I confess that my first FB encounter with Sytiva remains cocooned in a memory somewhere, but I do know that her magical and mystical illustrations, with a spiritual lining, had me enchanted from the word go. I find her work spellbinding and its uniqueness comes from a sensitive soul and a perception and gratitude for life that I have grown to greatly appreciate. I hope to be able to collaborate on a book together one day.
- Illustrator or author/illustrator?
- Where do you live?
[SS] Live in California the San Francisco Bay Area
- Tell us a little of your beginnings as an artist.
[SS] As a child at four and five years old, I used to color on light bulbs with crayons and then turn the light on so we can see it as a stain glass. Really do not suggest this experiment as you know crayons melt. Then it switched to color pencils and paper where from then I drew all the time. In junior high I changed to pen and ink. In high school oils and acrylics.
As a kid the beginnings involved observing, just loved the 3 Oclock shadows from trees, could stare at them all day, actually still do. I’ve always been attracted to shadows, light, candlelight and reflections of objects within other objects. I see them first before anything else. Maybe in my last life I was a mosquito. Love light through water and glass and shadows off sculptures and peoples faces.
- Has any event/person/situation strongly influenced your art process?
[SS] As far as who or what event has influenced my art process, that would be understanding sound through Krys Bobrowski a music engineering instructor who also makes instruments. Learning sound is filled with visuals, which has opened doors in understanding distance, color, sound, texture, perception, density, resonance, and peripherals. It has expanded my horizon and has had a major affect on my art.
- What is your favorite medium for your artwork?
[SS] There are two favorite mediums which I love, one is pen and ink for its detail and saturation and the other is acrylic for larger paintings and its flexibility.
- Can you share what you are working on right now?
[SS] In the process of working on a project for Utales with Author Talia Haven. We are in the beginning stages of developing a world where mythological creatures live. She is a wonderful story teller if you haven’t heard of her already.
- What comes first pictures or text? When you work with a writer do you prefer to be left completely alone to do your illustrations or do you enjoy and element of collaboration?
[SS] As a rule text comes first but recently Talia and I have decided to do both. She is a fun creative heart, I’ve been enjoying expressing ideas back and forth.
- What books and/or illustrators influenced your childhood?
[SS] Mercer Mayer was my very favorite author and illustrator growing up. Loved the critters and porcupines. I could go through the same book every day and it would be brand new to me.
The cartoon “The Fox in the Hound.” was a ten year favorite for me. Was just in love with the art and storyline.
Facinated by Tom and Jerry the ability to say little as possible and use the collaboration of art mixed with classical/Jazz music as a medium of expression still impresses me.
Loved Charles Schulz.
So many more influences, but that combination has influenced my childhood.
- What does your workspace look like?
This is what my work space looks like. It is a tiny room. It is barely ever clean. In the day I cover my bed with a board so I can paint on top of it.
- Can you share a piece with us, and the process of producing it?
This is the process of inking a character. This is one of the mythological creatures for Talia Haven’s story.
Fun Ones to Finish?
- What word best sums you up?
[SS] I’m a child at heart.
- If you could live anywhere for a season, where would you go?
[SS] Always wanted to spend a season in Bali to experience beauty and morning art. Heard the community is filled with local artists who live and are supported by the earnings from the arts and crafts.
- What do you do for non-art related relaxation?/Cats or dogs?/with which character would you like to spend a day?SS
[SS] My time off from regular life and chores are spent in the kitchen cooking with friends and my outdoor cat. I’m pretty much a homebody for the most part. This would be the reason for wanting to choose Remy in Ratatouille as a character to be with all day. Yes I know he is a rat, but he washed his hands before cooking.
More of Sytiva’s work can be seen on her website: www.sytivapainting.com
I suspect you are all a little captivated too after this interview? 🙂 How exciting that your project with Talia is so much of an exchange of ideas. Somehow this doesn’t surprise me because of your openness. Cooking for friends and snuggling my cats are also two of my favorite means of enjoying life. Sytiva, thank you so much for sharing with us today and to your success!