While the majority of the world watched Argentina play Nigeria in the world cup, we at It’s Nice That made our way to the Oval Space for our monthly event, Nicer Tuesdays. The evening is always host to a range of disciplines and last night was no exception. Atelier Brenda, Robert Rubbish, Season zine and Nikos Livesey took us behind the scenes of graphic design, illustration, publishing and animated embroidery, shining a light on each of their creative niches. Check out what we learnt below:
Text can be as effective as images
Graphic designers Nana Esi and Sophie Keij — otherwise knows as Atelier Brenda — formatted their talk as an interview to guide us through their portfolio. As the presentation asked them questions like “Do you believe in chance” and “How did you start?” the duo referenced gothic architecture and seaweed-inspired typefaces and their text-driven designs inspired by January’s Women’s March. “We didn’t want to use images, in order to avoid stereotypes. Instead, we wanted to showcase handwriting, which refers to individuality and protest.” As the project progressed, however, the studio had to compromise and include visuals, which included external images combined with their own drawings. The visuals were then framed by the text “The Future is Feminist”.
Soho was home to some truly eccentric characters
Robert Rubbish was up next to talk about his latest book, Spiritus Soho, in which he visualises anecdotes of Soho from the past few decades. From St Anne’s Court to Old Compton Street, the illustrator describes the inspiring characters and venues that have existed in one of London’s most iconic neighbourhoods. “I look at the change in the area and how all these things are dying. My work is a psychogeographical drift where all time is present in all time”. One drawing “shows everything that’s ever gone on in Dean Street” from the first club to host a Bowie night in the 1970s to the Bat Cave, which became the base for the first ever goth moment.
Honesty is one way to dispel stereotypes
Felicia Pennant, founder and editor-in-chief of Season zine, discussed the independent football and fashion platform. The idea behind Season came about when Felicia watched Cristiano Ronaldo cry after he lost to Greece in Euro 2004: “I thought, why is he crying? It’s not that important? And I got hooked from there”. Season champions female fans who push for diversity, inclusivity and equality in football to combat preconceptions. “We wanted to counter the male, pale and sometimes very stale football commentary. We encourage all our contributors to be really honest and really candid about what they talk about so we can dispel some of the stereotypes”. She finished off by showing us the latest issue of Season, which centres around the theme of religion and stars Jeanette Kwakye and Eniola Aluko on the cover.
Embroidered animation is “goddamn difficult”
It’s Nice That’s One To Watch 2017 Nicos Livesey closed the show with a screening of his spectacular embroidered promo on the history of football for the BBC. “When the BBC approached me I read embroidery and though goddamn, this is going to be pretty difficult.” The promo is made up of 600 frames, each of which is entirely stitched on machines. Nicos guided us through the steps involved in the creative process; from coming up with the initial idea to storyboarding to embroidering to recording an opera singer in Abbey Road Studios to seeing the finished result. Drawing on bold graphics and Russian mosaics, Soviet bus stops and nuclear power stations, Nicos coherently ran us through the intriguing list of references that informed the animation: “We were ripping apart ideas, chucking things around; it was a really good, free-flowing creative process”.