Features / Nicer Tuesdays

“Finding new ideas is about breaking the cycle”: what we learned at Nicer Tuesdays February

Hundreds braved the horrendous British weather last night to fill up Oval Space for our second Nicer Tuesdays of the year, and were rewarded with four inspiring, hilarious and insightful talks. From More and More’s jaw-dropping 3D experiments and Mirka Laura Severa’s photoshoot atop a glacier, to Olivia Ahmad’s stories of against-the-grain illustrator Jo Brocklehurst and the immense detail in Oscar Hudson’s video for Bonobo, we saw how creatives often go way beyond the call of duty for a project. Here’s a few things we learned from our brilliant and very hard-working speakers.


Finding new ideas is about “breaking the cycle”

Carl Burgess, co-founder of motion and design studio More and More, said by doing back-to-back jobs the studio had got into a rhythm, “a repeating set of learned behaviours”. So they decided to close for 50 days to “break the cycle” and work on projects completely on impulse. “Once you start, the ideas come quicker than you can make them. Once you let go, it doesn’t stop. Also if you have no boundaries, you start to see your own limitations.”


Working with snowmen models is dangerous business

For her snowman photoshoot for SZ Magazin, Mirka Laura Severa worked tirelessly atop a glacier where temperatures were as low as -20°C, it was very windy and there was a lack of oxygen, “but you have to ignore all that” she said. Also, at one stage, they were carving one snowman on a precipice with a 3000m sheer drop, and the snowman in question lost his head. Luckily, the resulting photos were worth it.


In the 90s fetish scene, you could do, say and wear anything you wanted

House of Illustration curator Olivia Ahmad told the fascinating story of prolific, but relatively unknown, illustrator Jo Brocklehurst, the subject of its current exhibition. Fascinated with alternative culture, Jo used to spend her evenings in clubs drawing the patrons. She referred to the members of the 90s fetish clubs as her “rubber angels” and held “fetish, Victorian, red queen mash-up tea parties,” drawing the attendees in UV paints.


GCSE physics will be useful one day

Director Oscar Hudson showed the fascinating design and making process that went into his video for Bonobo’s No Reason. The “shrinking room” concept was realised by building 18 sets, each a precisely scaled-down version of the exact same design, which the camera travels through in the video. “In this schematic,” Oscar pointed out in his scribbled notes, “you can see a little equation: speed equals distance over time – which is GCSE physics, and the secret to the whole thing.”


There’s ten people in Bonobo’s No Reason video

Oscar also showed some of the intricate props made for each of the 18 sets, including a line-up of 18 plants, the smallest being 1cm tall, and 18 paperclips of decreasing size, “which is my favourite part, but you don’t even see it in the video”. People on YouTube often ask if it’s the same person throughout the video, he said, “but it’s not, it’s ten people”. Face masks were just one of the many visual tricks Oscar used for this incredible film.


Thanks to everyone who came along last night. Next month’s line-up will be announced soon, so sign up to the newsletter to hear first.

Event Partner: Adobe

Designer. Photographer. Filmmaker. Dreamer. No matter who you are, there’s something for you in the latest release of Creative Cloud. Adobe is proud to sponsor Nicer Tuesdays 2017 and ready to show you what’s new. 

Supported by: Park Communications

As one of London’s most respected printers, Park Communications is known for its care, attention to detail and high quality, which is why Printed Pages is among the titles it produces.

Drinks sponsor: Hop House 13

Thanks to Hop House 13 for providing the drinks!