Simona Ciraolo is a children’s book author. She grew up in Italy and got a degree in animation at the National Film School. Simona moved to England shortly afterwards and worked in advertising and feature films. She's currently based in London and has just completed an MA in Children’s Book Illustration in Cambridge. She currently has three amazing titles with Flying Eye Books; Hug Me, Whatever Happened To My Sister? and The Lines on Nana's Face.
BWB: You have produced three titles for Flying Eye Books now, which one is your favourite?
SC: One usually loves all of his darlings in the same way, and I do. But if I had to pick the one I am always going to have a soft spot for, that has to be Whatever Happened to my Sister.
BWB: Do you feel your work has evolved in any way over these books?
SC: I suppose it has, although it is often the case that the artist is the last one to notice such an evolution, as it is difficult to see the work clearly whilst it is still quite fresh in your eyes.
BWB: What aspect of picture book making do you find the most difficult?
SC: Settling on particular way to draw the illustrations. Before I start working on a book I experiment with different approaches to image making, but eventually there has to come a time when I have to say: "Ok, this is it". But I often find myself to be too involved with the images I've been working on to see them clearly and be objective as to whether I am making the right decision. It isn't always easy to trust your instincts in those moments!
BWB: Who inspires you?
SC: Those authors and illustrators who dedicated their lives to the profession they love and, after decades of writing and drawing pictureboks, are still in love with this medium and still wonder how they could make their own work even better.
BWB: Your last two books were about family members. Were these based on your experiences?
SC: I'd actually say that all three of them are! No, they are not directly based on my experience, but I love to observe family dynamics: I find them terribly inspiring!