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Regulars / Review of the Year 2018

Review of the Year 2018: Top 25 Illustration

We count ourselves incredibly lucky here at It’s Nice That, largely because we come into contact with such superb examples of illustration on a daily basis. As you can see from the features below, which were the 25 most read on the site over the past 12 months, the bulk of what comes our way is good. Really good. Lap up the creme de la creme below. You deserve it. After all, you got these pieces where they are today.

  • Nadineredlich-ihateyouyoujustdon'tknowityet-illustration-itsnicethat-list Work / Illustration Nadine Redlich’s new book illustrates the moment you realise you actually hate your partner

    Illustrator Nadine Redlich is a creative we, and practically everyone else, absolutely loves. Nadine’s work is ridiculously relatable. It covers hangovers, procrastination, general self-doubt and everything in between. But it doesn’t do it in an illustrative style that’s too close to home; instead, she designs squidgy sweet characters like a blunt-faced rock or a cheeky little blob. But, watch out loved-up couples, Nadine’s new book I hate you… you just don’t know it yet, is here to point out some of the best and worst parts of any relationship.

    3
    Lucy Bourton
  • Gracehelmer-illustration-itsnicethat-list Work / Illustration Grace Helmer's intricate paintings and sketchbook pages from a trip to Japan and Taiwan

    Looking through illustrator Grace Helmer’s paintings from a trip to Japan and Taiwan made us envious for a number of reasons. Firstly and obviously, was the fact she spent time travelling around each country on what looks like a dream holiday. But more importantly and to the point, Grace’s documentation of her trip – sketchbooks full of train ticket stubs stuck next to delicate oil paintings – put our iPhone snaps and thumb-lensed disposable camera shots of holidays to shame.

    4
    Lucy Bourton
  • Alexjenkins-illustration-itsnicethat-list Work / Illustration Alex Gamsu Jenkins’ comics remind us of how gross we really are

    Illustrator Alex Gamsu Jenkins’ latest works are absolutely gross. But in the way we’re all gross, spot popping, alarm ignoring, sleepy, procrastinating people deep down. Earlier in the year, we caught up with Alex on his surreal one-panel personal works and now the south London-based illustrator has expanded these pieces into short comics and the results will have you in stitches as your eyes flip across each panel of four.

    11
    Lucy Bourton
  • Work-vanlist Work / Illustration Illustrator Anna Roberts on the process behind her hyperreal artworks

    “I like to focus on the quiet things that I feel deserve attention,” says illustrator Anna Roberts about her hyperreal artworks. From a bag of juicy oranges so real you can almost hear the plastic rustle to light shining through a glass of water with perfect precision, her artworks are so true to life that it’s only after considerable attention that you work out Anna’s quiet moments aren’t in fact photographs.

    12
    Laura Snoad
  • Olimpia-zagnoli-cuore-di-panna-illustration-itsnicethat-fanta-list2 Work / Illustration Olimpia Zagnoli dreams of childhood summers in 80s Italy with Cuore di Panna

    In her nostalgic new series Cuore di Panna, illustrator and artist Olimpia Zagnoli is not only hoping to evoke personal childhood memories, but also paint a picture of late 1980s Italian culture. The series of juicy, pop-colour prints, light installations and videos conjures up a picture of hazy summers spent eating ice cream and drinking soda – the title translates literally as “heart of whipped cream” – with a retro aesthetic filled with the brands that seeped into the artist’s consciousness around that time. Italy was becoming Americanised, or as gallery HVW8 puts it: “Barbie Totally Hair was replacing Sophia Loren,” and Olimpia’s depiction of vivid consumerism instantly transports the viewer back to that atmosphere. Here, she tells us more about the project.

    13
    Jenny Brewer
  • Subin-yang-illustration-itsnicethat-list-alt Work / Illustration Subin Yang's joyful illustrations capture the fleeting and unobtainable moments in life

    “Drawing started with my obsession for recreating something I saw that I couldn’t have in person. But by recreating it, I could somehow own it,” explains New York City-based illustrator Subin Yang. With a love for books, zines and any printed material, Subin’s joyful illustrations act as a means to capture the fleeting and unobtainable moments in life, all awash in a Lego-inspired palette of primary colours and pinks.

    17
    Ruby Boddington
  • Edwardcalvalhomonaghan-illustration-itsnicethat-7list Work / Illustration "We’re likely to plummet into a new dark age": Illustrator Edward Carvalho-Monaghan on learning from the past

    Edward Carvalho-Monaghan is an old friend of It’s Nice That. Having originally been one of The Graduates 2013, Ed’s bold, block-coloured drawings have repeatedly intrigued us over the past five years. Now, the accomplished illustrator is carving out a new path for himself. His latest creations resemble surreal, Dali-esque landscapes that feature anything from floating shells to biscuits and fish. His explosive creations are inspired by the likes of MC Escher, Giorgio De Chirico and Hieronymus Bosch as well as Rex Whistler and Eric Ravilious. This comes as no surprise considering the impossibly detailed work Ed produces. His dream-like compositions distort dimensions and prompt the viewer to closely examine the intricacies of his work. We catch up with Ed to see what goes on inside his compelling mind.

    18
    Daphne Milner
  • Braulio_amado_bobby-mckenna_mosaic_steven-soderbergh_hbo_itsnicethat-list Work / Illustration Meet the star creative team behind Steven Soderbergh’s HBO series/app, Mosaic

    Steven Soderbergh, the director of Erin Brockovich, Traffic, Magic Mike and Contagion, recently – like many big-time directors these days – has turned his skills to TV. His murder mystery for HBO, Mosaic, isn’t your typical TV series though. Ahead of its screening on regular TV (in the US in January and imminently in the UK) it was released as an interactive mobile app, where users could choose how to follow the story, allowing them to see the narrative from varying perspectives and learning more clues via extra features, such as news clippings, police reports and emails.

    19
    Jenny Brewer

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