Andreja Brulc's Blog

Beletrina book cover designs / April 2013

Posted in Books by andrejabrulc on 23/04/2013

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.


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 were also the first humans who realised upon their expulsion that, after having tasted the forbidden fruit, 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!


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!


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.

Sketchbook for a Journey: Exhibition Opening

Posted in Exhibitions by andrejabrulc on 03/09/2011

Photo Melita Zmazek

The opening of the exhibition Sketchbook for a Journey took place at Knjižnica Ivana Potrča in Ptuj, Slovenia on 24 August 2011, showing original works by Andreja Brulc, 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 was accompanied by a children’s creative workshop.

Photo Melita Zmazek

The event was followed by the opening of another exhibition showing the books cover of poetry collections by Tomaž Šalamun, and then by a poetry reading by Anunciada Fernández de Córdova (Spanish Ambassador to Slovenia).

Photo Melita Zmazek

Interview with, and review by, Boštjan Najžar, at the opening of the exhibition Sketchbook for a Journey, for the news site Udarno (the site no longer available), published on 30 Aug 2011. The whole interview (length 2:56) was broadcasted again on Radio Prlek (Oddaja o kulturi) on 15 Sep 2011.

Interview with Petra Skok at the opening of the exhibition Sketchbook for a Journey, Dnevnik TV Maribor, 25 Avg 2011.

For more photos of the opening go to 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


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.


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.



Beletrina Academic Press:


Images are available.

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 differently 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 the 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.





After travelling 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)
Sketchbook Project Tour
Jun 10–12, 2011
Form/Space Atelier
Seattle, WA
Jun 1618, 2011
Madrone Studios
San Francisco, CA
Jul 1417, 2011
Hyde Park Art Center
Chicago, IL
Jul 2931, 2011
Full Sail University
Winter Park, FL

Beletrina book cover designs / April 2011

Posted in Books by andrejabrulc on 08/04/2011

Beletrina book cover designs / April 2011

Posted in Books by andrejabrulc on 08/04/2011

Beletrina book cover designs / December 2010

Posted in Books by andrejabrulc on 30/12/2010

The 9th Slovene Biennial of Illustration / Nov 2010

Posted in Exhibitions by andrejabrulc on 20/11/2010

Some of my illustrations were selected for The 9th Slovene Biennial of Illustrations, organised by Cankarjev dom in collaboration with The Illustration Section of The Slovene Artists Association. The Biennial is shown at Cankarjev dom in Ljubljana from 17 Nov 2010 to 10 Feb 2011.

%d bloggers like this: