Andreja Brulc's Blog

Sketchbook / Book Cover Design

Posted in Illustrations, Sketchbook by andrejabrulc on 20/03/2013

The final artwork and some pages from my sketchbook done for a book cover – a collection of poetry in prose called Material, written by Andrej Brvar and to be published by Beletrina Academic Press (May 2013).

MaterialAs the title suggests, the collection is, in the author’s words, ‘a load of life material’ (‘totality of life’). The poet first de-constructs ‘his material’ in a witty, emotional, sceptical and ironical way in the form of various ‘cut-out’ fragments: aphorisms, impressions, genres, newspaper cuttings, diary notes, anecdotes, life paradoxes, interesting points from the world of science, commentaries on art, literature and history, etc. All fragments are then re-constructed as a kind of collage (‘cut-and-paste’). The theme of love, woman, ageing, death, memory, art, literature, history etc are arranged as a cycle of four seasons.

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I decided to focus the final artwork on the core theme – the love poetry – surrounded by fragments of other themes that span throughout the cover representing the four seasons (spring – birth – cherry tree flowers; summer – youth and joy of life – two figures; autumn – contemplation – tree; winter – death – footsteps in the snow). The starting point is the poem called Skozi mesto – the poet’s memory of his hometown (Maribor), past and present. The poem is a personal lament, on the one hand, for the ‘old times/things’ now lost, while, on the other hand, a sharp public comment on the ‘new times/things’ that changed the old city identity for a boring ‘every-city-looks-the-same’ look. The poet feels as if he is ‘expelled from the Garden of Eden’ (i.e ‘his hometown’). This particular comparison gave me the idea of using the silhouette of Adam from Massacio’s fresco (1425) in the Brancacci Chapel (Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence) for the shape holding the hand-made lettering based on a small section of the poem – Adam’s raised hands show a gesture of shameful realisation that something is no longer kept in one’s possession! For Christians, Adam and Eve were not only the first lovers in the garden of earthly delights but they were also the first humans who realised upon their expulsion having tasted the forbidden fruit that they were also mortal and condemned to ageing, decaying, and dying. So, to complement the composition, Eve had to be added to hold the quote for the book!

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Although the poetry, in my opinion, does not have a specifically religious tone as a whole, the theme of death is universal. Also, although the love poetry is central to the collection, some poems at the end of the happy seasons (spring and summer) already express the passage of time (ageing and decaying of sensual body, separation and death) before even the cycle of the sad seasons begin. But, the tone of nostalgia – remembering and contemplating the beauty of old times and past loves – counterbalances the poetry (autumn and winter) and prepares our last journey more bearable – just like the footsteps in the snow!

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Sketchbook Project 2012: Stitches and Folds

Posted in Craft, Exhibitions, Projects, Sketchbook by andrejabrulc on 28/02/2012

I decided again this year to participate in the Sketchbook Project 2012, the main project out of many run by the Art House Co-op based at The Brooklyn Art Library in New York. This year nearly 20,000 of sketchbooks will be exhibited in 14 cities across North America, and for the first time this year, in London for contributors from Europe and in Melbourne if the artist resides in Australia.

For the details of the Project Overview see the post about last year’s Fiction Sketchbook. The only difference between this and the fiction one is that with this project you did not have to tell the story in text. You are free to develop your theme.

The theme I picked this time is Stitches and Folds. The entire sketchbook was folded and stitched. I folded the pages inwards, starting from the middle of the sketchbook, with the first two pages folded so that the outer edges met the gutter. I then folded each page, with the size of each fold decreasing in equal increments towards each end of the book. I then added various papers under each fold, stitching folds and papers together each time with a different kind of stitch and at a random pace, using threads varying in thickness and colour.

For images of all other pages of this Sketchbook Project click Flickr. Here are some examples.

The tour stars in April 2012, and we shall welcome the sketchbooks in London this October.

Brooklyn, NY
April 14th-30th
Brooklyn Art Library
103A N. 3rd St
Brooklyn, NY 11249
 
Chicago, IL
May 3rd-5th
Hyde Park Art Center
5020 S. Cornell Avenue
Chicago, IL 60615
 
Portland, OR
May 11th-13th
The Cleaners at the Ace Hotel
1022 SW Stark St
Portland, OR
 
Vancouver, Canada
May 15th-16th
W2 Media Cafe
111 W Hastings St.
Vancouver, BC
 
Los Angeles, CA
May 24th-26th
iam8bit
2147 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA
 
San Francisco Bay Area
June
Pop-Up Library
 
Greater Boston Area
July 6th-8th
LynnArts
25 Exchange Street
Lynn, MA
 
Portland, ME
July 11th-14th
SPACE Gallery
538 Congress Street
Portland, ME 04101
 
Toronto, Canada
July 18th-22nd
The Gladstone Hotel
1214 Queen St. W
Toronto, ON
 
Philadelphia, PA
Aug 23rd-25th
The Painted Bride
co-presented with InLiquid
230 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
 
Atlanta, GA
Aug 29th – Sept 1st
MASS Collective
364 Nelson St. SW
Atlanta, GA
 
Austin, TX
September 8th-16th
Co-Lab Project Space
613 Allen St.
Austin, TX
 
London, England
October
Canada Water Library
co-presented with The Albany
and Southwark Council
21 Surrey Quays Rd.
London, SE16
 
Melbourne, Australia
November 10th-21st
NGV Studio
Federation Square
Russell & Flinders Sts
Melbourne

Fiction Sketchbook Project 2011: It must be …

Posted in Craft, Exhibitions, Projects, Sketchbook by andrejabrulc on 29/05/2011

The Cover

I participated in the Fiction Sketchbook Project 2011, which is one of many Sketchbook Projects run by the Art House Co-op (now called The Sketchbook Project) based at The Brooklyn Art Library. Since its inception in 2006, the Art House Co-op has initiated many international art projects and has brought together thousands of artists from all over the world.

The Project Overview

The Fiction Sketchbook Project is an opportunity to tell stories in a different way by fusing text and images. As a rule of thumb, the Art House Co-op recommends that you dedicate 51% of your sketchbook to words.

After one signs up to participate, Art House Co-op sends participants a Moleskin sketchbook (in this case, 5.25×8.25 inches). One can pick up the theme from a list of 40 themes, or choose to have the theme randomly assigned. However, once the theme is chosen, one is stuck with it! The themes are supposed to be a starting point, not a restriction. The theme I chose was It must be…

The Making

I decided from the start to treat my selected theme as if I was constructing a children’s picture book in the sketchbook. I wrote a simple narrative about four seasons seen through the eyes of a child. Each spread was, therefore, carefully worked out in advance on the basis that it was to contain a single sentence accompanied by a direct visual response.

As you are free to rebind the sketchbook, use a different paper, and do whatever you want to the front and back covers, I opted to rebind my sketchbook in a Coptic style binding using Fabriano Hot Press 90lb paper. This was an enormous fan as it was the first time I undertook such a process.

You can also use any medium as long as the book keeps to the same dimensions when closed. I used a mixed media combining illustration with photography, typography and traditional techniques, such as hand-printing, stitching, patchwork and crocheting, as well as and industrial materials, such as scrim tape.

Finally, as you are especially encouraged to write the text by hand, I chose to use a hand-written script type created a while ago in association with a book cover for Beletrina and have since used it in other occasions.

For all images of this Fiction Sketchbook click Flickr. Here are some examples.

Spring

Summer

Autumn

Winter

After traveling across the United States (see the venues below), the Fiction Project will enter into the Brooklyn Art Library’s narrative collection.

Brooklyn Art Library
103A N. 3rd St.
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(Open Tue – Sun: Noon – 8pm, closed Mondays)
www.sketchbookproject.com
 
Sketchbook Project Tour
 
June 10-12, 2011
Form/Space Atelier
Seattle, WA
www.formspaceatelier.com
 
June 16-18, 2011
Madrone Studios
San Francisco, CA
www.madronestudios.com
 
July 14-17, 2011
Hyde Park Art Center
Chicago, IL
www.hydeparkart.org
 
July 29-31, 2011
Full Sail University
Winter Park, FL
www.fullsail.edu/gallery
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