Monday, January 08, 2007

Thumbnails: Brom

Thumbnails: 30 Second Interviews

Brom's work is often creepy, uncomfortable, and so damn pretty. No matter how dark the subject matter, his paintings are tenderly rendered little gems. (If you get to see the originals, you will see just how much they glow.) Much of his illustartion work has been collected into a number of art books, calendars, and various collectables. Last year, Abrams published his first fully illustrated novel, The Plucker, and he is hard at work on his second novel, The Devil's Rose.

Favorite painting you did in the past year?

The cover for my new illustrated novel, The Devil's Rose. It's an undead gunslinger riding a motorcycle. It just doesn't get much more fun than that!

Dream assignment?

Pretty much any job that I have complete creative control over and am ridiculously overpaid.

Do you remember the first time you knew you wanted to be an artist?

In the womb. This is actually true to some extent, as I cannot remember a time when I did not want to be an artist.

Do you have to like the book to be excited about the project?
No. I only need to like the art description, or be ridiculously overpaid.

First break in the business?
Getting hired onstaff at TSR in the late 80's. This put me in a studio with several top industry pros such as Clyde Caldwell, Jeff Easley, Fred Fields, Robb Ruppel. Being able to learn the basics of the craft from so much experience was a real brake. Also it was very competitive, I believe we pushed each other to do our best work. It was an incredible time of artistic growth for me.

A career highlight?
Having my first artbook Darkwerks published.

What are you working on now?

Last year Abrams published my first illustrated novel The Plucker. A twisted children's book for adults. I am just finishing up my second illustrated novel The Devil's Rose. This one's a western set in Hell and is just full of nasties! It is due to hit the stands this summer. I will be posting updates at

Your biggest influences?
Frank Frazetta, of course. I thrived on Richard Corben when I was growing up. Dead people I like: John William Waterhouse, Alfonse Mucha, N.C. Wyeth. And some people find this hard to believe, but Norman Rockwell has always been a favorite -- to me there simply is no better draftsman.

Advice to a young illustrator?
Don't eat paint. It will make you senile and cause you to lose control of your bladder. Beyond that, study the work of artist you like, but work to develop your own look. You will never get far being a second rate anybody, and nothing turns art directors off more than plagiarism (with the possible exception of aggressive flatulence). Second, fill you portfolio with the type of work you want to do. You get work based on what is in your portfolio. You want to paint apples, don't put oranges in your portfolio.


Tracy Flynn Art said...

"Second, fill you portfolio with the type of work you want to do. You get work based on what is in your portfolio. You want to paint apples, don't put oranges in your portfolio."

Excellent advice and commonlyoverlooked.

Great little interview. Thanks Irene.


The Lone Beader® said...

Hello! I just found your blog, and I like it! Someday I hope to work with an illustrator to perhaps create beaded images for a children's book=:)

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

"Don't eat paint."

This guy's amazing. His art's incredible (I wish I could afford his book) -- although that top picture looks so much like Geiger that at first, I thought it was -- and he's cool, to boot.

You've made a new fan, Sir Brom.

Anonymous said...

I've been a fan of Brom's work since the early 90's and the man always seems to amaze me with each new piece he puts out. I can't believe that i missed the Plucker book, that's next on my list of books to pick up!

As a fellow Illustrator I found this interview inspiring, look forward to more :)

David B. Ellis said...

I just wish Brom would do more science fiction illustration. He's great at it but it makes up such a small portion of his output.

His style would be perfect for the covers of military SF and space opera. I can think of dozens of books I've read that I'd love to see with a Brom cover.