Emerik Bernard was born in Celje. He studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana. He graduated in 1965, and specialized in painting under Professor Gabrijel Stupica in 1968.
In 1987, he won the Prešeren Fund Award for his works exhibited at the 1986 Venice Biennale. In 1997, he won the Prešeren Award for his outstanding achievements in the fine arts.