Olivia Twist unpacks the colourful layers to her community-driven illustration practice

The London-based illustrator opened this month’s event with an inspiring run-through of her key projects to date, channelling activism, society and politics through colour and style.

10 May 2022


First to the stage at April’s Nicer Tuesdays was Olivia Twist, who was an absolute delight as she humorously ran us through her journey and style development as a creative. Beginning with a quip to the audience – “yeah yeah” – as she said how she’s from East London (where Nicer Tuesdays takes place), she then began to dive into her inspiring ethos as an illustrator. “I aim to bring about a shock of the familiar,” she explained, highlighting the importance of turning the mundane into something special through her work. From colour-blocked scenes of people riding buses, to trainers – many many trainers – she showed how there’s multiple ways of telling a story, and it doesn’t have to be derived from something spectacular. “As an illustrator, I want to capture social history as it’s unfolding; I want to help fill in missing chapters; I want to make it easier for marginalised communities to be able to look back,” she said. “I use drawing as a conversation tool.”

Above all, Olivia explained how she wants to encourage the “taking up of space”. Achieved through masses of research and passion for her subject matter, she takes a human-centred approach to her practice – by collecting, eavesdropping and becoming part of the furniture. We saw this come to life through a collection of eye-catching and conversation-starting drawings, which included work for The Guardian, Sports Direct, St Christopher’s Hospice, and a powerful project responding to Don’t Zap The Zip, a campaign against government plans to suspend free travel for 16-18-year-olds. Olivia’s work has a clear drive and mission behind it, and we couldn’t have asked for a more energetic and motivational talk to begin the evening’s events, which you can enjoy now!

Event Partner


Mailchimp is an all-in-one marketing platform for growing businesses. Mailchimp empowers millions of customers around the world to start and grow their businesses with world-class marketing technology, award-winning customer support, and inspiring content. Millions of businesses and individuals – from community organizations to Fortune 100 companies – trust Mailchimp to help them connect with their audience with the right message, at the right time, in the right place.

Drinks Sponsor

El Rayo Tequila

El Rayo Tequila is transforming the way you think and drink tequila – one T&T at a time. By partnering with artists and designers, it’s building a lifestyle brand around its tequilas. Tequila & Tonic is a thing now.

Snacks Sponsor

Love Corn

We’re excited to partner with Love Corn the UK’s first crunchy corn brand as our snack sponsor. Its delicious crunchy corn kernels are packed with flavour and made with love. On trend with being low sugar, gluten-free and vegan, it’s the feel good snack so please enjoy!

Share Article

Further Info

Nicer Tuesdays is our monthly event of creative talks. You can find out more here.

About the Author

It's Nice That

This article was written by the It’s Nice That team. To find our editors and writers, please head over to our Contact page.

It's Nice That Newsletters

Fancy a bit of It's Nice That in your inbox? Sign up to our newsletters and we'll keep you in the loop with everything good going on in the creative world.