septiembre 5, 2013
By Fitnat & Roni Fahima.
I dreamed that if you say a lie you will die. Lots of people lied so they died. The only way to not die was to not lie for one day but we couldn´t so everybody died.
(Fitnat/ 9 years old)
Soñé que si mentías morías. Mucha gente mintió y murió. La única forma de no morir era no mentir por un día, pero no pudimos, así que todo mundo murió.
(Fitnat/ 9 años)
Interview with RONI FAHIMA
about the making of “Lie Die”
Roger: What is the origin of this dream leporello?
Roni: Well, on the last day of your visit to Israel you met me and some other israeli illustrators in a small cafe in Jaffa’s flee market, you told me about your visit to Tabita School in Jaffa, collecting dreams. One of the girls gave you her dream diary and you asked whether I would be interested in illustrating some of her dreams. I said yes, of course yes! I always find it interesting diving into someone elses subconscious, especially when this someone is a child.
-What motivated you the most about illustrating Fitnat´s dreams?
The honest answer would be that the main motivation was this being a small project that can be finished in a relatively short time. Most of my projects drag on indefinitely and get lost along the way. And also… Fitnat’s dreams are amazing!
-The title of the leporello comes from one of Fitnat´s dreams: “Lie Die”, a dream where people die if they lie. You illustrated this dream with some phrases: “Obviously I like brussels sprouts”, “I am innocent”, “I never cheat the test”… Were these the kind of lies that you said as a kid?
I guess I’ve grown older, I didn’t think of the child in me when I wrote these sentences, I tried thinking of lies that children tell. When I was a child I didn’t even know what brussel sprouts were, I discovered them as a teenager and fell in love with them instantly.
Another innocent lie I wrote was “I hate you, you are weird!”. I find it interesting that although children can be very honest and direct, when it comes to their emotions they are already off their guard. I teach a comic class in elementary school. This week I saw a group of boys fighting with a girl that wanted to play football with them. They said terrible things like “Girls don’t know how to play football” or “Don’t give her the ball, her hands stink”. Obviously they only said it because they were embarrassed to be seen playing with a girl (and even more afraid losing to one).
-The dreams were written by a girl from Jaffa, and you said you wanted to draw some houses the way some local houses actually look. Can you describe shortly Jaffa´s arquitecture and houses?
Jaffa is beautiful, it’s a port city that started as a large estates city, stone houses with courtyards, tall ceilings with flat roofs surrounded by orchards. With time the orchards were destroyed, buildings got crammed one next to the other, housing projects and industrial buildings were added, desolation and destruction seized the houses and the city lay forgotten in favor of it’s young more progressive neighbor, Tel Aviv. The idea of setting the illustration in Jaffa was abandoned at some point, in the beginning I wanted the vegetation in the illustration to be more Israeli with palm trees and cactuses. I start out with certain intentions but I don’t always succeed at realizing them, perhaps there is still a trace of this idea in the opening page with the girl sinking into a giant hippopotamus.
-Did you find that these series of dreams could be related to Jaffa, or you consider them as pure fantasy?
Fitnat is a Jaffait girl that lives, studies and dreams in Jaffa. I find it interesting to get a glimpse into her dreams. On one hand they embody universal worries. On the other hand, a very specific girl had these very specific dreams and this related to her specific world.
I wouldn’t think Fitnat’s dreams are fantasy. They all have a feeling that something is motivating them to. It is clear to me that she has high morals, sensitivity and a very developed intelligence. It always surprises me how dark children’s dreams can be.
-You have a beautiful daughter. How being a mother transformed your approach to illustration and color?
I don’t know whether motherhood influences my work, I still don’t draw for Anna. It’s hard to admit, I draw for people who are important to me, or for people whose opinion I value. It’s a bit like a mask, I want my illustrations to be everything I’m not, a bit cheeky but naive. And my lines to be aggressive and soft simultaneously.
The main influence motherhood has on my illustration is the lack of time. I have to find quicker methods of drawing. I usually work very slowly (as you well know).