Brit Awards afterparty attendees will be diving into the world of illustrator Ashton Attzs
The 21-year-old artist has created the invitation to Universal Music’s afterparty, as well as a print for the nominees, and an immersive room of their designs, which celebrate diversity.
- Jenny Brewer
- 17 February 2020
As a queer black artist, Ashton Attz has always dedicated their short but exponentially successful career to honouring marginalised people in society. “My friends and my beautiful (LGBTQ+) community inspire me every day,” Attz tells It’s Nice That. The latest client to bring their joyous work to the fore is Universal Music, which recently launched its neurodiversity handbook, Creative Differences, and has commissioned Attz to make a body of artwork. This will be used on the invitation to its official Brits afterparty, a special edition print to be given to Brits nominees (including Billie Eilish, Lewis Capaldi and Bastille), and an immersive room for the party, in the form of an installation and exhibition space, to act as a backdrop for press shots (and attendees’ selfies) at the event.
The artwork collection is called Turn Heads and Turntables and is summed up in the invitation artwork, which shows musicians with colourful brains, swimming around a vinyl record. “[It’s] a celebration of the artists who bring something to our lives that feels completely out of this world, but also an ode to the gravitational pull that music has on us all,” Attz explains. In line with their usual practice, the artwork looks to celebrate “identity, community and what makes people who they are,” but uses this platform specifically to highlight “uniqueness and the power of the mind, the ways in which we think differently and how this shapes society”. Attz won the Evening Standard Art Prize in 2018 for their painting of transgender swimmers, titled Don’t Stay in Ya Lane.
Attz’s idiosyncratic characters have colourful brains for the first time in the artist’s work, a marker of newfound learnings as part of the Creative Differences project. “It’s always been important to me that my characters represent the diversity of our society,” Attz says. “When I was 19 and moved to London, I began my first series of paintings Queering The Quotidian and focused mainly on painting black and brown transgender and non-binary characters. It was joyful, colourful and unapologetic: and things still are! As my body of work expanded, I started to depict bodies of different abilities, including characters with physical disabilities, in my paintings. However, I’d never thought about neurodiversity before, it wasn’t even a term I was aware of until quite recently. It wasn’t until I’d followed Universal Music’s research that I realised ways in which I could include neurodiverse characters in my artwork.”
This piece also marks a departure for Attz creatively, as they have previously worked predominantly as a painter and is now branching out into graphic design and digital illustration, following commissions from the likes of Instagram, Facebook, Adidas, Tottenham Hotspur and Disney.
The Brit Awards take place tomorrow, 18 February.
Ashton Attz: Turn Heads and Turntables
About the Author
After five years as It’s Nice That’s news editor, Jenny became online editor in June 2021, overseeing the website’s daily editorial output.
Jenny is currently on maternity leave.