Every year, in May, hoards of publishers and book-obsessives flock to the Tate Modern in London to ogle over the tasty publications and prints that people have been producing over the previous 12 months at Offprint. This year, one of the featured publishers manning a stand was Kiosk, where it used the occasion to launch several zines, one of which, was created by It’s Nice That fave, Tim Lahan.
Titled Scratching the Itch the 16-page zine is beautifully simple in its execution, bringing together a collection of “random drawings” made by Tim that haven’t previously found a home. “I’m not very organised,” he tells It’s Nice That, “so I’ll draw these things on random pieces of scrap paper or receipts.” When Nick Greenbank over at Kiosk approached him to put together the zine, he dug them out. “Luckily, I was able to gather enough to compile here,” he adds.
The zine’s name is also a description of the cover images. “I like to think of titles for my drawings, almost like songs. Even if they’re just single drawings I’ll try to give them a name,” Tim explains. “The hammer nailing itself became Scratching the Itch, which is sort of an ode to being self-destructive or at least the impulse to do things that aren’t always good for you.”
Aesthetically, Scratching the Itch is a departure from Tim’s often more vibrant work which builds up blocks of colour to create forms. “Nick gave me free rein in terms of colour but initially pinned for this to be a black and white project so that it could be Xeroxed,” says Tim, adding that, “most of my work is pretty colourful so I felt like this was a natural fit for these drawings.” As well as suiting the nature of a reproducible zine, the simple line drawings provide a glimpse into Tim’s creative process and what comes before the work we’re used to seeing.
About the Author
Ruby joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in September 2017 after graduating from the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins. In April 2018, she became a staff writer and in August 2019, she was made associate editor. Get in contact with Ruby about ideas you may have for long-form stories on the site.