Ear­li­er this week, Dvo­ra Mey­ers wrote about being an Ortho­dox Jew­ish gym­nast. She will be blog­ging here all week for Jew­ish Book Coun­cil and MyJew­ish­Learn­ing.

As a writer, I’ve paid scant atten­tion to the images that accom­pa­ny my work. I’m usu­al­ly too pre­oc­cu­pied with the phras­ing and tim­ing of jokes to fret over the all-impor­tant. That’s why one of my web­sites looks like this. (I hope you didn’t just die of purple.) 

I’m not at all try­ing to down­play the impor­tance of art in sto­ry­telling. I’m sim­ply admit­ting to my own deficit in this depart­ment. And I would’ve prob­a­bly gone on not car­ing about the visu­al com­po­nent to my work had it not been for Mar­gari­ta Korol, the urban pop artist that who cre­at­ed the vibrant cov­er to my new book, Heresy on the High Beam.

Allow me to back­track for a moment. I met Mar­gari­ta while I was an intern at Tablet, where she cre­ates illus­tra­tions that accom­pa­ny many of the arti­cles. Almost right away, I decid­ed I liked her when I real­ized she wore ear­rings as big as mine. Yes, a big pair of hoops is all it takes to secure my friendship.

After my intern­ship was over we met up for cof­fee at my behest. I had an idea I want­ed to dis­cuss with her and need­ed her visu­al exper­tise. I had just been called The Anti-Girl­friend” by a guy, a for­mer flame, to which I respond­ed, Because just like the antichrist, I’m Jew­ish and I have curly hair?” Next, I did exact­ly what any­one in my shoes would’ve done — bought the domain and resolved to cre­ate a web­site by the same name.

Well, you might be won­der­ing, what’s art got to do with it? I was won­der­ing the same thing myself. For some rea­son, the notion that this site should have a strong visu­al sto­ry­telling com­po­nent got stuck in my head. It might’ve had some­thing to do with all the graph­ic nov­els I was read­ing at the time.

Thank­ful­ly, Mar­gari­ta was game and we start­ed work­ing on dat­ing comics for the site. I would send her dia­logue sets and she would return with comics that far exceed­ed any­thing I had imag­ined when I jot­ted my thoughts down. She didn’t mere­ly illus­trate — she improved the sto­ries with her visu­als and some­times edit­ed my words for the better.

Plus, the col­lab­o­ra­tion was fun. As a free­lance writer, you spend so much time work­ing alone with lit­tle input from oth­ers that it was won­der­ful to pool my ideas with anoth­er cre­ative per­son who pos­sess­es sim­i­lar sensibilities.

Obvi­ous­ly, Mar­gari­ta was the nat­ur­al choice to cre­ate the cov­er for my essay col­lec­tion. When asked what went into cre­at­ing the vibrant image that intro­duced the text, she respond­ed, Heresy on the High Beam chan­neled some of my favorite things: a strong female lead, eth­nic strug­gle, and a Lisa Frank palette.”

She for­got to men­tion big ear­rings. I guess that’ll have to wait until our next collaboration.

Dvo­ra Mey­ers has writ­ten for The New York Times, Dead­spin, and Tablet. She was nev­er allowed to com­pete pro­fes­sion­al­ly, but she is the recip­i­ent of a gold medal for gym­nas­tics obses­sive­ness. Her new book, Heresy on the High Beam: Con­fes­sions of an Unbal­anced Jew­ess, is out now.