Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Illustrator of the Month: Bernadette Solina-Wolf (1 of 2)

The blog's illustrator of the month is Bernadette Solina-Wolf. She was voted as Most Favorite Illustrator in the Aklat Awards 2016 of Lampara Books and Precious Pages Group of Companies.

Bernadette, a dear friend and creative partner, agreed to answers these questions for the blog. This feature is divided in two parts. In this first interview, she shares with us her approach and creative vision in pursuing an art project. In the second interview, we will get to know more of Bernadette's contribution to the development of children's book illustration in the country.

Bernie is humble and a quiet worker. But there is more to her than meets the eye. I am honored to have been afforded this interview.
What is your feeling now, having won an award by readers of Lampara Books?

The first time I read your post about the award, I thought I was reading it wrong! I had to read it again. Haha! I'm not used to such things like awards. But after I told my husband about it, I realized that it's actually so nice to be appreciated! 
Bernie's cover art for Tales from the 7,000 Isles: Filipino Fol Stories (ABC CLIO, 2011)
 What has been the most challenging work you have finished or worked on?

Whenever I am told that the manuscript has a few words or no words at all, THAT will be challenging! The first challenging children's book I did was Ms Lina Diaz de Rivera's "The Rain is Here" because a) it had one sentence per spread and b) it was about how rain falls on every part of the earth. In the STARs Series I had a lot of studies for "Sparrow Makes A Home" as well as "The Library Cat." The images are usually wonderful when they play in my head but to put it as magically on paper is another thing. 

Do you experience a drought in vision and in creating art? How do you deal?

I don't have any problem with visualizing when I read the manuscript.  I'm usually at awe with how the writer would come up and develop the story in a very efficient yet imaginative way. My problem is usually filtering what would be important and what would just mess up the composition between text and illustration. When I get too confused, I either do some cleaning up of the house or do some mending...anything that would take my mind off the problem.  I also get great solutions while I meditate.

In the bigger world, how do you see your relevance as a visual artist?

This is a very existentialist question. When I see the bigger picture or world, I see my relevance more in terms of "documenting" what comes into my path be it places, animals, people or moments. When I see a little girl trudge to school, I often wonder if she will finish her schooling or not. Then I keep her image in my mind to put her into one story I will illustrate. I observe people (especially, children) and look at their kind sides. I put my core values into the illustrations I do and that is the power I am given when I illustrate stories. 
Here are links to previous posts about Bernadette Solina-Wolf.


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