We kick off 2016 by introducing our Ones to Watch for the year ahead. We have interviewed 12 creatives who we predict are about to embark upon a stellar year. We spoke with each of them to find out what they will be doing, where they will be doing it and who they will be doing it with. A special thanks goes to Rebecca Clarke who has drawn the fantastic portraits of everyone on the list.
Gloriously cheerful and full of pastel hues, Julian Glander’s work is funny, surreal and creative. Based in Pittsburgh, the illustrator and 3D wizard has been creating gifs, animations and illustrations for a couple of years now and has made the transition from personal projects to commissioned work seamlessly. "Recently all my projects have been a result of people seeing my work on Instagram or Twitter,” he explains. “To be honest it’s a bit of a mystery to me – I do the work, I post it and somehow I get to do more work. It’s not a bad cycle!”
This year saw Julian create a series of gifs for Canadian network Koodo Mobile, an animation for Dropbox, and a weekly comic strip on Vice ’s website and there’s no doubt that his client list will continue to grow over the next 12 months. While he has no concrete plans for next year apart from taking a trip to Berlin to speak at Pictoplasma, Julian has several projects in the pipeline. “I’ve got a full-length comic in the works, as well as an animated series. I’m in the process of finding homes for both of those. 2015 has been a banger, if next year’s half as good I’ll be one happy fella.”
Nice as pie and with the work to match, Isabel and Helen have been making solidly brilliant set design for the last couple of years. Far from being just pretty shapes, bright colours and aesthetically pleasing geometry, the pair’s work is always underpinned with a conceptual twist. Back in 2013 they were commissioned by the V&A to create an interactive Constructivist playground based on the Russian design movement, and since then their works have continued to mix high-brow ideas with simple pleasures.
Rob Meyers had a sabbatical from his day job as art director of Clash magazine last year while the magazine went on hiatus as it moved publisher. The Yorkshire born art director/creative consultant took the opportunity to launch a project that had been percolating for years in his brain: Johnson – a publication of men’s culture. “It’s about high and low culture and how we really live,” he says.
It’s fair to say that few illustrators in recent times have had us as excited as Sara Andreasson. Her name has come up time and time again in the It’s Nice That studio and her work, as brilliant and recognisable as it is thoroughly refreshing, continues to grab our attention. With bright and buoyant colours and a style all of her own, the irrepressible Swedish illustrator has gone from strength to strength in only a year and a half, and we were thrilled to include her in the last issue of Printed Pages.
Right at the beginning of last year, Essex boy Jamie Andrew Reid wowed us with his beautiful book about skinhead culture. Drawing together essays, imagery and other archive material, it used a custom typeface and a sensitive design approach to showcase the significance of an oft-understood subculture, and proved Jamie to be a superlatively proactive designer to keep an eye on. Then in the summer, it was announced that Jamie was the new art director for Dazed. He saw the magazine through a total design overhaul, no mean feat for someone who only graduated only four years ago.
Charlie Kwai’s ability to record the pace, people and culture of an area was first shown by his series documenting Piccadilly Circus, China’s Golden Week and the river cruises that trundle up and down the Thames. More recently, his work has been exhibited at DreamBagsJaguarShoes in east London, in a show that “celebrated the human condition and showcased what often goes unnoticed in a city full of distractions”. Last month, he was in Ghana photographing the country’s street culture with his collective Tripod City, in which he collaborates with photographers Paul Storrie and Chris Lee.
Charlie hopes to work collaboratively a lot more this year, designing exhibitions and books, editing his street photography and documenting new places with Paul and Chris. Charlie says: “The beauty of what I do is the freedom it gives [me] to work wherever there are people. This year though, I’d like to immerse myself in smaller locations and dedicate more time to creating extended observations instead of fleeting snapshots. It’s hard to be specific, I just follow my nose.”
“I was doing a lot of commercial work and I just fell out of love with it,” says Hayley Louisa Brown as she reflects on the past few years. “I got to a point where I didn’t feel like myself anymore.” Taking a break from her career as a photographer Hayley turned her talents to launching hip hop magazine Brick, an idea that she had been developing and working on since late 2012 when she left her role as hip hop editor at Clash magazine. Issue one landed in March and contained a whopping 246 pages, magnificently laid out by Ric Bell of Delivered By Post. “It started as something that was going to be like a punk zine with hip hop content,” she says laughing. “The idea just grew. The idea went from being 90% photography and 10% writing to what we have now.”
If you ask Oliver Shaw of Catalogue just what it is that he does, the list he responds with is extensive. “Predominantly we are graphic designers,” he says while he pauses to think. ”We also do design direction for magazines, independent publishing, web design and development, lectures and workshops. We design books. We design posters. We design identities,” he stops for breath, before adding: “we do quite a lot of stuff.”
Juno Calypso’s style of sinister, offbeat self-portraiture toys wonderfully with fact and fiction. Using her alter-ego Joyce as the focus of her work, her stand out series last year was taken in the Honeymoon Hotel, Pennsylvania. The meticulously crafted images are mesmerising and Juno challenges modern rituals of seduction and the laboured construction of femininity through portraits that see Joyce alone in a hotel suite in various guises.
“This year has been quite a year of discovery in terms of people seeing my work”, said Jack Davison at the end of 2015. With a year as fruitful as the one behind him, 2016 can only look bright for the self-taught London photographer. The last 12 months saw him amass a number of triumphs, from getting signed to Mini Title to shooting the cover of Avaunt’s second issue , to taking David Byrne’s portrait for the FT Weekend Magazine and closing the year with work featured in the pages and cover of The British Journal of Photography.
Commission Studio only formed around two years ago, founded by creative directors David McFarline and Christopher Moorby. The pair’s background working for design industry big guns like Spin and Made Thought mean the small studio based in Peckham, south London, has a fine pedigree and an affinity working for fashion clients. This year saw its most high profile project yet: rebranding fashion brand DKNY.
Louisa Gagliardi’s surreal digital illustrations and artworks are visually and conceptually layered, with skewed perspectives and dusty, sunset tones that create a sense of warped three-dimensionality. We first featured her work in 2012 when, as a graduate from Switzerland’s Ecole cantonal d’art de Lausanne, she had designed a visual introduction to the ECAL experience that utilised her vector illustrations of college hardware and set them in considered grids and crisp layouts.
Welcome back and happy New Year. The It’s Nice That team is back in the office having expanded our waistlines, damaged our livers and feigned delight when receiving questionable Christmas gifts over the holiday break. We kick off 2016 by introducing our Ones to Watch for the year ahead. We have interviewed 12 creatives who we predict are about to embark upon a stellar year. We spoke with each of them to find out what they will be doing, where they will be doing it and who they will be doing it with. A special thanks goes to Rebecca Clarke who has drawn the fantastic portraits of everyone on the list.