Andreja Brulc's Blog

Day 19 [3 April 2020]: COVID-19 Lockdown: Politics/Arundhati Roy [an extract from the diary]

Posted in Books, Covid-19/Lockdown Diary by andrejabrulc on 03/04/2020

And even while the virus proliferates, who could not be thrilled by the swell of birdsong in cities, peacocks dancing at traffic crossings and the silence in the skies? – Arundhati Roy, Financial Times, 3 April 2020

I find the first three paragraphs in the introduction to the article ‘The Pandemic is a portal’ – a compelling personal thought by the novelist Arundhati Roy on how coronavirus threatens India published today by Financial Times – a total masterpiece of prose writing as very poetic and sublime. I really loved the style of her first novel The God of Small Things (1997), and I have been meaning to read her second The Ministry of Utmost Happiness since the announcement of the book in 2017 after 20 years of gap. There is no place for me to comment on the politics of India on my personal blog, but the first three paragraphs are so universal as humane, as words express exactly what everyone, no matter of religion and political point of view, has been going through right now. The introduction is definitely worth reading as well recommended.

[PS: I thank Financial Times, to make this article ‘free to read’. According to the newspaper’s copyright policy, I am allowed to publish online (my personal blog), “the original FT headline and a link to the article and the first 140 characters of an article (what we call teaser text)”. The quote above is exactly 140 characters – but it is from the third paragraph!]

Day 3 [18 March 2020]: COVID-19 Lockdown: Design/Why Fonts Matter [an extract from the diary]

Posted in Books, Covid-19/Lockdown Diary, Graphic Design, Workshops by andrejabrulc on 18/03/2020

I finally did some useful work today as I wrote a short review of Sarah Hyndman’s Why Fonts Matter for Amazon — this book is for everyone, for design professionals and those who are interested in visual culture and want to learn in a fun way ‘why fonts matter’!

I had purchased the book so that it could join other art material that travelled from London (just on time) by the kind help of my ex-colleague Marko – with the intention to have a sneak-peek into Sarah’s work while I was getting ready for my type-led workshops based on poetry in association with the International Day of Poetry (21 March), which was meant to take place today. Hopefully, we can find another slot, should I happen to be in Slovenia then!

Sarah Hyndman’s book is amazing! I’ve known about Sarah’s passion for and knowledge of typography since attending her Experimental Typography classes at the London College of Communication in the mid-2000s, and as I have recently been preparing two sessions of lectures and workshops on hand-made typography-based on poetry for school and university students, so I thought it was high time I got hold of a copy of this book.

I was more than eager to find out more about Sarah’s extensive research by experiment on how type can set the mood, reveal one’s personality and appeal to our senses. I was especially intrigued by Sarah’s innovative approach of looking at the type ‘sideways’, which is similarly how people respond emotionally to works of art through sensory perceptions without knowing the context. Who would have thought that type can cry, laugh, shout, smell, and can be sad or happy, or even aggressive or calm?

I love in particular the section on the edible type, as that is exactly the kind of idea my two workshops will emphasise: the importance of bringing life skills from all areas into the design process. I often hear kids asking, ‘why do I need to learn this or that, it’s of no use, it’s so boring, whatever!’ With such an excellent book on hand that shows everything from the punk and grunge to the neat and tidy, they may perhaps believe me when I say that design is important!

Day 0 [12 March 2020]: 4 Days before COVID-19 Lockdown: Football/Team Spirit/My Niece [an extract from the diary]

Posted in Books, Covid-19/Lockdown Diary, Illustrations by andrejabrulc on 12/03/2020

This post is dedicated to my niece Živa, a 16-year old and a half teenager (the photo from her last birthday in July 2019). She LOVES football, and — as a goalkeeper for her club (U17) — football has been her life outside school since she was bearly 10. 3 to 5 training sessions per week, plus 2 matches at the weekend when the football season takes place for the 1st youth and women’s leagues. She is also the second goalkeeper for women’s team in her club as of last September, plus, the second goalkeeper for the national team (U17). What a lovely achievement at her age due to her dedication and, needless to say, many sacrifices that she had to make during all these years! 

Slovenia where I am currently ‘stuck’ at my parents’ house – is getting ready for the lockdown. IMHO it is two weeks too late, if not more, considering that the country borders with Italy, and skiers, who were the first tested positive for COVID-19, were/are still holidaying in the Italian Dolomites. As of today, two schools in two different places have already closed down as a teacher and a pupil in each of them tested positive – both went skiing to Italy during the half-term!

On the other hand, the UK is still being extremely and worryingly ‘slow’ in making any coherent decision how to protect its citizens, despite the warning of some European leaders to take Italy as an example, and, above all, ignoring the fact that the country has such a dense population per small area! As reported on Monday, around 25,000 Brits were in Italy last weekend (some tried to travel back to the UK via Slovenia as the airport is still open) and around 20,000 Brits are in the French Alps! And, even scarier, UK football stadiums are still full of people!

My niece who is currently staying in my parents’ house as she is doing her work experience in the local kindergarten as part of her school curriculum – asked me while we were watching evening TV news how come English football was still allowed to go on, while her international UEFA competition was cancelled. Thanks to a fast decision of the President of UEFA from Slovenia, Aleksander Čeferin, who placed the well-being of players FIRST. He said that UEFA had plenty of money in its reserve to cover its losses! Not being biased, but I have such high respect for him, as, according to the Wikipedia, “the investment in grassroots and women’s football has been at the core of Čeferin’s mandate and while record grants for the development of football were announced at the 42nd UEFA Ordinary Congress in February 2018, UEFA also pledged to increase the funding of women’s football development projects by 50% in October 2018. He also oversaw the signing of UEFA’s first-ever sponsorship deal dedicated entirely to women’s football in December 2018.” His dedication to women’s football really proved when he had decided that the UEFA 2019 Super Cup between Chelsea and Liverpool would be in charge of the French referee, Stephanie Frappart, who became the first female to officiate in a major men’s European match. My niece’s generation is literally the pioneering generation of female youth in Slovenia, as the interest in playing football among young girls have started to grow significantly in the last decade – and it is fairly obvious how he influenced this new trend!

Early on during the day, she had learnt about the sad news that her team was not going to travel to Portugal in two weeks time to play matches against the host country, Spain and Turkey in the next stage of qualifications. She had so looked forward to attending this competition for months – she had even treated herself to a new pair of professional goalkeeper’s gloves which came by post from Germany today. Of course, her family and, even herself, is relieved now, as it has become increasingly obvious that her health and that of her team and opposing teams come first. The matches are postponed to 2021, but she will no longer qualify for that age. It breaks my heart to see such a personal loss for youth at that age, where her dream, built on hard work of training of many years, can disappear over the night by something as mundane as ‘a’ virus! And, of course, having a place as a goalkeeper in a national team is even more difficult than in the case of other players as not many goalkeepers are needed in such teams!

In difficult times as ours, I thought I would dedicate a post to her to give her emotional support through this crisis as I am sure it is very disappointing for her. I remembered our time together from around the same time 10 years ago how supportive she was – I had to design a series of 10 book covers for Pocket Beletrina in such a short time with a tight deadline. The series was for the World Literatures – Fabula Festival 2010, the central event of Ljubljana’s time as UNESCO World Book Capital 2010, in conjunction with the project called A Book for Everybody. While I was really struggling to get ideas together on time, she, then as a 6-year old and a half, was sitting for hours at my desk while making her own drawings. This was the time that she kept on saying “perhaps I will be a book designer like my aunty when I grow up”. She loved using my Faber Castell Pitt Pens! It was also the time in her age that drawing HEARTS in school notebooks was a popular thing! And bingo – her HEARTS became a leitmotiv for one of the book covers, LJ kot LJubezen: Pesmi o LJubljani [Eng. transl. LO as LOve: Poems about LJubljana (Ljubljana as a place cannot translate but one can see the point from the original or from the cover below)]. I do hope her resilience will help her get through this global humanitarian health crisis, as now she will have to put the time to her training by herself, and although guided by her trainer, training in quarantine will never be the same – football is, after all, a team spirit. Therefore, she needs plenty of HEARTS, in hope that one day “she will become a professional goalkeeper when she grows up”, or, even, as she dreams, a medical doctor. HEARTS. HEARTS.HEARTS. And more HEARTS.

Day 0 [3 March 2020]: 13 Days before COVID-19 Lockdown: Albert Camus/The Plague/Human Behaviour [an extract from the diary]

Posted in Books, Covid-19/Lockdown Diary by andrejabrulc on 03/03/2020

There have been many plagues in the world as there have been wars, yet plagues and wars always find people equally unprepared. […] When a war breaks out people say: ‘It won’t last, it’s too stupid.’ And war is certainly too stupid, but that doesn’t prevent it from lasting. Stupidity always carries doggedly on, as people would notice if they were not always thinking about themselves. In this respect, the citizens of Oran were like the rest of the world, they thought about themselves, in other words, they were humanists: they did not believe in pestilence. A pestilence does not have human dimensions, so people tell themselves that it is unreal, that it is a bad dream which will end. But it does not always end and, from one bad dream to the next, it is people who end, humanists first of all because they have not prepared themselves. – Albert Camus, The Plague (1947)

When the Covid-19 was starting to come closer and closer to ‘home’ – as the epicentre moved from China to Italy in February – I must admit I started to panic! As of today – when I read this interesting article on Italy’s response to the coronavirus, titled “Epidemics Reveal the Truth About the Societies They Hit”, written by Anne Applebaum, and published in The Atlantic yesterday – the coronavirus is still being classified as an epidemic by the WHO [PS: the WHO declared it pandemic on 11 March]. Applebaum takes Albert Camus’s good and evil characters from The Plague and compares them to the current context of the coronavirus crisis:

‘A pestilence does not have human dimensions, so people tell themselves that it is unreal, that it is a bad dream that will end,’ Albert Camus wrote in The Plague. This, of course, very much describes the current situation: Many people cannot bear the idea that something invisible can change their plans. Published in 1947, The Plague has often been read as an allegory, a book that is really about the occupation of France, say, or the human condition. But it’s also a very good book about plagues, and about how people react to them—a whole category of human behaviour that we have forgotten.

The novel – the image (above) of the cover from Vintage edition of 1991 – is believed, according to Wikipedia, to be based on the cholera epidemic that killed a large percentage of Oran’s population, a small town in Algeria, in 1849, following French colonization, but the novel is placed in France in the 1940s.

The Plague is considered as an existentialist classic, similar to Kafka’s work, in particular, The Trial, where “individual sentences have multiple meanings, the material often pointedly resonating as a stark allegory of phenomenal consciousness and the human condition [Wikipedia].” Not only has The Plague been read as an allegorical treatment of the French resistance to Nazi occupation during WWII, but also how the world deals with the philosophical notion of the Absurd.

Camus wrote the novel about everyday life under quarantine for the inhabitants of Oran. It takes the reader through various questions related to the nature of destiny and human conditions. The book is a perfect display of characters as ‘human types’ – from politicians to doctors and holidaymakers to fugitives – all showing the effects the plague has on their psychology and how they respond.

Villains – like a priest – exploit the uncertainty of the humanitarian crisis as a tool for manipulation to enforce through their ideological agenda, where, for instance, the priest uses the plaque to increase his flock. As Applebaum says: “He tells his congregation that the epidemic is God’s way of punishing unbelievers.” She adds: “In modern Italy, the first person to seek to manipulate the anxiety created by the coronavirus was Matteo Salvini, the Italian far-right leader who immediately called for the government to shut the country’s borders, stop all public meetings and keep people home.”

Heroes, on the other hand, are, however, not the kind of heroes – superheroes or role models one finds in other fiction or movies – but are the doctors and the volunteers who help them, or even, as Applebaum says: “a civil servant, Monsieur Grand, who seeks to deal with the plague by recording it, measuring it, and keeping track of what has happened: ‘This insignificant and self-effacing hero who had nothing to recommend him but a little goodness in his heart and apparently a ridiculous ideal. This would be to give the truth its due, to give the sum of two and two as four.’ Grand, Dr Rieux, and a few others try to use science, transparency, and accuracy to contain and control the disease and to save as many people as possible, without giving in to hysteria or despair: ‘It may seem a ridiculous idea, but the only way to fight the plague is with decency’.”

I agree with Applebaum, who adds:

These are the kinds of people who will be the heroes in our era, too. The scientists and public-health scholars who immediately put out information about numbers and cases; the research teams that immediately began to work on vaccines; the nurses and doctors who immediately decide to remain inside quarantined regions, as many did in Italy, as well as in Wuhan, China. Not all of their judgments will be correct, and they will not always agree with one another: There is no precise way to determine which quarantines and cancellations are prudent and which are unreasonable, given the potential economic effects on the one hand, and the real desire to slow the spread of the epidemic on the other. In Italy, there have already been a few public squabbles among virologists who have different estimates of how bad the disease will be. … But at least they have the public’s interest at heart.

Illustration / Part 6: People

Posted in Books, Illustrations, Photography by andrejabrulc on 26/08/2019

I love mankind … it’s people I can’t stand! – Charles M. Schulz

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. – Martin Luther King

Most people say that it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: it is character. – Albert Einstein

Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary. – Oscar Wilde

When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time. – Maya Angelou

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. – Maya Angelou

It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership. – Nelson Mandela

Culture makes people understand each other better. And if they understand each other better in their soul, it is easier to overcome the economic and political barriers. But first they have to understand that their neighbour is, in the end, just like them, with the same problems, the same questions. – Paulo Coelho

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen. – Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Further to my five posts – four on the natural world (Part 1: Trees, Part 2: Shrubs & Vines, Part 3: Flowers and Part 4: Animals) and one on the man-made world (Part 5: Places) – I am now posting the six theme (out of 12 in total) that have most commonly ‘appeared’ throughout my work in order to mark my 10th anniversary of graphic design and illustration. The theme is dedicated to people and is divided into two sections – historical and contemporary.

Photography has always served me as a starting point for the process of making artworks. Artworks – inspired by photographs of famous literary figures (like Kafka and his family) or well-known works of art (like Masaccio’s Adam and Eve from The Brancacci Chapel in the Church of Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence) – belong to the ‘historical’ section. On the other hand, artworks, based on my own photography, fall into the ‘contemporary’ section. While the majority of my photography is accidental gathered through my travels and day trips, a small percentage is intentional depending on the aspect of a project – thanks to my family and friends often used as sitters! Also, while some of the photos were used in their entirety depending on the subject matter, others were the starting point for experiments as details got incorporated into a new range of compositions and environments, as well as fragmented or transformed into new shapes and textures, through the use of various techniques.

 

1. Historical

There are three classes of people: those who see, those who see when they are shown, those who do not see. – Leonardo da Vinci

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. – Marcel Proust

I do not want people to be very agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them a great deal. – Jane Austen, Jane Austin’s Letters

Proud people breed sad sorrows for themselves. – Emily Brontë

It is good people who make good places.” – Anna Sewell, Black Beauty

It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt. – Mark Twain

 

2. Contemporary

Hell is—other people! – Jean-Paul Sartre, No Exit

Maybe ever’body in the whole damn world is scared of each other.” – John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.” – Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

Don’t waste your time with explanations: people only hear what they want to hear. – Paulo Coelho

Is it possible, in the final analysis, for one human being to achieve perfect understanding of another? We can invest enormous time and energy in serious efforts to know another person, but in the end, how close can we come to that person’s essence? We convince ourselves that we know the other person well, but do we really know anything important about anyone? – Haruki Murakami, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

We, the People, recognize that we have responsibilities as well as rights; that our destinies are bound together; that a freedom which only asks what’s in it for me, a freedom without a commitment to others, a freedom without love or charity or duty or patriotism, is unworthy of our founding ideals, and those who died in their defense. – Barack Obama

Our uniqueness makes us special, makes perception valuable – but it can also make us lonely. This loneliness is different from being ‘alone’: You can be lonely even surrounded by people. The feeling I’m talking about stems from the sense that we can never fully share the truth of who we are. I experienced this acutely at an early age. – Amy Tan

Music has healing power. It has the ability to take people out of themselves for a few hours. – Elton John

What I have is a malevolent curiosity. That’s what drives my need to write and what probably leads me to look at things a little askew. I do tend to take a different perspective from most people. – David Bowie

Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one. – John Lennon

 

 

 

 

Illustration / Part 5: Places

Posted in Books, Illustrations, Photography by andrejabrulc on 26/08/2019

Wherever you go, go with all your heart! – Confucius

Discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. – Marcel Proust

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. – Neale Donald Walsch

There’s a whole world out there, right outside your window. You’d be a fool to miss it. – Charlotte Eriksson

Own only what you can always carry with you: known languages, known countries, known people. Let your memory be your travel bag. – Alexandr Solzhenitsyn

Further to my four posts on the natural world – Part 1: Trees, Part 2: Shrubs & Vines, Part 3: Flowers and Part 4: Animals – I am now posting the fifth theme (out of 12 in total) that have most commonly ‘appeared’ throughout my work in order to mark my 10th anniversary of graphic design and illustration. The theme, first in the series of the man-made world, is dedicated to our places in which we live and is divided into two sections – urban and rural.

Photography has always served me as a starting point for the process of making artworks. While the majority of photography is accidental gathered through my travels and day trips, a small percentage is intentional depending on the aspect of a project. A few artworks are also based on historical or contemporary visual documents, such as those showing St Petersburg and Kabul respectively. Also, while some of my photos were used in their entirety depending on the subject matter, many, on the other hand, were the starting point for experiments as details got incorporated into a new range of compositions and environments, as well as fragmented or transformed into new shapes and textures, through the use of various techniques.

God made the country, and man made the town. – William Cowper

Knowledge and power in the city; peace and decency in the country. – Mason Cooley

 

1. Urban

When a man rides a long time through wild regions he feels the desire for a city. Finally he comes to Isidora, a city where the buildings have spiral staircases encrusted with spiral seashells, where perfect telescopes and violins are made, where the foreigner hesitating between two women always encounters a third, where cockfights degenerate into bloody brawls among the bettors. He was thinking of all these things when he desired a city. Isidora, therefore, is the city of his dreams: with one difference. The dreamed-of city contained him as a young man; he arrives at Isidora in his old age. In the square there is the wall where the old men sit and watch the young go by; he is seated in a row with them. Desires are already memories. – Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

Arriving at each new city, the traveler finds again a past of his that he did not know he had: the foreignness of what you no longer are or no longer possess lies in wait for you in foreign, unpossessed places. – Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else. – Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

A city is not gauged by its length and width, but by the broadness of its vision and the height of its dreams. – Herb Caen

Under trees, the urban dweller might restore his troubled soul and find the blessing of a creative pause. – Walter Gropius

Nature is impersonal, awe-inspiring, elegant, eternal. It’s geometrically perfect. It’s tiny and gigantic. You can travel far to be in a beautiful natural setting, or you can observe it in your backyard – or, in my case, in the trees lining New York City sidewalks, or in the clouds above skyscrapers. – Gretchen

 

2. Rural

I like rural areas. – Will Oldham

I long for the countryside. That’s where I get my calm and tranquility – from being able to come and find a spot of green. – Emilia Clarke

When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not. – Georgia O’Keeffe

In small towns, news travels at the speed of boredom. – Carlos Ruiz Zafón

People have a tendency to see country life through rose-colored glasses. – PJ Harvey

City people. They may know how to street fight but they don’t know how to wade through manure. – Melina Marchetta, On the Jellicoe Road

Country life has its advantages…You sit on the veranda drinking tea and your ducklings swim on the pond, and everything smells good… and there are gooseberries. – Anton Chekhov

Anybody can be good in the country. There are no temptations there. – Oscar Wilde

I lived in solitude in the country and noticed how the monotony of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind. – Albert Einstein

Illustration / Part 4: Animals

Posted in Books, Children's, Illustrations, Photography by andrejabrulc on 02/11/2017

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.
– George Orwell

He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.
– Emmanuel Kant

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
– Mahatma Gandhi

I’m not an animal lover if that means you think things are nice if you can pat them, but I am intoxicated by animals.
– Sir David Attenborough

00_animals-tortoiseFurther to my three recent posts on the natural world – Part 1: Trees, Part 2: Shrubs & Vines and Part 3: Flowers – I am now posting the fourth theme (out of 12 in total) that have most commonly ‘appeared’ throughout my work in order to mark my 10th anniversary of graphic design and illustration. It is the last part of the natural world focusing on animals divided into three sections – insects, birds, small and large mammals. While the majority of work shown below was done for book covers, the section on small mammals also includes artworks showing ‘a cat, a dog and a mouse at play’ for a children’s book of poetry on 12 colours called Barvice (Eng. Coloured Pencils). Finally, I am, additionally, posting the fourth section – weird and wonderful animals I encountered during the last trip to Mexico (Oaxaca), where I undertook a research as part of art residency (Nov 2012–Jan 2013) on various aspects of Mexico for the upcoming children’s picture book.

 

1. Insects

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.
Muhammad Ali

I should like to present myself to the young painters of the year 2000 with the wings of a butterfly.
– Pierre Bonnard

Our treasure lies in the beehive of our knowledge. We are perpetually on the way thither, being by nature winged insects and honey gatherers of the mind.
– Friedrich Nietzsche

As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.
Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis

The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.
– Pablo Picasso

01_animals-insects-butterfly 02_animals-insects-butterfly

04_animals-insects-butterfly06_animals-insects-spider-web

07_animals-insects-spider-web

05_animals-insects-cockroach

08_animals-insects-and-brids-bees-and-birds

 

2. Birds

No one is free, even birds are chained to the sky.
Bob Dylan

Writing songs is like capturing birds without killing them. Sometimes you end up with nothing but a mouthful of feathers.
Tom Waits

A bird doesn’t sign because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.
Maya Angelou

A forest bird never wants a cage.
Henrik Ibsen

The tree I had in the garden as a child, my beech tree, I used to climb up there and spend hours. I took my homework up there, my books, I went up there if I was sad, and it just felt very good to be up there among the green leaves and the birds and the sky.
– Jane Goodall

09_animals-birds

10_animals-birds

11_animals-birds

12_animals-birds-crow

13a_animals-birds-swans

14_animals-birds-pegeons

 

3. Small mammals

Cats are connoisseurs of comfort.
James Herriot

Time spent with cats is never wasted.
– Sigmund Freud

I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.
Walt Disney

Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.
– Groucho Marx

A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.
– Josh Billings

15_animals-small-mammals-cat-and-mouse

16_animals-small-mammals-cat-mouse-and-dog

17_animals-small-mammals-cat-mouse-and-dog

18_animals-small-mammals-cat

19_animals-small-mammals-cat

20_animals-small-mammals-cat

21_animals-small-mammals-dog

22_animals-small-mammals-dog

23_animals-small-mammals-dog

24_animals-small-mammals-mouse

 

4. Weird and wonderful creatures

The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man.
Charles Darwin

Our task must bbe to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
– Albert Einstein

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that’s the essense of inhumanity.
– George Bernard Show

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not to die, so do other creatures.
– Dalai Lama

It is just like man’s vanity and impertinence to call an animal dumb, because it is dumb to his dull perceptions.
– Mark Twain

Illustration / Part 3: Flowers

Posted in Books, Illustrations, Photography by andrejabrulc on 26/12/2016

The Earth laughs in flowers.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Flowers are happy things.
– P. G. Wodehouse

Flowers are restful to look at. They have neither emotions nor conflicts.
– Sigmund Freud

There are always flowers for those who want to see them.
– Henri Matisse

The artist is the confidant of nature, flowers carry on dialogues with him through the graceful bending of their stems and the harmoniously tinted nuances of their blossoms. Every flower has a cordial word which nature directs towards him.
– Auguste Rodin

10_flowers-daffodilAs mentioned in one of my last posts – Part 1: Trees and Part 2: Shrubs & Vines – to mark my 10th anniversary of graphic design and illustration, I am posting 12 themes in total that have most commonly ‘appeared’ throughout my work. To continue with the natural world, the third part is focused on the flower subject divided into the following sections – wildflowers, cultivated flowers and man-made flowers, as well as flowers as part of life cycles (birth and death).

Photography has always served me as a starting point for the process of making artworks, including the flower subject. While the majority of photography is accidental gathered through my travels and day trips, a small percentage is intentional depending on the aspect of a project. Also, while some of these photos were used in their entirety depending on the subject matter, many, on the other hand, were a starting point for experiments as flowers got incorporated into a new range of compositions and environments, as well as fragmented or transformed into new shapes and textures, through the use of various techniques.

 

1. Wildflowers

Wild flowers grow where they will.
– Rachel Lambert Mellon

You always have to remember – no matter what you’re told – that God loves all the flowers, even the wild ones that grow on the side of the highway.
– Cyndi Lauper

Little things seem nothing, but they give peace, like those meadow flowers which individually seem odorless but all together perfume the air.
– Georges Bernanos

Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers where I can walk undisturbed.
– Walt Whitman

01_flowers-dandelions

02_flowers-daisy

03_flowers-daisy

04_flowers-daisy

05_flowers-daisies

07_flowers-poppy

08_flowers-daffodils

09_flowers-daffodil

10_flowers-daffodil

 

2. Cultivated flowers

I must have flowers, always, and always.
– Claude Monet

By cultivating the beautiful we scatter the seeds of heavenly flowers, as by doing good we cultivate those that belong to humanity.
– Robert A. Heinlein

Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.
– Oscar Wilde

The water-lily, in the midst of waters, opens its leaves and expands its petals, at the first pattering of the shower, and rejoices in the rain-drops with a quicker sympathy than the packed shrubs in the sandy desert.
– Samuel Taylor Coleridge

11_flowers-daffodils

12_flowers-poenies

13_flowers-poenies

14_flowers-gereniums

15_flowers-gereniums

16_flowers-elder-tree-blossoms

 

16b_flowers-water-lilly

16c_flowers-water-lilly

16d_flowers-water-lilly

16e_flowers-water-lilly

16f_flowers-water-lilly

 

3. Man-made flowers

I hate flowers – I paint them because they’re cheaper than models and they don’t move.
– Georgia O’Keeffe

I draw flowers every day and send them to my friends so they get fresh blooms every morning.
– David Hockney

I am following Nature without being able to grasp her, I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.
– Claude Monet

If heaven can be on the face of the earth, it is this, it is this, it is this.
– from an inscription – by Amir Khusrow (Persian poet)  – on the arches of the Diwan-i-Khas, Red Fort, Delhi

16_flowers-red-fort_diwan-i-khas_marble-inlay

17_flowers-red-fort_diwan-i-khas_marble-inlay

18_flowers-paper-flower

19_flowers-paper-flower

20_flowers-paper-flower

 

4. Flowers as ‘life cycles’ – Birth and Death

No man can taste the fruits of autumn while he is delighting his scent with the flowers of spring.
– Samuel Johnson

You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.
– Pablo Neruda

I paint flowers so they will not die.
– Frida Kahlo

From my rotting body, flowers shall grow and I am in them and that is eternity.
– Edvard Munch

A dried plant is nothing but a sign to plant a new one.
– Priyansh Shah

20_flowers-marigold

21_flowers-marigolds

22_flowers-marigolds-dia-de-lost-muertos

23_flowers-marigolds

24_flowers-marigolds25_flowers-marigolds

26_flowers-dried-marigolds

28_flowers-dry-grass

29_flowers-dried-flowers

27_flowers-dried-hydrangea

Illustration / Part 2: Shrubs & Vines

Posted in Books, Illustrations, Photography by andrejabrulc on 25/12/2016

A wise man in China asked his gardener to plant a shrub. The gardener objected that it only flowered once in a hundred years. “In that case,” said the wise man, “plant it immediately.”
– John Charles Polanyi, On the importance of fundamental research

A hedge between keeps friendship green.
French Proverb

As mentioned in my last posts – Part 1: Trees – to mark my 10th anniversary of graphic design and illustration, I shall be posting themes (12 in total) that have most commonly ‘appeared’ throughout my work. To continue with the natural world, the second part is focused on the subject of shrubs (bushes) and vines (climbers).

 

1. Shrubs

I walk in the garden, I look at the flowers and shrubs and trees and discover in them an exquisiteness of contour, a vitality of edge, or a vigour of spring, as well as an infinite variety of colour that no artefact I have seen in the last sixty years can rival…each day, as I look, I wonder where my eyes were yesterday.
– Bernard Berenson

01_shrub-white-magnolia

In contrast, Milena was extremely fastidious about the flat and her surroundings–from the reproductions on the walls to the flowers, in vases and in window-boxes on the balcony. Those in the window-boxes we grew from seed, those in the vases were obtained in various ways: sometimes Milena would buy them, sometimes she was given them and sometimes we would take them from the cemetery wall or the gardens in Lobkowitz Square. One evening we were caught cutting roses by a park-attendant when we already had a fine bunch. But Milena managed to persuade him that we were actually pruning the bushes and getting rid of the excess blooms–’overgrown buds’ she called them–which merely sapped the plant’s strength. It was a creditable piece of rhetoric on her part: it is no mean feat, late in the evening, that what you are engaged in at that particular hour is caring for the appearance of the public gardens and that your bunch of half-open buds are merely ‘overgrown buds’ which you have pruned for the good of the bush. It took her some time, but she managed it somehow in the end, and as we were leaving the poor chap actually thanked us and expressed regret that there were no more people like us in the city. I tend to agree with him on that point. But if I were to be asked to repeat all that Milena told him that evening, I would be at a loss. I merely realised what was meant by ‘the art of public relations’ and from that day forth was never in any doubt about Milena’s mastery in that respect.
– Franz Kafka, Letters to Milena (1920–23)

02_shrub-rose-bush

 

2. Vines

Every flower about a house certifies to the refinement of somebody. Every vine climbing and blossoming tells of love and joy.
– Robert G. Ingersoll

03_vine-clematis

04_vine-clematis

05_vine-ivy

06_vine-ivy

07_vine-ivy

08_vine-ivy

Illustration / Part 1: Trees

Posted in Books, Children's, Illustrations, Photography by andrejabrulc on 03/10/2016

I feel like a tree. A tree doesn’t feel a duty to start doing something about the earth from which it comes. A tree just has to bear fruit, and leaves and blossoms. It doesn’t feel grateful to the earth.
– Abbas Kiarostami

I think the tree is an element of regeneration which in itself is a concept of time.
– Joseph Beuys

14_trees-lonley-treeTo mark my 10th anniversary of graphic design and illustration, I shall be posting 12 themes that have most commonly ‘appeared’ throughout my work – something that I only realised while gathering material for the new website during the summer. The fact that the largest body of artworks I have created thematically for different projects consists of trees, to a ‘tree hugger’ this came as no surprise but rather as a satisfying delight! Most of these artworks were created for Beletrina book covers (a literary imprint of Beletrina Academic Press, Slovenia) and for art/children’s picture book projects where I was able to influence the decision-making in the image creation. Also, I have recently been involved with other projects that specifically required ‘tree’ related artworks – a school textbook for the CAPE (Unit 2) Geography (A-level) for the Caribbean Educational Publishers, Trinidad & Tobago and a website, Bean’s Trees and Shrubs, for the International Dendrology Society, UK.

00_trees-forest

I had been photographing trees well before I embarked on a career change from the art world in 2006. I have been particularly interested in their various forms (exploring light and shadow, shapes and textures) and in their different settings (geographical locations and climates), as well as viewing them from a range of natural conditions (growing and decaying) and that of human impact on them (signage, graffiti and incisions). While some of these photos were used in their entirety depending on the subject matter, many, on the other hand, served as a starting point for experiments as the trees got incorporated into a new range of compositions and environments, as well as fragmented or transformed into new shapes and textures, through the use of various techniques. The tree subject is divided into sections – forests, lonely trees, crowns, trunks, branches, leaves and roots – depending on a particular project.

 

1. Forests

The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity … and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.
– William Blake

The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.
– John Muir

01_trees-forest

02_trees-forest

03_trees-forest

04_trees-forest

08_trees-forest

09_trees-forest

05_trees-forest

06_trees-forest07_trees-forest

 

 

 

 

 

 

10_trees-forest

11_trees-forest12_trees-forest13_trees-forest

2. Solitary trees

Solitary trees, if they grow at all, grow strong.
– Winston Churchill

I have to stay alone in order to fully contemplate and feel nature.
– Caspar David Friedrich

15_trees-lonley-tree

16_trees-lonley-tree17_trees-lonley-tree18_trees-lonley-tree

19_trees-lonley-tree

21_trees-lonley-tree

22_trees-lonley-tree

23_trees-lonley-tree

25_trees-lonley-tree26_trees-lonley-tree27_trees-lonley-tree28_trees-lonley-tree29_trees-lonley-tree

30_trees-lonley-tree

31_trees-lonley-tree

32_trees-lonley-tree

 

3. Crowns

A tree against the sky possesses the same interest, the same character, the same expression as the figure of a human.
– Georges Rouault

No traveler, whether a tree lover or not, will ever forget his first walk in a sugar-pine forest. The majestic crowns approaching one another make a glorious canopy, through the feathery arches of which the sunbeams pour, silvering the needles and gilding the stately columns and the ground into a scene of enchantment.
– John Muir

33_trees-crown

 

34_trees-crown

35_trees-crown

36_trees-crown

37_trees-crown

 

4. Trunks

If you look closely at a tree you’ll notice it’s knots and dead branches, just like our bodies. What we learn is that beauty and imperfection go together wonderfully.
– Matthew Fox

Just touching that old tree was truly moving to me because when you touch these trees, you have such a sense of the passage of time of history. It’s like you’re touching the essence, the very substance of life.
– Kim Novak

38_trees-trunk

39_trees-trunk40_trees-trunk

41_trees-trunk

45_trees-trunk

42_trees-trunk43_trees-trunk

 

 

44_trees-trunk

46_trees-trunk

47_trees-trunk

48_trees-trunk49_trees-trunk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

50_trees-trunk

51_trees-trunk

 

5. Branches

I often lay on that bench looking up into the tree, past the trunk and up into the branches. It was particularly fine at night with the stars above the tree.
– Georgia O’Keeffe

Instinct must be thwarted just as one prunes the branches of a tree so that it will grow better.
– Henri Matisse

52_trees-branches

53_trees-branches

54_trees-branches

55_trees-branches

56_trees-branches

57_trees-branches

58_trees-branches

59_trees-branches

60_trees-branches

61_trees-branches

62_trees-branches

63_trees-branches

64_trees-branches

65_trees-branches

66_trees-branches

67_trees-branches

 

6. Leaves

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
– Albert Camus

Matisse draws what I call the essence of the plants. He leaves a shape open. He’ll do a leaf and not close it. Everybody used to say, oh, I got it all from Matisse, and I said, ‘Not really.’
– Ellsworth Kelly

68_trees-leaves

69_trees-leaves

70_trees-leaves

71_trees-leaves

73_trees-leaves

74_trees-leaves

75_trees-leaves

 

7. Roots

A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.
– Marcus Garvey

You can’t hate the roots of a tree and not hate the tree. You can’t hate Africa and not hate yourself.
– Malcolm X

76_trees-roots

77_trees-roots

If a tree dies, plant another in its place.
– Carolus Linnaeus

%d bloggers like this: