Things: The post full of positivity we received this April

27 April 2017

We’re always astounded by the amount of great post we receive, and the first third of this year has been particularly brilliant. Despite the turbulent political and cultural climate around us, creatives are producing photography, zines, records and comics with positive attitudes distracting us in the best way possible. From global photography projects that make us want to visit new corners of the world to student magazines that give us hope, here is April’s Things!

Daniel Cheetham: Paris by Day Paris by Night

“We walk to get somewhere, but mainly because there is nothing better than to roam through the city. The lost and shy will often opt for the metro. But once you’ve settled in that’s when you start to wander or stroll.” This is the opening to photographer Daniel Cheetham’s new zine Paris by Day Paris by Night an image-led journey through the French capital. Each shot by Daniel feels like you are being taken through Paris on a stroll with a local who knows it like the back of their hand. From sweaty grasps holding on to public transport rails, public playgrounds photographed at night or portrait snaps of people in bars and cafes, this zine is a printed journey that will make you desperate for a long weekend.

Lucy Grainge and Juliette Fitzgerald Duffy: Psyche

On the back cover of a new zine by Glasgow School of Art students Lucy Grainge and Juliette Fitzgerald Duffy is a definition of the zine’s title, Psyche. “1. The soul, or spirit, as distinguished from the body; the mind. 2. The animating principle of the universe as a whole, the soul of the world.” The zine comprising written submissions and free-flowing print design, examines and explores “the framework of ‘the psyche’”. This first issue began as an open submission for written pieces and the result “embraces creative writing in the areas of politics, mental health, sustainability and creativity”. The various opinions, thoughts and voices that come through in the publication are partnered with circular illustrations that continue a theme but differ on each page. “We chose to reject standard editorial illustrations due to the diversity and sensitivity of the written submissions,” explains the introduction. “Rather, the illustrations would tap into an overarching theme and express our understanding of the making process as we develop ideas through activity.”

Le Monde D’Hermes SS17

The spring summer issue of Le Monde D’Hermes is full to the brim of creative art direction that utilises photography and illustration. With a cover by Lonneke van der Palen and a feature on the Golden Hour by Laura Coulson, the issue shows two female photographers at the top of their game, capturing objects and clothing. In the first half of the magazine is a feature with Seigo Matsuoka in conversation with Olivier Wicker, accompanied by Japanese illustrations by Settai Komura. The second half of the issue is flipped upside down, creating a publication of two narratives and its two identical covers create two optional starting points. The second half includes photography by Matthieu Raffard, Theo Sion and Mirka Laura Severa. Basically, Le Monde D’Hermes knows very well the best creatives to represent its products.

Jamie Collins Adams and George Mackness: Smoking Jewel

Editors of Smoking Jewel Jamie Collins Adams and George Mackness describe the publication as a zine, but at a paper size of A2 this is not your usual lo-fi zine. “The zine is large because we want to encourage our readers to rip out pages and plaster them all over their walls, as you would with a poster or image you love,” the pair explain. “_Smoking Jewel_ is a zine about love, created to reflect on all its varieties and help undermine the pervasive atmosphere of fear and anxiety we often find everyday life steeped in.” The publication’s first issue is created as a reaction to the brief of love and nature. The responses include photography by Joe Skilton, illustrations by Chris Harnan and even a poem “about a sentient mountain talking to a selfie taker”.

AZD by Actress (Ninja Tune)

A very special record release from Ninja Tune arrived this April, supremely respected producer Actress’ new album, AZD. Housed in a 12” foil sized bag, the record’s packaging is a reflection of Actress’ live show which features an AZD chrome avatar whose hand lays restfully on the vinyl sleeve. Opening the record up to photograph it almost felt like a crime to peel back the silver covering, but the sleeve’s photography by Mehdi Lacoste and patterned inner sleeves is an even better gift to behold.

Pantheon by Hamish Steele

Pantheon by illustrator Hamish Steele feels like the underdog of comic books in the world of publishing. Originally a self-published title, then a Kickstarter, Pantheon "The true story of the Egyptian deities,” has now been published by No Brow. “The most important myth in Ancient Egypt is faithfully retold in glorious colour!” says the publisher. With its gold foiled cover Hamish’s book itself is a treasure and its content includes “a boat race, resurrections, lots of scorpions and a golden willy”.

Storehouse Magazine, The Issues Issue

Reading the opening paragraph of Norwich University of the Arts Student Magazine, Storehouse fills you with a yes! feeling. The world is obviously a very turbulent environment at the moment politically and culturally, but this publication, The Issues Issue, is a step in the right direction. Written by Glen Robinson, senior lecturer on Norwich’s BA design for publishing course, it opens: “Let us for a moment imagine a world without conflict. A world of unconditional love and open hearted acceptance for life and respect for ourselves and one another”. With its Craig Oldham-esque sticker cover it encourages readers with actions such as “Love Trumps Hate”, “support #juniordoctors”,”My Body, My Choice” and “Frack Off”. Incitement is also inside the publication’s content with illustrations by Evelyn Prentice raising “the prevalent issues of food, poverty and social isolation across Britain,” an interview with Antony Burrill and a series of illustrations depicting Donald Trump as “an attention-seeking buffoon, a professional bullshitter, an entitled misogynist, a corrupt moronic megalomaniac, an egotist and a waste of oxygen who lacks a single ounce of knowledge, skill or aptitude”. Brilliant.

Katie Bagley: HKG CGK

Katie Bagley is a portrait and documentary photographer based in London whose cheerfully bright images have gained her a client list including Dazed, Gap, Glamour, Rolling Stone and Vice. However it was a new zine by Katie that introduced us to her work. With a cover made from an airline baggage ticket with the initials HKG to CGK, the zine documents Katie’s time in Hong Kong and Jakarta in February 2017 (what a quick turnaround). Designed by Ferry Gouw the zine mixes Katie’s photography with patterned backgrounds, forming a publication bursting with energy.

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Lucy Bourton

Lucy (she/her) is the senior editor at Insights, a research-driven department with It's Nice That. Get in contact with her for potential Insights collaborations or to discuss Insights' fortnightly column, POV. Lucy has been a part of the team at It's Nice That since 2016, first joining as a staff writer after graduating from Chelsea College of Art with a degree in Graphic Design Communication.

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