It’s Nice That’s Ones to Watch shines a light on 12 emerging talents who we think will conquer the creative world in the coming year. Over the coming months, we’ll be catching up with creatives from our 2019 selection to see what they’ve been up to. Ones to Watch 2019 is supported by Uniqlo.
Thibault Le Hégarat has the sky, and Julian Glander has the sea. Both men are fascinated with how coders and developers work together to create digital representations of the very things that make life on Earth possible. Thibault looks to the heavens and Julian peers toward somewhere both real and not. He peers toward Lego Island.
Lego Island, for those of you blissfully unaware of such a thing, was a 1997 PC title that allowed players to race jet skis, deliver pizza, or amble aimlessly around every terribly-designed inch of the place. Plotless, poorly tendered, and probably worth banishing from your memory almost immediately, Lego Island barely constitutes being considered a video game. Well, that’s what It’s Nice That thought. Julian, on the other hand, describes it as, “a beautiful underrated classic! Looking back at it now, I’m realising for the first time how much of an influence it’s probably had on my work.”
Before you wonder, yes, there is a reason that the multi-talented, multi-disciplinary New York-based 3D artist is waxing nostalgic about Lego Island – a game he looks back on with fondness, having been released in “that sweet spot age where I loved basically everything.”
The reason is thus: a few months back now, back when it wasn’t dark by 4 pm, back when you managed to wear shorts for a record-breaking 37 days in a row, Julian slid into the It’s Nice That inbox to tell us that he’d been working on a game of his own. Sort of.
Art Sqool, which is available for PC and Mac on 5 February, is, as the title suggests, an art school simulator. Think of it as Rollercoaster Tycoon for the friend of yours who went to Goldsmiths but studied computer science. Finally, they’ll get to experience the nerve-wracking buzz of turning up to a crit utterly convinced that last night’s Red Stripe was mixed with concrete, so sluggish are your motor skills that morning! At last!
You play as Froshmin, a freshman ready to explore campus. Froshmin is joined by Professor Qwertz, an “art-trained AI” faculty advisor who loves nothing more than the fact he is blessed with the ability to “use his high-tech capabilities to objectively grade your work.”
Promising both “four to six hours” of gameplay and “creative fulfilment basically guaranteed,” Art Sqool might just be the game you’ve been waiting for longer than you thought. We love it because, of course we do.
What we also love is that being a generous guy, Julian decided to round up a few of his closest creative friends before packing them off to art school for a term. While they were there, they were each given an assignment. They undertook that assignment. That assignment was then graded by Professor Quartz. Julian kindly allowed the creative to have their say on that feedback.
What we present is the honest and fair assessment of some of It’s Nice That’s favourite illustrators around by a virtual professor who works virtually at one of the weirdest virtual simulations of an art school you’ll ever encounter, virtually or otherwise.
Robert “Parallel Teeth” Wallace
Assignment: Draw a bad idea
Robert says: Definitely not based on a true story. 100% completely fabricated.
Assignment: Draw ingredients
Jennifer says: This drawing is inspired by the game Cooking Mama, specifically when you have that one task in a recipe to add ingredients.
Assignment: Draw what it would look like if two of your friends had a baby
Grade: Solid A baby!
Braulio says: It’s fucked up that the human body can make babies.
Assignment: Draw, uh, idk… a horse? Draw a horse. Lmao
Cecile says: No commentary needed!
Sophie Koko Gate
Assignment: Paint a picture for your best friend
Sophie says: Today my best friend was not in the studio and I had to eat lunch alone.
Assignment: Draw five things that rhyme
Hiller says: At one point I jumped into the abyss and landed on a cloud, which is what this screenshot is of.
Assignment: Draw a popular cartoon character. Please do not violate international copyright law.
Jon says: This is a totally original character I invented.
Assignment: Draw something that makes you happy.
Katy says: Happy faces!