Bernadette Solina Wolf graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of the Philippines. She taught Visual Arts at the Philippine High School for the Arts in Makiling and was one of the founding members of Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan (Ang INK). She lives in Puerto Galera with her husband, Michael.
I just learned that illustrating for children’s stories is a journey within. Most of my great ideas come up when I do my meditation exercises…then the Universe gives me beautiful images.
The final outcome, of course, comes from my own hands. But then, the inspirations do come and, how!—and even I am quite surprised at the outcome. I illustrate for children because that is where my style of art is more apt. I cannot—and have never been able—to make angsty and abstract art. Kailangan nag-co-communicate and tell a visual story. I am thankful that the writers who I collaborate with have stories that I really like. I still have dreams of writing my own stories but i guess hindi pa time…The most I get to are half-stories and when I see a story written by somebody else, I say to myself, “Sayang! sana makasulat ako ng ganito!”
Kaya bilib rin ako sa writers talaga! Akala ng iba, basta-basta lang rin na makasulat. Kaya ang children’s book para sa akin, powerful kasi ang hirap gawin in all aspects!
(I need to communicate and tell a visual story. I am thankful that the writers I get to collaborate with have stories that I really like. I still have dreams of writing my own stories but I guess it’s not yet time…The most I get to are half-stories and when I see a story written by somebody else, I say to myself, “A pity! I wish I could write like that!”
That’s why writers never fail to amaze me. People think it’s easy to write. And this is why I think children’s books have potent power, because they’re so difficult to do in all aspects!
A luminously illustrated spread by Bernie from “The Rain Is Here” written by Lina B. Diaz de Rivera and published by Chikiting Books (2011) Below, Bernie at work in her studio in Puerto Galera which she calls home. “Usually an illustrator’s job is like a spiritual marathon…when you see the finish line, you just go quietly to it, raise your arms and pack your things carefully and relay to the next stage of production. ” Bernie says. View more of Bernie’s work at her website. (Photos on this page courtesy of Bernadette Wolf.)