After 30 years of the most fruitful collaboration I lived through as an illustrator, Yair and I had our last word. This last Friday our weekly column in Shivaa Yamim, Yedioth Achronot’s Weekly supplement appeared for the last time.
Our weekly column was born somewhere in the late 80s’. We’ve met in Paris for dinner in a small sushi restaurant, which was something of a novelty in those days, and were practicing a conversation about the past, only we were too young to qualify this conversation to nostalgic reminiscing. At the time I was still held a grudge against him for a girl he took away from me when we wer still in the army (this was the story I told myself at the time, in fact she wasnt interested in me at all…) so the conversation was started off with some difficulty.
Yair was saying that he was about to start writing a weekly column in Maariv, and that he would like me to be his permanent illustrator. I immediately gave up my animosity towards him.
Yair and I met in Bamahane; the Israeli army’s weekly magazine. We both arrived there following a relegation in our health rating by the army’s health authorities. We started our collaboration there, with him obviously writing and me illustrating. and equally became good friends.
As the years went by, the weekly column turned out to be a pivotal journalistic monument of the Israeli press. Later we’ve moved from Maariv to Yedioth Achronoth, and opened the weekend supplement. The column became the most read page in the Israeli printed press, and my work benefited from that exposure.
Our working relationship, is one of full trust. Yair would send me the text, knowing that my angel and interpretation would derive from a deep understanding of his world and intentions. In return, he will see the illustration for the first time , together with his readers, in print.
Throughout the years, and I am fearful with the term never. I was never invited by him to look at his text in a particular way, I was given free rein, both by him as well as by the editors, to express my own views and ideas alongside his text.
In an illustrator’s life, an opportunity such as the one I was blessed with until the publication of this last column, is rare and precious. I couldn’t have wished to make this journey with a better writer than Yair. His choice of subjects, wit, fluency, choice of words, original metaphors, sense of humor and robust consistent and stylish writing makes him a world-class columnist.
This weekly correspondence helped me to define myself as a creative and a thinking person, and for that I am for ever grateful.
Yair has embarked on a political quest, into which his investing all his talents and might.
Indeed, for me, this is a defining moment. A second, a first nature has been interrupted and ceased to exist. I haven’t realised how emotionally invested I was in this weekly rendezvous. Tomorrow’s the first Monday that I will not be receiving Yair’s text, and I am left with a big void to be filled now.
I full heartedly, wish him the best of luck in the world. I for one, will always miss my friend’s writing.