What is ArtiSima?
ArtiSima is an online shop of digital printed artistic illustrations that were originally drawn by my mother Sima, in the 70's - 90's. The stories behind those pieces are a mirror to Sima's lifetime story:
Sima started her professional artistic life as a graphics major at the Tel Aviv high school she attended from 1963-1967. She loved school, and was considered the most hard-working and talented student in her class. She put serious effort into each of her assignments and was also recognized by her teachers, who appreciated her very much.
When the family moved to the new house, her parents went to great lengths to get her a stylish bed with a round mirror and a makeup bench, as well as a couple of armchairs and a small table so she could have friends over in her room. She also had a sketch desk in her room. When her door was closed on Saturdays, she would draw the things she liked or complete her homework in various graphics courses. No one was allowed into the room. On the side of the table there was always a stuffy transistor radio playing beautiful songs from various and faraway radio stations such as Monte Carlo, Lebanon and Egypt.
Whenever people came to visit, Sima’s great-grandmother made sure no one was around and would proudly show them Sima’s works. Had she been caught red-handed, Sima would have yelled at her, since she did not like that.
Sima had a very special relationship with older people, perhaps because her great-grandmother lived with her in the same house, or because of her education. She had endless patience to sit and listen to them, she treated them with respect and always volunteered to help out. No wonder she was so loved by them, they all followed her and wanted her to succeed, meaning to find a good match.
Military Service 1968-1971
Sima served in Nablus after going through boot camp at Camp 80. While everyone feared she would serve in the Territories right after the Six-Day War in 1967, Sima – who was a true patriot – was happy with the role. She wanted to serve far from home and make it meaningful.
She was an exemplary soldier, always organized and clean according to the rules, and everyone remembered her for her starched uniforms, which were so stiff they practically bruised her skin. She stayed on for 3 additional months. Her commanders asked her to stay longer, but she politely refused.
Work Experience 1971-1996
From the moment Sima was released from the military, she looked for a job and found one at Israel Aerospace Industry, where she worked as a graphics designer until she had to retire due to her illness. She would wake up very early in the morning and catch the first ride there and would come back as soon as possible so she could spend time with her son.
Sima worked in a very close-knit department where everyone loved and appreciated her. She was diligent and devoted, and loved working there. But I also remember she would get into some little fights with her colleagues on issues regarding order and cleanliness, rules she set which could not be broken.
Sima loved her family very much. She was very devoted to them and spent a lot of time taking care of her baby brother when he was sick. She always put “togetherness” first. She wanted us all to sit together, spend time together and have fun.
When her father was hospitalized for a surgery on his vocal cords in 1992, due to a tumor, Sima took on herself to look after him and at beside him for many hours, while trying to make it easier on him any way she could. It was a very special and hard treatment, but she bravely managed it and did not shy away.
When her brother was hospitalized after his surgeries, every time she visited, she would immediately arrange everything, throw out what was unnecessary, arrange the furniture, his linens and blankets, as if it was a hotel. She wanted her brother to feel healthy and perfect.
When she finished, she would see how the other patients in the room were, one from one to the next and did what she though might make them feel better and would only then ask if there was something she could do for them… of course she always made friends and have stories, and everyone thanked her for kindness.
Order and Cleanliness
Order and cleanliness were a sort of religion and a science for Sima, which she had developed on her own. The combination of cleanliness, order and graphics created this new mutation that reached almost 100% sterility. A sort of phenomenal spatial vision that created optimal space use, whether in the fridge, closets or her artwork. Each space she would scan had went trough a fast calculation resulting in high aesthetics. The placement of the furniture, the books in the library and more…
Each type of cleaning had its own logic and system: how to sweep, collect dust from surfaces…
The fact that Sima always dressed tastefully and according to the latest fashion can be added to the subject of aesthetics. A professional seamstress would arrive at the family’s house every couple of weeks and make dresses for her, and alter existing clothes.
Sima was surrounded by suitors from the moment she started her military service. Her striking figure and aesthetics led to quite a few officer suitors who promised her the moon and sun if she would only be with them, and she politely declined.
As time went by, she started having matches made. At some point, there was a different guy coming to our house to meet her almost every day, but none of them came back a second time. They were all faulty in her eyes. She said there was no point in stretching out the process of getting to know someone if you knew there was no chance of more.
Her Husband – Lucian
After almost a decade of failed matchmaking, after everyone had already given up since they didn’t know who could possibly sit her, a Romanian guy came to meet her, a new immigrant, wearing a tie, not too tall, with a babyface. He was practically the complete opposite of everything she said she wanted. He wasn’t tall or commanding, he was divorced, didn’t speak a work of Hebrew, worked as a dental technician and had no money… It was a great surprise to everyone as we waited for her to send him home, yet she never did. When she was asked what she saw in him, she said he was very clean and had great hands…
Not long after, they decided to get married at Beit HaEzrach (the Citizen’s House) in Ramat Gan, in 1978. Perry was born in 1980 and Sima was the happiest woman alive.
The deterioration in their relationship began after Lucian started working long hours, late into the evening and on the weekends. Sima was alone, raising their son almost completely on her own. Despite the divorce, Sima never spoke ill of Lucian and loved him until her dying days.
After her divorce in 1985, Sima had cancer for the first time. Her ex-husband was no longer in Israel and she asked that he not be told about her illness. Sima had a few years of remission until the second outbreak, which was in her thigh bones.
Sima went through chemo and radiation therapy, but that eventually did not help. When her disease intensified, everyone recalled one time she lay in her bed in the room with her hands on her face, in pain.
Sima passed away on Yom Kippur Eve, 1996 at 19:00, with her mother and brother at her side.
Sima was an especially kind woman. Whenever she saw a wrong or a person in need, she immediately came to their aid; and when she couldn’t, she made sure someone else would. Her loyalty and devotion to her family was endless. She did everything she could for all of us, and obviously for her son, the apple of her eye – Perry. She was completely focused on making sure he grew up healthy and happy.
Sima was a beautiful girl, always with a smile on her face and a great sense of humor. She loved to laugh and loved life, and everyone loved her.
My name is Perry, and I’m Sima’s only son. I’m in my 40’s, father for 3.
I own a graphics design studio. I’m proud to inherit my mother’s artistic touch and her longing for esthetics.
Retouching my mother’s arts was a very exciting mission as I felt I’m back to the days she made them I front of me.
I wish those pieces would “spread the word” all around the world.