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Timo Kuilder launches Kontrast, an illustrated mobile puzzle game

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Janbuchczik-illustration-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.

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.”

Taschen-thedoginphotography-photography-itsnicethat-8list Work / Publication Taschen’s new book charts the role of dogs in the history of photography

Taschen’s latest book The Dog in Photography charts the changing relationship between humans and their best pals throughout the history of photography. The book was written and curated by Raymond Merritt, an International Centre of Photography trustee, and offers a unique insight into the relationship between dogs, humans and the art form by honing in on 400 canine portraits.

Christabel_macgreevy-art-itsnicethat-list Work / Art Artist Christabel MacGreevy's new show explores the fluid nature of gender identity

Central St Martins fine art graduate Christabel MacGreevy kicked off her career as a fashion illustrator making work for LOVE magazine. Having garnered public attention with her patch brand Itchy Scratchy Patchy, which she co-founded with her friend model Edie Campbell, the London-born artist went on to pursue an MA in drawing at The Royal Drawing School.

Itsnicethat_kontrast_timokuilder Work / Illustration Timo Kuilder launches Kontrast, an illustrated mobile puzzle game

Illustrator Timo Kuilder has launched Kontrast, an illustrated puzzle game for mobile that invites interaction with his works and “blurs the lines between game and illustration” he says. Featuring his signature clean-cut lines and block colours, the monochromatic artwork animates through interaction as the player navigates the maze of seven illustrations. The game was conceived by the Amsterdam-based illustrator with interaction design and coding by his brother Jurre Kuilder, developed independently as a side project by the duo, with sound design by Ambrose Yu.

Keith_haring_60th_birthday_celebration_art_itsnicethat Features / Art Celebrating the life, work and enduring legacy of Keith Haring on his 60th birthday

Keith Haring’s life, and New York’s Downtown Scene, and perhaps culture as a whole changed in 1980 when Andy Warhol and the art dealer Tony Shafrazi strolled into the basement of Club 57, which neither had ever stepped foot into before, and which Haring had filled with hundreds of drawings in gold and silver magic marker. It was the night of his opening. “We were all buzzing,” recalls Kim Hastreiter, who would soon afterwards found Paper magazine, “‘UH OH,’ ‘What are THEY doing here?’ We were suspicious and in a sense excited and sad at the same time – because that night it felt like our amazing secret world Downtown was being invaded and discovered and wouldn’t be the same again.” In many ways she was right. But first of all, Haring would be catapulted into the limelight.Warhol invited him to his Factory for lunch and they soon became good friends; Haring kept Warhol up to date with 80s youth culture, and Warhol in turn introduced him to the glittering world of celebrity and success. In 1982, Haring had his breakthrough solo show at Tony Shafrazi’s illustrious gallery on Mercer Street. The following year, he collaborated with Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren on their autumn/winter 1983 Witches collection, and Madonna wearing a leather jacket he hand-painted to perform Like a Virgin on Top of the Pops. In 1985, he drew graffiti all over Grace Jones’ naked body for her live shows at Paradise Garage. He was at the heart of both modern art and pop culture, which is exactly where he wanted to be. Had he not passed away of AIDS-related complications in 1990, aged 31, Keith Haring would be celebrating his 60th birthday today – which makes this a good moment to consider his life and his legacy.“I arrived in New York at a time when the most beautiful paintings being shown in the city were on wheels, on trains,” he once said, remembering coming to the city in 1978, “paintings that travelled to you instead of vice versa.” But rather than copying the Wild Style graffiti artists, Haring found a different way of working underground. Noticing one day that unsold advertising spaces on the New York City subway were filled with plain black paper, he ran up the stairs to Times Square, bought some white chalk, ran back underground and began drawing in his trademark language of comic figures and squiggles. Before long, he had made thousands of drawings – up to 40 a day – as he rode the subways across the five boroughs, to and from school, work, clubs, parties and cruising spots. His works would be seen by a colossal number of people every day, and because they were so often replaced, he had to keep coming up with fresh new ideas continually.Haring loved the subway, with all its advertising posters, painted trains and flows of people, and also loved the secret Downtown, the hidden world of metropolitan fucking and clubbing. He loved dancing the night away at now legendary dives like Club 57, Paradise Garage and the Mudd Club, or cruising public bathhouses, or the backrooms of S/M orgy clubs like the Anvil, for the kind of sex that wasn’t so readily available back home in rural Pennsylvania. “He suddenly popped out like a flower, like a seed in that cauldron of energy: New York City,” Timothy Leary once said about Haring, “and he put all his remarkable energy together – the wall, the easel, the canvas, the pigment… it’s a dance!” The city’s nightlife, with all its joie de vivre, its shuddering, intertwined bodies and explosions of colour, was where he found his inspiration but also, in those hardcore early years, before the dangers of AIDs became so well known, and before he became such a prominent advocate of safe sex, that Haring contracted the HIV that would eventually lead to his death. In a classical tragic trajectory, New York is what made Keith Haring and also what killed him, all in the space of just over a decade.His deep love for nightclubs, and for black and Latino culture, and everything around them, was also a huge inspiration for Haring. In that sense, his legacy can be seen in the practices of younger artists like Eddie Peake: who makes bright, graffiti-inspired work, and takes much of his inspiration from gay culture, black culture, club culture and pirate radio culture, and who strips his performers naked and covers them in paint, like Haring and Grace Jones. But of course he’s just one of many artists continuing Haring’s legacy in their own way.

Lukaskeysell-architekton-publication-itsnicethat-4list Work / Publication “Architecture is approaching sculpture": Lukas Keysell’s publication Architekton

“Architecture is approaching sculpture and sculpture is approaching architecture” are words spoken by historian and architecture critic Sigfried Giedion in 1982. It’s this thought-provoking phrase that inspired London-based graphic artist and current third year Winchester School of Art student Lukas Keysell’s publication Architekton, which charts how the meaning of the word ‘architect’ has changed from ancient Greece to the present day.


Annamarchinicamia-inthelandofshitandsugar-publication-itsnicethat-13list Work / Publication In the Land of Shit and Sugar: an all-you-can-eat menu of cheesy hotdogs and marshmallow paste

“I’ve been collecting all kinds of weirdly-designed food packaging over the years and I always intended to do something with it but, for a long time, I couldn’t figure out exactly what,” Anna Marchini Camia tells It’s Nice That. Anna is a Zurich-based illustrator and graphic designer whose route into the creative industry was, she says, as conventional as it gets. After completing her design foundation year in Lucerne, Anna went on to study style and design — a form of concept design — at ZHdK. During her undergraduate, she met four other students — cultural journalist Mona Altheimer, digital artist Corinne Hepting, design manager Elena Frischknecht and photographer Céline Lütolf — and, together, they conceptualised and created food design-based publication In the Land of Shit and Sugar.

Janbuchczik-illustration-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-6list 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. 


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