Last night’s travel-themed Nicer Tuesdays took us to the motorways of Iran and the beaches of northern Iceland, and from the Namibian desert to the streets of Lima all without leaving east London. Our four speakers all shared very different insights into how their work is shaped by changing geographical backdrops.
First up was Chris Coe, who founded Travel Photographer of the Year “after a day of frustration talking to commissioning editors who were only interested in bog-standard photography.” He explained how the award has grown massively over the past 12 years to the point that he now reviews around 20,000 annual submissions and nearly 50,000 people saw the exhibition in London last year. He also showed that travel photography is “not just pretty pictures” but rather a broad spectrum “limited only by the scope of the photographer’s imagination.”
After Chis we heard from filmmaker James Aiken who talked about trekking on foot over an Icelandic glacier for his surf film Norður: Almost Arctic. Sleeping in “the kind of tent you might use at a festival” with two friends, James explained how “a simple surf trip” turned into something very different. He said that although not much of the actual journey features in his final films, it is very much part of the creative process, and helps him “connect with the emotion of being in these places” – a connection he sees as integral to his craft.
First up after the beer break was Chris Vickers from She Was Only, the studio that has just taken over the design of “nomadic travel and culture journal” boat magazine. Chris explained how previously “each issue felt like a different publication entirely to reflect the cities being featured” and so his team worked on creating something more consistent. Changing the masthead, the format, the type choices and the way photography was used, She Was Only wanted a look and feel that could bounce off the feature city (Lima in Issue 7) while retaining an overall elegance and clarity.
The final speaker of the evening was reportage illustrator Olivier Kugler. Olivier was hooked on drawing since receiving a Tintin book when he was seven, although his dad’s attempts to encourage him to sketch outdoors came up against his desire “only to draw superheroes.” Now Olivier has established a practice for creating compelling visual narratives which use individuals’ lives to tell bigger stories. “I don’t draw spectacular things but I love little details,” Olivier said, and you could see that in the way his pen picked out the Pope calendar in the flat of a former Mafia boss, or the heartbreaking trivialities in a refugee camp.
Thanks as ever to our sponsors Park Communications, all our speakers and everyone who came along. Nicer Tuesdays will be back on 26 August.
Founded in 1991, Park Communications is considered by many to be London’s preeminent printer. With a roster of both corporate and cultural clients, Park is a one-stop-shop to translate, artwork, print and bind literature of many different kinds, from the finest coffee table books and catalogues, through FTSE annual reports, to niche market magazines and brochures. Working closely with clients to develop bespoke creative solutions, Park’s reputation is built on the highest quality, reliability and flexibility.
They have brought their professionalism to both our Printed Pages magazine and the It’s Nice That Annual 2013, and we look forward to working with them in 2014 and beyond. To contact Park, email Alison at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the website www.parkcom.co.uk.