During a certain epoch I worked for a few years in Amsterdam. It was a blossoming period when young illustrators were in demand and there was always plenty of work. There were good art-directors then as well. Advertising agencies came up with creative, aesthetic visual ideas, and the art directors always knew who best to commission to get the required results. The revues and magazines published good stories that were often inspiring.
In fact I still value a lot of the work carried out during those early years.

I particularly remember being commissioned to illustrate Augustus, by Hermann Hesse. I think it was for the monthly magazine, Margriet. I still remember the young Surinamese art directress, but perhaps the magazine no longer exists.

Augustus was to run for two consecutive months, so two illustrations were needed.
I had never read the story before. I remember I had to read it in Dutch. In fact in those days I had learnt to read, write and speak the language reasonably well. Perhaps it still exists somewhere in a corner of my brain that still functions, although I often think that I've forgotten most of it.

But what I do remember was how moved I was after reading this beautiful story.
Well over thirty years have passed since then. Recently I found and ordered a second hand, hard back copy of the English version of The Fairy Tales of Hermann Hesse, because I knew that Augustus was one of the tales in this anthology.

The book, in excellent condition, arrived only a few days ago, and today, for the first time since having illustrated the story in Amsterdam, so long ago, (but then again, only cosmic instants ago, if time doesn't exist for those who have no conception of it, or for those, like Augustus, who, through the moment of a life-span, eventually succeed in returning to rediscover the precious, timeless dreams of their childhood) I reread it.

And those same, heart-warming emotions also returned, making it all the more magical..

 Text and illustrations © Mirino. December, 2012

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