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Original sets and puppets from Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs to be exhibited in London

Nico_krijno-setdesign-itsnicethat-list Work / Set Design Nico Krijno's new work steps into energetic and chaotic set design

It is difficult to describe which discipline the work of Nico Krijno falls under. Widely known for his editorial photography, when we stumbled across the journal section of his website our eyes were met with collaged works, and in their mishmash of colour and texture we struggled to work out whether they were digitally made or were born out of a unique style of set design.

New-studio-illustration-itsnicethat-list Work / Set Design New Studio's diverse editorial work for The New York Times Magazine

Derek Brahney set up his studio in Brooklyn after working freelance for a few years as a way to officially separate his commercial work from his artistic practice. “I had gotten to the point where I could finally (barely) afford to rent a small studio space, which felt like somewhat of a milestone,” Derek explains. So when he acquired his new studio he decided to celebrate the fact and name it New Studio, of course.

Listgc Features / Set Design Set designer Gary Card on the importance of being a chameleon

“This is, I think, the generation of the polymath. Everyone’s a polymath! It’s a word that’s thrown at me quite a lot.” Meet Gary Card, a multi-talented set designer, illustrator, artist, and lately, sculptor. Adaptability is part of the territory for a set designer. “Every day is completely different. It’s a great thing being a set designer: you’re constantly making new things, you’re constantly shifting. By our very nature we have to be chameleons to be able to apply a brand new set of skills to each job.”

List Features / Art Isolde is a “feminine force” in Anish Kapoor's sculptural perspective of Tristan and Isolde

World renowned sculptor Anish Kapoor has joined forces with director Daniel Kramer and conductor Edward Gardner in a new production of Richard Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde. The ENO plays host to Kapoor’s monumental set design, which features striking colours and bold shapes. Wagner’s operatic masterpiece tells the legend of Tristan and Isolde’s ill-fated love story and Kapoor’s use of scale provides a mythic setting. Kapoor’s unique approach and aesthetic has been blended with the dramatic score of Wagner to form an extraordinary production.

8 Work / Art Judit Kristensen on the pace and vulnerability of her pencil portraits

“I like bad drawers, or I like when there are vulnerable elements in a drawing,” says artist Judit Kristensen. From Umeå in the north of Sweden but currently based in Copenhagen, Judit has tried to hang on to some of the less-than-perfect technical details from when she first started working in this style two years ago. “ I guess time has made me a better draftsman – for better and for worse. I prefer empathetic over perfection, and you cant really be voluntarily bad to make a drawing vulnerable. I think that would have an opposite effect.”

Johanna-burai-graphic-design-itsnicethat-list Work / Graphic Design Graphic designer Johanna Burai's work is as critical and politically charged as ever

“My work is constantly evolving,” Stockholm-based designer Joanna Burai tells It’s Nice That, “it’s kind of hard to say in terms of pure form because my designs have always been so varied.” When we first spoke to Johanna back in 2016, it was the “jack of all trades and master of all” qualities demonstrated in her portfolio that impressed us so much, and which continue to today.

Kimjakobsento-squiresofthesquaretable-photography-itsnicethat-5list Work / Photography Kim Jakobsen To's honest and impeccably stylish photography

“I got interested in photography during my teenage years when I worked as a performance artist and DJ at various Norwegian goth and metal clubs. I would take pictures of my friends and the people I would meet,” photographer Kim Jakobsen To tells It’s Nice That. After completing a year of sociology and film-making at a Norwegian college, Kim enrolled in the Photography BA at UCA Farnham. There he studied under Anna Fox, Jason Evans and Gareth McConnel, all of which he says played an integral part in shaping his photographic language.

Alexandermedel-illustration-itsnicethat-list Work / Illustration Alexander Medel took a year off illustration and design - but now he's back!

Alexander Medel, an illustrator masterful with pleasing curving shapes, is a creative we’ve shouted about countless times on It’s Nice That. However, we haven’t had the opportunity to shout about him for quite some time as Alexander’s been on an illustration sabbatical of sorts, but now, thankfully, he’s back with a bunch of personal work to share.

K_l_printlist Work / Art Artist Jesse Draxler on finding clarity through greyscale

“When I began working exclusively in greyscale is when everything seemed to start to make sense,” says artist and illustrator Jesse Draxler of his dark, brooding style that combines collaged photography and painting, manifesting in large-scale paintings or commissioned illustrations. “It’s as if by freeing my mind from having to think about colour I had gained a greater clarity for everything else, like when someone loses a sense their other senses heighten to compensate.” Jesse suspects that his preference for a black and white palette is informed by the fact he’s colour blind, or “colour deficient” as he calls it. “Though I don’t put too much weight behind just that.”

Mikeyjoyce-daisy-graphicdesign-itsnicethat-list Work / Graphic Design Dive into Mikey Joyce's portfolio with its “healthy balance of calculated and convoluted silliness"

The portfolio of Mikey Joyce shows how sometimes, not following the traditional route into graphic design can provide a more eclectic output. With just an Instagram account displaying his design flair, Mikey’s work jumps between the silly and the serious as he nestles his way into the design world, adopting the title of a designer, creative director and artist.

Ag_thehottestdaylist Work / Illustration Alessandra Genualdo's illustrations mix high fashion and intimate moments

With their pursed lips, rolling eyes and folded arms, you can almost hear the exasperated sighs of Alessandra Genualdo’s characters through the screen. Largely focussing on women, Alessandra is an expert at capturing the internal world of her subjects, whether they’re showing a moment of vulnerability, contemplation or distinct disapproval.

Benoitbodhuin-graphicdesign-itsnicethat-list Work / Graphic Design Benoit Bodhuin's experimental, maths-inspired typefaces

When it comes to innovative, experimental type design, Belgium-based Benoit Bodhuin is pretty far ahead in the race. In a previous article about Benoit, we described him as a “progressive designer” and “one to keep an eye on for sure.” Five years later and we are happy to have followed our own advice.

Angel-stempel-list-03 Work / Animation Heart Chakra by Angela Stempel comedically explores LA's crystal culture

“The seed of the idea for Heart Chakra came in the summer of 2015 when I went out to the desert for an art show,” explains Los Angeles-based animator, Angela Stempel. “At the event, there were two [separate] performance art pieces in which artists pulled out crystals from their vaginas.” Completely stunned that two artists had independently come up with this same idea – and fascinated by the allure and mysticism that surrounds them in her new home of L.A. – Angela decided to explore the concept for her graduation film from the Experimental Animation MFA at CalArts.

Swindled Work / Graphic Design Superimpose Studio on the impact of Brexit on the creative industries

Swindled. It’s one simple word, but one which sparked an entire movement for Services Unknown, a platform run by London’s Superimpose Studio that explores issues facing the creative industries. It’s latest campaign – #Swindled – aims to facilitate a new discussion around Brexit, seeking an outcome that works for everyone. Having originally conceived the campaign for anti-Brexit group Best for Britain, Superimpose Studio decided to produce #Swindled itself after momentum stalled. The studio’s creative director Ollie Olanipekun opens up to It’s Nice That about the independently funded national campaign and the wider implications of Brexit on the creative industries.

7_olou_weke_benin_60x80cm_namsaleuba_2017list Work / Photography Photographer Namsa Leuba makes the invisible stories of Voodoo visible

In Europe we have quite a warped impression of Voodoo, largely informed by horror films and pin-skewered dolls. A new series by photographer Namsa Leuba aims to challenge our views of the animist tradition of Vodun, or Voodoo, collaborating with practitioners in the birthplace of the faith, Benin.

Vivamag_aleppolist Work / Illustration A whizz through the portfolio of Italian illustrator Marco Oggian

Marco Oggian has wanted to be illustrator since he was just a little kid. Describing his style as “simple, strong, a five-year-old could do better”, it seems that a lot of that energy has stayed with him. Although most small children don’t quite have Marco’s client base, there’s definitely more than a touch of the playful to the Italian illustrator’s colourful approach. But his simple shapes and bright colours are often deployed to highlight more serious issues, from the environment to the war in Syria.

5_(1) Work / Photography Alex Vasilyev's compelling photographs of locals living in Russia's coldest region

“We would never leave our homes if we didn’t have to. We’d stay at home drinking hot tea while waiting for spring. Life stops in winter. A dense fog clouds the sunlight for a few weeks and we experience months of severe frost,” photographer Alex Vasilyev tells It’s Nice That. Although Alex’s description may resonate with many of you – particularly our New York readers who suffered through this winter’s bomb cyclone – he is, in fact, describing his home of Yakutia, also known as Russia’s coldest region. Winters are long in Yakutsk, the district’s capital, often lasting five months with a temperature of around -40 degrees. 


Good-sport-magazine-publication-itsnicethat-list Work / Publication Good Sport Magazine: sport-focussed content, through the lens of much broader reaching interests

You may know Denzel Curry as the rapper and songwriter from Florida, America. We imagine it’s far less likely, however, that you know him as the athlete who “trains like a machine” in kung fu, boxing, jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai. It’s stories like these – ones that link sport with cultures like music, food, design and architecture – that form the premise for Good Sport, “a magazine out of left field,” now in its third issue.

Nicer-tuesdays-feb-gary-card-article-list Regulars / Nicer Tuesdays Gary Card takes us on a whirlwind tour of his eclectic career

Set designer Gary Card’s Nicer Tuesdays talk took the audience on a quick tour of his eclectic career. Starting by showing us his “more successful projects to begin with — so you know I’m legit,” into his more “fashionable, young, collaborative situations,” in particular his work with designer Charles Jeffrey.

160331_mahaney_sistersofthevalley_8603-2list Work / Photography Photographer Mark Mahaney captures unexpected American stories

San Francisco-based photographer Mark Mahaney has a real knack for storytelling. Whether he’s capturing pot-growing nuns and their fridges full of merchandise or renowned surfer John John Florence in full bee keeping garb, it’s the detail in his work that conjures a tangible sense of place, especially when capturing the essence of American life. That Mark creates such strong narratives is particularly impressive when you discover that for many of his most expressive shoots, he only had a matter of hours to execute the images.

The-female-perspective-roosje-klap-pauline-le-pape-atelier-roosje-klap-graphicdesign-itsnicethat-8list Work / Graphic Design The Female Perspective highlights and challenges social divisions through its design

Male or female, gay or straight, society has been, and continues to be, organised into binaries. The Female Perspective is a journal designed by Amsterdam-based Roosje Klap and Pauline Le Pape – who collaborate under the name Atelier Roosje Klap – that highlights and challenges these social stratifications. The magazine was initially published to complement an exhibition at Castrum Peregrini about “the cultural meanings of female identity, sexuality, feminism and gender, both in relation to the historical context and to current events,” the two designers tell It’s Nice That. The Female Perspective is a compilation of the talks, exhibitions, lectures, performances and screenings that took place during the year-long exhibition and consists of contributions by more than 25 artists and writers.

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