July '16

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26 THE SHOP JULY 2016 "Last Ride" debuted in the Doug Thorley booth at the 2011 SEMA Show and received the Mothers Design Excellence Award. I will add my opinions and we come up with an idea that the client is excited to see and I'm equally excited to design," he explains. "I will create a base rendering and then usually the client and I will begin editing and tweaking things until we have something close to what the final vehicle will look like." His involvement doesn't end there, how- ever, as Bernal's company will also pitch in on marketing and other promotional efforts, as requested. "Again, if it's a SEMA vehicle, I will help with the sponsorships of the project if I can," he adds. "I also make myself avail- able for all edits and changes as sponsors or parts may change, and I'm always available to make the revisions. I will also create promotional artwork for booth announce- ments, upcoming shows, articles, media coverage, etc. I take pride in the vehicles I've breathed on; it's so much more to me than just collecting a check." Good work if you can get it, right? But, as in many industries, the true test comes in standing out in a crowded market filled with people of various skill levels and with different objectives. "Anybody can throw wheels on a car. Anybody can two-tone paint a car, just like anybody can shoot a movie," he says. "But not everybody can pull the emotion out of the person viewing it. That's what I strive for. I've always tried to achieve this with layers of eye candy that could be paint or textures or patterns. There needs to be a difference between intelligent design and a car that was built from a catalog. I want my cars to be a visceral experience." INSPIRATION As is often the case for those seeking a career in the creative arts, Bernal's initial efforts toward making a living drawing cars weren't necessarily greeted with wild enthu- siasm. "In my early years, I didn't have a lot of support," he recalls. "In fact, I had a lot of resistance from those closest to me. So, my personal motivation was, 'Oh, yeah? This is what I love to do and just you watch me do it!'" As a teenager he stood out as "the greaser kid who drives the old Cadillac and can draw really well," and was asked to paint murals in the halls of his high school. "Drawing and all aspects of art has always been something that has been in my DNA. As a kid I loved architecture. I enjoyed drawing buildings, houses and street scenes. I began drawing cars, but it was never with a potential career in mind. I just loved doing it," he says. "My only motivation was to get better and outdo myself. Looking back on it, I was really just spilling my heart and my passion onto a piece of paper—and that was everything automotive and hot rod (related)." Bernal received summer scholarships to art schools and attended Art Center College of Design's Art Center at Night Transportation/Product Design program. He also found inspiration at a company called Wings West in Newport Beach, debuted in the Mothers Design Bernal's favorite project is the "Last Ride" 2011 Mustang built in tribute to his friend and automo- tive mentor Joe Gosinski (pictured in background). A 1953 Pontiac interior. Bernal A U T O S T Y L E

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