Andreja Brulc's Blog

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

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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

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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

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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

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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! While 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, 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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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

Children’s / Young-adult Book: Children of the World / Oct 2012

Posted in Books, Children's by andrejabrulc on 22/10/2012

otroci_sveta_coverI designed a children’s / young-adult fiction book, Otroci sveta (Children of the World), containing 18 stories written by author, Janja Vidmar, in response to 18 photographs, taken by photojournalist, Benka Pulko, during her six-year journey around the world on a motorcycle. The founder of a charitable and educational project for Tibetan children, Benka was awarded two titles by the Guiness World Records: for circling all five continents and for undertaking a solo female journey across Saudi Arabia. The book was published by her not-for-profit organisation, Undara Studio, in conjunction with Maribor2012, European City of Culture.

The brief required a minimalist design – a style used for high quality photo journals – in order to give a clear balance between text and image. The photos of young children from different cultural backgrounds were tightly constructed on the page in order to emotionally connect young readers to them through the stories. The typography was also chosen appropriate for the age group the book is aimed at.

In 2014 the book was nominated for Večernica, the highest award for children’s and young-adult literature in Slovenia. The book was also selected for the 34th IBBY International Congress in Mexico City in 2014.

Andreja was a very attentive designer with many excellent ideas, yet able to incorporate our wishes into the project. She managed her tasks with immaculate precision, following through on the issues to the point where all the authors were satisfied. Throughout the design process for our book she was a respectful and considerate artist. I would not hesitate to recommend her, or to work with her again in the future.
– Benka Pulko, benkapulko.com, otrocisveta.si

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Children’s Picture Book: Barvice / Feb 2011

Posted in Books, Children's by andrejabrulc on 04/02/2011

Children’s picture book of poetry on 12 colours by Feri Lainšček and illustrated and designed by Andreja Brulc, called Barvice (Coloured Pencils), was released by a Slovene publisher Franc-Franc.

The book is part of a multimedia project for children called World of Colours. The project, which will take place next year in conjunction with Maribor 2012, European City of Culture, will be carried out by a group of four people: Feri Lainšček, Janja Vidmar, Benka Pulko and Andreja Brulc.

I responded directly to each poem and each colour is treated on a separate double-page spread. The book was therefore very complex and ambitious. It demanded considerable technical skills, including understanding of 6-colour print technology as the book includes gold and silver inks.

The illustrations are, I believe, highly innovative and original – a view supported by reviews. They show a variety of technical skills, not only in construction but also in using mixed media, combining various techniques, including drawing, photography collaging, photomontaging and digital manipulation. The process involved a cut and paste technique of many pieces of paper in various tones, patterns and textures, representing the 12 colours. Many papers used were from my collection and included recycled paper shopping bags and napkins, collected during various travels around the world over the years. I also used inks and scrim tape in order to achieve the desired textures and colours. Shapes were pasted or collaged together in order to construct each element of the image in a playful way.

The book was one of the five books nominated for Večernica and Desetnica (2011), the two highest awards for children’s and youth’s literature in Slovenia. The book was named ‘Book of the Month’ (March 2011) by Lunin Festival, one of most important children’s festivals in Slovenia.

Interesting and vivid illustrations … incorporate different kind of images as a whole, both from the point of technique (photography, cut out images, drawing) and from the point of selected motives (a visual translation of the poet’s words).
– Dragica Haramija & Janja Batič, Sodobnost 10 (2013): 1450–1452

I enjoyed from the start how Andreja followed and understood my verse, which she then interpreted and included in her own visual way of thinking. The result was new networks of meanings and symbols, perhaps even artistic expression that goes beyond literary and visual art.
– Feri Lainšček, quoted in Zdenko Kodrič, Večer (Večernica), 22 Sep 2011

… more than wonderful …
– Zdenko Kodrič, Večer (Večernica), 22 Sep 2011

Her first children’s book embraces the poetry in a sophisticated and artistic manner, and has caught the rhythm of Lainšček’s literary thoughts …
– Liljana Klemenčič, Večer, 4 July 2011

… highly innovative and exploratory …
Sensa (Za navdih), 3 Feb 2011


The picture book is one of the five books (out of 261 books) nominated for Večernica on 14 June 2011. Večernica is the most prestigious award for youth literature in Slovenia. The results will be announced in Sep 2011.

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