Andreja Brulc's Blog

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 [14 March 2020]: 2 Days before COVID-19 Lockdown: Art Material Delivery/Work At Home [an extract from the diary]

Posted in Children's, Covid-19/Lockdown Diary, Workshops by andrejabrulc on 14/03/2020

Thanks to my ex-colleague Marko from Slovenia and his brave trip to London last week, I was delivered extra art supply​ on Thursday​ — for a now already cancelled two sessions of lectures/workshops ​next Wednesday, ​as the country is ​preparing for a lockdown starting on Monday​ due to the Covid-19, and for my ​(first) ​children’s book project, ​as ​very handy to get on with while in self-isolation!

I am in Slovenia since Christmas — I arrived with 3 suitcases full of art material needed to complete the children’s book — a book of poetry​ on 4 seasons, which​ I wrote in 2011 as part of a sketchbook projectfor the Brooklyn Art Library, NY.​ I have a better workspace in my parents’ house, as my London ‘office’ at home does feel a bit claustrophobic for art-making!

​Some areas of the country ​have already been in a pre-lockdown mode​ since Thursday, when the first two patients, a doctor and a teacher from two different places, tested positive for the coronavirus after their return from a skiing holiday to Italy! Like all other EU countries, Slovenia is also two weeks behind in having made up an official decision to shut down the country, as the government should have stopped people travelling to the already badly affected areas of northern Italy during the half-term!

As it were – I am stuck, deliberately or not deliberately depending on from which perspective, in no man’s land. I do hope that my travel insurance covers me in case of the most black scenario!

In the meantime, I have, in fact, been self-isolating​/social distancing​ ​since mid-Feb, when bad news started to come from Italy, which, in all honestly, felt like next door! It became increasingly impossible to turn left (​go skiing) or right (return home) – so I decided to stay put and to carry on! It is a real fortunate that I did not take a short trip to London due to the uncertainty of the London Book Fair, as there would have been higher chances that I could have got stuck at home while all my art material was at my parents’ in Slovenia!

Ptuj 2011: Children’s Creative Workshop

Posted in Workshops by andrejabrulc on 03/09/2011

Andrej Rozman Roza

I initiated and created a children’s creative workshop that took place as part of the Days of Poetry and Wine Festival (of Beletrina Academic Press) in Ptuj, in association with the Center interesnih dejavnosti Ptuj (CID).

Children were invited to create illustrations based on the poem Lepa Vida v akciji by Andrej Rozman Roza.

Even though it was a sweltering day during the summer holidays (nearly 40 degrees), the workshop was well attended by 12 very enthusiastic children.

12 young participants

Kids working hard

The story of the poem is as follows. A beautiful woman called Vida goes to Trieste to buy pills for her ill husband and nappies for her baby. While in the park, she meets an African who offers her the job of a dojilja (wet nurse) in some far exotic land, where she would be well paid. She has problems at home – a baby who cries non-stop and a husband who is ill, unemployed and has lost all social benefits – so she takes up the job. However, she is not happy at work, and as soon as she gets her first salary and can afford to make a call, she phones home. But she gets no answer, so calls the neighbours. She is told something terrifying, bloody and moving – but if you want to know more, says the poem, check the newspaper. The poem also adds that if she had purchased a better mobile phone package, the story would have ended up happier because she could have phoned home earlier.

Details of illustrations from the book Beautiful Woman called Vida

Tinkara Strenčan, 11 yrs

Tinkara Strenčan, 11 yrs

Tian Mihovec, 7 yrs

Tian Mihovec, 7 yrs

Ajda Rak, 13 yrs

Ajda Rak, 13 yrs

Luka Galjot, 5 yrs

Luka Galjot, 5 yrs

The pages were assembled into a picture book. Each child was sent the book in a digital format.

The cover of the book Beautiful Woman called Vida

The cover of the book Beautiful Woman called Vida

For a full showcase of the children’s illustrations for the Book of Lepa Vida click Flickr.

Press Release: Exhibition: Sketchbook for a Journey

Posted in Exhibitions, Workshops by andrejabrulc on 15/08/2011

25 August–10 September 2011, Knjižnica Ivana Potrča, Prešernova 33-35, 2250 Ptuj, Slovenia

Exhibition: in August, Mon 12–19pm, Tue–Fri 8am–15pm, Sat-Sun closed; in September, Mon–Fri 8am–19pm, Sat 8am–13pm

Exhibition Opening: Wed, 24 August 2011, 6pm

Children’s Workshop: Sat, 27 August 2011, 3–5pm, Vrazov trg, Ptuj

Summary

An exhibition of original works by Andreja Brulc, a London-based Slovene graphic designer and illustrator, created for various book projects – including work for Beletrina (a major literary imprint of the Slovene publisher Beletrina Academic Press) and a children’s picture book Barvice. The exhibition is part of the Days of Poetry and Wine Festival and will be accompanied by a children’s creative workshop.

Exhibition

The title of the exhibition, Sketchbook for a Journey, refers to the creative process of moving towards completed work for publication and to the visual inspiration found on that journey.

Sketchbooks have been used by artists, designers and illustrators for centuries as part of their creative process. These books, such as the currently famous and fashionable Moleskine, are designed to be easily portable and are often kept in an artist’s pocket. As such, they offer a glimpse into the artist’s personal work, ranging from drawings, doodles and notes, through observations of the world and reflections on the self, to explorations and creations. The observation sketchbook focuses on the external world and is best known as a way of documenting and recording one’s experiences while travelling. The invention sketchbook, on the other hand, focuses on an artist’s internal journey while developing visual ideas. Some sketchbooks are self-conscious, with every page signed, while others are filled with seemingly random, hastily drawn sketches and doodles. Still, others reveal the progression of an idea or are conceived as a whole.

The exhibition, therefore, shows various pieces and fragments, some taken from actual sketchbooks, others being preparatory materials and finished elements produced during the exploratory journey towards not only finished work but also the discovery of new concepts and techniques. The exhibition shows a strong interest in typography and in combining illustration with photography, typography, traditional techniques such as hand-printing, stitching and patchwork, embroidery, knitting and crocheting, and industrial materials such as sandpaper and scrim tape.

Andreja writes, “Using a sketchbook to develop the ideas helps to open a valve in the brain that releases the pressure of what is unknown. Once the ideas are released in a sketchbook, they are like planted seeds that start to grow and develop. For me, a sketchbook is a place for visual experimentation.”

Children’s creative workshop

Children (3–18yrs old) will be invited to create illustrations based on the poem Lepa Vida v akciji by Andrej Rozman Roza. The pages will be into a picture book, which will be distributed in digital form.

Notes for editors

Andreja Brulc

Andreja Brulc completed an MA in Art History at University College London and worked in the Exhibitions Department at the Royal Academy of Arts for nearly ten years. After studying design, typography, illustration and printmaking at the London College of Communications (University of the Arts), she won a public competition to become a principal cover designer and illustrator for Beletrina. By the end of her fifth year in this role, she will have created around 180 book covers, along with with promotional material for books and literary festivals – and a series of murals in the publisher’s press room!

Andreja’s illustrations for Beletrina have been selected for prestigious national and international biennials of illustration. Her book covers were given an award of excellence at the 4th Biennial of Slovene Visual Communication (2009). She was nominated as an Honorary Member of the Slovene Design Society (2010) and has won the highest funding award given to an illustrator for 2010 by the Association of the Slovene Fine Artists’ Societies. Work for Beletrina was shown in an exhibition Book Covers for Beletrina in London (2010), accompanied by a literary event and a children’s creative workshop, which produced a picture book Tales from Slovenia. Andreja has also produced her first picture book, Barvice (2010), a book of children’s poems on 12 colours, written by Feri Lainšček.

She has worked on many other projects, including the UNESCO-sponsored public art project, Baptism at the River Savica, which dressed the principal statue of Slovenia’s national poet, France Prešeren, in a cloak covered in hand-made lettering from the poet’s longest work in verse. The national newspaper Dnevnik (22 May 2010) wrote that the poem was given “a form never seen before” and that “the project gave Ljubljana new artistic inspiration”.

Beletrina Academic Press

Beletrina is one of the most highly esteemed literary imprints in Slovenia. Beletrina Academic Press has gained its reputation primarily by introducing prominent works of contemporary national and world literature to Slovene readers. The publisher’s goal is to set standards for a new publishing philosophy which, in addition to focusing on noncommercial titles and giving priority to inventiveness, freshness and directness, respects authors and invests considerable effort in the promotion of their work.

Beletrina‘s list of contemporary Slovene authors is essential, focused as it is on highly regarded writers who not only attract substantial attention today but promise to flourish for decades to come. Although the imprint emphasises younger prose writers and poets, many older and established authors have contributed to its richness and diversity.

Days of Poetry and Wine

Days of Poetry and Wine, one of the most important European poetry festivals, will bring together poets from all over the world for the fifteenth consecutive year. The festival, which has to this day hosted more than 300 poets, will be taking place in the medieval centre of Ptuj. As tradition has it, poetry readings will be accompanied by other arts; several concerts, film screenings, street shows, performances, exhibitions, puppet shows, readings for children etc. will take place in the very centre of the town, which will be veiled in art installations for a whole week.

This year’s special guests will include: the Romanian poet Nora Iuga, French poet Jacques Roubaud and the Slovene classic Tomaž Šalamun. Each will be honoured by having a book of poetry translated and published, while the poetry of the other guest poets will be published in a multilingual anthology, Days of Poetry and Wine 2011. The accompanying programme will follow the central topic Poetry and Prose, on which a round-table discussion will be held. A rich selection of wines will ensure a relaxed, social atmosphere.

Contact

Exhibition:
andreja.brulc@gmail.com
www.andrejabrulc.com

Beletrina Academic Press:
info@zalozba.org
www.zalozba.org

Festival:
info@poezijainvino.org
www.poezijainvino.org/2011/

Images are available.

Book Covers for Beletrina: Children’s Creative Workshop

Posted in Workshops by andrejabrulc on 07/10/2010

In conjunction with the exhibition Book Covers for Beletrina, a children’s creative workshop was led by London-based Slovene graphic designer and illustrator, Andreja Brulc.

 

22 young participants

 

Children (2–13yrs old) were invited to create illustrations based on stories associated with different places in Slovenia and make up book pages. The pages were assembled into a short book called Tales from Slovenia. Twenty-one children took part in the workshop, and one child sent illustrations by post.

Details of illustrations from the book Tales from Slovenia

Veronika from the Small Castle of Kamnik: Živa Galjot 7 yrs

Veronika from the Small Castle of Kamnik: Allie Bunyan 13 yrs

Proteus of Postojna Cave: Hannah Mosquera 6yrs

Children were given different stories depending on their ages. The stories were based on myths and folklore as well as tales from places of interest (such as the dragon of Ljubljana, the strong man Martin Krpan, the Medieval knight Erazem of Predjama Castle, Povodni mož of Prekmurje, the proteus of Postojna Cave, the Lipizzaner horse and so on).

 

Martin Krpan: Aleksander Sestović 10yrs

Povodni mož of Prekmurje: Tobi Marinček Swain 8 yrs

 

Triglav: Marko Mosquera 8 yrs

Zmaj Direndaj: Živa Galjot 7yrs

The text was available in English (two stories in Slovene) as the workshop turned out to be very international!

 

Group 3: 7–8 years old

Children also learned about Slovenia in a creative and fun way. Light snacks and drinks were provided, and everyone had a very good time.

The book Tales from Slovenia was then displayed at the exhibition. Each child was sent the book in a digital format.

Živa is admiring the book with her grandma

For a full showcase of children’s illustrations for the Tales from Slovenia book click Flickr.

The project was sponsored by the government of the Republic of Slovenia.


Book Covers for Beletrina: Children’s Creative Workshop

Posted in Workshops by andrejabrulc on 08/09/2010

Invitation to a Children’s Creative Workshop in conjunction with the exhibition Book Covers for Beletrina

Dreamspace Gallery, 1-3 Dufferin Street, London, EC1Y 8NA

3 October 2010, 11am–1pm

Free of charge, but please confirm attendance by 27 September 2010 as the workshop is limited to about 15 places (all art materials and snack & drinks provided).

In conjunction with the exhibition Book Covers for Beletrina, a children’s creative workshop will be led by London-based Slovene graphic designer and illustrator, Andreja Brulc.

Children (3–14yrs old) are invited to create illustrations based on stories associated with different places in Slovenia and make up book pages. The pages will be assembled into a short book called Tales from Slovenia and displayed in the exhibition.

Children will be acquainted about the role of a designer and illustrator through their involvement in the making of the book. They will also learn about Slovenia in a creative and fun way.

The project is sponsored by the government of the Republic of Slovenia.

Description

First, children will be briefly introduced to the making of a picture book.

Second, children will be given a different story depending on their age. Each story will be associated with a place in Slovenia, based on myths, folklore, traditions and other historical narratives as well as stories from natural habitats and of places of interest (such as the dragon of Ljubljana, the strong man Martin Krpan, the Medieval knight Erazem of Predjama Castle, the stork of Prekmurje, the proteus of Postojna Cave, the Lipizzaner horse and so on).

The text will be pre-printed. Children will then use a variety of techniques, including drawing, collaging and using photographs (photos will be provided). They can add their own writing too.

The text will be available, in both English and in Slovene.

A digital version of the book will be sent to each participant.

Finally, light snacks and drinks will be provided. Please let us know about any dietary restrictions.

Contact

Andreja Brulc
andreja.brulc@gmail.com
www.andrejabrulc.com

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