Born in Alkmaar, the Netherlands and raised in the northern part of Holland, 45 kilometers from Amsterdam, Berna had a wonderful childhood, with mother Rita, father Ben and sister Esther. She grew up in a very artistic and creative family. Father Ben wrote a lot in his life, about everything. He also painted, speciallized in water colour landscapes. He still does at the high age of 87. Mother Rita was an elementary school teacher and she was very good at sewing both her daughters' clothes and later on, when she retired, she became an expert with paper architecture and origami folding. Sister Esther makes and designs costumes for ballet, opera, theatre and film.
Berna studied art and fashion and specialized in repeat pattern design. When she graduated there wasn't much work in it, so she became a freelancer at first and later on she was a designer for several fashion companies, mostly specialized in baby and children's fashion.
In 2001, when she had two children, a girl and a boy, she wrote and illustrated her first children's picture book about a group of meerkats. This book and the follow up were only available in the Dutch language. The books were published at De Vries-Brouwers, Antwerp-Rotterdam. Another book, 'Weet jij wat het is' was also published there. It was about a little leopard who found a beautiful thing in the forest. Berna also illustrated covers and black on white pictures for books from other authors, like Patricia d'Landtsheer and Loes Masseree.
After a period of over ten years in which she was dedicated to designing digital scrapbooking products, Berna is back to illustrating. She now focuses on childrens books, editorial illustrations and next to that to portraits.
She loves to do e-courses from Lilla Rogers and Zoe Tucker and also from Domestika.
She is a member of SCBWI, Society of Children's Books Writers & Illustrators.