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Broken Isn’t Bad – A secret world of vulnerability and self love

Who is Broken Isn’t Bad?

I’m a 30-year-old graphic designer and illustrator working and living in a small city in north Croatia.

I have been drawing and working under the pseudonym Broken isn’t bad as of January 2016, two years after graduating from the Faculty of Graphic Arts. 

Why most of your subjects doesn’t have face features? 

Since most of my drawings are of a personal nature (or at least they were in the beginning), the naked body and the girl with fringe which extends through almost all of my drawings actually represents me.

I normally don’t draw face features because I want to keep my illustrations a bit mystic and undefined, something to leave my followers to think about and make them easier to identify themselves. 

What would you like people to grasp when they look at your art?

With my drawings I try to share an important life lesson with others, regardless whether it is about our relationship with ourselves or the others.

I want to make a reminder for self-acceptance and self-love, because every person goes through certain difficult periods in their life and we all need those motivational reminders from time to time.

I like to think that my art affects society, inspires and encourages others to change opinions about themselves, to find that invincible power which connects them with their inner self, to cherish and accept all their beautiful imperfections and create a positive relationship with themselves. 

My illustrations are made for all those hopeless romantics as I am myself, for those in love and those falling in love, for those who lack a self-esteem, and lastly, for the heartbroken to encourage them to keep searching for their true love and never settle for anything less than deserved.

You created your own version of Tarot. How did you discovered them and what’s your connection to Tarot cards?

I’ve been always drawn to spiritualism and after watching the movie Holy Mountain by Alejandro Jodorowsky, I decided to take a deeper look into tarot cards.

The first one I made was the Lovers and it was quite popular so I decided to illustrate all cards of the Major Arcana and produce proper decks for sale.

Since then the demand in the cards has been immensely large therefore, it was a reasonable step to work on the rest and make a full deck of 78 cards.

We’ve seen that you grant a special permission to tattoo your art, and once a person has received that permission for a specific piece, you won’t allow anyone else to get the same image on their skin. Could you tell us a bit more?

Yes, I normally ask for a small contribution payment as a support to me and my future art in turn for the right to have one of my designs tattooed at one’s local tattoo studio.

Once a design is purchased it is considered reserved and it’s not available for more grabs. I want to prevent more people having a same tattoo, because a tattoo should be a personal thing, something very intimate and special for you.

Unfortunately, that’s not always the case, because it happens that somebody has already taken and tattooed some of my work without asking for my permission or without even notifying me.

I keep finding my designs on the pages of tattoo artists throughout the world who don’t even credit me as an inspiration for their work, because their clients pretend they drew those designs themselves or don’t reveal their source.

I’m reconciled with the fact that I can’t do anything to prevent people from getting my work tattooed without my consent, as well as I cannot force anyone paying me for a tattoo right. It’s a case of ethics and morals and each person lives by their own principles. 

How would you define eroticism and what role does it hold in your daily life?

Sex and sexuality are a big part of human life and they have always been profound in art and culture. Sexuality for me means revealing the inner self and showing your vulnerability, but at the same time embracing it as your greatest strength.

Most of my illustrations depict naked women, and I try to mix eroticism with familiarity and surreality – to show we are so much more than just skin and bone.

With my illustrations I try to help women to feel good about themselves, to find that invincible power which connects them with their inner world, to accept their beautiful imperfections and create a positive relationship both with themselves and with their partners.

What has been your greatest challenge in growing as an artist online?

The first year was the most difficult and challenging, but at the same time it was the most enjoyable because I was working just for myself and didn’t worry about how many people liked my work or were buying from me. It was my secret world where I would hide and bring out that vulnerable and imaginative inner girl. 

But the most challenging was quitting my full-time and well-paid job in 2017.

If you’re going to dedicate yourself to starting your own creative business, it’s impossible to manage another career/job. In other words, you have to quit your day job and walk away from steady long-term opportunity for something unpredictable and scary.

You never know how profitable your business will be in the future, will you be able to give yourself a paycheck every month or whether customer will like your products. That was the greatest challenge I’ve experienced so far. 

How do you see Broken Isn’t Bad in 3 years?

The past few years has been really challenging and I was working hard to produce new work and build a real business for myself.

Being able to make a living from it, having a follower base and their support as well as having the creative freedom to draw exactly what I want and some me-time to go on holidays, travel somewhere, take some days off for my other activities is a bigger accomplishment than I have ever expected.

I just want to continue doing that, and don’t want to think much about the future.

We all are a little broken, after all. And that’s totally ok. Broken isn’t bad.

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