Benjamin Murphy talks to Simone Lia

BM - For those that might not know, please explain who you are and what you do.

 

Fluffy 1984 is available to buy from Jealous Gallery

Fluffy 1984 is available to buy from Jealous Gallery

SL- I work mostly with words and pictures creating stories and often using anthropomorphism, this lends itself to the comic medium. I’ve written a couple of graphic novels of which Fluffy is probably the most well known. Fluffy is a bunny who lives in a human world and grapples with his own identity.  With my artwork I try to reveal the truth of what it is to be human, sometimes this is funny, or sad or absurd.

 

BM - Have you always been so creative?

 

SL – When I was in my early teens I discovered a love of painting because it let me enter into another world. On a Sunday afternoon I would often be painting in my dad’s tool shed.

 

At that time I only saw painting as a hobby, I didn’t know that it could go beyond that. My Dad was keen for me to be a quantity surveyor after leaving school (because I liked maths and reading diy books) I was happy to do this and even got a place on a BTEC Construction Course. However when I was in the last year of school I was awarded a trophy for my artwork and that’s when things changed. I really wanted to study art at a higher level and go to art college. It was quite a big deal that my parents let me pursue this and I’m very grateful to have had that opportunity.

 

 

BM – You have done illustrations for newspapers in the past, would you say that your work is political?

 

SL -  I don’t delve into politics in my artwork or even particularly topical events. There are others who are doing that and there is a rapid response on social media by commentators to things that happen in the news.  I’m presenting something slightly different in that the core of my work is looking at what it means to be a human (even if it’s a drawing of a sausage or a bird).  Someone said recently that he thought that one of my stories was about theMiddle East conflict – the beauty of anthropomorphism is that it gives the reader space to apply the message in a story to other situations. 

 

BM - What made you want to get involved with Art On A Postcard?

 

SL- It’s a good charity and I heardlots of good things through Jealous gallery about what Gemma was doing and all the hard work and dedication that she’s put in. I like it when people have grit and passion and wanted to do my small bit to help out.

 

BM - What other exciting things are you working on at the moment?

 

SL – I have a weekly slice of life style comic strip in The Observer called Things I’ve Learnt. It’s about the ridiculousness of everyday life, mine and yours.  I have my first children’s fiction novel being published in August called ‘They didn’t teach this at Worm School’. I’m super excited about these and I’m penning the second book already. There will also be a debut to the first graphic novel Fluffy, it’s on a wee hiatus at the moment but it will be coming.

 

BM – Where can we find out more about your work?

 

SL – My website:

www.simonelia.com

Weekly comic strip:

http://www.theguardian.com/profile/simone-lia

Fluffy on instagram

https://www.instagram.com/fluffypulcino/

 

About the writer

Benjamin Murphy is an artist who primarily creates delicate figurative works using black electrical tape. As well as this, he regularly writes about contemporary art. He lives and works in London.