Berni has had a lifelong love for animals, and when she was growing up her family always had cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs and tortoises – not always at the same time!
Berni was born in Leamington Spa, UK, and was the middle child of five. The family didn’t have spare money to spend on holidays and days out to nice places, so the children made their own entertainment, making things like bikes and building dens. Anything they could find, bits of metal, tin, old wheels, broken branches, would be turned in to something creative in order to keep them and their local friends busy and entertained. When it wasn’t raining all the children would get together and spend the day in the local parks and fields.
“As I have grown older, I appreciate, even more, the joy that nature gives me. It doesn’t cost anything to walk through a park or the woods or across a field and listen to the sound of the birds, to look at the beauty of the trees, the flowers, the grass, and to inhale the smells in the air. It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor. Nature doesn’t care if you are wearing the very latest clothes or whether you are dressed in rags. It doesn’t care if you wear expensive trainers or second hand flip flops. Nature is there for everyone. It doesn’t discriminate. There is a freedom of spirit that humans can find in nature that cannot be found anywhere else.”
Ask Berni a question
I have been drawing since I can remember, and over the years have developed my style from picture stories to portraits to illustrations for children and, today, I draw very detailed pen and ink images that appear in my vivid imagination – in fact I have self-styled this as “imaginaria”.
I often start a picture with a rough idea of what I want to draw. Beginning with just a couple of lines on a page, the image almost creates itself as I add hidden details within it for the viewer to find, such as dates, names, or characters with one in particular, a small owl affectionately nicknamed Sebastian, who now appears in just about everything I do. Finding him is another thing altogether!
From more technical drawings to fantastical buildings, pictures for children and the fun illustrations in this very book, I happily lose myself in my art. It’s the best job in the world!
Guy’s artwork from the book is available to buy on his website www.guychapman.co.uk
The book will be available to buy from 1st October
5% of all net profits made from the worldwide sale of the book will go to The Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi, a non-profit conservation group.
Book a talk
Berni gives talks about Tiritiri Matangi and explains how effective conservation can be when a group of like-minded people come together to protect the environment.