July '16

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JULY 2016 THE SHOP 29 Now a regular at the SEMA Show each year with cars he's designed, Bernal still has some goals he'd like to achieve. "I've yet to build a SEMA car for Ford," he notes. "I've contributed on many Ford SEMA cars, but I haven't built my own yet. It's definitely up there on the dream list." Part of the attraction is the chance to work on newer vehicles showcasing auto- motive design trends that Bernal says are at an "all-time high." "I credit this to the OEMs taking notice of what the aftermarket has done for individuality and personality in what you drive," he says. "I also credit this to new manufacturing technologies that allow designers and engineers more artistic free- doms." Technological advancements have allowed automotive concept artists to do their jobs better as well. "The digital age has enabled me to have a career doing this," Bernal says. "It's made it possible for me to take on multiple jobs at one time, do quick edits and multiple variations. When I was doing old-school marker and chalk renderings, I just couldn't turn them around fast enough and I could never charge for the time it actually took me to do one. Digital is where it's at now." Still, Bernal considers himself lucky to have learned his craft by making marks on clean sheets of paper, just as many of his idols did. "I still love the by-hand aspect. I spent so many years trying to master marker and chalk renderings that I still have some pride that I learned the hard way before I learned the easier way," he says. "The best compliments are when someone can tell there are some elements of that old-school organic marker and chalk feeling in my renderings." For young artists looking to enter the automotive arena, Bernal advises that pas- sion and heart are as important as technical skill. "There is always somebody better than you who wants it more than you and is working harder than you are," he warns. "If you want to make a name for yourself, you need to want it more, and believe me, if you are genuine, your passion and authenticity will spill out of you and become infec- tious to the right people. You just need to recognize the career-making opportunities when they come knocking." Or, you can go looking for them through the right window.

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