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
Categories: Comic Creator Interviews