There’s one question that more and more are asking themselves today: How do you change the world? We are increasingly better informed, and the urge to improve the state of affairs can sometimes be very strong, but how to do it? Giulia Martinelli, an Italian freelance illustrator and animator, offers a humble and practical approach.
Although her birthplace is Italy, Giulia describes herself as a nomad, and has lived in many places over the world, picking up languages and friends along the way. The one constant in her life so far is her work in animation and illustration, but this development was not an obvious one at all.
Originally inhabiting the academic world of translation and foreign languages, Giulia discovered stop-motion on YouTube during her bachelor, and experiments led to school applications, and suddenly the path was set. Her childhood interest in drawing grew up to be the leading theme in her life.
However, Giulia is not content to simply create for the sake of creation. “Usefulness,” or “meaningfulness,” plays a big part in her motivation and how she picks her projects. “I want my work to fit my values and to go in the direction that I wish to take in my career. That’s why I try to get more and more involved in projects such as educational videos and initiatives, awareness-raising projects and documentaries.”
Her choice of projects looks beyond self-gratifying aesthetics. For example, in Graphic News (a magazine featuring a mix of illustration and documentary topics) Giulia wrote “Hour of the Wolf.” This illustrated click-through animation is aimed at battling stereotypes and prejudices in the wake of Italian legalization of wolf hunting. This is a good mixture – information, activism and animation – a way to “explore social and global issues and give voice to inspiring stories.” However, she doesn’t want to come off as too serious: “It’s always important to remember that a good laugh is in itself a good purpose: I believe that irony can save the world!”
While many illustrators and animators idealize the process of individual creation, Giulia stresses the importance of other people in her work. In school, the importance of working together became apparent to her. “Not only for work, but also in life, it is very important to learn how to effectively collaborate and communicate with others, and to surround yourself with the right people.”
Appropriately, her biggest project so far, the graduation animation called “Merlot,” was created with her friend Marta Gennari, sharing “the whole work from script to compositing” in a year-long process that required “total commitment and effort.” Another unforgettable experience was her partaking in “Animation Sans Frontiere,” an “amazing” European program where young animators network and develop a short film project.
With interests ranging beyond animation – be it theatre, dancing or singing, it’s no wonder Giulia’s future plans spread in many directions. She can see herself “combining animation with performances in everyday life, like in a sort of urban installation or flash mob,” or “collaborating with theatres and performers to set up the shows.” Naturally, other people are present in her plans. For her current dream project, making an animated documentary, building up a nice team is a crucial factor, and for the longer term, she fantasizes setting up a natural farm-studio collective.
No matter your field of interest, Giulia’s story shows that we can all work to find our own answer to that tough question – how do I change the world. “First of all, be patient and never give up even when it seems like a long, long way.” she advises. “Experiments and exercise is the best way to learn. Last but not least, surround yourself with good people that constantly inspire and challenge yourself. Good luck!”
儘管她的出生地是意大利，Giulia形容自己是一個游牧人：她曾經住過很多個地方，學習了各種語言並結交了各地的朋友；但在她的生命中有一樣東西是不曾改變的：她從事動畫和插畫的工作 – 雖然這也不是一開始就註定的東西。一開始作為一個學術翻譯，Giulia一次偶然在YouTube上遇到定格動畫後，就從自行實驗行進到報讀專業學校，然後一直就這麼著了。小時候喜歡畫畫的興趣沒想到變成了人生的進程。
想當然爾，Giulia也不僅僅是滿足於只為一腔熱情而創作 – 「有沒有用」和「有沒有意義」成為了她選擇項目的動機和指引。「我想我的作品符合自己的價值觀並且為自己的發展引路、所以我希望我的作品更加具教育意義，比如是為了某個價值引起公眾關注或是紀錄片等等。」
她挑選項目的準則遠大於只是讓自己滿意的美學。比方說，Giulia在Graphic News（專門報導插畫及紀錄片的雜誌）裡面撰寫過一篇名為《Hour of the Wolf》的文章，內容關於獵狼合法化及意大利人對狼的偏見與定型想法，更包含一個互動動畫 – 這是包含資訊、行動主義和動畫，一個「探討社會與世界議題的方法」更「為有意義的事情發聲」。與此同時，她也不想將議題變得太嚴肅：「要記住『笑』本身就有美好意義，我相信諷刺手法可以拯救世界！」
她迄今為止為大型的項目就是她與朋友Marta Gennari合作的畢業項目《Merlot》 – 這是為期一年多的過程，途中她們從「寫稿到作曲」一起經歷並付出了「完全的投入和精神」。另一個難以忘懷的記憶就是當她參與歐洲創作活動《無國界動畫》（Animation Sans Frontiere）認識了很多年輕的動畫師，並且參與創作了一個短片項目。
除了創作動畫，Giulia的興趣也很廣泛 – 歌劇，跳舞或者唱歌 – 這解釋了為什麼她的未來向多個角度展開。她看見自己能夠將日常生活融合在動畫和表演當中，比方說是在城市裡面的藝術裝置甚至是快閃黨表演；又或者是和劇場和表演者合作開始一個表演秀等。顯而易見的，別人的參與都在她的計劃當中。她現今最想做的項目，就是成立一支優秀的團隊，並創作動畫紀錄片；長期的說，她想開設天然農場工作室。