It’s Definitely Nice That!

Charlie Derry explores into the current student competition for a new university magazine.

The editors of the innovative arts blog, ‘It’s Nice That’, held a master-class at University College Falmouth at the beginning of February, offering students the chance of winning £500 to create a new magazine.

Alex Bec, 24, and Will Hudson, 26, form It’s Nice That who inspire the ‘If You Could…’ annual art exhibition in London. They are the editors of the artistic blog, www.itsnicethat.com, which has been publishing creative designs from international artists since 2007.

Alex and Will held a workshop for BA(Hons) Photography, Graphic Design, Journalism, PR and Illustration courses. After sharing their success and experience with It’s Nice That, the workshop focused on developing ideas for a new student magazine.

“I approached Will and Alex because their work across disciplines is exciting and innovative and, crucially, commercially successful. The fact that they are so young was particularly inspiring for our students who are tired of hearing about the death of newspapers,” said Anna Kiernan, Course Leader of BA(Hons) Journalism.

The workshop was a great opportunity for students to meet and work with other courses. Students formed small groups with people who they had only just met on the day. With just one hour, students had to come up with a proposal to present to the rest of the groups.

“The workshop was such an inspiration. It was amazing to meet and hear the story of Alex and Will and the creation of It’s Nice That,” said Sydney Soan, a second year Graphic student at UCF. “It was so encouraging to realise that they had only just graduated two years ago. It makes you believe that if you put your mind to it, anything is achievable.”

A feedback questionnaire was given to students at the end of the workshop. When asked ‘What is the most important thing you have learned in today’s session?’ more than 40 responses echoed the view that: ‘You cannot do everything yourself. You need to work with different disciplines to generate more ideas that you may have not thought of before.’

Paul Inman, UCF’s Director of the School of Media, said: “This is a good example of
an initiative that encouraged both interdisciplinary practice and entrepreneurialism.”

Students said that they also learnt to ‘be ambitious’ and ‘be dedicated.’ Feedback highlighted the huge gain of inspiration for students. Seeing Alex and Will become successful and gaining so much experience in only two years really gave students a drive; not only to take advantage of the competition but also towards their futures.

“I have entered the competition to take advantage of the opportunity and to experience the process and amount of people you have to get in contact with to make things happen,” said Sydney. “Will and Alex also taught me that everyone is human and not to be afraid to ask questions and go and try to make deals with organisations etc,” she added.

Alex from It’s Nice That commented that: “A really attentive group of students always makes workshops that little bit more successful. Some great ideas were presented, and I’ve got high hopes for the final presentations. I think the day was a real success.”

Ideas that arose from the workshop included exhibitioning students’ work, creating links between students and the town, providing entertainment for students such as music events and getting to know the locals of Falmouth. Anna said: “I think at this time of structural change, the university would benefit from a new publication to express the new voices and energy emerging at UCF.”

“I am thrilled that UCF students have responded so positively to this event,” added Anna. “I’m hoping that a new magazine might emerge from the competition, but if it doesn’t we will at least have identified talent and commitment among the individuals who have taken part.”

All students are submitting their work to Alex and Will who have also set up a discussion board on Facebook called It’s Falmouth That. The deadline for the competition is March 1st, so keep your eyes out for news of the winners and their ideas in the next few weeks. You may find yourself grabbing your hands on a copy of the new university magazine soon.

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