“Nothing in life is ever settled. We live very long lives nowadays – there is no reason to limit yourself to only one path.”
Simona Ceccarelli could be a perfect example to illustrate her thoughts above. Indeed, the contrast between working in the field of applied science and being a creator children’s publications is unbelievably vast.
The transition was not a sudden one. Simona always knew that she would be “converted” one day because she was born in a creative family. Every member is either an artist or at least making “stuff” of all kinds. Her path was determined long ago and sizzle in her genes and blood.
“Creativity was a constant throughout my life. As a child I was constantly drawing or building things. As a scientist, I was creating new molecules – substances the world had never seen before. I do not distinguish between a creative or a non-creative side of me,” says Simona.
In 2011, Simona came to a turning point in her life. The urge of needing a new start motivated her to realise the dream hidden long inside her heart – becoming an illustrator. More importantly, her husband had been supportively encouraging her knowing that she had been spending her life on something entirely different.
Starting from enrolling at art school, the difficulty level in school surpassed Simona’s imagination. What burdened her further was the “double life” that she was living back then.
“I was still working in science and I felt like I could not talk about art with anyone. For a couple of years, I never mentioned art school to any of my colleagues, although I was spending half of my nights on assignments.”
The situation didn’t start to get better until 2013. During school, Simona quit science research completely and found work in science communications. One year later she got another job as an art director in corporate communication.
“Finally, I could ‘come out’ as an artist. I think my former colleagues from the science world were very puzzled – but that did not matter anymore,” expresses Simona.
Unexpectedly, science is not entirely unrelated to the development of Simona’s creative career. Universal knowledge like perspective or colour theories has benefited her sense of creativity; picking up software skills and habit of attention to details has pushed her even further.
Illustration itself is quite a broad topic, yet Simona easily chose the path of children’s illustrations. The realization came in when she started to try family-film animations.
“When I started to work on that type of project, everything clicked and I felt at home. When I finished art school I realized animation films and children’s books were in the same universe!”
Her own two children serve as her undoubted inspiration and source of happiness. They remind Simona that art is so much more than technique and help her to strive for heart and spontaneity and not get bogged by the “right or wrong way” of doing things.
“My children are the worst critics and normally destroy my works in two words. But then they will secretly boast about them with their friends.”
Being reminded of her previous current profession, Simona is aiming at realizing a project on combining children’s literature and science.
“To make children wonder and to make them smile is my ultimate goal. I hope to have some of my illustrations become a long-cherished memory, like some of them I still remember from my childhood. Being a creator is a big responsibility and a big privilege.”
「在生命裡面沒有什麼是不改變的。我們現在能活很長 – 也就沒有什麼原因限制我們自己在一條道路上了。」
「創意這回事其實在我的生命當中是一個穩定元素 – 從小時候我就一直在畫東西或者蓋東西。當我是從事科學的時候，我也是在不停的創造新的分子 – 這世界從來沒有出現過的唔知。我沒有將自己區分成『有創意』和『沒有創意』的部分。」
在2011年，以健康和事業為契機，Simona來到了人生轉捩點。內心一直在吶喊著「需要新開始」的衝動讓她發現自己心裡面埋藏許久的夢想 – 插畫家。更重要的是，她的丈夫對她的決定非常支持，即使她一直以來都沒有涉足過藝術行業，他只是問了一句：「為什麼不可以？」
事情知道2013年才開始好轉。當她還在求學的時候，Simona離開了科學研究的工作並在科學傳播方面找到了新工作。一年之後獲得了另一份工作 – 一家企業傳播的藝術總監。
「經過這麼多年，我終於可以作為藝術家『出櫃』了。我想我以前的同事應該都很困惑 – 不過這對我來說已經不重要了。」
「讓孩子好奇、思考和感到快樂是我的最終目標。我希望我的插畫可以成為一個讓人會長期珍惜的記憶，就像是一些我小時候看過到現在還記得的書本一樣 – 這是一個創作者最大的責任，也是最大的榮幸。」