit in just fine with us.

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    Winter can be gloomy, so just in case you were after a tequila slammer of happiness to dilute your grey afternoon we’ve got George McCallum in for this week’s Introducing. And he loves a colour, does George. Making work which revolves primarily around puns and wordplay – from a chair made out of Chairman Mao to a chest of drawers which lets you keep your socks in a muscle man’s six-pack – he’s guaranteed to pull half-smirk, if not a full belly-laugh, from your November face. Here he is in his own words…

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    Bristol-based illustrator David Biskup is a very nice man. His easily discernible style and consistently strong narratives have given him the ideal leg-up for an editorial illustrator, allowing him to steadily add some of the biggest names from the newsagent’s paper rack to the roster of magazines and publications which have featured his excellent work. He’s also a big supporter of doing things “for fun” as we discovered when we had a wee chat with him about what he does. Read on to learn about the wonder of Seinfeld, being a creature of habit and leaving out the faff from your working process.

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    London-based photographer Lydia Goldblatt certainly seems to have found her feet in her medium. Her portfolio is not small collection of stunning work, while her most recent series, Still Here is best described as a sensitive and stunning portrayal of mortality and ageing. Lydia will be down at Paris Photo tomorrow if you’re at the exhibition and fancy popping down to meet her – in the meantime, though, we pinned her down for 20 minutes to have a chat about juggling admin with creativity, committing to her desk and the new direction she’s carefully feeling out in her photography…

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    Look at this! More exciting new work fresh from the brains of the world’s as yet untainted creatives! This week we’re introducing designer Josh Woolliscroft, who is currently working for Swiss design studio Loris&Livia in East London before returning to finish his MA in European Design at the Glasgow School of Art. Everybody, meet Josh.

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    We were intrigued after Carl Partridge popped into the studio the other week to drop off some of his wares for us to admire, and when we dug a little deeper and discovered all the cool stuff he gets up to we decided he’d warranted a proper introduction on the site.

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    Fresh out of his MA studies at the Design Academy Eindhoven, Lithuanian furniture designer Vytautas Gecas has many an innovative idea to share and he intends to get them out there via the medium of furniture design. His projects thus far have been conceptually sound and brilliantly executed, demonstrating complex ideas with the subjectivity of design at the forefront.

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    This week we caught up with designer and illustrator Joe Melhuish to hear exactly how he goes about getting down to “some serious picture inventing”. Recently graduated from Kingston (that well known rockpool of as yet undiscovered gems) Joe makes work with an eclectic range of methods across the realms of design and illustration, using graphic elements alongside hand-drawn techniques to create a collage-like effect. Here’s the man himself talking about his working day…

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    Usually when we run our Introducing features we write the introductions ourselves. But Stephen did such a great job of writing his own we just thought we’d go with it…

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    Artist Cadi Froehlich co-ordinates something very beautiful out of her own kind of chaos. She makes sculpture on large and small scales from salvaged copper and materials which have a Rauschenberg-esque “found object” quality to them, resulting in artwork which is both curiously inviting and strangely detached at the same time.

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    Amanda Greenberg is something of a rare gem. Residing and working in Brooklyn, NY, she creates digitally refined pencil and ink drawings which seem to resist being pinned down to any clear category. Executed in black on white and peaches and cream pastel shades, the characters she conceives are as original as they are beguiling. Repeated in series to create whole crowds of cool-looking girls, or clad in ethereal leaves and deep in thought – this is desktop screensaver candy if ever I saw it! We caught up with Amanda to talk about autumn in New York, balcony gardens and to find out how she goes about her working day.

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    Dan Singer burst fresh from the seams of Kingston’s Illustration and Animation BA in May, and he has wasted no time about getting his work into the world. He’s currently relying on friends with comfy sofas and goodwill to keep him away from his hometown Kent, so we were all the more chuffed when he popped in last week to show us what he’s been up to.

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    Illustrator, art director, graphic designer, noisy chip cruncher, lone bruncher – Elliot Stokes is many things to many people, but we’re mostly interested in his illustration (though the loud consumption of crisps is something we’d like to hear for ourselves). We came across Elliot’s work through his self-made zines that show in rough-and-ready style his swift, decisive mark-making and genuine nous for editorial illustration. Though he spends his days working on layouts in the company of fellow colleagues, Elliot’s nights are spent hunched over a desk, scribbling away for dear life at the beck and call of clients like The New York Times and Simon and Schuster – a double life we were keen to hear more about…

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    Oh Papa is the illustrating alter ego of Caitlin Duennebier an American creative from Massachusets who’s transplanted herself in London by way of an exchange programme at University of the Arts. Since graduation she’s been working hard building a base of freelance clients that come to her for witty, slightly grotesque drawings of shirtless, hairy-legged hillbillies getting themselves in all sorts of trouble with bare-breasted crones. We fell in love with Caitlin’s work for her brilliantly crude renderings of human faces. In a few simple brushstrokes she’s capable of creating the most malicious, toothy scowl on a fleshy pink head; a skill we reckon is pretty worthwhile.

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    Brazilain-born Welsh-bred animator Luiz Lafayette Stockler studied at the University of Wales before heading to London to pursue a Masters in animation. His projects are pretty darned strange; outpourings of innermost fears and strange desires that seem intensely personal but immediately recognisable for their simple humanity. What’s more they’re incredibly funny, drawing slapstick humour from the tugging of genitals, flashes of crudely-drawn breasts and immaculate comic timing.

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    Recent Camberwell illustration graduate Ruta Daubure has spent her time in education wisely, leaving university with a portfolio that any young creative would be proud of. She’s a dab hand at creating narrative driven editorial illustration – images that experiment with form and scale, deftly luring you into a world that seems light-hearted at first, but quickly reveals a more intricate web of emotional complexity – and extremely proficient in a variety of print processes; from litho to Riso.

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    Wiktoria Lenart is a product designer based in Wroclaw, Poland. She’s just finished work on her first marketable product, Worknest, a modular wooden workstation that allows you to organise the chaos of your desk. The surface of the desk is embellished with fine grooves that allow you to hang a myriad attachments from it, and there’s a bookshelf/room divider with similar functionality.

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    For a chap that graduated in 2012, Freddy Taylor has produced a staggering amount of work. As a freelancer he busies himself by art directing, designing, publishing and producing everything from fashion photoshoots to identities for new television channels. In his day job he’s doing pretty much the same but for the mighty KesselsKramer as a junior art director and designer. Quite how he manages to fit it all in is a mystery though we’re inclined to suspect he’s one of those that lives for the thrill of making work; the smell of fresh ink and the taste of the biscuit.

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    When you’re given the label “Graphic Designer” upon entering your first year at university, it’s a struggle to think of ways to communicate your ideas using anything other than some choice pieces of typography and laboriously constructed grids. There’s an implication of limitation that’s intimidating to young practitioners and arguably stifles their creativity pretty early on. Not so for Jack Beveridge, who seems to laugh in the face of traditional graphic design in favour of exploring more exciting territories.

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    Photographers Kila & Rusharc began their collaboration while studying at the University of Westminster, forming a bond over a shared set of ideals and a disparate set of skills which made them perfectly suited to working in tandem.

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    Jay Wright is an adventuring illustrator, a travelling image-maker who’s prepared to embrace the open road in search of the perfect creative environment. While studying he spent time in Austria and Germany on both artists’ residencies and on exchange programmes, but following graduation grounded himself in Bristol to slavishly pursue his freelance illustration dreams, gaingin work from a phenomenal number of editorial clients. But he’s recently upped-sticks and left for Berlin, trading the West Country for the old East in a move designed to give his career, and his bank balance, a kick up the backside.

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    Please welcome very busy image-maker Mr Chad Kouri. Tirelessly juggling about a hundred projects at once, Chad is a good example of someone whose work/play life is as one. His consistent swapping of mediums makes him one of Chicago’s most impressive commercial multimedia artists. He’s also a bit of a dab hand at typography. Here he is, let us introduce Chad Kouri…

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    Sometimes in this business you stumble across images that you’re immediately drawn to and then can’t find out who was responsible for creating them. So it was with Rasmus Ohlson, whose marbled book project has sat on my desktop for months in a folder of anonymous images that I’ve been meaning to research. Then two weeks ago, miracle of miracles, I stumble across his website and months of anguish are brought to an end.

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    Alana’s life sounds pretty great. In between working on an idyllic organic fruit and vegetable farm, she is commissioned to take photographs of young, sun-dappled youths for brands such as Norse, HUF and The Hundreds to name but a few. There’s something incredibly warm about her photos, and seemingly her personality – the kind of photographer who’s not afraid to get her hands dirty, or go on a bit of an adventure. Alana kindly answered a few questions for us too…

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    Photographer Samuel Bradley is as box-fresh from university as they come at this time of year. Part of last year’s crop of graduates he’s spent the last six months finding his feet and cutting his teeth on the mean streets of London, having completed his degree at UCA Farnham. Unlike many of his peers who are probably floundering in the confusion of life without loans and the oppressive reality of waking before 10am, Sam’s doing pretty well for himself and has seemingly acclimatised to London (and freelance) life with aplomb.

  30. Holland-list

    Some time ago Greg Holland got in touch with a series of photographs he’d taken of East London boxers sparring at a local club. The images took a considered look at the relationships fostered in these quiet corners of the city where boys and men of all ages train, coach and support each other in a manner of touching solidarity. Greg’s photos were excellent, but we’d already shown a couple of boxing stories on the site in previous weeks so decided to wait until he had more work to show.

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    Not only does Thomas Slater have the cutest dog ever, his illustrations are rather brilliant too. Thomas’ desire to put a smile on people’s faces has certainly paid off, especially Bad Guys Doing Not So Bad Things, where you come across Bond villian Oddjob casually walking his neighbour’s dog (what a nice guy!).

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    It’s hard to believe that Luke Pelletier (painter, printmaker, musician AND skateboarder) is at the ripe age of 20 with already such an splendid portfolio. Currently living in Chicago, Luke clearly has no time to clean his studio as he is constantly churning out artworks from paintings, large murals and even a pinball machine (so awesome). Luke’s art work is full of energy, and varies depending on his mood or what he is doing at the time. Passionate and dedicated, Luke has real talent, be sure to keep an eye on him.

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    In a world of bright colours and smiles, it is hard to believe that Ryan Chapman lives in the same smoggy, grey London we call home. Ryan has developed a signature look to his joyous characters using colourful and simple shapes, and whether they are repairing a car, rendezvousing on a house boat or smoking a pipe, these little people seem to be enjoying every second of it.

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    Graphic designer and all-round conceptual thinker Eric Hu already has more success under his belt than most 24-year-olds (and I’m speaking from the front line of 24 here). A graduate of Art Center College of Design, Pasadena and a very nearly-graduate of Yale’s prestigious MFA programme, not to mention one of the youngest recipients of an ADC Young Gun award, it’s fair to say that Eric’s got a pretty solid understanding of his chosen field and the ability to practice it with real flair.

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    Young graphic designer Jonathan Roberts reached out to let us know that he’d just launched a new website and what we found made us sit up and take notice. Jonathan has a really solid portfolio, with printed work which shows a good understanding of current trends without slavishly imitating them and he also engages in some interesting research work which is sure to feed back into his commissioned projects.

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    We don’t know many illustrators from Lapland (we only know one) and for that reason (that and her beautiful work) we feel duty-bound to introduce you to the brilliant Stina Löfgren. Stina’s got a real talent fro producing smart, slow-burning editorial illustration that forces viewers to actually engage in the point she’s trying to make rather than taking it all in at a glance. She’s also got one of the most approachable illustrative styles around, developing her intuitive line work with brush and ink, lino cut and traditional print techniques alongside considered digital manipulation.

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    We’re over the moon to have discovered Anton Van Hertbruggen. Whether illustrating adventures with giraffes in tents or star gazing in suburbia, Anton uses space beautifully, has a delicate line and the loveliest palette of blues. At only 22 the illustrator from Antwerp’s style is impressively assured.

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    Freelance illustrator Dan Woodger graduated from the University of Brighton in 2011 and has since been working his bloody socks off building a career out of a surreal imagination and raw drawing capabilities. Signed to YCN almost immediately after leaving university, he’s now got an enviable client list for such a young creative and counts Google, Cadbury, The Times, ESPN, Vice, Anorak, The Church of London and BBH among his roster of employers. Not bad for a guy whose bed, fridge and desk all occupy the same space.

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    André sent his work in via the It’s Nice That Facebook page, and we liked it the moment we laid eyes on it. Collages are pretty in at the moment with a lot of people trying their hand at them, but something about André’s just seem so…well put-together. With flashes of colour and shapes surrounding usually political and editorial images from old copies of Life magazine, André creates whole new and exciting images out of overlooked old ones. We wanted to ask him a little about his process and working day, so without firther ado here he is…

  40. Jamie-jones-list

    Jamie Jones sent us a lovely risograph print of a man so engrossed in his phone he steps off a roof. Won over, we searched his site to discover more but found it surprisingly taciturn. We were, however, met with some excellent illustration: flat, hand-drawn shapes confidently coloured and then softened a little with textures. Clever but simple, they’re bold in the best way.