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Friday Mixtape: Simon Landrein's mix of comfortably melancholic songs

Shopping Regulars / Friday Mixtape Friday Mixtape: Shopping pick a mix of bands to be excited to be about

This week’s Friday Mixtape is by London-based band, Shopping. Today the trio of Rachel, Billy and Andrew release their third record, The Official Body self-described as “100% bangers” and we definitely have to agree. Full of bands with new releases to discover if you’re still listening to the same records from last year, this mix is perfect if you’re looking for something new for 2018. h3. Why have you picked these songs, what do they remind you of or make you feel?

Mixtape_template_jag Regulars / Friday Mixtape Friday Mixtape: Jagjaguwar curate a mix of dark and mystical songs

This week’s Friday Mixtape, and the first of the mix of the year, is by Bloomington, Indiana-born record label, Jagjaguwar. Rather than picking from the many, many brilliant records it’s put out recently, A&R at the label Eric Deines, has instead curated a playlist of songs which also portray the “dark and mystical” qualities of music the label has gained a global following for.

Mixtape_template_bu Regulars / Friday Mixtape Friday Mixtape: celebrating 20 years of Bella Union

2017 has been the year of many ups and downs but one definite music-based positive was record label Bella Union celebrating its 20 year anniversary. Marked by a string of collaborative shows earlier this year, as well as releasing albums by long-standing signings Father John Misty and a Beach House B-Sides and Rarities compilation, Bella Union also introduced debuts by Holly Macve, Lowly and Lost Horizons, a new collaboration between the labels founder and ex-Cocteau Twins member Simon Raymonde and drummer Richard Thomas — and that’s just a few!

Fm_funhole Regulars / Friday Mixtape Friday Mixtape: Jake Chapman’s band, Funhole

This week’s Friday Mixtape is curated by Jake Chapman. Known mainly as one half of revered and purposefully shocking YBA sibling duo Jake and Dinos Chapman, today the artist lets us in on his musical tastes and introduces us to his band, Funhole.

Fmt_gn_list Regulars / Friday Mixtape Friday Mixtape: Geographic North picks 12 female artists who could have composed Blade Runner 2049

This week’s Friday Mixtape is by Farbod Kokabi, one of the founders of Georgia-based record label Geographic North. Alongside scouting for musicians to put out, Farbod is also the masterful designer behind Geographic North’s countless brilliant sleeves and cassette tapes, often utilising geometric shapes alongside showing the designer’s flare for typography.

Simon_landrein Regulars / Friday Mixtape Friday Mixtape: Simon Landrein's mix of comfortably melancholic songs

This week’s Friday Mixtape is by French illustrator and animator Simon Landrein, a master of humour and filling a square format with the best kind of weird satire. Simon’s mix is an eclectic mix of genres from bands from Wire to Dean Blunt and France Gall, so there’s a little something for everyone. h3. Why have you picked these songs?

_zunlee-photography-itsnicethat-list Work / Photography Photographer Zun Lee's view of fatherhood will change your preconceptions of black masculinity

Canadian photographer, physician and educator Zun Lee sounds like a man of a nomadic disposition: since a childhood spent in Germany, he has lived in Chicago, Philadelphia and Atlanta, and can now be found in Toronto. Zun’s latest series Father Figure: Exploring Alternative Notions of Black Fatherhood, which opens at the Bronx Documentary Center in February, took him to New York city, where, since 2011, he has worked alongside a community of black dads.

Timo-lenzen_graphic-design_itsnicethat_list Work / Graphic Design Timo Lenzen dabbles in monochrome shadows and animation for his latest graphics

Building on his knack for pleasing gradients and textures, German graphic designer Timo Lenzen has been experimenting further with black and white palettes in his latest work. In a recent editorial commission for Wired UK, flawless, hyperreal 3D shapes are rendered in greyscale making the shadows far more dramatic. And in a minimalist poster for Swiss graphic design exhibition Soirée Graphique, titled Down the Rabbit Hole, a single shoe lays mysteriously next to a hole in the floor – made all the more alluring by its monochrome shadow and theatrical fall to nothingness.

Paulwindle-surveillanceinchina-bloombergbusinessweek-illustration-itsnicethat-list Work / Illustration Paul Windle creates illustrations as if he's following a recipe

One of Paul Windle’s illustrated gifs is a bit of a portal into his introduction to the arts. Titled You Red to Shred? it begins with a normal office shredder before a skateboarder tootles over and then someone jumps up and shreds on the guitar. “My interest in illustration came through skateboarding,” the illustrator explains. “I started when I was 13 and that opened me up to a whole visual culture of skate graphics magazines and videos.”

Oscargronner-art-itsnicethat-list Work / Art Revel in the many strands of Oscar Grønner's skillful illustrations

“It’s hard for me to say exactly how my style has changed,” Oslo-based artist Oscar Grønner muses. “But I can see a difference from earlier work. I feel that I have many styles. I get bored of doing the same thing over and over and I like to explore new ways of doing things. I’m rarely happy with my own work so I guess I’m always trying to get there by changing.”

Cassandra-klos-photography-itsnicethat-list Features / Photography Photographer Cassandra Klos documents 'life on Mars' in the Hawaiian desert

It’s the summer of 2014 and six people are returning to Earth after half a year of isolation. With only each other’s company and no phones or Skype, a file drop or email (with a 20-minute delay) has been their only means of communication with any human outside of their circle. Having experienced weeks of eating only freeze-dried food and living in a uniform of prototype space suits, the crew are welcomed back to normality by Canadian astronaut-turned-social-media-star, Chris Hadfield on Twitter.

Lukaszgole%cc%a8dzinowski-illustration-itsnicethat-list Work / Illustration "I observe people’s behaviour with curiosity": meet the people-watching illustrator Łukasz Golędzinowski

Łukasz Golędzinowski is a Warsaw-based illustrator who depicts daily encounters through his vibrant images. “My illustrations show scenes of local life. The main goal of my works is to make people smile and to provoke a reflection. Everyone has their own interpretations so it’s not for me to say much more,” the artist tells It’s Nice That. His work exposes a beautifully optimistic attitude towards human relationships, materialised through the bold colours and fluid shapes in his illustrations of common people. 


Adasokol-art-itsnicethat-11 Work / Art Artist Ada Sokol on the evolving role of 3D in visual culture

Ada Sokol sums up her work with two words: “innovation, sleekness”. A chance encounter with the Paris-based, Polish-born artist and 3D designer’s work quickly had us hooked and digging deep into her portfolio rich with commissioned and personal projects. With a flair for 3D rendering which is so photorealistic, it left us wondering where the constructed ended and the real began, Ada is a future talent destined for great things.

Markwhalen-art-itsnicethat-list Work / Art Get caught up in Mark Whalen’s bold, playful art

A lot has changed since the last time we spoke to artist Mark Whalen. Having turned his attention away from pastel-coloured landscapes and graceful figures, Mark considers his newest work’s media, forms and themes: “I’ve been wanting to create a broader conversation using different mediums over the past few years. All of my attention has been focused on evolving scale, how to make engaging work with size, colour, and textural forms.” Mark’s large-scale canvases depict characters struggling to untangle themselves from unyielding linear structures. The bright colours and playful compositions add humour to the otherwise severe predicaments his characters find themselves in.

Migrant-journal-bookshelf-itsnicethat-list Regulars / Bookshelf From 3D scans to musical soundscapes: Migrant Journal shares its favourite books

Since launching in 2016, Migrant Journal has well and truly made a name for itself as a firm favourite at It’s Nice That. Published as a preplanned series of six, it explores “the circulation of people, goods, information, but also fauna and flora, around the world and the transformative impact they have on space.”

Andersbraschwillumsen-list Work / Art Anders Brasch-Willumsen on channelling emotion through 3D image-making

Copenhagen-born Anders Brasch-Willumsen is an art director, image maker and the founder and creative director of Stockholm-based Studio Brasch, a creative studio offering “creative direction, conceptual thinking and a distinct design language that results in brand images, campaign images, moving images, set designs and more.”

Motherdesign-callenlorde-graphicdesign-itsnicethat-08 Work / Graphic Design Mother Design creates an empowering identity for LGBTQ health organisation, Callen-Lorde

Mother Design’s New York office has created a boldly colourful and impactful identity for Callen-Lorde, a community centre for LGBTQ healthcare. Across its programmes, services and two locations in New York, it’s an organisation dedicated to providing healthcare to the city’s “lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities — in all their diversity — regardless of ability to pay”. An institution of such devotion and sensitive care deserves approachable, awe-inspiring graphic design, and Mother Design have done exactly that.

Stephentayo-photography-itsnicethat-11 Work / Photography Stephen Tayo's photographs "create a visual narrative" of everyday encounters

Stephen Tayo is a true flaneur, wandering around Lagos observing and examining everyone he sees. The young documentary photographer recently graduated from the University of Lagos in Nigeria with a philosophy degree, but has chosen a different path for himself: “I got into photography to express what I felt as a young boy growing up. I also wanted to create a story made up of the people I see and the places I visit,” Stephen tells It’s Nice That.

Daniel-weiss-photography-itsnicethat-7 Work / Photography Photographer Daniel Weiss tells the story of the New York he grew up with

“[The images in my series] may be slightly romanticised, but I really do love New York,” photographer Daniel Weiss tells It’s Nice That. Daniel’s images are American through and through, documenting everything from Elvis impersonators to bowling alleys and motorcycle racers. Although his subjects are wide-ranging as well as captivating, it is his ongoing series New York, depicting the city where he was born and bred, that particularly caught our eye.

Studiofeixen-graphicdesign-itsnicethat-list Work / Graphic Design The year of the gif: Studio Feixen’s multitude of moving posters

During 2017 Swiss graphic designers Studio Feixen expanded its impressive portfolio even wider. The studio redesigned the widely read Swiss newspaper 20 Minuten for the day, it created a Hermés Christmas perfume campaign with ping-pong balls and diamonds, it made a digital music playing poster for cultural evening Oto Nové Swiss, and contributed to a campaign for trainer fanatics’ favourite day of the year, Air Max Day. Due to these landmark design achievements it’s safe to say the studio had a pretty brilliant year, one that was met with personal achievements too, and to celebrate they made an animation for each.

Veronikaminder-artdecor-itsnicethat-list Work / Publication Veronika Minder's book, Art Décor, explores the life of bon viveur Bob Steffen (NSFW)

Veronika Minder’s book Art Décor explores the life of Bob Steffen, an upscale hustler, nude model, accomplished window dresser and central figure in the bohemian scene of post-war Bern. When he passed away in 2012, Bob left behind 6,000 photographs of himself, his friends and his lovers at dinners parties, cocktail soirées and masquerade balls. “Bob was a friend of mine since the early seventies. I knew he had a lot of photographs because he never threw anything away. He was interested in all the changes he went through during the years,” Veronika tells It’s Nice That.


Mainstudio-graphic-design-itsnicethat-list Work / Graphic Design Mainstudio's publications merge conceptual art, architecture and graphic design

Based in Amsterdam, Edwin van Gelder, aka Mainstudio, boasts a portfolio packed with satisfyingly slick books exploring the intersections of art and architecture. Edwin’s designs are characterised by a strict editorial approach, placing typography, grids and systems at the forefront.

Cristiantoronicolasgonzalez-manualdeautodefensafeminista-publication-itsnicethat-1list Work / Publication Learn feminist self-defence with Manual de Autodefensa Feminista zine

#MeToo and #TimesUp have placed feminism at the top of the public agenda. Just last week, the media were filled with women wearing black dresses at the Golden Globes in protest of sexual assault and harassment. So what better time to brush up on feminist self-defence moves? Chile-based illustrators Cristian Toro and Nicolas Gonzalez collaborated to visualise women as agents of self-protection in a two-colour folded silkscreen zine named Manual de Autodefensa Feminista.

Lucid and concise, Manual de Autodefensa Feminista systematically lays out a step-by-step guide to self-defence in the event of an assault. Nicolas explains the importance of making the zine a universally accessible publication “that does not need the text to be understood.” He sees the zine “more like propaganda, coherent information with a purpose.” The illustrations themselves are first and foremost functional. They portray women tackling their aggressors by use of single, effective defensive moves that resemble martial arts. The use of only two colours, blue and yellow, keeps the drawings simple and clear, highlighting crucial motions by encircling the relevant body parts. One image, “El Escape,” shows a woman back-kicking an aggressor’s knee while another, “El Rodillazzo” depicts a woman kneeing a man’s face. 

Nicolas and Cristian’s Manual de Autodefensa Feminista is a choreography of instructions that invites the reader to follow its steps and perform the art. In this way, the publication is a crossing of illustration and live art, encouraging women to be a part of the spectacle of feminist empowerment. This participatory quality is also reflected in the zine’s printed form, inviting the reader to touch, scribble, fold and engage with the publication. “I find its material dimension important,” Nicolas explains, “not only in terms of the illustrations themselves but also in terms of its method of printing and circulation.”

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