The Graduates 2014: Catch up with 2013 grads Ed Monaghan, Lottie Brzozowski and Ollie Willis

28 May 2014

Here we are, round two of our Graduates catch ups in which we get back in touch with our grown-up children from last year and see what powerful things they’ve been up to since we let them fly the nest. Turns out they’ve all been doing exceptionally well, which is nice. Here’s some absolutely fantastic grads Edward Monaghan, Lottie Brzozowski and Ollie Willis sharing their knowledge on how you earn a buck or two in this big bad world these days.


Edward Carvalho Monaghan: The band is riding up the back

Edward Carvalho Monaghan -

This year has been a real blur. A good blur though, like the vivid hues left behind the motorbikes in Akira. I haven’t stopped and really thought about it until now but some great stuff has happened. I began interning at Technology Will Save Us and eventually started freelancing, doing editorial work for Form magazine, designing a time-travelling cloud character for Native shoes and producing rebrand work for Tokyo Fixed.

So I’ve been earning my bread and dripping with really interesting projects but the highlights of the year were firstly, working with the It’s Nice That team on the winter issue of Printed Pages. They graciously allotted to me the best assignment imaginable in the creative world – to fill eight pages of their publication with whatever I wanted.

Secondly, I’ve now got two great agents who have been looking after me and holding my hand so I don’t fall in nettle bushes or hit my head on lampposts. The third highlight was Pick Me Up. The art deity Liv Siddall has once again given a bunch of us scabs the opportunity to show in another prestigious surrounding. Thank you, all of It’s Nice That, you’re good cats!


“This is a photograph I took whilst at the Bauhaus last October. I was invited along by Inprint Liverpool as part of their print fair exchange with Anhalt university. The windows in that building are awesome. Have a cheeky open of them if you ever get the chance.”

Lottie Brzozowski -

Well that year went faster than expected. I’ve been a little scared of this moment since being chosen as an It’s Nice That Graduate; worried I wouldn’t have anything to show for the year. Yet, oddly enough that has driven me to keep going and get some exciting projects under my belt.

After graduating (and spending some time searching for the best burger in Liverpool), I moved back home to the Lakes. I got a part time job, watched far too much cycling and turned my attic into a studio where I happily spent my time doing freelance and self-initiated work. Among projects such as redesigning a publication (the Manual for Useful Art) with Jenny Stuttard and Holly Gleave for a launch at the Whitechapel gallery, the summer was the pivotal time when myself and Rachel Davey bought our Risograph, Jonathan.

Since then we have set up a Risograph studio, Jonzo in Liverpool and recently held a successful launch exhibition. We’ve been incredibly busy, more than we’d imagined, working with the likes of Tate, Åbäke, The Double Negative, Tusk Journal, and a heap of the North West’s finest designers and illustrators – it’s been great. Challenging, but great. Right now, I’m lucky enough to be interning at Music in Manchester. It’s great to work in such a nice studio, learning lots of valuable things and working alongside some brilliant people.


Ollie Willis

Ollie Willis -

The last year has flown by and it’s been up and down. I’ve refurbished a bar-top with my friend Dan, did some freelance work, interned at a few studios, took some time out away from the Mac and went back to Leicester where I volunteered at my old school helping scallywag kids in their art class and also did some decorating; it’s a bit of an eclectic mix of stuff but also a great way of learning how to take on range of projects and developing skills.

Currently I’m at NB Studio and I’m enjoying it a lot, the team here is great, even if they do call me Lewis. Also made a few green teas for Michael Wolff that is something I didn’t see myself doing after graduating, but it’s bloody cool. I think the most difficult thing I’ve found since graduating is sometimes maintaining enthusiasm for design, but to help that I started going to more design talks and other forms of cultured activities, I even went to an opera and I’d put it up there with one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen.

I’ve been able to go to a lot more Leicester City games this year and this is a picture from the last game of the season, we had won the league a couple of weeks before and it was like a huge party in the stadium, the atmosphere was incredible; definitely the best day of 2014 so far. Just started my World Cup sticker album preparing myself for the buzz of the of Brazil 2014.


We are very pleased that The It’s Nice That Graduates 2014 will once again be supported by Represent Recruitment. The graphic design recruitment specialists have developed a peerless reputation working with designers of all levels and matching them up with the right positions in some of the top agencies around. Represent’s support has helped us grow the Graduate scheme over recent years and we are thrilled they have partnered with us again in 2014.

This year’s Graduates artwork is by Callum Green

Callum was one of the It’s Nice That Graduates 2013 and has since gone on to be an art director at London based creative agency, INT Works. You can check out more of his work over here on his site.

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About the Author

Liv Siddall

Liv joined It’s Nice That as an intern in 2011 and worked across online, print and events, and was latterly Features Editor before leaving in May 2015.

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