Working mostly with pen and ink, her intricate black and white illustrations consist mostly of animals, skulls, nature, and other trippy images.
“I’m really drawn to dark art and try to embellish that with some sort of beauty and nature, like have it be flowers or an ornament to make that creepier, dark thing look more approachable and beautiful to the majority of people.”
Brodek said she tries to illuminate the “darkness” and negative imagery that many of her subjects carry and expose the negativity in the world that many people choose to completely disregard.
“When I came to VCU I started studying Buddhism, the concept that I came to love is the nature of duality, the need to be negative in order to embrace the positive and have the correct perspective on both of those elements of life,” she said. “I hope with my art to make it something beautiful for people.”
She moved to RVA from Maine six years ago and took up Communication Arts at VCU.
Since graduating two years ago, Brodek has worked with a few local galleries, and has showcased her work at local breweries, and even designed a brewery label and logos for RVA bands.
“ive always had this intuitive nature to create and draw, but I never really felt a strong desire or intense passion about drawing until I decided to move from Maine to come to VCUarts…” she said. “Going to art school I was able to develop my personal style.”
And her stippling process style is incredibly detailed and intensive. The artist said she will spend 50 hours on a small piece and it can take up to 80 hours for a larger scale piece.
Brodek’s intricate drawings stem from her interest in Tibetan Buddhism. She visited Thailand for two weeks last October and during that trip, she was inspired by the artwork and architecture in many of the towns there.
“I was able to look at all the Buddhist art in the temples and I get inspiration from there…they’re kind of doing the same thing with creating “negative imagery’ but making it beautiful,” Brodek said. “In the temples they’ll have skulls or big murals of a war going on, but all they’ll paint it on a black background and then all these details will be embellished with gold.”
The local artist now takes commissions full-time and recently has been doing more art shows at breweries around town.
“I had one at Triple Crossing July 8th and prior to that I had one at The Veil brewery and Strangeways,” she said.
Brodek said she worked with Triple Crossing to design a beer label for their recent Dust and Echoes Tart Ale release.
Recently, she’s also lended her talents to a few bands designing t-shirts, logos and even some album covers including local metal band Venim Spitter.
“I like the collaboration working with companies or group of people who are passionate about what their doing rather than doing a completely solo art show,” she said.
She even designed the t-shirt for this year’s VA Comic Con, a logo for an upcoming local podcast called Nerds Rage Renegades and was commissioned to design a t-shirt for a wildcat sanctuary gala in Minneapolis.
“I met the owners of the sanctuary at Lions, Tigers and Beers in Chicago because I had done the posters and fliers for that event,” she said.
While she likes collaborating with other businesses, Brodek said expanding out for her own art shows isn’t out of the question.
“As much as I can create, I’m open to everything,” she said.