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Flame Tree Fiction

Illustrator Spotlight: Broci

Posted by Leah Ratcliffe
Have you spotted the fantastic cover reveals for Brittle and Whisperwood? These gorgeous covers were designed by Finnish comic artist and illustrator, Broci. Find out the inspiration and process behind their works that have often been inspired by mythologies, horror stories and so much more.

broci illustrator new fiction

What artists, artworks or art movements have influenced your style the most?

For a long time I have been inspired by Ukiyo-e woodblock printing, Tim Walker's incredible photography and 1800-1900's book and fairytale illustrations, especially those created by Rudolf Koivu, Aubrey Beardsley and Ivan Bilibin. Comics have also been a huge part of my life growing up. Manga and franco-belgian comics especially. I find works done by CLAMP, Jean-Claude Mézières, Moebius, Asumiko Nakamura and Mike Mignola enormously inspiring.

What part of the creative process do you find most exciting?

Sketching the ideas is the most fun part of the process for me. It's the stage of work which has many possibilities. You don't have to mind any mistakes, just playing with shapes and lines, figuring stuff out and drawing without hesitation and it can be messy which can create more interesting shapes.  
What is your favourite material or media to work with?

I have been working with inks on paper for a long time and have been enjoying it quite a lot. I have grown accustomed to using nibs when drawing with inks because of my comic work. You can get very neat lines with it. I also like to use a ballpoint pen on occasion. My work is often very line-art focused. At the moment I'm trying out ink washing and watercolour. I like trying out lots of different kinds of media.

Illustrating fantasy authors requires knowledge on the source material and communication with the author. How do you go about representing the narrative and essence of the book visually?

Everything starts with descriptive sentences, from which the ideas begin to flow. I often try to catch the feeling of the book from those sentences and keywords help to outline what kind of details the cover might need. I always try my best to include the author's wishes as well. Some projects may require background research which can also add interesting details to the final picture. During work, I often look for fitting music to play in the background to create immersion.  

How many initial sketches does it take for you to decide a final one? 

Usually between 4 and 10 sketches. I often choose 3 most interesting final sketches to present for variety and to provide options so that the most suitable work can be chosen for the cover.  

Do you have any advice for aspiring illustrators?  

Try out lots of different mediums, experiment, draw a lot especially things that you enjoy and take small risks often. 


You can find their website here: https://www.broci.net/home



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