When Esther, a spirited young girl from a small Jewish neighborhood, gets labeled a witch in taunts from her Catholic school classmates, she embraces being one. Despite the further scrutiny it brings to her guarded traditional community, Esther enjoys the mystery and power that comes with being a witch. She also likes that it’ll help ward off potential suitors that her mother is so keen on her winning over. Besides folk tales, Esther knows little about witches, but understands that they are women with a special connection to the natural world that are feared, yet in control of their own destiny. Esther resists following the women before her and, in trying to carve her own path, she loses sight of ties that are important to her.
Coming from generations of immigrants from Syria, Panama, Poland, Russia, and Costa Rica, Michelle Nahmad examines culture and explores history in her design, illustration, and narrative work. She combines elements of the handmade and analog with the digital, bringing old world and new world subjects and tools together. She has been an artist in residence at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, France, and was recently awarded Best Student Filmmaker in AT&T's Entertainment Project for her short film, The Shochet. Other awards include illustrations chosen for Latin American Illustración 5 and 6, the SVA Paula Rhodes Memorial Award, and the AIGA St. Louis Design Scholarship, among others. She received her BFA in Communication Design and Art History with a Global Studies Certificate from Washington University in St. Louis before completing the MFA Visual Narrative program. Originally from Miami, FL, she is currently based in Brooklyn. Michelle's thesis mentor was Andrea Dezsö.