On the last Tuesday of every month, It’s Nice That takes over Oval Space in east London to host an evening of creative talks. Four speakers from across the creative world take to the podium to share insights from a recent landmark project, showing the ideas and processes behind its making. Fun, candid and ever-eclectic, the talks are a source of inspiration for creative people of all types.
This month at Nicer Tuesdays on 29 May, we’ll be hearing about the graphic design for Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs, plus brilliantly odd illustration, inspiring publication design and how to Be More Pirate in our work and life. Get tickets now to hear from Erica Dorn, Sam Conniff, Kyle Platts and Offshore Studio from 6:30pm at Oval Space.
If you stopped to admire the incredible graphic details in Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs, you were most likely admiring the work of Erica Dorn. As the lead graphic designer on the film, Erica was responsible for bringing together everything from the Japanese woodblock-inspired artworks to printed documents, product packaging and signage, which added beautifully intricate detail to the dystopian future world Anderson was creating for his canine stars. Erica will be showcasing her research, references, sketches, final pieces and behind the scenes snippets from the project.There’s no mistaking the handiwork of illustrator and animation director Kyle Platts. Vivid and cartoonish compositions filled with strange, wobbly characters, their ballooned foreheads in profile bearing enlarged eyes, are his forte, and a long-time favourite of the It’s Nice That team. He’ll be joining us to share insights to his creative process, particularly for recent projects for the likes of Vice, Bloomberg, Zeit Leo and GQ_.In past lives, Sam Conniff was the founder of creative network Livity and media platform Don’t Panic, but recently he’s gone rogue with a new mission: to encourage everyone to "_Be More Pirate.":https://www.bemorepirate.com/ Born from research into the radical strategies of Golden Age pirates, his new ethos and book of the same name (with an added explanatory strapline “Or How to Take On The World And Win”) adapts these strategies for 21st Century work and life, and aligns them with modern day innovators or “rebels” like Elon Musk and Malala Yousafzai.Zurich-based graphic design studio Offshore is one of It’s Nice That’s Ones to Watch 2018 and with good reason. Founders Christoph Miler and Isabel Seiffert are behind the design of Migrant Journal, for which the duo created a bespoke typeface and visually arresting design. Politically conscious, sensitive and striking all at the same time, it sums up the designers’ capability way beyond their years. They’ll be telling us more about their recent work, and the aesthetic combination of Swiss design sensibilities and international influences that makes their work truly distinctive.
Our monthly talks event Nicer Tuesdays had humble beginnings but its motivation was simple: invite exciting creatives to share short, sharp insights to recent projects, aiming to inform and inspire. Each year it’s grown and evolved, but this spirit has always remained at its core.
Fresh from a Bafta nomination and winning best short at the British Animation Awards, animator Will Anderson spoke about his much-lauded film Have Heart. In a captivatingly simple aesthetic, the animation tells the story of a weary animated gif stuck in a loop on the internet, on the cusp of an existential crisis.
Natalia Stuyk is a video and digital artist who creates surreal, warping imagery in vivid saturated colours. Her commercial work often sees her collaborate with brands such as Kenzo, Nike and Stella McCartney, making fashion films, music videos and everything in between. Much more at home in the digital space, Natalia spoke at Nicer Tuesdays about her recent move into the physical space, collaborating on installations for Galeria Melissa in New York over the coming summer.
Max Siedentopf is a creative working in advertising, who on the side creates a myriad of brilliantly oddball and original personal projects. But it is this eclectic output that can sometimes confuse people, he admitted at Nicer Tuesdays. “I’m pretty sure that no one here has any idea who I actually am,” he joked, and attempted to clear things up by telling us about his work at KesselsKramer – where he recently became partner – as well as his latest passion projects including a sticker book, gif series Instructions for World Peace, and Ordinary magazine.
The idiosyncratic brushwork and hand-drawn typography of illustrator Marion Deuchars is instantly recognisable, and have charmed children and grown-ups alike in her many books. Recently, Marion has been both educating and inspirational in her books about the art world, particularly in Bob the Artist, which aims to teach kids about well-known artistic techniques while also encouraging individuality. The new follow-up Bob’s Blue Period is about expressing emotions through creativity, and is loosely based, she explains, on Picasso’s story of loss.
Last night saw the return of our monthly event, Nicer Tuesdays and it was a truly genre-spanning set of talks. Over the course of the evening, we heard from Natalia Stuyk, Max Siedentopf, Will Anderson and Marion Deuchars who took us through the ins and outs of illustration, filmmaking, graphic design, photography, animation, art direction, installation, storytelling and even a bit of fruit sculpture. Check out some of best bits we learned from April’s line-up below. h3. Shard-like objects can look digital and natural at the same time
For this month’s Dropbox poster collaboration, Copenhagen/Malmö-based digital artists Wang & Söderström worked with Swedish illustrator Klas Ernflo in a cross-dimensional merge of talent. Working via Dropbox Paper, Klas, Anny Wang and Tim Söderström found a way to blend their different approaches – Klas’ flat ink paintings and Wang & Söderström’s hyperreal 3D renders – in a truly unexpected way, via that most classic of artistic compositions, the still life. The poster will be given out to every Nicer Tuesdays attendee on 1 May.Given the brief to explore a loose theme of April, Anny and Tim thought of two events during the month – Easter and Siblings Day – with a unifying symbol, the egg. “We think the egg shape can really communicate these themes and fit our organic shape language,” they explained to Klas. Bouncing around ideas, they talked about “nest-like” compositions customised with patterns, bringing in a mixture of 2D and 3D abstract shapes from “both the Klas and the W&S universe,” and possibly mapping Klas’ illustrated patterns on to 3D eggs. For all these concepts, the duo shared tests, sketches, collages and swatches to show Klas how it could happen.Though the two studios work in very different ways, they found common ground in their use of shape – abstract, globular, amorphous forms that could visually tie to both their work, to make the final poster truly collaborative.
At our next Nicer Tuesdays event, our speakers will be delving into the ideas and processes behind their recent creations, ranging from brilliantly oddball books and hypnotic digital artwork to emotive illustration and soul-searching animation. Buy tickets now for 1 May to hear from illustrator Marion Deuchars, creative Max Siedentopf, digital and video artist Natalia Stuyk and animator Will Anderson at Oval Space from a Bafta nomination and winning best short at the British Animation Awards, animator Will Anderson will be speaking about his much-lauded film Have Heart. In a captivatingly simple aesthetic, the animation tells the story of a weary animated gif stuck in a loop on the internet, on the cusp of an existential crisis. The director will be explaining the ideas behind his comedic yet poignant premise, and sharing the processes he went through to make his geometric characters come to life.The idiosyncratic brushwork and hand-drawn typography of illustrator Marion Deuchars is instantly recognisable, and have charmed children and grown-ups alike in her many books. Recently, Marion has been both educating and inspirational in her books about the art world, particularly in Bob the Artist, which aims to teach kids about well-known artistic techniques while also encouraging individuality. She’ll be telling us more about the follow-up, Bob’s Blue Period, about feeling sad and expressing emotions through creativity.Max Siedentopf is a creative working in advertising, who on the side creates a myriad of brilliantly oddball and original personal projects. He’s behind that photography series of families with watermelon heads, for example, and is co-founder of Ordinary magazine, which celebrates mundane everyday objects from washing up sponges to plastic cutlery. Max will be speaking about some of his latest passion projects, including a sticker book and gif series Instructions for World Peace.Natalia Stuyk is a video and digital artist who creates surreal, warping imagery in vivid saturated colours. Her commercial work often sees her collaborate with fashion brands such as Kenzo, Nike and Stella McCartney, and musicians such as Basement Jaxx and Crystal Fighters, but this year has seen Natalia branch out from the digital to the physical space. She’ll be sharing more about this ongoing project, a new avenue for her work, and the intricate makings of her hypnotic visuals.
In her portraiture, photographer Sophie Harris-Taylor has a knack for capturing personality and dynamics in a beautifully natural way. This is exemplified in her series Sisters, which saw her shooting 80 pairs and groups of sisters over two years, and in turn depicting their unique and intimate relationships.
If you’ve not seen Alex Norris’ hilariously relatable panel comics then where have you been? Readers of It’s Nice That will recognise the “badly drawn blob” character of his series Webcomic Name for his punchline “oh no”, and the inevitably disappointing situations it gets itself into. At Nicer Tuesdays, Alex took us back to the beginning of his comic work, and the ideas and inspirations that led him to where he is now.
Creative director Veronica Ditting is best known for her landmark work in the publishing industry, including the design of The Gentlewoman, and her art direction of Fantastic Man and Cos Magazine. At Nicer Tuesdays she spoke about her London-based studio, which is surprisingly compact for its impressive output, at just six people.
Animator Steve Warne has an impressive list of credits to his name, having worked on Isle of Dogs, Kubo and the Two Strings, My Life as a Courgette, and Frankenweenie. However it’s his own film, Pombo Loves You which Steve spoke about at Nicer Tuesdays – an incredible feat of stop-motion animation that uses a live-action approach to create its cinematic feel.
At last night’s Nicer Tuesdays, we heard about the trials and treasures of sisterhood, how to make a great comic, what a shoot for The Gentlewoman is really like, and the nostalgic 90s roots behind a recent stop motion hit. Here’s a few things we learned at our March event at Oval Space. Photographers are often amateur therapists
For illustrators Marion Deuchars and Anna Kövecses, the month of March marks two significant events: the arrival of spring, and International Women’s Day. So for their collaborative poster, commissioned by Dropbox and It’s Nice That, the pair elected to channel both themes in one vibrant and poignant image. The collaboration evolved entirely over the platform of Dropbox Paper, and will be printed and given out at Nicer Tuesdays in March.
At our March event we are excited to welcome a renowned creative director, a respected animator, a rising star of portrait photography and a hilarious panel comic illustrator. Buy tickets now for 27 March to hear from Veronica Ditting, Steve Warne, Sophie Harris-Taylor and Alex Norris at Oval Space are thrilled to be welcoming creative director Veronica Ditting to the Nicer Tuesdays podium, speaking about her landmark work in the publishing industry. Among her many accomplishments, Veronica is best known for her design of The Gentlewoman, as well as art directing Fantastic Man and Cos Magazine, but her London-based design studio has also collaborated with brands including Hermes, Selfridges, White Cube, the Stedelijk Museum and Tiffany & Co. Veronica will be sharing insights to her latest projects.Animator Steve Warne has an impressive list of credits to his name, having worked on Isle of Dogs, Kubo and the Two Strings, My Life as a Courgette, and Frankenweenie. However it is his own film, Pombo Loves You, that he’ll be speaking about at Nicer Tuesdays. Telling the story of a father forced to confront his dark past life as an 80s TV mascot, the film is an incredible feat of stop motion animation that uses a live action approach to create its cinematic feel.In her portraiture, photographer Sophie Harris-Taylor has a knack for capturing personality and dynamics in a beautifully natural way. This is exemplified in her series Sisters, which saw her shooting pairs and groups of sisters over two years, and in turn depicting their unique and intimate relationships in a tranquil, honest set of images. Sophie will be telling us about her creative approach to the project, and the people she met along the way.If you’ve not seen Alex Norris’ hilariously relatable panel comics then where have you been? Readers of It’s Nice That will recognise the “badly drawn blob” of his series Webcomic Names for his punchline “oh no”, and the inevitably disappointing situations it gets itself into. Alex will be joining us to speak about his naive and colourful illustration style and how it reinforces the impact of his character’s humour.
Set designer Gary Card’s Nicer Tuesdays talk took the audience on a quick tour of his eclectic career. Starting by showing us his “more successful projects to begin with — so you know I’m legit,” into his more “fashionable, young, collaborative situations,” in particular his work with designer Charles Jeffrey.
Twin sisters Marta and Eva Yarza have gained quite the following for their graphic design capabilities and vision. Known as The Yarza Twins, with a studio of the same name based in London, the pair took to the Nicer Tuesdays stage to tell us about their identity for Oia Council, a Spanish municipality in Galicia.
A landscape architect by training, Nicolas Bonner moved to Asia in 1993, settling in Beijing. Since then, Nicolas has become a self proclaimed graphic hoarder of ephemera collected across the border in North Korea, recently releasing his findings in Made In North Korea: Graphic from Everyday life in the DPRK, with Phaidon.
The work of London-based artist Lucy Hardcastle can be described in many ways, but “digital, real, physical and virtual,” is how the artist described her practice, opening her talk at February’s Nicer Tuesdays. Best known for creating visuals that “appear and feel digitally native,” Lucy took us through projects which define this and display her ability to represent technology in a tactile way.
February’s Nicer Tuesdays took the audience on a multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary trip yesterday evening at Oval Space. From Nicholas Bonner taking us to North Korea through his collection of graphics ephemera, and the Yarza Twins talking about their rebranding of Oia in north western Spain, to Lucy Hardcastle leading us into the future of art in the digital realm, and revered set designer Gary Card’s travels through his material-based career, it was quite the journey. Here is a collection of the best bits were learned on the night. h3. There’s no such thing as advertising in North Korea
At our February event, our diverse speaker roster spans graphic, set and digital design, and the visual culture of North Korea. Buy tickets now for 20 February to hear from Gary Card, Yarza Twins, Lucy Hardcastle and Nicholas Bonner.Set designer and artist Gary Card has spent the past decade creating fantastical and rainbow-hued worlds for the likes of Balenciaga, Hermes, Marta Jakubowski, Tim Walker, Katie Grand, FKA twigs and countless others. Alongside all that, he’s recently staged his second solo art show, and released a rave-inspired zine starring his signature monsters. He’ll be sharing insights into his recent creations.Graphic design and typography studio Yarza Twins was founded by real-life twins Eva and Marta Yarza, and together they count Universal, Vice and Smirnoff among their clientele. For their most recent endeavour, the duo brought their talents closer to home, rebranding the small Spanish town of Oia near their own hometown of Vigo. The two will be telling us more about the unusual project.For the past 25 years, Nicholas Bonner has collected ephemera from North Korea. Food labels, sweet wrappers, tickets, stamps, postcards and even state invitations made their way into his archive, together painting a picture of the mysterious country’s visual culture and self-image. He recently published a book with Phaidon showcasing the collection, and will be exhibiting key elements at House of Illustration later this month; he’ll be telling us some of the stories behind his discoveries.Before digital designer Lucy Hardcastle even finished her master’s at the RCA, she was already collaborating on a major project with Chanel and i-D. Now perpetuating those initial waves, the designer has set up her own studio and has been delving into more complex and beautiful visual projects that link the tangible crossover between physical and virtual worlds. Lucy will be talking about her latest experiments.h3. Event Partner: Dropbox
French, London-based illustrator Marie Jacotey is known for her coloured pencil works depicting the familiar truths of relationships and intimate emotions. At Nicer Tuesdays, she delved more into her inspirations and obsessions. “Everything that people would prefer hidden – that’s what I’m trying to talk about,” she explained. “The cringyness of relationships is what interests me!”
Anna Gerber and Britt Iversen founded Visual Editions with the aim to be “a traditional book publisher making very untraditional books”. This notion is truly brought to life in its imprint, of sorts, Editions At Play – a collaborative project with Google Creative Lab that “brings magic and delight into digital books”.
In its collection of nearly half a million found photographic slides, Anonymous Project has captured something familiar to everyone. “We found amazing scenes in these little windows into our past,” says co-founder Lee Shulman. “All aspects of daily life, all the more fascinating and arresting because of their unpolished nature. These are the stories of all our lives, a diary of their eras.”
Animator I Saw John First looked to an eclectic bank of references for his music video for Mr Jukes. “I’m into obscurity, Japan, imaginary worlds, heads with feet, ghost stories and spirits,” he said, showing sketches, development animatics and excerpts from the final animation. Colourful, fantastical and hypnotic, the visuals for the track Angels/Your Love feat. BJ The Chicago Kid are also synced with the beat, meaning every detail of the frame-by-frame animation emulates the song.
From ritualistic animation to immersive digital books, Nicer Tuesdays 2018 hit the ground running with our January event last night. Returning to Oval Space, our brilliant array of speakers – The Anonymous Project, Visual Editions, Marie Jacotey and I Saw John First – shared the personal stories and fascinating processes behind their recent work. Here are a few things we learned from them. h3. Photos show that, in the end, humans aren’t so different
You’d be forgiven for presuming the debauchery of New Year’s Eve was a contemporary invention, but in fact this widely celebrated excuse to let loose dates back to medieval times. The Feast of Fools, illustrator Sophy Hollington explains, was a medieval New Year festival celebrated around Europe on 1 January until it was eradicated by the church in the 1600s, and it’s this day of decadence that provided ample visual inspiration for the Dropbox collaborative poster for January’s Nicer Tuesdays.
Happy New Year and welcome to Nicer Tuesdays 2018! Up our sleeves we’ve stashed a truly exciting and inspiring line-up of speakers from across the creative industries, ready and willing to share their insights, advice, experience and the working processes behind some incredible projects.