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Video artist Natalia Stuyk on crossing from the digital to the physical world

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Nicer-tuesdays-april-max-siedentopf-list Regulars / Nicer Tuesdays Max Siedentopf explains why creative perfection is a dead end

Max Siedentopf is a creative working in advertising, who on the side creates a myriad of brilliantly oddball and original personal projects. But it is this eclectic output that can sometimes confuse people, he admitted at Nicer Tuesdays. “I’m pretty sure that no one here has any idea who I actually am,” he joked, and attempted to clear things up by telling us about his work at KesselsKramer – where he recently became partner – as well as his latest passion projects including a sticker book, gif series Instructions for World Peace, and Ordinary magazine.

Nicer-tuesdays-april-marion-deuchars-list Regulars / Nicer Tuesdays Marion Deuchars on how to make a great picture book

The idiosyncratic brushwork and hand-drawn typography of illustrator Marion Deuchars is instantly recognisable, and have charmed children and grown-ups alike in her many books. Recently, Marion has been both educating and inspirational in her books about the art world, particularly in Bob the Artist, which aims to teach kids about well-known artistic techniques while also encouraging individuality. The new follow-up Bob’s Blue Period is about expressing emotions through creativity, and is loosely based, she explains, on Picasso’s story of loss.

Nicer-tuesdays-may-launch-list Regulars / Nicer Tuesdays Get tickets now for May’s Nicer Tuesdays

This month at Nicer Tuesdays on 29 May, we’ll be hearing about the graphic design for Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs, plus brilliantly odd illustration, inspiring publication design and how to Be More Pirate in our work and life. Get tickets now to hear from Erica Dorn, Sam Conniff, Kyle Platts and Offshore Studio from 6:30pm at Oval Space.
If you stopped to admire the incredible graphic details in Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs, you were most likely admiring the work of Erica Dorn. As the lead graphic designer on the film, Erica was responsible for bringing together everything from the Japanese woodblock-inspired artworks to printed documents, product packaging and signage, which added beautifully intricate detail to the dystopian future world Anderson was creating for his canine stars. Erica will be showcasing her research, references, sketches, final pieces and behind the scenes snippets from the project.There’s no mistaking the handiwork of illustrator and animation director Kyle Platts. Vivid and cartoonish compositions filled with strange, wobbly characters, their ballooned foreheads in profile bearing enlarged eyes, are his forte, and a long-time favourite of the It’s Nice That team. He’ll be joining us to share insights to his creative process, particularly for recent projects for the likes of Vice, Bloomberg, Zeit Leo and GQ_.In past lives, Sam Conniff was the founder of creative network Livity and media platform Don’t Panic, but recently he’s gone rogue with a new mission: to encourage everyone to "_Be More Pirate.":https://www.bemorepirate.com/ Born from research into the radical strategies of Golden Age pirates, his new ethos and book of the same name (with an added explanatory strapline “Or How to Take On The World And Win”) adapts these strategies for 21st Century work and life, and aligns them with modern day innovators or “rebels” like Elon Musk and Malala Yousafzai.Zurich-based graphic design studio Offshore is one of It’s Nice That’s Ones to Watch 2018 and with good reason. Founders Christoph Miler and Isabel Seiffert are behind the design of Migrant Journal, for which the duo created a bespoke typeface and visually arresting design. Politically conscious, sensitive and striking all at the same time, it sums up the designers’ capability way beyond their years. They’ll be telling us more about their recent work, and the aesthetic combination of Swiss design sensibilities and international influences that makes their work truly distinctive.

Nicer-tuesdays-april-its-nice-that-roundup-list Regulars / Nicer Tuesdays Birds doing yoga, watermelon heads and The Truman Show: highlights from April’s Nicer Tuesdays

Last night saw the return of our monthly event, Nicer Tuesdays and it was a truly genre-spanning set of talks. Over the course of the evening, we heard from Natalia Stuyk, Max Siedentopf, Will Anderson and Marion Deuchars who took us through the ins and outs of illustration, filmmaking, graphic design, photography, animation, art direction, installation, storytelling and even a bit of fruit sculpture. Check out some of best bits we learned from April’s line-up below. h3. Shard-like objects can look digital and natural at the same time

Nicer-tuesdays-march-alex-norris-list Regulars / Nicer Tuesdays Alex Norris tells the story of his "Oh No" comics and its “badly drawn blob” star

If you’ve not seen Alex Norris’ hilariously relatable panel comics then where have you been? Readers of It’s Nice That will recognise the “badly drawn blob” character of his series Webcomic Name for his punchline “oh no”, and the inevitably disappointing situations it gets itself into. At Nicer Tuesdays, Alex took us back to the beginning of his comic work, and the ideas and inspirations that led him to where he is now.

Nicer-tuesdays-april-natalia-stuyk-list Regulars / Nicer Tuesdays Video artist Natalia Stuyk on crossing from the digital to the physical world

Natalia Stuyk is a video and digital artist who creates surreal, warping imagery in vivid saturated colours. Her commercial work often sees her collaborate with brands such as Kenzo, Nike and Stella McCartney, making fashion films, music videos and everything in between. Much more at home in the digital space, Natalia spoke at Nicer Tuesdays about her recent move into the physical space, collaborating on installations for Galeria Melissa in New York over the coming summer.

Francaballero-illustration-itsnicethat-9list Work / Illustration Illustrator Fran Caballero on “living that not-awful-at-all freelance/bartender lifestyle”

Fran Caballero is a Glasgow-based illustrator whose playful drawings have pleased us for some time. This year alone, Fran has been featured in the latest Ladybeard issue, Popeye magazine and has created his first piece of homeware, the February Throw. It’s safe to say that Fran is, as he puts it, “living that not-awful-at-all freelance/bartender lifestyle”. That Fran followed a creative pathway comes as no surprise when the illustrator thinks back to his childhood. “I pretty much drew all the time as a kid but grew more interested and aware of illustration around secondary school, through Ed Banger Records LPs with artwork by So-Me. I bought my first graphics tablet around then,” the artist tells It’s Nice That.

Nxs-publication-itsnicethat-list Work / Publication NXS magazine builds a network of contributors who reflect on "the self" in the digital era

“We came up with the idea of NXS while studying on our master’s programme at Sandberg Instituut,” recalls Monika Grūzīte, Juliette Lizotte and Florian Mecklenburg, the founders of the tall, skinny publication exploring “the self” in the digital age of technology. NXS, which stands for nexus, is true to its name with every issue building a network of contributors where each is asked to reflect and comment on a previous contribution.

Morgan-powell_finger-machines_animation_itsnicethat-list Work / Animation Morgan Powell's animated industrial finger machines will unnerve and hypnotise you

Merging the two disparate worlds of human and machine in a slightly gross but strangely hypnotic way is Finger Machines, a new animated film by Morgan Powell at Seed. Softness and tactility are “the direct opposite of what you’d expect from machines,” he explains of the animation’s conflicted visuals, which show dismembered digits on a mass scale, engaged in various mechanical processes. And it is the film’s materiality that makes it so unnerving – an apt application of Morgan’s plasticine-like, super-smooth and hyperreal animation style. You can see more of this on his hilariously naughty ident for MTV involving lewd balloons.

Junocalypso-whattosowithamillionyears-photography-itsnicethat-7list Work / Photography Juno Calypso's eerie new series sees her posing inside Nevada’s plushest bunker

Imagine your average Doomsday prepper’s underground bunker; a low-ceilinged, dark, dingy room with a make-shift sofa bed and cupboards jam-packed with tinned food. Luxury and fallout shelter don’t seem like an obvious match. Juno Calypso’s latest surreal self-portraits, however, prove this assumption wrong. Her series What to do with a Million Years, which is currently on display at London’s TJ Boulting gallery, sees the artist posing inside Nevada’s — perhaps even the world’s — plushest bunker.

Elenaheatherwick-liberianmidwives-photography-itsnicethat-list Features / Photography Elena Heatherwick captures the spirit of hope and happiness embodied by Liberian midwives

The act of holding a camera has a distinctive charm to it. It starts conversations, but it’s an opener before a word has even been spoken. It intrigues people to come on over, to ask why you have it, what you’re doing, who you are. These pleasantries and the inevitable conversation that follows is an experience every photographer has undoubtedly had, but the accounts photographer Elena Heatherwick has from a trip to Liberia are some of the most joyful, heartbreaking and life affirming ones we’ve heard.

Subin-yang-illustration-itsnicethat-list Work / Illustration Subin Yang's joyful illustrations capture the fleeting and unobtainable moments in life

“Drawing started with my obsession for recreating something I saw that I couldn’t have in person. But by recreating it, I could somehow own it,” explains New York City-based illustrator Subin Yang. With a love for books, zines and any printed material, Subin’s joyful illustrations act as a means to capture the fleeting and unobtainable moments in life, all awash in a Lego-inspired palette of primary colours and pinks.

Nicer-tuesdays-april-max-siedentopf-list Regulars / Nicer Tuesdays Max Siedentopf explains why creative perfection is a dead end

Max Siedentopf is a creative working in advertising, who on the side creates a myriad of brilliantly oddball and original personal projects. But it is this eclectic output that can sometimes confuse people, he admitted at Nicer Tuesdays. “I’m pretty sure that no one here has any idea who I actually am,” he joked, and attempted to clear things up by telling us about his work at KesselsKramer – where he recently became partner – as well as his latest passion projects including a sticker book, gif series Instructions for World Peace, and Ordinary magazine.

Canyang-whitetigerbluedragon-graphicdesign-itsnicethat-1list Work / Graphic Design Designer Can Yang's book visually presents ancient Chinese elixir recipes

Chinese designer Can Yang is currently studying graphic design at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Born in Shenzhen in southern China, Can moved to the US four years ago where she has been working toward her degree alongside her freelance work. “Most of my projects are situated between design and cultural communication and draw on brand identities, editorial and conceptual art,” says Can. “They are visually characterised by abstract forms and Chinese characters that signal a reflective and critical stance to global affairs,” Can tells It’s Nice That.

Adobe99u-conference-itsnicethat-list Work / Events From being bad to burping glitter: things we learned at The Adobe 99U Conference

Last week I was in New York at Adobe 99U, a conference which brings together a selection of the best creative leaders from the industry to share new ideas. The talks explored how to be a creative leader today, from the design process to directing a team and everything in between. It also, refreshingly, featured one of the widest ranges of creative voices we’ve seen at this type of event, which made for an inspiring, interesting and original few days. Below, we share a few learnings from the week on how to become a better creative leader and practitioner.
h3. It’s ok to be yourself at work

Practica-interactive-itsnicethat-list Work / Interactive Gravient's adaptive typographic identity changes depending on where you look at it from

“When working, we’re always orbiting an idea. The concept has to ride everything,” explains Barcelona and New York-based design studio Pràctica. Founded by Albert Porta, Anna Berbiela, Carlos Bermúdez, Guillem Casasús and Javier Arizu, the studio recently collaborated with graphic and motion designer David Galar and coder Thomas Hoek to demonstrate its concept-first process.

Cassidyaraiza-itsnicethat-list Work / Photography Cassidy Araiza's dreamy photographs touch on youth, camaraderie and sportsmanship

“I always knew I wanted to make work around baseball but I just never knew what it would be until I moved back to Tucson, Arizona,” photographer Cassidy Araiza tells It’s Nice That. “I grew up playing baseball in the desert and developed a strong love for the game. I have always thought that Tucson was a baseball players’ paradise as it stays warm all year around and has some of the best light during evening games.” As it turned out, Cassidy’s intention materialised through photography. In his latest series, inspired by his nephew’s sports enthusiasm, the artist captures the subtle interactions that take place during a children’s baseball game. 


Nicer-tuesdays-april-marion-deuchars-list Regulars / Nicer Tuesdays Marion Deuchars on how to make a great picture book

The idiosyncratic brushwork and hand-drawn typography of illustrator Marion Deuchars is instantly recognisable, and have charmed children and grown-ups alike in her many books. Recently, Marion has been both educating and inspirational in her books about the art world, particularly in Bob the Artist, which aims to teach kids about well-known artistic techniques while also encouraging individuality. The new follow-up Bob’s Blue Period is about expressing emotions through creativity, and is loosely based, she explains, on Picasso’s story of loss.

Davidkasnic-alphaandomega-photography-itsnicethat-list Work / Photography David Kasnic
 sees photography as a collaboration between artist and sitter

In his latest book Alpha and Omega, photographer David Kasnic turns his lens on a regional community church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and presents striking portraits of the local neighbourhood. The Chicago-based photographer spent his time getting to know the local families, engaging in local church practices, and asking his sitters how they would want to be photographed. It is this thoughtful approach that renders Alpha and Omega a unique insight into an otherwise tightly-knit community.

Corentin-corneau-graphic-design-itsnicethat-3 Work / Graphic Design Corentin Corneau gives "strength and substance to images and text" through editorial design

Specialising in editorial design, whether in the form of a publication or a poster, Corentin Corneau’s work places archiving at its heart. Working with found photography, video stills and texts, the French designer’s portfolio explores the possibilities of print: “shaping, ranking, cutting and publishing,” in order to “give strength and substance to images and text.”

Listimage2 Features / Art Sound and vision: Parquet Courts' A. Savage on life as an artist and musician

A. Savage is an artist who is always walking the ledge between two creative worlds. The first is a musical one, where he throttles through songs playing in Parquet Courts. But the second is a slower paced painting career, where his enviable talent for building a narrative shifts from songwriting onto canvas. While he has no plans to settle in either camp permanently, his painting studio is “wonderful” the artist tells It’s Nice That. “It’s my favourite place in the world.”

Daynacasey-studiumgenerale-graphicdesign-itsnicethat-list Work / Graphic Design Dayna Casey's book of university talks is derived from the act of sitting in the lecture theatre

Designing posters for a series of university lectures appears to be a right of passage for many graphic designers. But Dayna Casey, an Australian-born, Hague-based graphic designer has gone above and beyond the usual one page InDesign layout. A graduate of The Royal Academy of Art in the Netherlands, she has created a whole publication, Studium Generale: Transmission Lexicon, on her old university’s lecture series.

List Work / Publication Super Paper is the cultural journal with regular design overhauls by Bureau Borsche

Super Paper lives up to its name. The Munich-based magazine is both superbly designed and informative; it updates its readers on art exhibitions, music and club events in the local area; it offers insightful articles on wider cultural and social issues; and it entertains its readers with satirical essays on the Bavarian lifestyle. “Each issue introduces a young as well as an established design studio, photographer or painter who accentuates a specific theme. The spreads include articles on art, fashion, places to be, exhibitions, literature, parties, and a chronological calendar. Most themes appear up to four or five times in a row. The magazine will then get a complete redesign," founder Hubertus Becker tells It’s Nice That.

Zhangkechun-betweenthemountainsandwater-photography-itsnicethat-13 Work / Photography “An unstoppable force is spreading across our natural landscapes": photographer Zhang Kechun

Zhang Kechun is a Chinese photographer based in Chengdu, a city located in the country’s southwest. Zhang spends his days working as a freelance designer, which gives the artist an opportunity to travel across the country on the lookout for new places to shoot. His latest series Between the Mountains and Water is a result of Zhang’s extensive travelling and features grand landscape shots of large, expansive mountain ranges and immense, concrete bridges. “Ten years ago, I spent three years shooting my last series Yellow River. After completing this project, I decided to continue looking for remarkable settings. Instead of shooting the river shore like I did in Yellow River, I ventured inland to look for impressive natural phenomena and man-built structures,” Zhang tells It’s Nice That.

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