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Jan Buchczik's latest book illustrates the "rocky road of finding yourself”

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Water Work / Illustration A chat with the Wellcome Collection staffer behind its weekly science comic

Swing by the Wellcome Collection, London’s museum dedicated to all things scientific and weird, and you’re likely to spot Robert Bidder in his uniform, a ‘stylish’ fleece and lanyard. A visitor experience assistant, Robert’s job is to look after the galleries, hold fort on reception, write and deliver talks and, in his words, “tell people where the toilets are”. But what you won’t realise from his cheery customer-focused exterior, is that Robert is also the genius behind the Wellcome Collection’s weekly comic, Body Squabbles. An exploration of scientific discovery ranging from topics like the senses, death and crisps, Robert’s work spans the awe-inspiring, bemusing and downright emosh.

Samtaylor-worldcup-giphy-illustration-itsnicethat-list Work / Illustration Sam Taylor's World Cup gifs portray “the agony and the ecstasy” of the game

Illustrator Sam Taylor has created a collection of football fanatic gifs for Giphy ahead of the 2018 World Cup. Pitching the idea to Giphy himself after working with them previously, the opportunity developed when the illustrator noticed that “there weren’t really that many good football gifs in their database to put in my Instagram stories,” he tells It’s Nice That. “So I wanted to create a set a remedy this.” A green light from Giphy soon followed and now his set is available to use!

Charlottedumortier-elcaf2018-illustration-itsnicethat-list Media Partnership / Illustration Charlotte Dumortier on her identity for this year's ELCAF and what she's looking forward to most

From 22 — 24 June a global range of illustrators and comic artists will descend on London, filling The Round Chapel and The School Rooms in Hackney for the annual East London Comics and Arts Festival. 2018 marks the seventh edition of ELCAF, a weekend packed with a programme of talks, workshops, masterclasses, screenings, installations and exhibitions, as well as some of the world’s most exciting illustration focused artists selling their goods too. Tickets are now available in advance of the weekend in June and more information is available here.

Hichamamrani-svendandxanax-illustration-itsnicethat-10list Work / Illustration A peek inside Hicham Amrani's trippy new comic Svend & Xanax

“I have been drawing since I was little. I wasn’t very attentive in class – like most creatives I know – so I would spend the time drawing in my notebooks instead. My parents ended up enrolling me in drawing classes to calm me down,” Strasbourg-based illustrator Hicham Amrani tells It’s Nice That. This instinctive creative energy Hicham describes clearly manifests itself in his busy, dynamic drawings. His latest project Svend & Xanax tells the humorous tale of Svend, the protagonist, who takes a strong Xanax only to be transported to a surreal, at times disorientating, world. Hicham even compares Svend to “the Joker in Batman” saying, “the more I drew, the darker the story became.”

Tarabooth-illustration-it'snicethat-list Work / Illustration “Broader representation in illustration is important": artist Tara Booth (NSFW)

“It’s important for women and non-binary people to share their desires and sexual experiences since representations of eroticism in comics and illustration are dominated by the cis-male perspective,” comic book artist and illustrator Tara Booth tells It’s Nice That. “The moment I start to feel embarrassed or afraid to share an illustration, the clearer it becomes to me that I need to get it out there.” Tara, who has been based in Chicago but is set to move back to her hometown of Philadelphia, has been creating her signature bold and brave drawings over the past three years. In her upcoming book, Nocturne, Tara challenges conventional depictions of women’s erotic fantasies through her distinct style and relatable characters.

Janbuchczik-theoneandthemany-publication-itsnicethat-list Work / Illustration Jan Buchczik's latest book illustrates the "rocky road of finding yourself”

In just a few line marks Frankfurt-based illustrator Jan Buchczik can draw a character’s face which displays a complete personality. Worried, joyful, lonely or silly, Jan can portray it all in an L-shaped nose, two tiny eye dots, and a certain concave smile. It’s a skill we’ve had the pleasure to write about countless times on It’s Nice That since it started, but the illustrator’s latest book, The One & The Many might just be his best yet.

Usage-magazine-publication-itsnicethat-list Work / Publication Meet Usage – the slick, glossy magazine injecting creativity into the beauty industry

“Today’s beauty industry is losing its creativity whilst climbing a commercial escalator,” explain Stanislas Nommick and Guillaume Lauruol of Paris-based art direction and graphic design studio, Atrois. Having started working together in 2015, the pair have a love of minimalism, typography, grid construction and photography (particularly still life) and wanted to channel these interests into a magazine that challenges this “commercial escalator”.

List8 Work / Photograhy “I’ve tried to prove that being a woman doesn’t mean weakness”: Fatemeh Behboudi on photographing Iran

“Documentary photography is very young in Iran,” Tehran-based photographer Fatemeh Behboudi tells It’s Nice That as we chat about her decade capturing Iranian life and culture over email. “Art, especially photography, has a weak position in Iran and documentary photographers work without any support and with extensive restrictions and therefore, we’re lagging behind. But in recent years, a large number of people have shown interest in documentary photography in Iran, which can be a good opportunity if proper grounds are provided for it.”

Kajlehmann-graphicdesign-itsnicethat-13list Work / Graphic Design Designer Kaj Lehmann on his clean and satisfying portfolio of work

A clean, neat and slick portfolio of work is what you can expect from ECAL’s type design master’s student Kaj Lehmann. With projects ranging from custom letterings to visual identities, Kaj has accumulated a huge amount of experience under his belt over the past five years. “I remember seeing posters of Lukas Zimmermann posted across Zurich. They left a strong impression on me. These posters were what motivated me to experiment with tools other than the computer. It was probably these experiments that got me into art school,” Kaj tells It’s Nice That. 


Nicer-tuesdays-april-its-nice-that-roundup-list Regulars / Nicer Tuesdays Birds doing yoga, watermelon heads and The Truman Show: highlights from April’s Nicer Tuesdays

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

List-people-on-the-high-sea-copy Work / Digital Donghwan Kam: the VR photographer shooting alternative angles to international news

From refugees reaching the Sicilian coast after turbulent Mediterranean crossings to protestors scaling Paris’ Place de la République following the Charlie Hebdo shootings, designer and photographer Donghwan Kam creates VR environments based on world-changing events. With a homemade VR point-and-shoot camera developed from sensors and a shutter mechanism, he explores these carefully constructed landscapes, capturing alternative images to the much-repeated photographs circulated by the international press.

Moostang-photography-itsnicethat-5list Work / Photography Photography duo Moos-Tang's elegant take on a nightmare scenario

From Night of the Living Dead to When a Stranger Calls, a large, eerie house with a number of intruder-friendly hiding places is top of my list of possible nightmare scenarios. I was therefore intrigued when I discovered that Moo-Tang’s latest photography series transforms this unwelcome dream into an elegant and visually impeccable tale. A young, fashionable woman alone in her stately manor goes about her daily activities — lifting weights, swimming and eating pizza — blissfully unaware of the unnerving, ominous figures that on occasion appear behind her.

Superhi3-digital-itsnicethat-list Sponsored / Digital How creatives are utilising emerging technologies to create new design paradigms

The ability to understand and move with the times, while progressing your work accordingly, is a crucial skill for any designer. With our lives increasingly dictated by the screens that surround us, the importance of coding and digital design is soaring. In a series of articles in collaboration with SuperHi, It’s Nice That will be offering insight into the prominence of this facet of design. Previously we explored why code is crucial to contemporary design, as well as looking at a new breed of websites. In our third and final article, we look to the future and explore how artists and designers are utilising emerging technologies.

Cesar-pelizer-animation-itsnicethat-lis Work / Animation César Pelizer animates your daydreams at work in Looking for Something

“The idea came a long time ago when I was about 18 years old and living in Argentina,” explains illustrator and animator César Pelizer of his latest personal venture, Looking For Something. “I was working in a boring part-time desk job and I would do anything to look busy even though I had my eyes half closed for a good part of the day.”

Austineddy-art-itsnicethat-list Work / Art Austin Eddy on uprooting his studio from Brooklyn to west London for a month of speedy painting

During a month in London’s so-called spring earlier this year, New York-based artist Austin Eddy uprooted his practice from Greenpoint Brooklyn to west London for a month. As part of a residency at Griffin Gallery, Austin was given the opportunity to invest time in a series of works, checking into the space every day and treating it like a nine to five job. The result is a painting a day for 30 days, each nestling in nicely with the artist’s other portfolio pieces, but with a slightly different subject matter built from new surroundings.

Displaaytypeanymade-roobert-graphicdesign-itsnicethat-17 Work / Graphic Design Anymade and Displaay Type create a tactile and technical typeface in honour of Robert Moog

Curved and strictly straight at the same time, Roobert is a typeface built from an amalgamation of collaborations. Originally created for the identity of Moogfest, a music, art and technology festival in North Carolina, the typeface spans across six weights and a further twelve styles with italics. Despite being made for a specific event, it’s a typeface that is unmistakably versatile, especially when noting its typographic quirks, after all, “these bent little tubes have got their own backstage story!”

April-things-regulars-itsnicethat-list Regulars / Things Paper clips, graphic activism and fried eggs: it's April Things

At the end of every month, we sit down and look through all the exciting bits and bobs which have been posted through our letterbox. From zines to posters and everything in between, the submissions never fail to surprise us, meaning we’ve got an eclectic collection of Things as ever to show you this month (try saying that five times over).

Diary_may_724x474 Regulars / Diary May diary: this month’s must-see events and exhibitions

This month there are a flurry of great new art and design shows opening in London, New York and beyond, and the It’s Nice That team has selected their must-sees. Don’t miss the new Rose Wylie exhibition in Mayfair, nor Nataal’s all-female survey of new African photography in Brooklyn. Elsewhere, there’s two new retrospectives opening at the brilliant Louisiana Museum, and a major Alexander Calder show at Hauser & Wirth in (hopefully) sunny Somerset. h3. Documenting Youth Culture
10 May 2018, 19:00
Barbican, London

Amelie-kahn-ackermann-sijiagou-remembering-home-photography-its-nice-that-11list Work / Photography Amelie Kahn-Ackermann's latest series is an ode to one of China’s most remote regions

“I always carried a little snapshot camera with me as a child, but I started taking photography more seriously when I was a teenager living in Beijing. After graduating from high school, I started studying photography at Berlin’s Ostkreuzschule für Fotografie,” Amelie Kahn-Ackermann tells It’s Nice That. Amelie has spent her entire life in metropolises; born in Beijing and studying in Berlin, the cosmopolitan photographer is accustomed to the fast-paced intensity of urban life. Her latest series Sijiagou – Remembering Home, however, is a celebration of one of China’s most remote regions, the home of her grandfather’s village, Sijiagou. Populated by far-reaching hills and magnificent mountain ranges, Sijiagou is made up of a small community of people whose days are determined by seasonal changes and manual labour.

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