Computer Girl

computer girl 72dpi© Durga Yael Bernhard

Back in the days when illustrations were covered with transparent vellum, protected with cardboard and delivered by mail – I was commissioned by Hamilton College of Oneida County, NY to do a series of illustrations for their alumni magazine.  Featured were the award-winning essays of that year’s new admissions.  Those essays were bubbling with ideas and full of promise, as diverse as the students who wrote them.

I don’t often get to do editorial or magazine illustration.  It’s a nice change from my usual book illustration, and lots of fun, especially if the subject is – well, subjective.  This particular essay certainly was, as a college girl’s galloping adjustment to the her new college life is vividly described.  Somehow within the wheeling chaos, she finds a calm center in writing the very words of this essay – like a cat curled up in the center of a storm.  Trying to draw this mental construct led me to sketch little symbols of this girl’s many activities on scraps of tracing paper, which I then slid around to arrange in something like a juggler’s arc around her – or is it a small cyclone?   I sifted and rearranged until things looked right.

Eventually I got the original illustration, painted in gouache and measuring about 10″ wide, back from the magazine’s production department.  I gave it to my vet as a gift in return for a substantial discount on placing a pin in my cat’s broken leg.  He hung it in his waiting room, where the receptionist’s boxy desktop also served as a cat bed – and there was no lack of chaos.

That old cat’s long gone now, and the girl in the painting long ago graduated.  I remember them both fondly . . . though the cat, I must admit, was annoying.

Order Computer Girl as a POSTER this week, and get a free greeting card (of the same image)!   $10 for the poster and card, shipping included.  Order your poster here!

Wishing you a good week,

D Yael Bernhard

Author / Illustrator of
THE HUNGRY HAGGADAH: A Passover Story in Rhyme
JUST LIKE ME, CLIMBING A TREE: Exploring Trees Around the World
THE JEWISH EYE 5776/2015 – calendar of art
NEVER SAY A MEAN WORD AGAIN – A Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review;
winner of the Sydney Taylor Award and National Jewish Book Council Award
THE DREIDEL THAT WOULDN’T SPIN – A Toyshop Tale of Hanukkah
WHILE YOU ARE SLEEPING – A Children’s Book Council Notable Book
GREEN BIBLE STORIES FOR CHILDREN – Nat’l Green Book Festival Notable Book
A RIDE ON MOTHER’S BACK – An American Bookseller Assoc. Pick of the List
– and more!
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