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Marion Jdanoff explores the historical context of the world's big cats in Léopard = Nuit

Editorialmagazine-publication-itsnicethat-list Work / Publication Claire Milbrath shares her best bits of Editorial Magazine's new issue

If Editorial Magazine came out monthly or weekly, It’s Nice That would be full of articles about it. Each time it’s released founding editor Claire Milbrath brings something brilliantly new to the table, from her commissioning to the subjects the articles dive into. The most recent issue has just done it once again. But, rather than ramble on about it ourselves, we’ve let Claire take the reigns this time.

Actualsource-shoplifters-publication-itsnicethat-list Work / Publication Need a guide to LA’s graphic design scene? Shoplifters’ new issue has got your back

Good old Actual Source. In its work as a multi-format publisher, brand and retail store we’re constantly hopping on Actual Source’s website to see what graphic design picks they’ve got for us from books to its own magazine, Shoplifters. We know you’re all big fans of it too, so when we saw the latest issue was a peek inside Los Angeles’ design scene we ate up its brilliantly designed double-page spreads.

Moon-publication-itsnicethat-list Work / Publication From magazine worshipper to publisher: a chat with Moon’s founder Verity Pemberton

When Verity Pemberton, the founding editor of Moon magazine, was a teenager, her bedroom walls had a similar wallpaper to many other magazine makers. They were repeatedly pasted with ripped out centrefolds. “My brother used to write for i-D and The Face so I was looking at all those magazines from a young age,” she tells us. “I think when you pick up the right kind of magazine it can really speak to you — with Moon I just wanted to be able to make my creative ideas into a reality and also be able to share the people I find inspiring.”

Irma-boom-publication-itsnicethat-list Work / Publication Irma Boom’s new Viktor&Rolf tome for Phaidon “defies codes of bookness”

A perfect bundle of hot pink acetate, stacks of inverted fashion photography and different weights of paper stock, calling the new Phaidon title dedicated to theatrical Dutch fashion designers Viktor&Rolf a book seems something of a stretch. Designed by Irma Boom – the experimental publication specialist sometimes dubbed the “queen of books” – the tome called Cover Cover has been made from eight-page gatefolds, each of which represent a different Viktor&Rolf collection. Using different thicknesses of paper, the spreads have been layered on top of each other and hand-sewn with matching hot pink thread.

Weapons_of_reason-food-int-02 Work / Publication Weapons of Reason's food issue is designed to inform, not preach, on systems that breed inequality

Weapons of Reason is a publishing project by design agency, Human After All. Edited by James Cartwright, each edition focuses on a particular issue – including power, megacities and the Arctic – and for the most recent edition, the focus is on food. The magazine tackles a variety of questions around our relationship to food, its production, and the corporations who control it. Here, It’s Nice That speaks to James about taking risks, trying to create change and how editing Weapons of Reason has impacted his own choices.

Noon-list Work / Publication For Noon, joy lies in the quality and uniqueness of the final product

Since its conception Noon “has always set out to consider what it means to be alive today”, Jasmine Raznahan, founder and editor, tells It’s Nice That. The SS18 issue is based around joy; they asked collaborators who “they felt aligned conceptually with the concept” to respond to the theme via a series of different lenses: “purity, repose, intimacy, love, shame and details”. These abstract sub-headings are representative of the thoughtful style we typically associate with Noon; a magazine that succeeds in bringing together its contributors in a harmonious, critical whole. “Each of the lenses became a story”, Jasmine explains, “and each of the stories became one of sixteen parts that all explored a common theme”. The sections are threaded together beautifully, gathered in unison by text and image.

Catherine-losing-photography-itsnicethat-list Work / Photography Photographer Catherine Losing uses objects to tell stories referencing culture and history

When still life photography is done well, it’s nothing short of captivating. Slick, glossy and often indecipherable in terms of how it has been achieved, it’s subtle and incredibly satisfying. It’s in this space that London-based photographer, Catherine Losing’s work sits. Although her practice spans more than just still lifes (increasingly including moving image as of late), perfectly composed collections of objects are a personal favourite of hers – and ours too.

Franklynbanks-pier-photography-int-list Work / Photography Peter Franklyn Banks’ series Cromer Pier is a melodic call to the sea

Peter Franklyn Banks’s background in cinema brings a crucial element of storytelling to his photography. His project Cromer Pier documents the pier over several years, with the photographer regularly returning to capture what has changed. “Since my mum moved out to the seaside in Norfolk, I’ve got no family remaining in Nottingham”, the photographer explains. “This project is an attempt to connect with a new identity. As I return every year I see familiar faces and the changes in them; you start to feel like part of that community”. Revisiting a particular subject is a theme seen throughout his work, down to his appreciation for “relationships or community and how they develop over time”. Many photography projects seem to end abruptly, and often you can’t help but long for them to go on, so you can continue following the story and the characters you’ve become so attached to. In this case, “I don’t know where the project ends, but at the moment it feels like I have to keep going back”, Peter comments.

Anu-illo-itsnicethatlist Work / Illustration Anu Ambasna's playful illustrations celebrate club culture, brown bodies and perfect paunches

“Club culture influences my work in a subliminal way – if I see someone in a club wearing a string vest, I’ll most likely end up drawing them that week without even realising”. Illustrator and DJ Anu Ambasna is discussing how music unwittingly influences the work that she makes; however, despite designing flyers for club nights and hosting her own show on east London internet station NTS radio, music is just an accompaniment, rather than top billing.

Territory-007-digital-int-list Work / Digital Territory Studio designs media for James Bond experience in the Austrian mountains

Set upon the summit of Gaislachkogl, an icy, snow-capped mountain in Sölden, Austria, a striking new modernist gallery has been built. It houses a breathtaking new exhibit, 007 Elements, the world’s first cinematic installation dedicated to the world of James Bond. The visitor journeys through a series of high tech, interactive galleries, “each distilling the craft of the signature elements that define a Bond film”. It is an immersive, educational experience “that places the guests inside the world of 007 while also revealing how that world is made”.

List Sponsored / Converse x JW Anderson Five creatives visually respond to the question: What makes something art, anyway?

It’s Nice That has teamed up with Converse and JW Anderson to celebrate the launch of their latest collaboration. A sculptural tribute to colour and gloss, the new collection sees the classic Chuck ‘70 reimagined in ultra-slick patent leather and conflicting graded colourways. High-energy and provocative, the project explores the intersection of art and fashion, questioning what art is, and can be.

Kevinfaingnaert_solstice_photography_int_list Work / Photography Drawn to subcultures, Kevin Faingnaert photographs Summer Solstice at Stonehenge

Annually, thousands flock to Stonehenge to celebrate Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. It occurs when one of the Earth’s poles has its maximum tilt toward the sun. Pagans and druids meet together at the ancient site to watch the sun rise above the Heel Stone, celebrating rebirth. On 20 June of this year, Kevin Faingnaert journeyed with them. With an affinity for people and places, the Belgian photographer documents subcultures, telling their untold stories. “I stood between druids, fortune tellers, pagans, Buddhists, Hare Krishna’s and tourists”, he tells us, and “as the sun rose, at around 4:52, an incredible party broke loose”.

Lukeinsect-dali-graphicdesign-itsnicethat-list Work / Graphic Design Luke Insect designs a "BMX break up album about teenage love and endless summers"

Following a degree in graphic design and illustration at Newcastle, graphic designer Luke Insect got an art working/tea making, break in London. It was the 90s and his first design jobs were working on record sleeves for the likes of Funkadelic, Parliament, Motorhead and Ozzy Osborne. Experience under his belt, Luke headed east “to the near-empty Old Truman Brewery in the deserted Brick Lane (this was 1998!),” and set up his own design and illustration studio, Insect. Taking his new found knowledge, the studio put out a bunch of sleeves, flyers and posters for independent record labels each “riding a bit of a new wave of maximalist illustration and street art at the time,” he tells It’s Nice That.

Play-illustration-int-5 Work / Exhibition Beci Orpin and Carla McRae’s exhibition, Out of Bounds, explores the notion of play

Beci Orpin and Carla McRae have collaborated on an exhibition at Boom Gallery that explores the notion of “play”. Play is an essential part of childhood — that “time spent without purpose in exploration, losing track of the hours”. However, as we get older expectation entails that we grow out of it. For their joint exhibition, Beci and Carla look to explore “the way that these spaces can be cultivated as adults and how we can tap back into those headspaces. Because they’re still there”, they tell It’s Nice That, “they’ve just shifted forms”.

Jamiehawkesworth-photography-and-sculptures-sculpture-itsnicethat-08 Work / Sculpture Photographer Jamie Hawkesworth on expanding his creative practice to include sculpture

“What I always preach about photography is that it’s just great to see what you come across,” Jamie Hawkesworth, an artist who needs little introduction, tells us about his creative practice. It’s this approach, one of both wandering and wondering, that has gained Jamie respect in numerous cultural fields and his latest venture is no exception, but this time its sculpture.

Editorialmagazine-publication-itsnicethat-list Work / Publication Claire Milbrath shares her best bits of Editorial Magazine's new issue

If Editorial Magazine came out monthly or weekly, It’s Nice That would be full of articles about it. Each time it’s released founding editor Claire Milbrath brings something brilliantly new to the table, from her commissioning to the subjects the articles dive into. The most recent issue has just done it once again. But, rather than ramble on about it ourselves, we’ve let Claire take the reigns this time.

Lucanzalone-photography-itsnicethat-list Work / Photography Luca Anzalone’s photographs twist the stereotypical narratives of classical culture

Luca Anzalone’s photographs blur the boundaries between fantasy and reality; their surreal, performative quality twists the “stereotypical narratives of classical culture”, he explains. “What we constantly struggle to define as reality is just an illusion in our brains”, Luca tells us, “I’d rather play with that concept”. His images are reminiscent of an Alice in Wonderland-like world, a mixture of logic and nonsense juxtaposed to create experimental and theatrical photos with a scent of subtly and grace that is deeply sensual.

Will-cooper-mitchell-photography-itsnicethat-7 Work / Photography "The power of the camera has always amazed me": Will Cooper-Mitchell's explorative photography

For photographer Will Cooper-Mitchell, photography and place are inherently linked, neither existing without the other in his practice. Shooting almost exclusively on black and white 35mm film, Will’s classically stylised work sees him using the medium to explore the world, drawing inspiration from greats such as Bruce Davidson, Robert Frank and the Japanese Provoke movement.

Ellie-art-int-list Work / Art Ellie Ji Yang’s idyllic paintings explore the rhythms of the natural world

Ellie Ji Yang’s joyful and colourful paintings explore the rhythms of the natural world. Brought up in Gwang-ju, a city in South Korea “that balances city and nature”, Ellie was surrounded by “greenery and small forests” from a young age. “Connected to nature, my memories of these places are the foundation of my imagination”, she tells us. Now based in Brooklyn, NYC, Ellie’s paintings vividly recall her childhood, creating idyllic, vibrant scenes, pointedly absent of anything human-made. Many of her works include animals reminiscent of Asian culture and symbolism, while others showcase worlds containing mysterious prehistoric and religious references.

Jackbool-photo-int-list Work / Photography For Jack Bool, the beauty of analogue photography is in the unknowing

Jack Bool’s practice blends art photography with fashion, and these different ways of working inform each other. “I use art pictures in an editorial context”, the artist explains, “contextualising images to contradict their initial function intrigues me”. His images juxtapose beguiling still lifes, landscapes, high gloss fashion images and iPhone shots, to create smooth and cohesive series.

Suzannesaroff-fish-photography-itsnicethat-list Work / Photography Suzanne Saroff's meticulously arranged photographs alter perceptions

Photographer Suzanne Saroff began working in her discipline the way most do, developing a love for it through picking up disposable cameras and point and shoots. Hooked, the Missoula-born and now New York-based photographer “endeavoured to learn as much as possible about the art, teaching myself aspects of DSLR cameras and learning lighting techniques while exploring composition and subject matter,” she tells us. Since then, composition has become a part of Suzanne’s work she’s garnered a following for, arranging glasses filled with water to alter perceptions of a well-known object, from a lobster to half a papaya, or a bunch of peonies.

Thinkpiece-image-list Work / Opinion Arts cuts are bad for our health – what are we going to do about it?

Jodie Cariss works as part of Forever Curious, a creative initiative set up to work with local east London primary schools. One of the many things they offer is a series of “buddy up” sessions, where industry professionals share stories with a view to make them come to life. Below, Cariss writes how increasingly important it is that these initiatives exist in a climate where cuts are rife and asks: What next for a generation let down by state funding for the arts?

The world feels messy. Politically unstable. A growing sense of slowly mounting chaos and fear over the unknown. One of the UK’s worst-hit areas is the education system. Teachers are leaving in droves. The National Audit Office has tasked mainstream schools with making £3 billion in savings by 2019 – that’s around £800 per pupil. Nearly a quarter of the teachers who qualified since 2011 have already quit the job.

Inevitably, money for creativity and the arts within the curriculum has been fiercely reduced, in some areas to non-existence. Our schools are facing a scarcity of teachers – or at least, many with depleted energy after meeting growing demands – and art cupboards with just one ream of A4 paper for 900 students. I’ve seen it with my own eyes in a Hackney school.

So what happens to a generation of young people, particularly the 4.1 million who are classed as underprivileged, with limited opportunities at home, and fewer at school?

There will be a rise in adolescents with behavioural issues, leading to a less mentally-well adult generation. We know creativity has a direct correlation to the way we feel and how we express emotion, and poor mental health is already on the rise, with one in four people experiencing a problem each year.
Without sounding like the doctor of doom, the education crisis will pave the way for social and creative regression. Why? Because creativity is fundamental to the way we understand the world, form and keep relationships and develop our own sense of self. The ability to create, which begins in early development as play and forms the foundation of the way we find meaning in later life, is essential for a balanced and stimulated generation.

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