- Olivia Hingley
- 6 December 2022
It’s Nice That and RoomFifty bring you a collection of prints from our favourite artists – just in time for Christmas!
Working alongside the print site RoomFifty, It’s Nice That curates a collection of illustrative prints from a range of our favourite creatives over the years.
- Olivia Hingley
- 6 December 2022
There are many things that can make a home: family, a fireplace, a pet (of course). But, here at It’s Nice That, we’re inclined to add something very important to that list: a print. Having spent so many years scouring the internet, graduate shows and galleries for some of the best up and coming and most enrapturing visual artists, we love nothing more than to help our readers find the next piece of artwork to adorn their walls.
Along the way, we’ve come across a few places that make buying prints both easy and enjoyable, one being the brilliant RoomFifty. Launched in 2017, RoomFifty was founded by Brighton-based conceptual illustrator Leon Edler, and is now led by a group of professional illustrators and art directors including Chris Clarke, global creative director at The Guardian, Ben Longden, a multi-disciplinary designer, part time teacher and also digital design director at The Guardian and Ellie Davey, a gallerist, manager, and digital consultant.
At the core of RoomFifty’s work is making great wall art accessible, and the museum standard, high-quality prints start at £30. Moreover, at a much higher margin than other print sites, 50 per cent of all profits go directly to the artist. As an organisation, RoomFifty are also regularly collaborating with the likes of the Design Museum, Into Art and the London Chinese Community Centre to name a few, while also regularly supporting important causes. In May of this year, we were honoured when RoomFifty offered its services to our very own print sale raising funds for those affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
To celebrate five years of RoomFifty, Leon explains that the team thought partnering with new curators would be a great way to see the anniversary in. We are delighted to be one of those contacted and asked to collate a list of prints of creatives we’ve championed over the years and situated all over the globe. Outlining why RoomFifty thought an It’s Nice That curated list would suit their audience, Leon adds: “It's Nice That is known all over in the design and art world, so we thought the range would be a fantastic cross section of amazing work from established artists and designers as well as people starting out.”
As you can imagine, it’s been great fun putting together a list that encapsulates the variety we cover. Getting together a number of a favourite illustrators, we’ve also added a true It’s Nice That touch, including a range of graphic designers and digital artists’ work, which is not as commonly seen on the RoomFifty site. What’s more, our work centres on uncovering the most exciting new creatives, as well as continuing to support artists who’ve featured on our site for years. So, throughout the list, you’ll be able to uncover a new favourite, or get an exclusive print from one of your longest loved creatives.
Of course, the list comes in perfect-time for the Christmas period, and with the range of work we’ve curated, we're certain that there is a print for everyone nestled within. If you’ve got a nature-loving family member, there’s a beautifully peaceful illustration from Charlotte Ager, or, if you’ve got a musical friend, we’ve got a suitably energetic piece from Gaurab Thakali.
One of the illustrators to feature in our RoomFifty list is the London-based Tess Smith-Roberts, who has been a regular on the site since 2019. We (and you) can’t get enough of her bright, characterful illustrations. Predominantly working in editorial or food-centred work, alongside some murals, branding, books and social gigs, Tess tells us that she enters her work with a sense of “humour, bold shapes and a playful use of colour”. This results in a plethora of different scenes, from still lifes, bad dates and, of course, a lot of food.
For the RoomFifty and It’s Nice That collection, however, Tess chose a piece from her archive which offered something a little different: a load of dogs. “The inspiration for this piece was all the dogs I see in my day-to-day life I guess,” Tess muses. “I always try to take quick pictures of them as they pass me by, and I normally walk through Ruskin Park on my way to a studio, which is a great place to see them! So some of them have worked their way in.”
Currently spending time travelling Korea and now Japan, Tess tells us that she has seen “so many cute, fluffy, well groomed dogs”. Creating a whole folder on her phone dedicated to them, it’s safe to say Tess has developed something of an obsession. Poodles, Daschunds, and Dalmatians joyfully frolic around in the piece; the print is a sure-fire way to win the heart of any die-hard dog-lover this Christmas. And, we’re sure you’re glad to hear, Tess tells us that we can expect to see this canine content continuing into the near future.
New Delhi-based graphic designer and 3D designer Khyati Trehan approached the RoomFifty collection with one important question in mind: “What would I like to see on a wall day in and day out?” Soon, she came to the conclusion that there’s a pretty good reason as to why love and nature are so regularly depicted in the visual world. And these two themes then formed the basis of her piece.
Firstly, Khyati explored the ways in which she had seen love depicted in pop culture while growing up. One of the first that came to mind was “old romantic bollywood films”, where the imagery of two flowers coming together suggested intimacy between the two main characters. Taking this imagery one step further, Khyati tied two flowers together in an “inseparable knot”. She continues: “While I tried to derive the illustration style from the original concept, my love for the sciences, all-things organic and a sense of abundance snuck in.” The resulting piece sits somewhere at the intersection of 3D, hyper-real flowers and a graphic, bright red background. A perfect statement piece to liven up any wall.
Sophie Douala is a Berlin-based visual artist and graphic designer whose creative practice explores storytelling, community and empowerment. “I love to think that creativity is a tool; ideas that connect people through an abstract common ground,” they say. For the RoomFifty list, Sophie has returned to the artworks she created for It’s Nice That’s Extra Nice Campaign on Conscious Creativity. Discussing why they chose to return to those pieces in particular, they say: “I don’t know if it’s a generational point of view, but I feel like I am witnessing more and more projects and organisations using their creativity to tackle important subjects. The Conscious Creativity campaign is a great example of that; how to be more conscious in our industry with a more personal and intersectional approach. I love to collaborate on meaningful projects.”
To rework the piece – a meditative exploration of colour gradients and graphic, illusion-like shapes – into a print, Sophie tells us that it was very important to consider format and spatial aspects. This was no problem for Sophie, who has recently been investing time into design and curation. Tuning down colours and adding in more contrast, Sophie altered the original piece into a mesmerising print. “It was like adjusting a recipe,” Sophie adds, “adding or removing some ingredients here and there.”
Collaborating with RoomFifty has allowed us to do what we love doing most: explore the most exciting visual artwork currently being produced, and work out what would best suit the walls of you – our audience. We hope you enjoy perusing it as much as we’ve enjoyed creating it.
The wider list of creatives featured in It’s Nice That’s RoomFifty collection includes: Albert Tercero, Benedikt Luft, César Pelizer, Charlotte Ager, Danielle Rhoda, Eunkyoung Son, Gabriel Alcala, Gaurab Thakali, Isu Kim, Jiye Kim, Jordy van den Nieuwendijk, Khyati Trehan, Molly Fairhurst, Nadine Redlich, Oscar Gronner, Saiman Chow, Sophi Miyoko Gullbrants, Sophie Douala, Specht Studio, Taehyoung Jeon and Tess Smith-Roberts.
About the Author
Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English literature and history, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.