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  • Lilian BrøggerIllustrator–Denmark

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Lilian Brøgger was born on January 27, 1950, on Fanø, an island off the west coast of Jutland. The light of sea and sky pervades her pictures. She always knew she would draw. She studied at the Copenhagen School of Arts and Crafts (now the School of Design) from 1967 to 1972. At that time, it was mostly a school for graphic designers and advertisers. Lilian Brøgger was the first to graduate as an illustrator; she practically invented her own degree.

Being the deeply aware person she is, Lilian Brøgger—like all good artists—registers changes in society perhaps even before society itself does. As an illustrator, she has been part of and an influence on contemporary trends. In her debut years in the seventies, she worked in a consciously crude and awkward social-realist style. She contributed to the more poetic and fairytale-like imagery of the eighties, and she has held her own in the postmodern and deconstructionist bickering that has characterized the nineties and the turn of the century.

Lilian Brøgger is always where things are happening. She has wholeheartedly adopted the new media and the digital revolution. This is apparent when one tracks the course of her illustrations to Louis Jensen's 1001 Square Stories—from fine black and white lines over power of colors to groundbreaking graphic and collage.

Lilian Brøgger has exerted a strong influence on the development of the visual language of children (and that of their parents) for more than thirty years. She is hugely popular, and her popularity can be attributed to her two main qualities: curiosity and open-mindedness. She has made a valuable contribution to her field as a teacher at the School of Design in Kolding. Here, along with other committed teachers, she has encouraged the new groups of illustrators that have taken Danish illustrated books far into the twenty-first century. We call them "The Young Wild Ones from Kolding." She is an outstanding, inspiring teacher.

Lilian Brøgger has also taken time to promote the visibility and recognition of her profession—the art of illustration. She has held several representative posts, including one in the Danish Writers Association's group of illustrators and on the board of IBBY Denmark. Furthermore, she has been a juror at several exhibitions—for instance, the Bratislava Biennale, the Bologna Book Fair, and the Triennial in Tallinn. And she has conducted workshops around the world, from La Paz to Nami Island. At this moment of reading, she might be conducting a workshop somewhere in the world.

Lilian Brøgger's curiosity has led her to work in almost all techniques and visual forms. She is not satisfied until she can paint on silk or etch on copper. As an illustrator, she is a loyal collaborator and acts as a perfect foil for the author. She is always well-versed in her material, whether illustrating the Danish Stone age or H.C. Andersen's childhood home in Odense—but that is not to say she draws it as it actually looked.

Lilian Brøgger lives in Christianshavn in Copenhagen, among the boats on the canals and the eighteenth century houses. It is almost like being back home on the island of Fanø. [End Page 49]



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