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Edgar Wright directs Beck's new music video starring Alison Brie

Bafic-daydream-film-itsnicethat-list Work / Film Bafic's surreal new music video considers the realm of dreams

We’ve been tracing the trail of London-based filmmaker and artist Bafic for quite some time. He’s been making short films since 2009, and among his more recent work you’ll spot a music video for Neneh Cherry Spit Three Times, as well as one for her daughter Mabel’s My Boy My Town, among commercial work for the likes of NikeLab and TfL, Lily Allen and ASOS.

Iggyldn-silk-film-itsnicethat-1_copy Work / Film Iggy Ldn's poignant new film Silk reclaims the essence of the jazz era in the 21st century

Iggy Ldn is a progressive, forward-thinking artist. His earlier films Fatherhood and Black Boys Don’t Cry challenged preconceptions of masculinity in the hope to combat pervasive black male stereotypes. But for his third venture, Silk, Iggy looked back to the jazz era for inspiration. “I think of it as a time where people weren’t so aware of themselves; their appearance and behaviours were less calculated and they were more natural in their self-expression,” Iggy tells It’s Nice That. His latest film is an unapologetic reminder to appreciate the present moment during a time of Instagram likes and Snapchat stories. It captures a young black man dressed in various impeccable outfits against a backdrop of draping, white silk and is accompanied by a series of striking photographs

Kevin-bray-film-itsnicethat-list Work / Film Kévin Bray pushes tools to unexpected places in his experimental music videos

“I’m really interested in the possibility film and video theory could bring to a graphic design practice by translating and bridging both mediums together,” explains French artist and graphic designer, Kévin Bray. Currently based in Amsterdam where he is undertaking a residency at Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Kévin’s work is a hybrid of techniques, sitting somewhere between film, graphic design and sound design.

Fred-rowson-rodney-film-itsnicethat-list Work / Film Fred Rowson’s comedy horror film Rodney draws on true crime and suburbia

Director Fred Rowson has returned with the latest in a series of unnerving short films inspired by the bizarre and banal characters of South London. Rodney stars a retiree with macabre hobby –he has a pet cemetery in his back garden. So far, so innocent (although a bit strange) until the film’s chirpy narrator tells us about his wife Beatrice, who has left him, perhaps under more gruesome circumstances than Rodney is letting on.

Ruthosssaipablodiprima-film-itsnicethat Work / Film Pablo Di Prima and Ruth Ossai's film Ogbomgbom is an ode to West African "Kings"

Born and raised in Barcelona in an Italian family, cinematographer and graphic designer Pablo Di Prima grew up feeling like an outsider, not least because of his mop of red hair. “I think this shaped the way I experienced and grew up in my hometown where I was taking part of life as an observer,” Pablo tells It’s Nice That. “Maybe like a film director looking through the lens.” When Pablo moved to London to study at Central St Martins, his “foreigner” status was flipped on its head: through it, he fitted in.

Listswims-in-january Work / Illustration Illustrator Amber Vittoria on her "natural and noisy" aesthetic evolution

Since we last spoke to New York-based illustrator Amber Vittoria in January 2017, she’s picked up some big clients. Creating colourful, blocky and hairy-legged figures for the likes of Teen Vogue, The New York Times and Instagram, the stream of work has been bountiful enough that Amber is also celebrating going freelance full-time this year. Over this period Amber’s illustration style has also evolved. “I realised most of my work began to strive for an unrealistic perfection, taking hours to ensure every line was exact,” Amber tells It’s Nice That. “Allowing for more natural, noisy linework within my pieces feels more honest not only to my themes of portraying woman through a woman’s lens but also myself as an artist.”

Zettmagazine-publication-itsnicethat-list Work / Graphic Design Zett is the slick Zurich-based university paper for and about aspiring students

Think back to your student paper. If yours was anything like ours, it’s likely to have been a tired and typo-filled newspaper-wannabe. This, however, isn’t the case for the students of Zurich University of the Arts (otherwise known as Zürcher Hochschule der Künste or ZHdK). Zett, the ZHdK’s biannual art publication, is designed by four visual communication students – Michael Egger, Dominik Junker, Aurelia Peter and Silvan Posser – and functions as a printed version of the university’s online art and culture media platform. Following a redesign in 2016, Zett is a clean, slick and accomplished piece of work that consistently adapts according to its content. The magazine showcases a variety of student work, from photography to design, as well as student portraits and upcoming events.

Revue-faire-publication-itsnicethat-list Work / Publication The bi-weekly magazine analysing graphic design as "a meeting point of many disciplines"

Revue Faire, produced by Sacha Leopold and François Havegeer of Syndicat and Empire Books, is a magazine about graphic design that adopts an “analytical and critical posture” with regards to the medium’s forms and activities. Having worked as designers for years, the pair felt there was a lack of critical publications dedicated to the dissection of graphic design and initiated Revue Faire as a means of widening the conversation.

Listnumber-1 Work / Illustration The end is nigh: Michael DeForge on his daily comic Leaving Richard’s Valley

A crack-smoking mayor, a monkey found cruising an Ikea carpark wearing a mini shearling coat and a “rage room” where you pay $20 to smash shit up: things can get weird in Toronto. But not quite as bizarre as in comic strip Leaving Richard’s Valley, a mythical version of the city from illustrator and Toronto resident Michael DeForge. Ruled by mysterious autocrat Richard, the Valley is full of a collection of sycophantic creatures, navigating a world with a logic that defies understanding. Given Michael announced that he’s putting the comic to bed next month after more than a year of daily updates, we were keen to quiz him on the cult he’s created and whether he’s sad to be finally leaving the Valley himself.

Alicemann-drummies-photography-itsnicethat-1list Work / Photography Alice Mann's celebratory and empowering photographs of young majorettes

Many photographers turn their lenses on unconventional subjects, but few do so with the celebratory approach of the London-based South African artist Alice Mann. Alice has accumulated an impressive portfolio over the years; her last project documented the London and Paris-based Congolese members of La Sape subculture who use fashion as a means of empowerment. For her latest project, Drummies, Alice chronicles a group of young drum majorettes as they compete across South Africa. “I have been focusing on subcultures that positively affirm collective or individual identity. I try to present viewers with empowering images that are reflective of the way people see themselves and that highlight my subjects’ dignity and confidence,” Alice tells It’s Nice That.

Richard-dowker-list3 Work / Photography “I like to work on projects that have an aspect of reality”: Richard Dowker's pink-toned photography

“I am drawn to the regular or unconventional, don’t get me wrong beautiful people are beautiful, but life isn’t always beautiful,” says London-based photographer Richard Dowker. Originally from a village in Cumbria, Richard moved to London at the age of 19 to study photography at Middlesex University. Here, he learned the fundamentals of portraiture, developing a social documentary style which he now channels into his career as a portrait and fashion photographer.

Clementgicquel-finderskeepersleaders-graphicdesign-itsnicethat-list-alt Work / Graphic Design Clément Gicquel's visual interpretation of the Space Race and the scramble for resources

French graphic designer Clément Gicquel defied odds when he decided to pursue a creative career. Clément grew up in a small town in Brittany where art and culture weren’t exactly top of the agenda. “To be honest, I don’t have any idea as to what directed me down a creative path during my years growing up,” the French designer tells It’s Nice That. Having graduated from ECAL only last June 2017, Clément has already freelance art directed at top studios such as Jonathan Hares and Ill-studio. This, in turn, has led the young creative to accumulate an impressive portfolio across diverse a range of disciplines from music to architecture to sportswear.

List01-list-img-template-margins-2-up Work / Publication Magazine Us of America captures the truth behind the 'land of the free'

“Us of America strives to present an America that is beautiful and dynamic, but also complicated and messy,” says co-founder Nicole Nodland of the magazine which features work by top photographers like Magnum’s Bruce Gilden, Alec Soth, Larry Fink and Charles Traub. “America is supposed to be the ‘Land of the Free’; a country where everyone has an opportunity to achieve their dreams. However, as pretty much everyone knows, the idea of ‘freedom and opportunity for all’ is unfortunately not the reality.”

Dolly_faibyshev-sumo-photography-itsnicethat-list Work / Photography Photographer Dolly Faibyshev takes us into the ring with sumo wrestling champions

Uninspired photographically by her daily surroundings, New York-based photographer Dolly Faibyshev recently found a new muse in the form of sumo wrestlers. Upon hearing about an upcoming sumo event in her home city, “I saw it as an opportunity to experience something distinctly foreign to me because I’d never photographed something like this before,” Dolly tells It’s Nice That.

Johannawalderdorff-illustration-itsnicethat-12list Work / Illustration Johanna Walderdorff is back with more absurd illustrations

The last time we spoke to Johanna Walderdorff she had just moved to Leipzig to concentrate on her large-scale fantastical creations. Since then, the German illustrator has been working nonstop. “I got commissioned for the first time shortly after the last article and I haven’t stopped working since. Last year I found a lovely studio in Kreuzberg, Berlin that makes working long nights an absolute joy. I’m very happy that my illustrations appeal to so many different clients and that they can be used to illustrate a wide range of topics; from a comic about Puccini‘s La Boheme for the Bavarian State Opera in collaboration with Bureau Borsche to monthly posters for underground club Institut fuer Zukunft otherwise known as Leipzig’s Berghain,” Johanna tells It’s Nice That. Her striking creations may be versatile, yet Johanna remains faithful to her aesthetic. Each drawing is populated by some sort of absurd scenario, from surreal dismembered body parts snorting coke and drinking champagne to a horse-man hybrid.

Bafic-daydream-film-itsnicethat-list Work / Film Bafic's surreal new music video considers the realm of dreams

We’ve been tracing the trail of London-based filmmaker and artist Bafic for quite some time. He’s been making short films since 2009, and among his more recent work you’ll spot a music video for Neneh Cherry Spit Three Times, as well as one for her daughter Mabel’s My Boy My Town, among commercial work for the likes of NikeLab and TfL, Lily Allen and ASOS.

Luke-powell-jody-hudson-powell-bookshelf-itsnicethat-list-alt Regulars / Bookshelf Pentagram's Luke Powell and Jody Hudson-Powell's Bookshelf from their teenage years

In October 2015, brothers Luke Powell and Jody Hudson-Powell became the twentieth and twenty-first partners of design studio, Pentagram. Three years later, they continue to work with an ever-impressive list of clients from the British Fashion Council to London’s Garden Museum. Prior to joining Pentagram, the pair operated under Hudson-Powell: a practice which merged their interests in graphic design and technology resulting in a varied output across print and digital platforms.

Dbb1b800-3fa9-4429-8772-7ffdccfb6406_rw_1200list Work / Digital Artist Reija Meriläinen turns reality TV into a creepy video game

Playing Reija Meriläinen’s eerie computer game Survivor feels something like being in a bad dream. Starting off in a claustrophobic, fleshy cave, where an over-enthusiastic voiceover explains the rules, there’s a sense of foreboding that you can’t quite put your finger on. It doesn’t help that the sound design is a mix between Twin Peaks-y lullaby and animalistic foley work. The doors seem to growl open rather than creek.

Design-museum-hope-to-nope-exhibition_illustration-jon-berkeley_cover-design-graeme-james_the-economist-cover-debasing-american-politics_itsnicethat Media Partnership / Graphic Design Hope to Nope: exploring the "pivotal" past decade of graphic design and politics

Contrary to its distinctly present-day focus, the Design Museum’s latest exhibition, Hope to Nope: Graphics and Politics 2008-18, started off as a historical retrospective. Curator Margaret Cubbage and designer of the show, GraphicDesign&’s Lucienne Roberts, discussed beginning in the 50s and 60s, but then Brexit happened. Then Trump. And what was immediately evident was the seismic creative response to global crises. “We suddenly felt there was an urgency to respond to this,” Margaret tells It’s Nice That. “How pivotal graphic design had become to political movements, and how diverse and rich and democratic it was.”

Yutakasatoh-graphicdesign-itsnicethat-2list Work / Graphic Design Yutaka Satoh's designs blur the boundaries between text and visuals

Yutaka Satoh’s posters are the perfect crossover between art and design. With their satisfying colour palettes and considered arrangements of unusual shapes, Yutaka’s creations could just as easily hang on the walls of a gallery as they could advertise upcoming events. The Tokyo-based artist commonly produces posters for exhibitions, concerts and shows alongside his long list of accomplished personal projects. Yet his distinct aesthetics never falter whether he is designing a commissioned piece of work or a stand-alone project; a testament to Yutaka’s loyalty to his craft.

Djsxlhgxoaa7n-d_list Work / Illustration Hiller Goodspeed’s oddball illustrations give us the fuzzies

Without ornamentation to distract or a flashy colour palette to hide behind, it’s hard to make a simple drawing really, really good. But it’s something Vancouver-based illustrator Hiller Goodspeed has totally nailed. His odd, humorous pencil drawings are filled with characters that make us chuckle. Whether hiding in their “safety tube” or celebrating being second place, it’s hard not to be endeared by these funny little fellows.

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