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The Case of Dyani Alissa Hernandez

In the summers, Dyani's father took her to work with him because he didn't trust babysitters, and however dangerous it might seem to others to have a ten-year-old on a building site, Dyani's father felt most secure when he could glance over and see her.

She entertained herself with magic markers and the drywall, drawing (for example) fleets of flying frogs, held aloft by inflated bladders extending from their necks on thin stalks, or cars in flooded parking lots, their roofs colored metallic sandbars just barely visible, or children, spreading their fingers in front of their faces like fans, but so many fingers--many more than ten.

Her father didn't say anything about the artwork--didn't praise her or scold her--just put the panels into the houses, pictures facing inward so they wouldn't be painted over. In later years, some homeowners discovered these artworks when they made repairs or improvements, and the art of Dyani Alissa Hernandez was briefly a minor sensation on local news, with some homeowners speculatively making holes in their walls to see if they might have a hidden drawing. But many of the drawings are still undiscovered, surreal visions communing with insulation and wiring in early twenty-first-century subdivisions.

Pictures to come (maybe), but here is one I discovered online **after** having written the story (source)


( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 23rd, 2016 04:39 pm (UTC)
that's lovely!
Jul. 23rd, 2016 04:45 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad you liked it.
Jul. 23rd, 2016 05:05 pm (UTC)
Oh wow, that is so beautiful!
Jul. 23rd, 2016 05:08 pm (UTC)
I'm suddenly shy to say thank you because of course one big element in this post is the picture, which isn't mine. But I can definitely say I'm very glad you liked the post, and thank you for reading/viewing!
Jul. 23rd, 2016 05:10 pm (UTC)

Very cool

Jul. 23rd, 2016 05:20 pm (UTC)
Jul. 23rd, 2016 05:32 pm (UTC)
What a cool story! The picture is beautiful!
Jul. 23rd, 2016 05:36 pm (UTC)
Thank you--yeah, I love the picture!
Jul. 23rd, 2016 06:31 pm (UTC)
I love that story. I wonder, did she become an artist? Did she stop drawing, then one day see her art on the news and pick up a pen again?
Jul. 23rd, 2016 06:44 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reading!

My guess is that she didn't become an artist initially, but that she kept on drawing, wherever she was and whatever she was doing. Then, at some point in her life, I'm guessing that she was able to switch gears a little and turn to art.
Jul. 23rd, 2016 07:46 pm (UTC)
This does my heart good. :D
Jul. 24th, 2016 02:55 am (UTC)
I'm so glad!!
Jul. 23rd, 2016 07:51 pm (UTC)
Jul. 24th, 2016 02:59 am (UTC)
Yeah, I saw the picture on Tumblr and thought, wow--just like the sort of thing I was imagining.
Jul. 23rd, 2016 07:58 pm (UTC)
I love the idea of the child as secret, unofficial artist, and of the hidden artworks in the houses. You've found a lovely illustration, too, with an art deco quality I can almost believe fits the story (can you tell that it matters more to me that she was able to do her own art, and that later it made people happy, than that this should be a story about the 'origin of' a great artist?).
Jul. 24th, 2016 03:01 am (UTC)
Your feeling is much like mine: I like the idea of hidden art, a secret between the creator and whoever should happen to discover it... or maybe just the artist and the house. And I like the idea of a child peaceably being at the worksite, and her dad (and the other construction workers) just giving her space and letting her do her thing.
Jul. 23rd, 2016 08:35 pm (UTC)
What a great story. I love that her father didn't object to her doing her art, just adjusted to it. I wonder if he ever thought of keeping any of it. It's so amazing; did he notice?

Jul. 24th, 2016 03:03 am (UTC)
I think he must have thought it was cool and good, but probably couldn't believe/see that it was as special as it was. Maybe for her birthday, he got her some good paper to draw on.
Jul. 24th, 2016 03:41 am (UTC)
But many of the drawings are still undiscovered, surreal visions communing with insulation and wiring in early twenty-first-century subdivisions.

I like this case very much. I'm glad the art obliged by showing up.
Jul. 24th, 2016 07:22 pm (UTC)
Me too. I may try drawing the examples of Dyani's art that I referenced in the story, but I'm not sure they'll live up to what I have in my head as well as this painting by a stranger does. (And thank you!)
Jul. 24th, 2016 07:49 am (UTC)
I love this so much! She WAS an artist, even if she never sold a single picture, but a secret artist, at least for a time. I'm hoping, though, that even if her father didn't praise her verbally, that he let her know through smiles and hugs and such just how wonderful he thought her work was. I'm sure a father who was so careful of his child's care that he wouldn't delegate it must have valued her very much. And, back to the hidden art, how stunning it would be to discover, by chance, that such a piece had been hiding in one's walls.

But many of the drawings are still undiscovered, surreal visions communing with insulation and wiring in early twenty-first-century subdivisions.

There's such a magical aspect to this whole story, and to that last line, which is quite matched by the magic of the image you shared.
Jul. 24th, 2016 07:23 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! It is very fun, very rewarding, writing when you are in the audience <3
Jul. 24th, 2016 04:09 pm (UTC)

Thank you!
Jul. 24th, 2016 07:23 pm (UTC)
My great pleasure--thank you for reading!
Jul. 30th, 2016 12:45 pm (UTC)
S funny what the mind can do. I know what magic markers are, but I read it as magic markers first. And in a way, I guess they were. :P

I love how her father let her do her thing, and the touch about him facing the pictures so that they wouldn't be painted over. So wonderful.
Aug. 1st, 2016 11:23 pm (UTC)
Whoever gave magic markers their name was a genius. It was a performative naming, or a recognition of a truth--whatever is drawn with these will be magic.
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )

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