The Graduates 2018
The Graduates is our chance to showcase the most exciting students graduating from all creative courses, presenting a range of talented graphic designers, photographers, illustrators and more. Celebrating our tenth anniversary this year, we’re proud to announce the first global class of The Graduates for 2018!
With more applications than we’ve ever had and entrants from North America to New Zealand via Sweden, we were bowled over by the ridiculously high talent spilling out of universities across the world this year. Below, we share our final 15 graduates, each carving out their own path with work displaying vibrant personality across photography, product design, illustration, fashion, animation and graphic design.
We’re very excited to introduce you to the first global Graduates class of 2018!
In the closing months of her BA (Hons) Fashion Design program at Central Saint Martins, Canadian-born Paolina Russo produced a final collection which has since been talked about. A lot. A line-up of garments which repurpose the material objects of various sports – from footballs to trainers to shin pads – it’s a love letter to suburban life and teenage sentimentality.
The work of graphic designer Can Yang is steeped in history and philosophy. Context is the backbone of her works, consistently relating back to her cultural upbringing in China, but translated through the teaching programme at Rhode Island School of Design where she’s just graduated.
Louisana-born illustration graduate Jackson Joyce claims he spends most of his time stuck in his head. A thinker that illustrates the daydreamer, he captures characters gazing melancholically into the distance. Be it from painting in coffee shops, on aeroplanes or in the studio, Jackson’s illustrations play with proportion and mood; their cool colour tones, soft shadows and sad, dark eyes create strange and foreboding narratives.
Natalia was 13 when she first picked up a camera. A friend from primary school had talked her into trying a regular photography class at a local youth centre (in Bytom, Poland) – the friend stayed two weeks, Natalia for five years. The course focused on film photography, so she dug out an old Zenith 12xp from her grandparent’s basement and taught herself how to use it. “The smell of a darkroom, the first artistic community I belonged to, capturing moments – I don’t know exactly what it was that I fell in love with, and even though it all started 12 years ago, I’m still just as passionate about photography,” Natalia tells us.
The first things you’re likely to notice when you sit down to watch one of Arts University Bournemouth graduate Daniel Spencer’s bright, brash, and brilliantly funny 3D animations are a pair of glossy and googly eyes and a set of plump red lips.
Illustration has always been a way for Alva Skog to communicate and express herself, “I can’t remember a time when I didn’t draw” she tells It’s Nice That. “Whenever someone had a birthday in my family, I drew a family portrait. I still do.” After a two-year art course in Sweden (where she is originally from), Alva headed to Central Saint Martins where, despite studying Graphic Design, she kept coming back to illustration, along with a brief interlude into animation.
Despite initially thinking he was going to forge a career in the fine arts, Luke Hoban quickly fell for the form and function that graphic design embodies. He was born, and studied in, New Zealand and is now based in Sydney, but it doesn’t actually matter where in the world Luke lives; it’s the digital counterpart of design where he’s fully at home.
It’s Nice That Graduates has traditionally been the highly contested territory of art school leavers. So it was to our surprise and delight that humanities grad Miranda Barnes applied with a remarkable photography portfolio of softly witnessed glimpses into the human experience; images which have both challenged misconceptions of people of colour in America and won her pages in The New York Times, ESPN and Vice magazine in the process.
University of Cincinnati graduate Alex Sizemore’s portfolio is one of those that not only impresses because of its technical abilities and adept concepts but because it induces questions in its viewers. Having studied industrial design, Alex combines traditional sensibilities and industrial production processes to create work which explores how our choice of materials – and what we do with these materials – can improve the human experience.
“I wish I could say I was one of those designers whose parents were artists or designers, or one whose parents exposed them to different types of art and design at a very early age,” Andy Liang tells It’s Nice That, but as a child of working class, first generation immigrants, they just didn’t have the means or the resources to do so.
Manchester School of Art graduate Nathan Cutler has a sensitive eye, despite his masculine subject matter. Born and raised in Brighton before venturing up north for university, Nathan’s work provides an insight to groups, communities and clubs. He never peers in on these clans, instead his photographic eye nestles in, it gets comfy, has a cup of tea and a chat. Then, he takes the shot.
Originally from Portsmouth, graphic designer James Aspey has a propensity for all things type-related. Having found inspiration early on in some of the great 20th Century typographers, his own practice consists of interesting, speculative and unusual letterforms, used in both conceptual and commercial contexts.
Singapore-based Adelia Lim has been playing with the medium of graphic design for years. In her experiments, Adelia’s work has become playful too, but only on the surface. Each project is properly funny in parts, and always uniquely and incredibly well executed.
Created largely using a combination of Cinema 4D and Corona, the works of south east London-based Liam Sielski Waters hone a distinctly experimental take on what photography can be in the 21st century.
Fun, playful and downright comical, we’ve gone bananas for Aga Giecko’s illustrations.
Each year as university graduates hand in their final assignments, begin building degree shows and place orders for their cap and gowns, we have our own graduation class too. The It’s Nice That Graduates celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, and if you have graduated or are graduating from an undergraduate creative course (bachelor’s or equivalent) in 2018 we want to hear from you!
The deadline to apply for It’s Nice That’s The Graduates 2018 is just around the corner on the 25 June.
Back in March Amalia Illgner wrote a long read on The Guardian describing why she is suing Monocle over her “dream internship”. The article pinpointed many of the issues of internships and how it “excludes the less privileged from the arts, media and politics”. Below, Amalia talks of her experience and the research she has found on the creative industries, providing some golden rules that graduates should be aware of.
How best to present all that hard work you’ve been slogging over is one of the great conundrums of our industry. Too much information could drown out your best ideas, but strip it back too much and you might be underselling yourself. To help you build your best portfolio and stand out from the swarm, we’ve asked influential people from top studios and agencies including Google, Nexus, A Practice for Everyday Life and Mother to share their advice for graduate portfolios, drawn from looking at lots (and lots) of them over their careers. Here they tell us what they look for, and how you can make a lasting impression.
Making a CV is one of the most daunting tasks for anyone, and especially for graduates. Writing about yourself, your achievements and your interests always just comes across show-offy or just cringe-worthy in general. But everyone has to do it, so choke it up, open InDesign and bite the bullet.
Art and design schools everywhere preach the importance of failure. Tutors encourage students to let go of any preconceptions of what their work should be and, instead, try everything under the sun, using their mistakes as a means to learn. James Dyson famously made his way through over 5,000 prototypes before discovering the solution for the modern-day hoover, for example. Creativity and the generation of new ideas seem to go hand-in-hand with making mistakes, with the best ideas the result of learning from one.
The long, sleepless nights have finally paid off. The bachelor’s degree is yours and there’s a picture of you, certificate in hand, to prove it. But, as the celebrations begin to die down, a creeping existential angst surmounts you. What lies next? Who do I want to be? What do I want to spend my days doing? Finding a replacement to the long weeks of university term time can be tough and, to many, a postgraduate degree can seem like the obvious choice.
The working world is a cryptical space for recent graduates. Beyond the tunnel vision required for final year success lies a world of possibilities so infinite it can be hard to know where to begin.