CA·Talk｜Broskii’s Way：Only When You Understand The World Can You Love It
Sometimes, games are just for entertainment, but in Broskii’s world, “games” are her personal journey. At 23, this girl has sensitivity and maturity towards her life. She always knows that how she is different and her life as well. I captured her ability to explore her life experiences and reflection in her artworks. I see an in-depth view and logic from her arts，these qualities come from her family of origin and her upbringing.
Born in 1998, red-hair Broskii and is a third generation Canadian born and bred from an easy-going and extremely respectful people from Ireland, off the north-west coast of Europe. Broskii’s mother is a very strict specialist and whose father is a gentle publisher-editor. Influenced by her father’s fondness of books, novels and fairy tales, Broskii’s favourite fairy tales as a child were Charlotte’s Web and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Until now，these two stories still influence Broskii’s perspective and the way she sees the world.
Broskii then studied digital painting and expaned animation at Ontario College of Art & Design University, which prepared her for a professional background as an animation designer. The world of programming fascinated her, and her connection with fairy tales made her want to use programming to tell the stories she wanted to present.
After we know where her inspiration came from, let’s see what stories she wanted to tell. Broskii didn’t want to give the stories any edifying meaning, she wanted to tell stories that were realistic and reflected in everyone’s real life. She regarded games as more than entertainment, she thought they should also be a journey of growing experiences and ideas. In Broskii’s game world, she creates different characters, experiences different experiences, and provokes different thoughts from them. Each experience corresponds to a different stage of growth in her real life — for example, in No Man’s Sky, the four main characters are meant to be companions on a journey, helping each other and separating from each other, and eventually becoming either family. And In Flying Islands and Uncertainty, that the two young girls are herself at a certain stage of confusion and uncertainty…
But in her NFT artworks, things going different. The “Sphinx” and “Ancient Chinese Buddha” are constructed from thousands of photographs. They both have been deconstructed and reconstructed in a way that reinterprets the symbolic meaning of traditional cultural symbols in the age of Internet technology. The artworks suggest countless lives and experiences have come together to create human civilisation in the course of time. These are Broskii’s latest creations, from which we see her understanding and reverence for human history and life in a way that is familiar to her.
Hans Christian Andersen once said, “Life is a fairy tale, full of the hardships of wandering and the twists and turns of persistent pursuit; I have lived my life without a fixed place, my life has drifted, and fairy tales are the Aladdin’s lamp of my wandering life”. Perhaps it is the same for Broskii, except that she digitally weaves one story after another and her understanding of the world. Only when you understand the world can you love it.
In this 「CA·Talk」 with Canadian-Irish artist Broskii, I pressed the pause button for the fast-paced by myself and get rid of bias on Generation Y，to see the world through her eyes and get to know a 23-year-old “computer native”.
CA：As you say，your mather is a doctor, and my dad is a book publisher editor，I am thinking abiut what makes you to decide to be a game designer？
Broskii ：You define me as a storyteller, I think it’s quite accurate. I was always interested in storytelling through art but I also grew up playing lots of video games which spark my interest in learning to code. So went to study computer Engineering after high school and I ended up doing small animation jobs, but I wanted to take this further and enhance my artistic skills. That is why I studied Liberal Arts. From there, I was able to do a game design with my own art style.
After that,I became a game designed gradually. I don’t remember exactly when because I did so many freelance jobs while I was in school. But like I said, I have always liked storytelling through beautiful art that directly speaks to people’s imagination and takes them somewhere far from reality. Game design was the perfect career choice where I was able to combine art, animation, and storytelling. I believe that will be a good way to see the world through thousands of lines of coding.
CA：Do your parents have any influence on your creative or career choices?
Broskii ：I think both of my parents are very creative in their jobs. I have watched them always coming up with new solutions and ideas to implement in their field. Overall, my parents were very encouraging since I was little to pursue what I truly want to do in life and that helped a lot in shaping my career choices.
CA：In your creations, these are many inspirations come from fairy tales. Are they contact with the fairy tales reading when you were a child?
Broskii ：Indeed. As a child I read lots of fiction books like Charlotte’s Web and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and those stories are living with me until now. I like the concept of a powerful magical being that’s willing to help everyone. And fairies are mostly like that. I haven’t really thought about how it reflects on my own self. However, I think in general everyone has a child living in them, and that contributes to their creation and thinking in a direct or indirect way.
CA：Is that why you have always had a preference for “journey” in your creations，because the child lives in you is going to see the world？
Broskii ：Yes, life in itself is a journey full of mysteries. You never know what will happen tomorrow. I think it would be very boring if we stopped seeking to uncovering secrets and reaching for new heights. I think this is why I am always drawn to stories that revolve around discovery and exploration. So a journey for me means learning and discovering new things including about myself as well.
CA：So the four main characters in “No Man’s Sky” are actually corresponding to your real experience thinking？But seems I can see the the four protagonists of the Chinese mythology “the Journey to the West”？
Broskii ：Chinese mythology is something that interests me a lot, but I know very little about it. I have only recently started to use Chinese symbols and places in my work. The four characters in “No Man’s Sky” represent the group of friends or companions you travel with and through experiences, they become almost like a family.
CA：In “No Man’s Sky”, I also saw many images with oriental meanings. For example, the animal pulling a sled in “Dumbledore’s Sleigh” seems to be the Suzaku from the oriental mythology. Is that just another connection from my cultural experience, or you exactly do use some Eastern cultural symbols in your works?
Broskii ：I haven’t heard about Suzaku methodology until now. But maybe I did but we call it differently over here. The creature in “Dumbledore’s Sleigh” is a reference from the Griffin mythology. It appeared in many stories over the years and the whole methodology originated from Asia. For me, creatures like the Griffin represent the symbol of power but also wisdom. It’s where help comes to you when you least expecting it but if you seek it you will not find it. I like those symbols and I wish they were real.
CA：You said that the four people in “No Man’s Sky” represent partners in the journey. Is this a kind of thinking about interpersonal relationships? Does it come from your thinking about the relationship between people in real life?
Broskii ：Yes, I have few close friends and we share the bad and good moments in life. I think accepting the bad before the good in someone is what makes a relationship lasts a lifetime.
CA：The latest picture of “No Man’s Sky” is “Endless Stars to Discover”. Is this the end of this story? Does this robot in the picture mean anything?
Broskii：In most of my work I try to leave an open ending to the story. The person in the white suit is actually an astronaut and I wanted to show how big the universe is compared to him and all the stars and planets yet to be discovered.
CA：There seems to be a lost little girl in most of your previous work，such as “Drowning…”, “Flying Islands”, “Uncertainty”，that is yourself?
Broskii：”Flying Islands” and “Uncertainty were some of my very early works. I think at the time I was a bit lost emotionally. I think everyone goes through phases like this at some point. And my emotional status definitely affected my art at that time.
CA：Where does this sense of loss come from? Is it due to uncertainty in real life? Does she also compare with yourself in reality?
Broskii：Yes, you are definitely correct. The artist’s experience and mood will inevitably affect their creation. My art comes from how I feel about the life around me such as the seasons, the forest, the hills, and the people. It is all connected. I guess if I think deeper, I will find I have this uncertainty feeling always which reflects on my work one way or another.
CA：How do you interpret the word “dream”? Do you think your creation is interpreting an imaginary dream world or a real world deep in the spirit?
Broskii：My father tells me most of his writers say that they got their stories in a dream. I think our subconscious self does play part in how we perceive the world around us and create a scene or part of a story that we wish to experience in real life.
CA：Let’s talk about “MagusIRL”，is that a character in your movie animation?
Broskii：MagusIRL is the title of an augmented reality mobile phone game that I was developing on my own in my free time. In the game, you can choose to be a wizard or a witch. You go around solving riddles and collecting ingredients to make new spells. My Twitter was going to be where I advertise for the game. Unfortunately, when the pandemic started in early 2020, people stopped going outside, and I didn’t see the point of continuing to develop the game.
CA：When you are making a game, will you create a story for it first?
Broskii：The story is everything. It’s the main drive to the beginning and end of a game and everything in-between. Without a story, you will be working blindly, and the project will fail. For any project, I start by setting the main idea of a story first such as the main characters, theme, and possible ending. Of course, as the project progress so does the story.
CA：About COVID-19，what is the biggest thought and experience brought to you by the epidemic in the past two years?
Broskii：I guess when the epidemic started, it was interesting to see how the world slowed down when everyone stayed home. And for me, it was nice to experience things slowing down and having more time to think and observe the world around me.
CA：Back to the topic，from your first NFT work, I saw something different. It was a narrative style different from the previous fairy tales，and you obviously misappropriated the symbols of the Eastern traditional culture?
Broskii：Can’t beat that！My first NFT was “Ancient Mosaic” that I have posted on CryptoArt. I am fascinated by the Ancient Egyptians and my first NFT focused on the Great Sphinx face. I used Algorithms for color matching to bring together 5001 images of ancient Egypt. The work aims to connect the compatible, impulsive origins of human behavior throughout time and its relation to the present time. The diminishing face of the Sphinx is a symbol of the enduring human spirit through time and space.
CA：What kind of creative ideas made you decide to depict this kind of culturally symbolic sculpture? And is it inspired by David Hockney，I mean，to use thousands of paintings to collage a figurative work?
Broskii：I think there are many reasons why I decided to create my NFT art like the way I did. But I should say，old cultures such as the Chinese and Egyptian are so rich with thousands of years of history, stories and feelings. There is really no comparison to any western culture. I just find myself drawn to the legacy left behind in form of great statues and temples. I wanted to connect the past with the present and that is how I came up with creating paintings using thousands of photos.
David Hockney is amazing! I love the scenery in his paintings. I studied of his style in school. I think it would be hard not to be inspired by him.
CA：That‘s the reason what makes you to learn Mandarin？
Broskii：LOL，I have visited Beijing back in 2018 and stayed with a Chinese friend. She was my classmate in university. I was absolutely fascinated by the Chinese culture, people, and food. I’ve also visited lots of temples and found lots of peace and serenity there. I wanted to learn the language after my trip so I can communicate with the people better on my next visit. But I am still struggling with the language, I may need one or two years to be able to speak Mandarin.
CA：How did you think of entering the field of NFT art?
Broskii：NFT was everywhere in the news, it was hard not to be interested in it. I had to read a lot about NFT to understand what it is first and how it works. I needed to familiarise myself with all the terminology like “Wallet” and “Gas fee” before trying to create NFT myself. I would define NFT art as a form of ab asset that would live forever in a digital medium unaffected by time.
CA：What does NFT mean to you? Does it have a real impact on your creation?
Broskii：NFT almost feels to me like an infinite digital art book that will forever exist, and it will be very special to own any small piece of it. In general, the concept of NFT made me think about how I can integrate machine power with my own art skills to create something new. This is how I came up with the idea of using algorithms to put together thousands of photos in one piece of art.