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    Well this is just wonderfully weird. Geoffrey Lillemon (who you may remember from this enjoyably insane look book we posted last year) has teamed up with Evan Roth for a new project called Images of Edessa. They describe it as an exploration of “the notion of worship, the Internet and identity” and it comprises two manic GIF-based videos and an oddly addictive interactive website. I’m not going to pretend I totally get the point Geoffrey and Evan are making, but hot dang did I enjoy the ride.

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    Where’ve you been hiding Ben Sanders? Until we got a really great little postcard from you a few days ago, we were utterly ignorant of your brilliance. Ben lives in LA, which may explain why his work is infused with mustard sunshine yellows and bright, gleaming reds. Fun and carefree, yet with terrific skills with a paintbrush, Ben is a dreamy mix of commissionable illustrator and full-blown artist. The Olympics poster from year is perhaps one of the best made throughout the duration of that overly long sports fest. Discuss.

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    Just as day follows night and night follows day, May must follow April in quick succession (it’s the law). But just before we say our fond farewells to the month of afternoon rain showers and blossoming trees, there’s just enough time to say hello (or bonjour, or ciao depending on your personal preference) to three new additions to the It’s Nice That Student Of The Month roster.

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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.

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    We love a pleasant artistic bamboozle and Portland-based Damien Gilley is our new favourite head spinner. The Oregonian (is that even a word?) is a master of the trompe l’œil using vinyl and latex to crate mind-meltingly fascinating works which leap off the wall and immerse you in what feel like architect’s blueprints or some kind of Matrix-style code.

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    Referred to as the “Willy Wonka of design and science,” Nelly Ben Hayoun is a French award-winning director, performer and experience designer. Nelly teams up with leading scientists and engineers to create events and performances with the intention of adapting science “to our creative needs.”

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    On a recent trip to London, Ryo Takemasa decided to draw what he encountered and in his version of the capital everyone is grinning, whether they’re buying some bread, drinking a gentlemanly pint, or queuing for a coffee (must’ve been a sunny day). Textured and vibrant with an evident ukiyo-e influence, Ryo’s illustrations are ruddy fabulous and make even the drudgery of travelling on the Tube seem fun and exciting.

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    Powerful babes here from Stella Berkofsky. In a portfolio that is 99 per cent photographs of women, you’re hit first by how cool they all are, and then how good Stella is at capturing their greatness. From the shot of the girl with the bob strolling down the street eating crisps, to the stark close-ups of the blonde girl with no make-up on, all these beautiful photographs are saying one thing – girls rule, and you don’t need a tonne of lights, crew and a make-up team to show that. Stella takes a few photos of boys too, you can see the rest of her work here.

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    If, like me, you spent your teenage years holed up in a dark room playing The Sims for a minimum of two hours a day, you might enjoy this. Did you use the cheats to remove the hot tub while they were “playing?” Did you ever lock them in a room and take away the doors or make them go swimming and take away the ladders? Course you bloody did. We all did. So here’s a blog that highlights the beautiful, glitchy moments in The Sims when things go unpredictably wrong, weird, or broken. What I can predict, however, is that if you never played The Sims this will probably be entirely lost on you. Sorry.

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    Oooh we all love a good collab don’t we and even better when it comes in the form of dreamy band Wild Nothing and psychedelic artist Eric Shaw. In this trippy, block colour animation taking you into a strange world that is some kind of cross between 1980s abstract paintings and the what it would look like to teleport, Eric Shaw’s work totally comes to life, soundtracked by Wild Nothing’s beautiful new track A Dancing Shell. To accompany this absolute corker of a music video is some album artwork that’s totally flying the flag for diehard vinyl and CD buyers everywhere, which is at once comforting and genuinely exciting.

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    Australian artist Magdalena Bors initially trained as an architect and her work retains an architectural interest in how we relate to our living spaces. But she’s taken this in fantastic and fantastical directions by creating and photographing weird and wonderful landscapes in domestic settings.

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    These wonderful, animal-themed illustrations are from Camilla Perkins, an illustrator and surface designer based in London. Camilla’s fascination with zoology and botany is seen throughout her work, with leaf patterns and various sea creatures adorning her designs. Her use of overlaying colour makes picnic blanket food look way more interesting than any I’ve ever seen. I particularly love the toucans dressed in shirts, and the orbiting planets being given human faces, while the recurring food platters are making my tummy rumble! Come on lunchtime…

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    Hailing from Lille in France, Renaud Coilliot possesses a real knack for composition and has taken his camera on trips across the world to show off this impressive ability. From the New York metro system to the streets of Tokyo, Renaud photographs people going about their daily lives. Identical twins, cute fluffy doggies, sneaky snapping the cops and a love for window reflections grace his grainy, black and white photographs. Renaud has captured the essence of street photography to a T, turning ordinary situations into stunning shots.

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    When I was showing off the inaugural issue of French magazine Cercle to the rest of the editorial team, everyone commented on how darn good it smelled. But it turned out that these olfactory pleasures were just the start – this annual, thematic publication has set itself a high standard. This first issue is all about the forest but the editorial approach is anything but singular. The opening spread features a beautiful Gustave Doré drawing and interviews range from a forest manager to artists and writers plus there’s a plethora of visual treats too, not least a host of excellent illustration.

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    A couple of weeks ago we featured some set design by the excellent David White that had been lovingly captured by photographer Leandro Farina. On closer inspection it became abundantly clear that Leandro is a master of his art in his own right, shooting images of exceptionally high quality for an awesome list of clients. The Canadian-born, London-based photographer has earned quite a reputation for himself since his trans-Atlantic migration, working with publications like Wallpaper, Port, Dazed & Confused and British Vogue as well as brands like Harvey Nichols and Liberty. He’s renowned for his professionalism and attention to detail when constructing still-life shots (in the past he’s allowed himself a whole day to construct three images for Port) but most importantly of all the man knows how to take a cracking picture.

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    If only there were actual Zine Police, people who went around making sure that all makers of zines were happy and well-fed, and nicking those who practice five finger discounts at illustration fairs. Zine Police is actually Alex Schubert, an illustrator whose work adorns the comics pages of Vice and the racks of Aladdin’s cave-like stores that actually stock current, influential small publications. Simple, puerile, pubescent and very well-drawn, his works are the comic book equivalent of being 16 and getting high in your friend’s basement, and we love them.

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    Politics and comedy is not always a good mix – remember Tony Blair’s excruciating “Am I bovvered skit?” or Gordon Brown dancing with JLS. But how about this as an exception to prove the rule, and politicians don’t come much bigger than the leader of the free world. The annual White House Correspondents’ dinner is always the chance for the president to show off his funny bones and this year Barack Obama joined forces with Steven Spielberg for this spoof. The set-up is simple enough – Spielberg is working on the President’s biopic – but it all gets weird as method actor par excellence Daniel Day-Lewis speaks about bringing Obama to the silver screen. Enjoy, but for sanity’s sake don’t read the Youtube comments…

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    Since the days of GCSE maths I haven’t had much cause to use a calculator but my solar-powered Casio will always have a place in my heart. But there’s a new pretender to the throne in the form of this extraordinary Knock Knock offering from Swiss designer Khalil Klouche. Designed for small children, it works through an Arduino circuit board and presents an amazingly tactile, fun way to engage youngsters with fundamental maths. Well I say fundamental, you may find yourself having to concentrate on these simple sums more than you’d expect!

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    Jesus H Christ it’s time to hold on to your hats kids because this is one of the finest pieces of animation we’ve ever laid eyes on. Created from the hive mind of Nicos Livesey and Tom Bunker (members of the illustrious This Is It collective) this recent promo for Binary’s G.O.D takes a depressing look at life in a fictional factory world of geometric precision – under the scrutinising gaze of a militant foreman – before spectacularly turning the whole scene on its head in an exuberant wash of vibrant colour. SERIOUSLY. BIG. STUFF. Even the tune is an absolute belter!

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    If I was ever asked to compile a complete taxonomy of body parts ranked in order of preference, I would probably question what my life had become. But then when I got cracking it’s fair to say that fingernails would feature towards the bottom of my list, down there with their toe-y counterparts and underarm hair. But this kind of imagination failure is why I’m not a brilliant illustrator, and MVM, aka Magnus Voll Mathiassen, is. He not only saw a certain beauty in fingernails, he built an entire new project around them and the results are superb, using his trademark vibrant colour palette to create an unlikely anatomical star.

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    If you’ve ever been in a bad car crash, or know someone who has, it could be good to look away now. I wouldn’t call these shots of the insides of crashed cars gratuitous, nor would I say they were tasteless. There’s something quite David Lynch about them, perhaps because of the awnings covering the windscreens, perhaps because of the strange detritus littered around the humanless vehicles (that’s why you should clean your car).

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    A shout out to the people who send us in stuff everyday, whether its their own work, or championing the hard graft of others, we salute you, without you Things wouldn’t exist and that would suck. Big time. So on that note, here is this week’s lovely collection of our favourite things.

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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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    Why you got to play that song so loud? Cos we want to! Cos we want to! Why you always hanging ‘round in crowds? Cos we want to! Cos we want to! Why have you got to build a terrifyingly unstable nuclear reactor at exorbitant financial cost and devastating environmental ramifications putting us in mortal economic, ecological and existential danger? Cos we want to! Cos we want to! Oh, and that’s ok is it mid-1990s Billie Piper? Is it? Sheesh. Let’s do this.

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    I remember being ten. It was 1994, BritPop was in the air and I had a killer tracksuit that I basically never took off. Heady days indeed. But my own decennial is rather put in the shade by this year’s COLLECT, the Crafts Council’s annual fair which this year celebrates ten years in some style.

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    These incredibly detailed maps are by Japanese illustrator Takayo Akiyama, capturing what is quintessentially British. The map of western England is particularly brilliant, commissioned for luxury brand Alfred Dunhill to mark their historical relationship with manufacturers Fox Mill. Takayo does not hold back on what makes the west country so great (not that I’m biased or anything!) and I love how she replaces humans with animals, especially transforming Queen Victoria into a hamster, and the fox looking over his sheep.

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    I’ve never had the chance to attend a convention, but I imagine them to be packed with people in incredible replica costumes competing about their love for said comic or video game. Photographer Vincent Glielmi sheds a different light on the people that take part in these events, with the stark contrast between their costumes and the environments surrounding them (the lady in orange is cracking me up). Either posing for a portrait, or doing ordinary things like chatting on the phone – it’s not what you expect from these hardcore fans. It’s that same feeling when you see a famous person doing their food shopping – apparently they are ordinary people too!

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    Certain people need to be told how to “say f**k you to the world once in a while” as Sol LeWitt knew, and in his 1965 letter to sculptor Eva Hesse he advised her to say just that. I don’t know if Eva took his advice – this was before the punk revolution so perhaps it was a little bit lost – but MOCAtv have brought this conversation back to life in the form of this animation by Aaron Rose and Thomas McMahon.

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    We all know that Nike are pretty capable when it comes to creating show-stopping retail spaces. Their past work with Brinkworth in the UK has always been exceptional and they’re clearly determined to maintain that standard right across the globe. Witness their latest collaboration with Studio-at-Large for their Nike Free retail space in Beijing. The Track, as it’s been dubbed, features numerous iterations and colour ways of the Free trainer suspended as if in motion around an LED-lit running track construction, designed to highlight the shoe’s game-changing sleek silhouette. Anyway, that’s more than enough from me. Best to let these stunning images do the talking…

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    One of the many things we learned as It’s Nice That grew was how invaluable the advice of others can be. Sometimes characterised as a precious, competitive industry, the creative community is actually amazingly supportive and generous with both its time and its wisdom. That’s one of the reasons why this timely new venture from Daniel Humphry and Creative England works so well. One Thing I Know is a free book and website where 45 established creative practitioners share things that have helped them get where they are today.

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    If days of the weeks were dogs, Monday would be a snarling, vicious rottweiler but Friday would be a seriously excited labrador puppy all bouncy, unbridled enthusiasm. And what’s that he’s got in its teeth? Why it’s the latest episode of Studio Audience, our very own podcast. So whether you’re heading out to soak up the sun, or shutting your blinds to keep springtime firmly out, this WILL improve your weekend. Enjoy!

  32. 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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    If you too have an obsession with print that verges on the unhealthy, then chances are you’ll have come across Under Consideration’s network of sites. Across For Print Only, Brand New, Art of the Menu and Quipsologies the design studio/publishers run by Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit share their passion for all things print. Now this online platform has taken the obvious but very welcome step of producing its own publication, UC.Quarterly, which presents a selection of some of the best bits of the blogs.

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    Do you remember last year when Laura Marling released an album and it was introduced to the world via a kind of spooky, intensely atmospheric trailer? Do you remember when there was a super nice documentary about her and waistcoat brigade Mumford and Sons charging about India playing string instruments? Well even if you don’t follow Laura Marling’s activity like some sort of crazed buzzard, this new trailer for her next album is worth a watch.

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    Occasionally you may ponder upon the process of installing a huge statue or maybe how the precious Monet painting you are looking at got there. Thankfully the world of Tumblr has brought us Installator. With the strap-line “wrapit-tapeit-walkit-placeit”, it reveals painstaking processes behind creating and setting up exhibitions and artwork. From big trucks hauling enormous sculptures, to the care taken with valuable paintings, photographs range from the beginning of the 20th Century all the way to the present day. Modern-day heroes, these people make the world a better place.

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    You may have recollections of making pinhole cameras at school or university. Perhaps, like me, you remember being a bit confused, not entirely sure why you were being told to put paper into a plastic cup and leave it outside before spending time making a smudgy photo that you can’t quite make out. Well those days are OVER. Not only does Kelly Angood’s much anticipated project, The Pop Up Pinhole Camera look like a lovely classic Videre camera which follows on from the success of her previous pinhole Hasselblad project, but it also produces very high quality, two-fingers-up to Instagram, pinhole photographs of which you can see some examples below.

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    If you’re in the niche business of selling specialist audio components, e-guitars, recording equipment and all the other paraphernalia associated with music production in general you probably don’t have to work too hard at promoting yourself. People in music need all of these things in abundance otherwise they can’t make music. Fact. But if in 2013 your website still looks like one of the very first iterations of online content from the 1990s heyday of MSN Messenger and dial-up, and your business cards have been churned out on the office Xerox, you probably need to have a little bit of a think about your brand identity.

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    What sets Mark Porter apart from other editorial designers is that he studied modern languages at the University of Oxford. Clearly he isn’t your conventional designer, and after spending several years in the magazine industry, he joined The Guardian, where he was responsible for a ground-breaking relaunch of the newspaper, and the design of The Guardian’s award-winning website and mobile apps.

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    I’m a bit confused by this music video if I’m honest. It manages to induce so many opposing emotions in such a short space of time that I’m left feeling utterly bewildered. The first emotion is nostalgia, as the Arch Duke of auto-tune trance has purchased a hook from late 90s dance outfit Alice Deejay to serve as the basis for his latest song. The second is horror; that he’s added nothing to it that fits. Every new line of melody or harmony feels like it’s been cobbled together from samples he just had lying around the studio (sorry, bit of a rant there, but I loved Alice Deejay).

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    I dare you, no wait, DOUBLE dare you to check out Anna Lomax’s work and not feel brighter, bouncier and better about things in general. Describing herself as a “maker and collector” Anna graduated from Brighton University in 2007, but her illustration degree was merely the stepping stone to a set design and art direction practice defined by a flair for executing off-the-wall ideas with consummate skill.