Clifford Jago returns with a bizarre, confusing but altogether joyful trip through Ukraine
- Ruby Boddington
- 11 July 2019
Clifford Jago Creative Studio is back, and this time the team has been to Ukraine. As bonkers as ever, the result is a third issue of what has a become a theme – visiting one place and turning the experience into a publication that tells the story of their visit through more-is-more styling, effervescent photography and unfiltered graphic design.
“Every time we make a book we focus on a different country to embrace all its individual quirks, people and landscapes and Ukraine was the perfect balance of raw bizarreness and youthful passion,” Clifford himself tells us. “There’s a feeling of social and political tension in the air which is mixed within the new exciting art scene that drives the heart of Kiev.” Having previously released Clifford Jago & The Tulip Chewers from Holland, Clifford Jago & The Ice Queens after visiting Iceland, this third issue is titled Clifford Jago & The Sunflower Children.
More than ever, this issue feels like an amalgamation of influences and experiences, representing Ukrainian tropes next to elements of its contemporary culture; “a blast into the future” as Clifford puts it. When asked what readers should look out for in the publication, Clifford responds: “Expect mad missions colliding against the unique randomness that Ukraine has to offer.” As a result, each image is a “16-page fashion story in one” with compositions packed full of bizarre, totally unexplained and at times unnerving goings-on.
For Clifford Jago & the Sunflower Children, Clifford and the team collaborated with several contributors to elevate the visual communication of the issue. “We wanted to work in the mindset of a commissioning magazine,” they add on this. “Jago is inspired by popular culture, the fashion industry and an array of video games. It made sense to explore this in the graphics.”
The distinctive work of Germes Gang can, therefore, be found through the issues, as they reference and manipulate some of the team’s “biggest idols” including Goku from Dragonball Z, Bart Simpson and Christiano Ronaldo. Of all Germes Gang’s contributions, however, Clifford’s personal favourite is a drawing of “Kim Kardashian’s green Lambo leather dress moment on a real-life bottom.”
Max Guther’s handy work also pops up, the team having asked him to visualise several situations from the trip that they failed to capture on camera. “The first,” they tell us, “was our ridiculous relationship with the Ubers in Kiev. They were all tiny soviet era Lada cars that we would fill to the brim with our random materials and then always get driven to the airport by accident because they assumed we were going home. Also, we had come to Ukraine expecting lovely golden sunflowers to shoot in, however, these had mostly been harvested and burnt down for next year’s grow. So we had Max 3D generate the sunflower fields for us, which resulted in a surreal composition of the model and the calendar mix-up.”
All in all, Clifford Jago & the Sunflower Children is a joyful, confusing mix of hilarity and creativity. Check out some of the issue’s highlights below or get yourself the real thing from Clifford’s website where copies will be available after tonight’s (Thursday 11 July) launch at Hart Club.
About the Author
Ruby joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in September 2017 after graduating from the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins. In April 2018, she became a staff writer and in August 2019, she was made associate editor.