One of the best things about being at It’s Nice That is the incredible multitude of brilliant, hilarious, weird and insanely talented people we get to talk to on a weekly basis, whether we’re dragging them around the corner from our studio for lunch in Euro Cafe, trying to squeeze as many questions as physically possible into a 20 minute Skype call or emailing back and forth for weeks at a time. The end of the year is a time for looking back, or so I’m told, so here’s my selection of the very best interviews from the site this year across photography, art direction, game design and illustration. feet up and off you
David McKendrick on his favourite Esquire covers
When David McKendrick announced that he would be leaving his seven year stint as creative director of Esquire earlier this year Rob leapt on the opportunity to have him talk us through his favourite ever covers. From shooting legendary Keith Richards (who turned up hammered and five hours late, true to form) to dressing Morph head to toe in Burberry Prorsum, David’s reflections on the difficulties and the triumphs of being an art director at a major men’s magazine make for an brilliantly heart-warming read.
Susie Babchick on good friend Corinne Day
As mums have been insisting since the dawn of time, it’s the people we surround ourselves with who know us best, and in the case of photographer Corinne Day’s agent and good friend Susie Babchick this definitely seems to have been the case. Having put together a book about Corinne’s life, Susie talked to Liv about what London was like in Corinne’s 1990s heyday (“a very happy lunatic asylum”) and the magic that happened inside the legendary Brewer Street flat.
Bob Mazzer on his photographs of the London Underground
The Howard Griffin Gallery unearthed a proper London gem when they came across decades of photographs taken by Bob Mazzer on the London underground earlier this year, and happily they decided to exhibit them in a London show for all to see. He has been shooting instinctively on the Tube since the early 1980s, unintentionally creating a 35-year-long record of the subcultures and characters London’s public transport system has played host to over the years, and if it weren’t for his hippy ideology and unintrusive camera Bob might not have been able to collect this incredible archive at all.
Matilda Tristram on Probably Nothing
Comics artist Matilda Tristram’s story would have been impossible to condense down into 400 words, so when her book Probably Nothing came out in September we decided to interview her about her experiences – falling pregnant with her first baby, being diagnosed with cancer of the colon and having to decide whether to risk losing her baby or to risk losing her life – instead. After more than a year of tempering her responses to concerned but annoying well-wishers (ash she describes in the interview) she was incredibly honest, funny, and generous when it came to talking to us. An awe-inspiring read.
Lucy Hilmer on Birthday Suits
I love this interview with Lucy Hilmer, and not only because she photographs herself every year on her birthday wearing nothing but a pair of pants, which in itself is pretty extraordinary. I also love it because when our then editorial assistant Amy came to talk to her about the photographs she was nearing 70, and they had grown into an annual marker of exactly where she was in her life each year. There’s something quite incredible about hearing a woman look back on her whole life to date, recognising what she has lived through by way of a series of self-portraits; from being an awkward, vulnerable 29-year-old to a brave adult, struggling through sadness in in the difficult years and then falling in love and becoming a mother. It’s like she’s talking through a photographic autobiography. What an amazing woman.
Andy Gonzalez and Sophie Houzer on Tampon Run
16 and 17-year-old Andy Gonzalez and Sophie Houzer met at a Summer camp called Girls Who Code in America earlier this year, and they decided to use their time there to create a fun, addictive game which would destroy taboos around the subject of periods and encourage women to get involved with the tech industry in one fell swoop. Enter Tampon Run. Impressed? You will be once you’ve finished reading about their personal effort to encourage social change, and the vital importance of women learning to code.
John Kilar on travelling and photography
Features editor Liv’s interview with nomadic photographer John Kilar is definitely one to read on those dingy grey mornings when you’re questioning every life decision you’ve ever made to date. John travels relentlessly around America’s least commercial festivals photographing the people and the elements of counter-culture he encounters on the way, and he’s picked up an inspiring but non-preachy way of talking about inspiration, gratitude and openness in the process. Sun-soaked and softly focused, his photography is pretty damn beautiful too.
- Photographer Anne-Sophie Guillet’s stunning portraits challenge gender binaries
- For Jan Horcik, type design and graphic design cannot work without one another
- “Like a little factory making picture books”: The wondrous work of Marie Neurath
- What’s the purpose of prison? This series captures a horse rehabilitation programme in Arizona
- Tina Schwizgebel-Wang’s etchings are filled with detailed scenes of everyday life
- “I want to show that the world is actually very simple”: meet artist Hisami Tanaka
- New study claims to pinpoint the most creative time of day, down to the minute
- Singapore-based studio Swell explores the idea of the banished book
- "My little niece and my grandmother like the game equally": how Playables made the simply addictive Kids
- In being "open to possibilities" still life painter Duane Keiser paints the everyday joys of life
- What the cluck? KFC releases limited-edition bucket hat
- For Bizzarri-Rodriguez, book design “is everything except a science”