TALIA: I got started when my children moved out. I had plenty of time on my hands to learn how to write.
Dani: What were both of your favorite toys growing up?
TALIA: A great big panda bear that I would sit on and beat on its nose in every time I had a temper tantrum. (Sigh… I miss that flat nosed bear.)?
SYTIVA: A stuffed animal named doggy, he was in my band where I used any object that made sound. Loved all kinds of rocks and crystals they were all friends.
Dani: Why Brownies?
TALIA: I have always had a fascination with mythical creatures. Brownies are workers, when I was younger I always thought I would like to have one. Just to keep mom off my back about my bedroom.
SYTIVA: Love magical art stories as well as creating a magical place in the mind that one can revisit.
Dani: Did you two work together or separately on Ten Busy Brownies?
TALIA: Separately. Sytiva is so talented I always wanted to be surprised.
SYTIVA: The journey creating the mythological brownie characters was colorful fun and bonding. Each character has a different personality, which reflects human behavior in some way or another creating a sense of community. Some are smaller and some taller, chubby, older, shy or bold. There is even Allen the spider. I have grown to know these personalities and so my job is never boring.
The story takes place in the evening when brownies are awake and working. In night scenes it important to follow the path of light so you don’t loose the depth of the background and merge it with the foreground. So first I drew the sketches out starting from the source of light and where it was coming from and how far in distance, then shadows.
Dani: Do you have any advice for writers and illustrators that may be reading this?
TALIA: Keep at it. Sometimes things don’t work out until you team up with someone.
Dani: What does the future have in store for both of you?
TALIA and SYTIVA: Right now we are working on a mid grade book of fables. Our most current project is a New Adult Short story entitled “MAMA CRIED”. Sytiva is the cover artist, it is edited by Ingrid Hall.
Follow Talia and Sytiva:
Their Brownie Blog: http://mythologicalbrowniesforkids.blogspot.ca/
Sytiva on Google+: https://plus.google.com/115510939122498417921