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Paul Paetzel on drawing inspiration from life, science fiction and his mother’s still life compositions

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List_kissi_ussuki_yellow_coat_724 Work / Illustration Vilnius-based illustrator Kissi Ussuki on her love affair with the colour pink

Sometimes creativity thrives best under limitations. “I usually get overwhelmed by the variety of colour choices I can make so telling myself I can only use, let’s say, five colours at a time makes my work easier and decisions quicker,” Vilnius-based illustrator Kissi Ussuki tells It’s Nice That. “I don’t really know how to explain my love for pink, it’s just a very uplifting colour and I really loved the pink shade of acrylic paint when I was choosing those first paint bottles at a local store.”

Listteam-warm-up---burundi-boys Work / Illustration Tim Vyner’s realtime illustrations of the Street Child World Cup made us fall in love with footie all over again

Stick your head outside in parts of the UK right now and I swear you can hear the intro to Three Lions pumping from a distant car stereo or the soft murmur of “Ing-ger-land” on the breeze. World Cup fever has thoroughly taken hold. But no matter how beautiful it is to plummet six sweet goals into the back of your opponent’s net, deep down we all know that the power of the World Cup is to bring together people from all over the globe in celebration of the beautiful game.

Jonathanv-illustration-it'snicethat-list Work / Illustration Inspired by meditation, Jonathan Vermersch’s illustrations juxtapose harmony and distortion

Jonathan Vermersch’s illustrations are heavily influenced by his time spent studying animation; they feature elongated limbs in constant movement, as well as miniature scenes easily transferrable into the perfect GIF. Unable to “resist stretching and exaggerating proportions”, Jonathan’s illustrations depict distorted figures in playful interactions. Joking to It’s Nice That that his use of perspective was initially inspired by his height – from “viewing everything from such extreme above angles” – Jonathan reasons that distortion “adds dynamism, movement and drama; it creates rhythm in a way”.

List Work / Opinion Is design still a (cis)man's world?

In Design as an Attitude, design critic and author Alice Rawsthorn sets out to squash the stereotypes, by celebrating design’s ability to better the world we live in, especially in light of its currently tumultuous future. Arguing that design is a powerful force in all of our lives, she questions why it is often dismissed as a “manipulative commercial ploy”.

Clash-pub-int-list Work / Publication Individual and creative freedom is the lifeblood of the summer edition of Clash

Clash #108 is themed around freedom; “individual and creative freedom is the lifeblood of the summer edition of Clash”, creative director Rob Meyers tells It’s Nice That, “in this issue, we praise the inspiring artists that assert their own unique essence through inventive and distinctive means of expression”. The four cover stars traverse the four poles of what Clash represents musically — high profile pop music, hip-hop/urban music, independent music and a “next wave” artist, and each musician stands true to the theme.

List-img-accent-mag Work / Publication Accent Magazine on mocking, mimicking and surpassing the mainstream

Since its launch as an online photography journal in 2013, the look, feel and approach of Accent Magazine has been constantly evolving. In its fourth print issue, which launched last month, Accent editors Lydia Garnett and Lucy Nurnberg are doing their own spin on the celebrity gossip magazine, drawing inspiration from the likes of dentist-waiting-room-giants Hello! and OK!

List_climbing_the_ladder_2018_oil_on_canvas_40_x_55cm Work / Art Mia Wilkinson’s unapologetic nudes are a study of how women are sexualised on and offline

From Marlene Dumas, to Jeff Koons or even Titian, the line between what constitutes art and what is porn has been much debated over the centuries and rarely has a simple answer. With their voluptuous, fleshy figures and expressive brush strokes, Mia Wilkinson’s depictions of the female form are an exploration of this malleable line, using her joyous, powerful and sometimes grotesque portrayals of the female body as a method of challenging male objectification and reconfiguring the gaze. “I love the female form because it’s an interesting shape, it doesn’t all look the same. There are so many different bodies out there,” she says.

David-lane-agnes-lloyd-platt-ally-capellino-advertising-itsnicethat-list Work / Advertising David Lane and Agnes Lloyd-Platt go back to school for Ally Capellino’s AW18 campaign

Photographer Agnes Lloyd-Platt and creative director David Lane, of Lane and Associates, have teamed up once again to bring us the latest campaign for accessories brand Ally Capellino. Each one is set in a distinct and authentic world (you might remember last season’s which was shot in a garden, or the previous one set in a restaurant kitchen) and this is usually determined by the founder herself. “We tend to take whatever Ally is obsessing about and run with it” explains Agnes (who is also Ally’s daughter); the concept for the SS15 campaign, for instance — which paired models with different pastel-coloured shades of hair, with accessories in corresponding colours — was inspired by the fact Ally herself had pink hair that week.

Diary_july_724x474 Regulars / Diary July diary: this month's must-see events and exhibitions

Summer is officially in full swing, and we’re enjoying the long evenings and our fair share of ice creams here at It’s Nice That. It’s not just the sun that’s getting us excited for July, however, as there are a host of art shows and exhibitions taking place around the UK and the rest of the world. From Michael Jackson’s impact on the art world, to an investigation on how Berlin’s Kreuzberg neighbourhood has changed over the last 20 years, check out the It’s Nice That team’s top picks for July below. h3. Michael Jackson: On the Wall
28 June — 21 October 2018
National Portrait Gallery, London

Hellocollective-art-int-list Work / Art Hell’O Collective paints poetic nonsensical worlds inspired by mythology

Hell’O Collective is an artistic duo composed of Jerôme Meyden and Antoine Detaille; the friends met over graffiti, but soon left “spray paint in favour of paper” and painting. Currently on show at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Mons, a Belgium city where they both studied, is a presentation of their “last, or first” ten years of work. Too young for it to be called “a retrospective”, the duo describe it more as a “state of play”. Being their first museum project, it features a diverse range of mediums — drawings, paintings, sculptures, videos and murals. It illustrates the collective’s evolution over the course of the last ten years. “Homogeneity is one of the most important things we have developed” Jerôme and Antoine explain, “it is not easy for a lot of people to work together, but for us, it’s easier than working alone; after all these years we’ve found almost the perfect combination”.

Steve-smith-animation-itsnicethat-list Work / Animation Steve Smith's music video for Moaning references the chaotic energy of 90s MTV idents

Sometimes it only takes a few seconds before we’re completely sold on a piece of work and that was definitely the case with Los Angeles-based animator Steve Smith’s latest video. We last wrote about Steve in February of this year where he explained how his work is inspired by “Home Depot and his dog, Shoe” and we’ve been hooked ever since.

List09_sha_svaneti_georgia_full_3500_2016-4416 Work / Photography Natasha Sharapova on shooting the last two inhabitants of a rural village in Georgia

Svaneti, an area in the north-west of Georgia, is a place quite unlike anywhere else. Tucked in the rare habitable pockets of the Caucasus mountains (sometimes even clinging to the sides), its villages are a patchwork of higgledy-piggledy dirt tracks complete with free-range cows, bear-like mountain dogs and the hairiest of pigs. Medieval defensive towers punctuate the landscape, built as places for the whole village to wait out enemy invaders – a tactic that worked so well that the Svan language, polyphonic singing style and many of its unique customs (blood feuds included) were just as impossible to conquer as the mountains themselves. The nearest town Mestia is between three and five hours of stomach-churning roads away, and in the harsh winter metres of snow damage this one road so completely that it needs to be laid again every spring. Here you can try to domesticate nature, but it has a will all of its own.

Listthe_twins_220x190_oil_on_canvas_2018 Work / Art Francisco Rodríguez’s eerie paintings combine his childhood diet of cartoons and industrial landscapes

Growing up in Santiago, Chile, artist Francisco Rodríguez loved watching cartoons from the US and Europe but especially from Japan. “Japanese animation was extraordinarily famous during the 90s in Chile, maybe because they were cheaper to buy,” Francisco tells us. “Throughout my childhood, I was very influenced by these cartoons – it makes me think this could be one of the reasons why my paintings are quite graphic with solid colours and very delimited drawings.”

Listioanna11 Work / Photography Photographer Ioanna Sakellaraki's Aidos series explores the importance of shame in Greek culture

“With regards to Greek culture, shaming is a lifelong tradition for positioning someone in society,” says photographer Ioanna Sakellaraki about her decision to focus on the emotion of shame for her series Aidos. “I felt this was a big part of my education while growing up back home. I was aware of it then but was only able to observe it while living abroad and visiting the country sporadically. Photography helped me question this and better understand it.”

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