Back in uni days, I was lucky enough to have illustrator and comic artist Simone Lia
as my tutor and just look at her work and you’ll see exactly what I mean by lucky.
Simone’s work is a constant source of inspiration for me, I love her way of seeing the world and how she visually translates her observations perfectly both in her illustrations and comics.
Her body of work is so consistently rich in narrative and packed with humour. I’m particularly fond of her heart warming graphic novel Fluffy
, and her Jesus as she saw it when she was six years old is absolutely priceless…
Every week I look forward to her blog
updates but I also thought it was about time to catch up properly and asked her a few questions especially for this post.
Q: Every time I see one of your pieces, it puts a smile right across my face. What inspires you to come up with such great amounts of witty insights in your work?
Thanks Thereza! I think I get ideas from talking to my friends and family. They’re a funny bunch, no matter how dark or dire a situation there’s usually a belly laugh in the midst of everything. I’m inspired by very ordinary everyday things too, standing in a queue in Sainsbury’s, being on a commuter train, waiting at the hairdresser. Sometimes I get lots of ideas from those everyday situations.
Q: Current projects… what are you up to at the moment?
I’m still working on a graphic novel. It’s taken a while to do a chunk of it mostly because it’s quite a personal project. I’m colouring it in and hoping to generate some interest with my publisher as he hasn’t seen it yet. It’s a book with me in it and my relationship with God. I’m very interested in relationships and felt inspired to do this. It’s a challenge to work on in all senses but I’m so into this and keen to see it finished.
Q: Where did your interest in creating comics originate?
I always loved comics as a child, I was a huge Beano
fan when I was a child and I remember buying a 2ft stack of Beano back copies at a jumble sale once, my mother was not impressed. I loved the funnies but at art college I didn’t even consider that I could make comics, we sort of weren't allowed at college to do anything cartoony, it was shunned upon. It was Tom Gauld
who inspired me to make something whilst at the RCA and I haven’t looked back since.
Q: How does the process involved in making comics differ from producing a single illustration?
With the comics there is more of an opportunity to draw a reader into your world and for them to engage with the characters. A comic is more of a time based piece of work and you can play around with the rhythm and pace of the story. A single illustration needs to communicate a concept in an instance.
Q: Tell me three things you can’t do without….and 3 pet hates…
Hmm, well beyond the basics then definitely the people in my life who I love. I’d also say faith in God that’s a big one, I think the last one would be being creative in some capacity. I suppose that’s why I love ordinary situations like being overwhelmed to the point of panic attack by the choice of butter in Sainsburys – having a creative outlet can turn an ordinary moment into something a bit funnier at a later date.
Three pet hates: I love it but also I think all of the information from technology does my head in I think we’re in an era of information overload and we’ll be twitchy wrecks with miniscule attention spans in five years time. That’s one. Moths is two and weeds is the three. That’s all I can think of at this moment.
Q: If you hadn’t become an illustrator what path do you think you’d you have followed?
I think something quite practical like an engineer or a plumber. I’m not that good at practical things like that but it does have an appeal.
Thanks Simone, it’s been lovely catching up with you!