Archive

  1. List

    Hanging clothes up is something I’m fairly bad at remembering to do. I try things on and in my excitement for the next item, my grip automatically loosens and the piece of clothing drops to the floor as I reach for another. It’s a bad habit but perhaps I’d be more encouraged to tidily hang things if my garments could look as beautiful as Hanna Sandin’s suspended installations of everyday objects.

  2. Antonio-ladrillo

    We have long been fans of Antonio Ladrillo and his cheerful, colourful, character-based illustration – in fact so synonymous is the Barcelona-based maestro with a certain style of work that Ladrillo-esque (easy for you to say) is an instantly-understood designation among team It’s Nice That. But what’s this? He’s only gone and opened a new show in Mallorca gallery Louis 21 called Crash which consists of 40 small (9 × 10 cm) abstract paintings created on wood, broken and refashioned (hence the name of the exhibition).

  3. Yasuaki-onishi-list

    Osaka-based artist Yasuaki Onishi uses humble, simple materials – black glue, plastic sheets, nylon thread – but somehow a large space is majestically occupied with his inverted landscapes, the “reverse of volume”, allowing a viewer to occupy a space that would otherwise, perceptively, be given over to something of monumental density. Now showing in Texas’ Rice University Art Gallery, Onishi’s latest installation makes real his interest in the invisible, “like time, or air, or gravity” – constructing a suspension of weight/space/belief that can be observed from all angles and never to the same effect.

  4. Ties

    A few minutes’ walk from It’s Nice That HQ in east London, nestled in a Clerkenwell back street sits Drakes London, the largest independent hand-made tie producer in England. Behind an unassuming facade you enter a world where consummate craftsmanship, care and quality control combine to create some of the most sought-after neck-decorations around. Owner Michael Hill gave us a guided tour along with filmmaker Jai Rafferty and this is the piece we produced, a celebration of the timeless perfection of super-skilled hand-made garments.

  5. Two-years-at-sea

    In his 2006 film, Somerset-born artist Ben Rivers introduced us to the real life hermitic Jake Williams in This Is My Land. For Jake, a man with extraordinary eyebrows and expressive beard who lives alone in the high-Highlands, his self-sustainment and self-dependency is the realisation of a dream concocted as a young man. Two Years at Sea takes back up with Jake, the title alluding to the time spent working on boats so that he might lead this isolated life and though this film does nothing to explain those circumstances, it’s a bewildering starting point for an audience (one that no-one I was in the cinema with could possibly relate to).

  6. List

    Reading cereal packets used to be part of my morning ritual as a child and learning how to say ‘riboflavin’ was a definite landmark. But it wasn’t just the riveting vitamin content that I loved staring at, it was also the repeated ‘serving suggestion’ image and layout.

  7. Listgui1336603966-guinness-interior-01-1000x666

    We’ve all met travel bores, the kind of people for whom gap year one-upmanship is an all-consuming obsession. You’ve done a charity project helping South American orphans? They’re worshipped as a deity by an entire African tribe. You’ve eaten crickets? They’ve eaten stegosaurus. You’ve climbed Kilimanjaro? They ran up Everest. Naked.

  8. List

    It sounds silly, but sometimes it’s too easy to forget or dismiss the work that goes into the visual elements of what we’re presented with everyday in various publications and books. But an excellent illustration is like a brilliant side-dish, enhancing the experience of the main course (text) and contributing to the overall effect, sometimes even rescuing the (metaphorical) meal.

    The V&A Illustration Awards help remind us of the incredible illustrations of the past 12 months and this year’s shortlist has just been announced. Recognising the potato dauphinoises of the illustration world, 14 artists have been chosen from over 1,000 submissions from UK illustrators. The awards have been categorised under Book Illustration, Book Cover and Jacket Illustration and Editorial publications, with a fourth category for Student work being judged by the winners of last year’s award. The winners will be announced on 11 June, and the shortlist is a gentle nod to all the beautiful work that’s been produced over the past year.

  9. Listtokyo-hotaru-photo-by-ajpscs-1

    There are some images that even when you’re exposed to as many creative projects as we are still stop you in your tracks. So it was this weekend when we got wind of whispers that 100,000 LED spheres had been floated down a Tokyo river to mark the opening of the Tokyo Hotaru arts festival – and the photographs certainly didn’t disappoint. Hotaru translates as fireflies and the eye-popping piece certainly resembles these critters or phosphorescent algae, but by transplanting it into an urban setting it creates something both ethereally beautifull and slightly unnerving. A blockbustingly brilliant project which is rightly getting a great deal of attention – kudos to the organisers, Panasonic who provided the balls and all those who captured it so brilliantly on Flickr.

  10. Theraid

    A few weeks ago I went to see Gareth Evans’ The Raid which was, potentially, one of the most violent couple of hours I have ever experienced –my ears rang with gunshot until the next day, and I couldn’t get a certain image of an exploding fridge out of my head. Nevertheless, Gareth’s film is a gorey masterpiece, thus making it prime re-make material for a certain Lee Hardcastle, the man who, earlier this year, turned Pingu into something not unlike the first battle scene in Saving Private Ryan.

  11. Dom15

    It’s a bittersweet experience to come across a an artist whose work you love, only to find out that the work you have seen is their last. So it is with the works of Domenico Gnoli, a brilliant Italian-born, New York-based painter of the 1960s who sadly passed away at the young age of 36. And it really is a shame because his works are simply stunning. Up until recently his paintings have been kept hidden away in private collections, however now at the Luxembourg & Dayan gallery in New York rare works from 1964-1969 are being shown to their full beauty.

  12. Untitled_1list

    There’s a hackneyed set of cliches surrounding England’s north-south divide – southerners are metrosexual softies, northerners are unrefined gravy-scoffers etc etc. A lazier journalist than I might suggest that Bulgarian photographer Boryana Katsarova’s brilliant Freezing series of weather-beaten commuters is a perfect fit for The Gallery at Flannels in Leeds. But I’m not going there. I’m better than that.

  13. Ju_information_graphics_13heroelist

    Where once infographics were a bit of a niche specialism, in recent times they seemed to have gatecrashed the mainstream and you frequently see someone on Twitter drooling over the latest info-tastic offering. So it is with perfect timing Sandra Rendgen has produced a spectacular new book looking at this phenomenon – how infographics have developed, why they’re useful and how they work. There’s more than 400 examples in the book too, which proves Albert Einstein’s maxim: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” We spoke to her to find out more…

  14. Mb

    There’s lots of different sorts of confidence – the brash, swaggering sort, the quiet, earnest kind, the false variety employed by blaggards and the scary, steely, stare-y sort used by professional athletes and homicidal maniacs. There’s another one though, which is the confidence you see and feel when you come across someone doing something they’re really, really good at, which is definitely the case with Marcus Butt.

  15. Mark-lazenby-bookshelf-list

    Sharing his Bookshelf with us this week is collage artist Mark Lazenby. Prolific in both design and art contexts, Mark works with a huge range of narrative and abstract material, undoubtedly pulling from the wise words of others to help realise such idiosyncratically communicative pieces. Read on for his top five literary touchstones, ranging from Basquiat to Hesse.

  16. Things-list

    Things is giddy because it’s the weekend so Things is feeling very playful indeed. It’s running madly through a field with a kite of dreams and tripping over long grasses of creativity along the way. Lighthearted, colourful publications, cheeky cards and even a children’s book are Things’ playmates this week and they’re all ready to get you in a footloose and fancy-free mood. And look, Things has just tagged you “It” so get chasing (reading), they’re waiting!

  17. Weekender-list

    Weren’t the pagans ridiculous? With their animal pelt clothes and their henges and their obsessive worshipping of the weather. Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Take that pagans. You guys were loopy! Not like now when we’re all modern and that. Our clothes are much better. But thinking about it all anyone has been able to go on about for weeks is the weather. Jokes, curses, threats – meteorological matters have taken over. And we’ve never built a good henge. Touché pagans. Touché indeed. Let’s be appalling…

  18. List

    I wish I was the type of person who handled multitasking well. Don’t get me wrong I’ll do everything I’m supposed to do but it will be completed with a crumpled brow, frazzled hair and a lingering sense of panic. A cool approach is what’s needed – that or eight arms.

  19. Nb

    Squashing your face against a window or glass has always been a hilarious snippet of comedy gold (and an excellent ice-breaker) but in photography it isn’t always done as smoothly as it should be. Crass photocopier jobbys, with tight crops of faces (or worse boobs and butts) just doesn’t cut it for me. So I welcome Neil Bedford’s series of images (styled by Simon Mann) for clothing label Neighborhood’s latest lookbook, recently featured in Inventory Magazine.

  20. Oivin-horvei-list

    These strange taxonomies of martian conditions and geography by Oslo-based artist Øivin Horvei are what I imagine the Little Prince might have looked like if Ernst Haeckel could wield an airbrush. The ongoing Explorer Series is a hypothetical scientific excursion that records alien conditions in washy colours and gravity defying shapes. Though not strictly narrative, when seen as a collection it’s a brilliant diversion into fantasy tempered with an ongoing “archive” of research like reference called The Saturn Archives that offers plenty to read into.

  21. W-projects-list

    W/–––Projects is an arts initiative in New York that count a gallery space, bi-annual arts publication White Zinfandel and now artist editions within their gamut of productivity. The prints, newly released (“fresh prints”?) are interestingly constrained to four by six inch, one or two colour risographs and feature such estimable names as Keegan McHargue, Rafaël Rozendaal, Amy Yao and Mark Owens.

  22. Mary-ellen-johnson-list

    Observe, reader, the hyper-realistic inscrutability of Mary Ellen Johnson’s paintings. Her vast canvases study a panoply of culinary delights; cakes, sundaes, splits (“death food” I heard someone mutter), all depicted at the apogee of their desirability. They will never look as good or taste as good at any other moment, ever. Just so this clumsy reference to the ephemerality of youth and beauty doesn’t go un-flogged, I’ll continue: The gleaming perfection of hot fudge sauce turns all other food stuffs to dust – peerless eclair! Immaculate banana! These are unattainable, fetishistic almost, portraits that reflect with all sincerity on our weird emotional attachment to food beyond just being hungry. For Johnson, the “cherry on top” is not just a metaphor.

  23. This

    Despite hundreds of years in which to reach a consensus, there are certain issues that continue to divide humankind right down the middle. Are cats or dogs or better? Are artichokes delicious? Are puppets cool or creepy? I am firmly in the former camp of that last question, but even my admiration for all matters marionette is tested by this super-weird video for Modeslektor and Thom Yorke’s single This. Created by Brighton-based studio Future Deluxe, it’s a fabulously atmospheric few minutes mining that rich seam of unease about childhood toys. Then three minutes in it gets a bit animated on your ass (arse if British) taking the promo in a neat new direction. Impressive stuff.

  24. Henkilist

    In the 19th Century there was a corking tradition of setting up societies and supper clubs to celebrate completely fictitious figures, with talks about and toasts to their spurious connections to anything and everything. Sadly said tradition seems to have died out but it has been given a new lease of life by the newly launched Rupert Ray agency.

  25. Douglas-prince-list

    Professor Xavier said that mutation is a form of evolution, so is it me or is Douglas Prince’s photographs ridiculously evolved? He explores the medium fully, addressing the potential of digital manipulation as a device for “transformations that create new perceptions” – never so abstract you don’t recognise his subject matter but ambiguous and beautiful enough to read beyond the obvious.

  26. List

    When making a salad I often become greedy over the choice of ingredients on offer. The multitude of leaves, the bounty of fruit and veg (with the option of meat too) and don’t even get me started on dressings. The problem is I pile everything into a bowl and it’s a clash of tastes and colours ruining my healthy choice. While this clearly doesn’t work with food, there is a skill in doing it in artwork.

  27. Bblist

    Since starting at It’s Nice That I have been fortunate enough to have some extraordinary experiences, yet few compare to the feeling of descending the stairs into the V&A’s Raphael Gallery during the London Design Festival press preview last autumn. Beneath the famous cartoons, Erwan and Ronan Bouroullec had created Textile Field, a 240 metre cushioned platform in various hues of blue and green.

  28. List

    While we can get overawed by the wealth of established talent in the creative industries, it’s important to support those who are either just starting out or still climbing that competitive tree of success. Like flowers they need watering, feeding but above all nurturing to continue becoming the best flowers (creative professionals) they can. This is why the Design Museum’s annual Designers in Residence programme is such an excellent opportunity in recognising new and emerging talent.

  29. Frank-frazetta-list

    Not many artists could boast their work evoked a righteous chalice gesture to the heavens. But then not many artists have had as important an impact on high-fantasy art as Frank Frazetta. You think you don’t know who he is but you do – if you have ever listened to or stood near someone who listens to heavy metal, read comics, pulp fantasy fiction, or find meaning in the combinations of words “rogue roman,” “moon maid,” and “wither wing,” then you know who Frank Frazetta is.

  30. Podcast-2-list

    Two weeks has passed since we last pleasured your ears with our new podcast, so it seems to me that a second episode is the decent thing to do. This week we were joined by Patrick Burgoyne editor of Creative Review and Trisha Andres, editor of Crane.tv to talk Daily Mail artistic outrage, the best web design around and the future of publishing.

  31. Jem-goulding

    It’s never encouraged to objectify people. It’s degrading, it’s sexist (normally) and we forget about the important things in life like personality and good manners. But with Jem Goulding’s photographs of beautiful men, I can’t help but stare and linger. It’s shameful yes, but Jem’s photographs are genuinely very good images.

  32. Sblist

    The phrase stop-motion conjures up images of pasty-faced obsessives hunched over their painstaking creations in darkened studios, but Scottish artist Spaceboy is reclaiming the genre with an alfresco piece just unveiled in Edinburgh.

  33. Bitch-is-backlist

    New York-based Ellen Weinstein is the go-to illustrator for some of the biggest names in the media and it’s not difficult to see why. Her latest work shows off her spectacular ability to create enjoyable and evocative visual shorthand for issues as complex as atheism in the African-American community and controversial Jewish film-making. But that all makes her sound misleadingly serious, when in fact she has a lighter touch too employed to splendid effect both in animal-based images and the above piece for an article about the menopause. Fabulous stuff.

  34. Dan-hillier

    I remember one time when my nan showed me a load of old family photos and I mean really old, as in before the days when “Say cheese!” was even uttered. Everyone had the same glacial expressions with eyes that managed to follow you wherever you stood. It was creepy but these photos still physically exist so watch out.

  35. Lilianna-ovalle-list

    In the same way Liliana Ovalle incorporates into her designs the incidences of improvised functionality in everyday situations into her designs, her use of colour is just as unexpected and illuminating in its suggestion of how a piece of furniture might be interpreted. A continuation of her Colour Me series, these pieces feature consistent geometric designs that conform to our table and stool-shaped conventions blocked out in vibrant colour on well-crafted, edgy wooden forms.

  36. Graemelist

    I can only speak for British TV but there’s a frustrating genre of documentaries based on a great idea that are either mishandled or manipulated for ratings-grabbing purposes. Well TV commissioners take note, it is possible to make a genuinely touching and interesting piece without being exploitative, as Will Robson-Scott has just proved. His new short Graeme follows a skateboard obsessive with Asperger’s Syndrome but more than that it’s a study of passion and identity through the prism of an often-discussed but still misunderstood condition.

  37. It_snicethat_graduates_catch-up7

    Here’s part two of our catch-up with the class of 2011 as part of The Graduates 2012, featuring Mia Porter, currently knocking on a year as a full-time graphic designer for Alisdhair Willis, Sarah Maycock who’s enjoyed a very exciting year as a freelance illustrator and Doug Stewart, soon to exhibit in New York and who’s just started a design position with HarrimanSteel…

  38. List

    To actually peer inside someone else’s subconscious would be a wonderful thing. Obviously you’d have to be careful to not become mentally scarred by what you saw but on the whole it would be fascinating. I feel like I’m doing that with Jaime Brett Treadwell’s paintings. Surreal, chock full of detail with groovy colours too, it’s like being enveloped by a carousel of psychedelic merriment –which is no bad thing.

  39. Chinese_graphic_design-list

    Hot dog damn it the internet is good. More specifically, 50 Watts, because it’s not everyday and just anywhere you see such extraordinary graphic design. These images, taken from a book called Chinese Graphic Design in the Twentieth Century by Scott Minick and Jiao Ping, depict changing styles and traditions in Chinese design as wider art movements began to influence the eastern aesthetic and technique. It’s totally fascinating, contextually and artistically, to see such strong parallels between individual designers in the 1920s and 1930s and, say, the German expressionists. Rare and beautiful work.

  40. Benjamin2

    Just as Aphex Twin was raised in sleepy Cornwall but went on to create some of the weirdest and most complex sounds the planet had ever heard, Benjamin Rawson has managed to invent all kinds of fantastic imagery from a very small village near Lincolnshire.
    Found by the good people at Museums Press, Benjamin’s work is now being shown to the world via a zine dedicated completely to his work, entitled MZ-013 and available on their website. I don’t know about you, but those house diagrams are some of the trippiest, Sims-esque things I’ve seen in a while, and they’re definitely going in the special folder.