Say hello to the brand-new It’s Nice That Podcast
Our editors sit down with the world’s leading designers, artists, photographers and creative directors and hear the honest truth about how they built careers out of their creativity.
Today we at It’s Nice That are launching an all-new podcast and kicking off with three fresh episodes for you to sink your ears into. These episodes feature three conversations with leading lights from the creative world: the renowned illustrator Christoph Niemann; the creative director of The New York Times Magazine, Gail Bichler; and the graphic designer and creative director Eric Hu. The show, hosted by our editor-in-chief Matt Alagiah, seeks to scrub away the Instagram gloss and hear the honest truth from people who have built careers out of their creativity.
Click here to subscribe and listen to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, and here for the same page on Spotify. A new episode will be released every fortnight, so don’t forget to subscribe to keep up to date. (For other podcast apps, simply search “It’s Nice That Podcast” and be sure to follow the new edition, featuring our purple Nice Face logo.)
In the first episode of the podcast, our editor-in-chief Matt Alagiah sits down with the illustrator Christoph Niemann and discusses everything from the pressures of Instagram to the importance of finding a medium that matches your message. Despite his huge following on Instagram (1.1 million and counting), Christoph reveals how he sometimes has mixed feelings about the platform and the way it puts unwanted pressures on his creativity. “When something works, then you feel under pressure to repeat it or if something doesn’t work, then you feel you did something wrong,” he says. “The most difficult challenge is to get this out of your head and start as if there was no audience and then post it and see what happens, but to separate the creation from the reception.”
In Episode 2, we sit down with Gail Bichler, the creative director of The New York Times Magazine. To cover a range of Gail’s revered work at the publication, she talks to Matt about five selected covers that she is particularly proud of (you can see her selected covers in the image gallery below). Gail also explains how her approach to design has changed over time and the impact a cover can have. It has done its job, she says, “when it’s an immediate read and when people understand it even before you put language on it.” She also talks to us about how the most effective of the 400+ covers she has worked on “have captured something that’s just out there in the air, that people are thinking about and that they connect with,” she says. “That can’t always happen. There are plenty of covers that don’t do that. But instances where that happens are often really impactful in terms of what a cover can do.”
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The New York Times Magazine: What Should Children Eat? (October 12, 2014) (Copyright © The New York Times, 2022)
For the third episode of the podcast, Matt speaks to the New York-based creative director and graphic designer Eric Hu, who explains how his career to date has been shaped by the evolution of the internet. We discuss his recent forays into the NFT space and Eric talks us through why he believes it’s simply short-sighted to judge this emerging technology by the (admittedly terrible) art that often seems to dominate this discussion. He encourages us to look beyond the cartoon apes. “I think a lot of the art is really terrible and I think I would be mortified if I had to have a cup of coffee with a lot of the crowd that is into NFTs,” Eric tells us. “But I think where me and some of my peers differ is that, to me, that’s even more reason to enter this space, because it needs people not like that.” He likens this to someone looking to learn about the music industry. “Most people would find it silly,” he says, “if you really wanted to learn how to be a music producer and you downloaded the software, and the demo track it came with was really bad, and you were like, ‘I’m just not going to learn music.’”
At the end of each episode, we’ll also hear what we’re calling a Nice Note – a voice note sent to us by one of our favourite artists or designers somewhere in the world. We’ll be asking them to take us to a place in their city that they find particularly inspiring, and getting them to describe it to us. These first three episodes will take us to the historic fort area of Mumbai, a weird and wonderful boutique in Montpellier, and to a neighbourhood park in Sydney.
If you want to hear a longer version of the podcast, featuring extended interviews with Christoph, Gail and Eric, you can do so by signing up to Extra Nice, It’s Nice That’s membership programme. This is just one of the many benefits and goodies you get by being an Extra Nice member. To find out more, head over to the Extra Nice pages of our website.
#001 Christoph Niemann
In the first episode of the new It’s Nice That Podcast, our editor-in-chief sits down with the renowned illustrator Christoph Niemann and discusses everything from the pressures of Instagram to the importance of finding a medium to match your message. We also head to the south of France to hear from Cécile Dormeau, who can’t help but feel inspired by a weird and wonderful boutique in Montpellier.
#002 Gail Bichler
In this second episode of the It’s Nice That Podcast, we sit down with Gail Bichler, the creative director of The New York Times Magazine. She talks through five covers from her time at the publication that she is particularly proud of, and explains how her approach to magazine design has changed over time. We also whizz over to Mumbai to hear from the artist Sameer Kulavoor, who is besotted with the city’s historic fort district.
#003 Eric Hu
For this third episode of the new podcast, our editor-in-chief Matt Alagiah speaks to the New York-based creative director and graphic designer Eric Hu, who explains how his career to date has been shaped by the evolving internet. We talk about his recent forays into the NFT space and why he believes it’s simply short-sighted to judge this emerging technology by the (admittedly terrible) art that often seems to predominate.