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To postgrad or not to postgrad? Six top creatives share their thoughts on master's degrees

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Main_ident_724 Regulars / The Graduates 2018 Apply for The Graduates 2018, now open to global applicants for the first time!

Each year as university graduates hand in their final assignments, begin building degree shows and place orders for their cap and gowns, we have our own graduation class too. The It’s Nice That Graduates celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, and if you have graduated or are graduating from an undergraduate creative course (bachelor’s or equivalent) in 2018 we want to hear from you!

Grads2018_ Regulars / The Graduates 2018 Portfolio tips from top studios: what to leave in (and out) and how to get noticed

How best to present all that hard work you’ve been slogging over is one of the great conundrums of our industry. Too much information could drown out your best ideas, but strip it back too much and you might be underselling yourself. To help you build your best portfolio and stand out from the swarm, we’ve asked influential people from top studios and agencies including Google, Nexus, A Practice for Everyday Life and Mother to share their advice for graduate portfolios, drawn from looking at lots (and lots) of them over their careers. Here they tell us what they look for, and how you can make a lasting impression.

Grads2018_2 Regulars / The Graduates 2018 To postgrad or not to postgrad? Six top creatives share their thoughts on master's degrees

The long, sleepless nights have finally paid off. The bachelor’s degree is yours and there’s a picture of you, certificate in hand, to prove it. But, as the celebrations begin to die down, a creeping existential angst surmounts you. What lies next? Who do I want to be? What do I want to spend my days doing? Finding a replacement to the long weeks of university term time can be tough and, to many, a postgraduate degree can seem like the obvious choice.

Jonniechambers-photography-itsnicethat-list Work / Photography Jonnie Chambers' photography “lives in the realm of the real vs hyperreal"

Tan lines, tulle tutus and sequins is what you can expect from photographer Jonnie Chambers’ latest series, Txatxarramendi. Inspired by the small Spanish island of the same name, Jonnie has incorporated a number of holiday-references — wet hair, sun kissed skin and a general carefree demeanour — in his dreamy new shoot for Coeval magazine.

Georgewylesol-ghostsetc-illustration-itsnicethat-list2 Work / Illustration George Wylesol on his latest evocative, intuition-led illustrations

George Wylesol is an illustrator, designer and writer who follows his intuition. Originally from Philadelphia but based in Baltimore, the American creative’s portfolio is a real mixture of styles and subject matters and is one we’ve long been a fan of. The project that caught our eye this time is a series of three visual stories, Ghosts, The Rabbit, and Worthless, which have been compiled into a collection of short comics named — unsurprisingly, perhaps — Ghosts, etc.

Unnamed Regulars / Ones To Watch 2018 "I feel empowered in my queerness and hope to also empower others”: artist Jeffrey Cheung

It’s Nice That’s Ones to Watch shines a light on 12 emerging talents who we think will conquer the creative world in 2018. From a global pool of creative talent, we have chosen our 2018 Ones To Watch for their ability to consistently produce inspiring and engaging work across a diverse range of disciplines. Each of our selections continually pushes the boundaries of what is possible with their creative output. Ones to Watch 2018 is supported by Uniqlo.

Daragh-soden-photography-itsnicethat-list Work / Photography Daragh Soden’s portrait of Toulon captures its rich history as well as its modern personality

Toulon is a city in southern France with a large military harbour on the Mediterranean coast. It is also a city with a rich history: it was Toulon that Napoléon Bonaparte captured from the Anglo-Spanish forces in 1973, releasing the city to Maximilien Robespierre; the man who declared the motto of the French Revolution as “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité ”. It was this history that Irish photographer Daragh Soden set out to capture while simultaneously reflecting its modern personality when he travelled there to make a portrait of the city.

Sarahpiegayespenson-humanisesomethingfreeoferror-publication-itsnicethat-list Work / Publication A document of weather modification through terrifying but incredible archival photography

Every major event — a wedding, holiday or BBQ — is always attached to the saying: “We can’t control the weather!” It’s a saying that however many times it’s said, and how you know it’s probably always going to be true, you just wish it wasn’t. Imagine! Anyway, it hasn’t stopped scientists trying to control the weather through modification, and the methods and implications of doing so are catalogued photographically in Sarah Piegay Espenon’s first book, Humanise Something Free of Error.

Rudiedwards-realest-hairdressers-itsnicethat-photography-3list Work / Photography Rudi Edwards on challenging a London-centric creative industry through her new mag, Realest

“There was a strong female presence in my upbringing,” photographer, publisher and all-around-creative Rudi Edwards tells It’s Nice That. “I know that might seem obvious to say as a woman, but my mum is half Italian and super fiery — a real ‘her way or no way’ kind of woman.” Rudi decided to honour the fierce women that helped shape her feminist values and progressive outlook through her new magazine, Realest. The first issue, which launched last month, offers a refreshing take on the female experience and presents the reader with a number of relatable women from all walks of life. 

Nicer-tuesdays-june-launch-list Regulars / Nicer Tuesdays Get tickets now for Nicer Tuesdays June

Tickets are now available for our next Nicer Tuesdays event, taking place on the evening of 26 June at Oval Space. Our speaker line-up this month features illustrator and member of collective Le Gun, Robert Rubbish; founder and editor-in-chief of Season zine Felicia Pennant; animation director Nicos Livesey; and Belgian graphic design studio Atelier Brenda.Graphic design studio Atelier Brenda – though often referred to colloquially, and mysteriously, as if Brenda is a single entity – is actually made up of three female graphic and type designers, Nana Esi, Sophie Keij and Amélie Bakker. Brenda is their alter ego, with a character to match, and a way for the trio to join forces post university and garner clients – which worked a treat. Each designer has their own graphic style and skillset, which they bring to the studio’s unique and lively work. Nana and Sophie will be joining us to share their latest creations.
Irreverent and renowned illustration collective Le Gun have long been staples of the London creative scene, and Robert Rubbish is one of its charismatic members. Not only known for his work, he’s a familiar sight around town too, particularly Soho, the subject of much of his work and recent book, Spiritus Soho_. Depicting the area’s idiosyncratic characters and ambience to a T, the images show Robert is a master storyteller, so we’re very keen to hear him tell us more from the Nicer Tuesdays podium.
In the month of the World Cup, we’re excited to have Felicia Pennant, founder and editor-in-chief of "_Season
zine":https://www.season-zine.com/, join us to speak about its fifth issue. Founded in 2016 as a football and fashion publication for female football fans, to “counter the male, pale and sometimes stale state of modern football culture”, its stories are pioneering, empowering and a much-needed breath of fresh air in the publishing landscape. Felicia will be telling us about issue five, which explores religion and faith in football.Animation director Nicos Livesey was one of It’s Nice That’s Ones to Watch 2017, selected for his incredible stop motion films. These include the mesmerising claymation video Glore for Radkey, part of Channel 4’s Random Acts series, a stop motion ad for Maynards Bassetts made from icing and jelly, and an entirely sewn music video for his band Throne. He recently returned to working with embroidery, collaborating with The London Embroidery Studio to create the BBC’s World Cup trailer. He’ll be telling us how this intricate film was made.

Elisebyolsen-wallet-pioneersofpublishing-publication-itsnicethat-5 Regulars / Ones To Watch 2018 Elise By Olsen's second issue of Wallet examines the contemporary fashion journalism landscape

It’s Nice That’s Ones to Watch shines a light on 12 emerging talents who we think will conquer the creative world in 2018. From a global pool of creative talent, we have chosen our 2018 Ones To Watch for their ability to consistently produce inspiring and engaging work across a diverse range of disciplines. Each of our selections continually pushes the boundaries of what is possible with their creative output. Ones to Watch 2018 is supported by Uniqlo.

Nano-illustration-itsnicethat-list-alt Work / Illustration Illustrator Nano projects life into her paintings to counteract negative emotions

“I draw a lot of what I see in my mind. I usually express things that I can’t say or write. For example, weakness or negative emotions,” explains Seoul-based illustrator Nano. Having previously worked at a company designing game graphics, she’s now a freelance illustrator, filling her time by “projecting life and what I feel into paintings”.

Kuba_ryniewicz-firefighters-photography-13list Work / Photography Kuba Ryniewicz on photographing his firefighting family

When photographer Kuba Ryniewicz attended a family member’s wedding last year, he didn’t expect to come across the subject of his next shoot: voluntary firefighters. Kuba was born in Poland but has been based in Newcastle for the past 14 years and has, during this time, accumulated an impressive portfolio of work; his collaborations include the likes of Fantastic Man, Cos and Apartamento. Photography, Kuba says, played a formative role in his upbringing. “My uncle was a photographer and set up a darkroom in our basement. I spent a lot of my childhood posing for test photoshoots whenever he bought a new piece of equipment. But it was only as a teenager that I started to develop my own photography skills when my uncle passed on his darkroom equipment to me,” Kuba tells It’s Nice That.

Joseph-melhuish-animation-itsnicethat-list Work / Animation Joseph Melhuish animates what happens on a shoot with 30 venomous snakes

“I’m Josh Haddow, and this is my story about setting up a shoot with 30 venomous snakes,” states a disembodied voice at the beginning of animator Joseph Melhuish’s most recent work. The project, titled From the Brink, sees creatives sharing small anecdotes regarding the filmmaking process, particularly those which are somewhat strange.

Sagmeisterandwalsh-thomashedger-itsnicethat-2list Features / Graphic Design Beauty through the eyes of Stefan Sagmeister and Jessica Walsh

Stefan Sagmeister and Jessica Walsh have been thinking about beauty. This might seem unsurprising, as both are designers who occupy the upper echelons of the design hierarchy, and aesthetics, you’d imagine, would be an ongoing concern. “One part of what we are doing is aiming to eradicate the tired notion that beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” says Stefan with a laugh. “Because it’s not.” I’m sat at the control centre of the Stefan and Jessica show, an office just off Broadway in Manhattan. Outside the meeting room where we are sat, a small team is working away diligently.

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