Artist Nick Brokenshire, who has been illustrating and teaching for a few years now, has been a lifelong comics fan, consuming 2000AD, the 1980s Eagle “and anything from the US that I could get my hands on” He graduated from the University of Central Lancashire with a degree in illustration and trained as a secondary school art teacher.
Much of his illustration has been focused in the music promotions world but he’s been trying to get into the Sci-Fi and Comics field more recently.
SciFi Art Now: What tools do you mainly use to create your art?
Nick Brokenshire: I tend to do all my layouts in non photo blue pencils, followed by black ink (brush and pen). I have used Photoshop to do much of my colouring over the years but I am trying to use more of an acrylic wash/Photoshop hybrid these days.
SciFi Art Now: Why?
Nick: I like to achieve as much as possible on paper with inks and paints and then use Photoshop for touching things up because it allows me to retain a certain fluidity in the final product.
SciFi Art Now: What inspired you to become an artist?
Nick: I always filled my head with fantastical stuff from a young age. I watched a lot of cartoons and read tons of comics. In 1977, Star Wars blew my little head right off and I found bits and bobs of concept art and ‘making of’ information here and there. That inspired me to draw and invent things. Making art has just been a natural part of my life.
SciFi Art Now: What was the most useful piece of advice you were given when you began learning your craft?
Nick: Nobody gave me any advice when I was young and that’s probably why It took me a long time to figure out how to go about finding my way in the art field. I came into it professionally sort of late. I have heard many artists that I respect say that never giving up is the key and that’s advice I try to give myself every day.
SciFi Art Now: Which artists most inspire you?
Nick: Jack Kirby, Alex Toth, Robert Crumb, Jeff Smith, Jamie Hernandez – lots of comics guys. I love Schiele’s art. Da Vinci amazes me. Hundertwasser. Too many. I sometimes have to force myself to not look at other artists because I get so wrapped up in their work that it can cause a stumbling block to my own.
SciFi Art Now: What is the appeal to you of science fiction as an inspiration for some of your work?
Nick: I like the way that fantastical images and situations bring forth very clear and identifiable human responses. I like archetypes and classic storytelling because they put the human condition into simple terms. Science Fiction and Fantasy imagery tends to inhabit this realm.
SciFi Art Now: Do you have a favourite piece of work or project you have worked on?
SciFi Art Now: In your career, have you had any bizarre experiences while creating your art?
Nick: I’m sorry to say, I haven’t. Boring me!
SciFi Art Now: What most frustrates you about being an artist?
Nick: Not having enough time in the day. Finding work is tricky.
SciFi Art Now: What keeps you going despite the hopefully occasional frustrations?
Nick: Knowing that with each piece I learn more.
SciFi Art Now: What advice would you offer to anyone starting out as an artist?
Nick: Make your mind up to do it, and dedicate yourself fully to that. There can be nothing else. Quit your band and just do art.
• Check out more of Nick’s work at Nick Brokenshire Illustration: www.nickbrokenshire.co.uk. You can contact Nick via his website or email: infoATnickbrokenshire.co.uk
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.
Categories: Comic Creator Interviews