Vali Mintzi
Nour's Secret Library

Children's Publishing

Commissioned | Professional

Why did you make this work:
I was commissioned to make this work for the book "Nour’s Secret Library." The story interested me in two ways. Firstly, I live in the Middle East between peace and war; secondly, I resonated with the story of kids living under siege in a time of fear and seeking escape in books. Having grown up in Communist Romania, I lived under siege and escaped reality through books, art and a few good friends

How was the illustration used:
For the children's picture book "Nour’s Secret Library."

How did you make this work:
I referred to photos of Damascus to familiarize myself with that world and with the children living there in that time, and also of the real-life secret library of Daraya. I collected all these images and started to sketch them. The challenge was to visualize the war. I chose charcoal and gouache as my technique because it was suitable for expressing destruction. I used gouache to represent life.

Commissioner Company :
Barefoot Books

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Vali Mintzi was born in Romania and studied at the prestigious Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem. She works as an illustrator and graphic editor for the children's art magazine Einayim. In 2012 she was awarded The Israel Museum Ben-Yitzhak Award for the Illustration of a Children's Book. Her vibrant and evocative style is influenced by painters such as Bonnard, Hockney and Matisse.