PRATO. Silvia Baroncelli is 33 years old freelance illustrator based in Prato. After the degree at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, she worked at the British Museum in London as Artist in Residence and once back in Italy she has started collaborations with several fashion companies as a graphic designer. Freelance for living, since few years she devoted herself to her family and her passion. She has been working with Italian and foreign publishing houses and imagining in her way the children’ universe. We all love to take refuge in the childhood memories: a movie, a book, or maybe a special item. Ready to take a step back with the splendid illustrated masterpieces by Silvia Baroncelli?
Images, objects, animals and people. Where do you find your inspiration? When I work on a project I try to think about real people the book is made for. I love to watch my grandchildren to create life-like characters. Since I became a mom, I try to think of toddler’s books and I guess now have a greater awareness of what might attract the attention of a newborn. I find the greatest inspiration in the people who surround me and are the experiences that live together with them to give me new material useful to illustrate…
What are your creative references? Who are the artists who steal your attention and inspire you when you’re working on a new project? I really like the work of the illustrator Oliver Jeffers. Is ironic, vital and contemporary. Jeffers is able to communicate to the public while maintaining a personal style and highs visuals concept. Going back in time, I have always admired the splendid masterpieces of the surrealists. I love the way they use metaphors and metonymy in painting, the way they manage to merge the worlds of the word to the image. Among all, i obviously choose Magritte.
When did you discover that you wanted to illustrate books for children? Ever since I was in high school I was fascinated by the language of drawing, which – through a series of images – can tell a story or even more than one. When I enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts, I thought I could learn everything i needed to become a real illustrator. Only in 2003, after some summer courses and a consistent experience with a publishing house in Malaysia, I was able to learn the important skills of drawing and turn them in my current job. Only by working you really learn to work.
The work that you’re more connected with? Always the last I made! At this time I am very proud of my work for the 2014 calendar of the Città Del Sole. This is a project I did with a lot of passion, in a relatively short period, which has allowed me to not make me wait too long and be guided by instinct. In each month there are children who exercise their great right to play. No adult because play belongs to children. Moreover, in each table there is a book out of context to search among the various elements represented. There is a lamp-book lamp, a roof-book, a kite-book, an umbrella-book and still others, because as who loves books already knows reading enlights, care, set free and protect… Another project i really care about is “Children born this way!“, this is a book that will be available in March by EL Edizioni. The size is small, but for me the contents are special, because it explains in a practical and direct way the mystery of birth to children. I have written and illustratored this book.
Your future plans? Right now I’m working on a series of books by an American publisher and from January on I’ll be making monthly illustrations for “G Baby“. As I said, I’m thinking of books for toddlers, also, I wouldn’t mind designing an e-book.