Monica Jean Smith
Monica is an artist and illustrator whose whimsical, humorous and endearing art has captured the hearts of children and their parents alike. The fourth daughter of a retired military officer and creative hard working mother, Monica said she has ‘the most fun by experimenting and trying different mediums and techniques’ to give her ‘creatures a unique personality within their environment’. Her style is unboring and ungray, providing a playful perspective into her uninhibited world. Her colourful and detailed illustrations express a vibrant energy and a fresh perspective.
Monica’s path to art has been unusual, a degree in geology and work as a geologist in Northern Ontario and the Yukon where she worked in her field. Walking the unexplored wilderness, she developed a passion for nature and its inhabitants. She raised a family and began a second career as a business analyst in the world of IM/IT. Monica has been sketching creatures for most of her life, but has just recently allowed them to take on a life of their own.
She lives in a log house with her husband Pierre, surrounded by acres of maple forest, lots of inspiring real creatures including bugs, tranquility and her gardens. She is a visual story teller who invites you to join her on her journey.
Susan Smith Brazill
Susan loves to create things – like visual art, writing stories, taking photographs and culinary feasts for her friends. She is also that person who completely and utterly overdoes Halloween. She tells a lot of stories – not all of them are true – like in the Jumbimal series. She makes things up.
She gets her inspiration stepping away from the screen on her solitary drives in all seasons, capturing the nostalgia of abandoned rural Saskatchewan. She leaves very early in the morning. She posts photographs and stories everyday, on her highly successful and engaging collaborative Facebook page ‘Chasing Yesterday’. She is always surprised at what you can see when you open your eyes a little bit. Her stunning and unique art of flowers and trees using ripped up paper has received numerous accolades.
On a more serious note, she has a Masters in Public Administration, Bachelors in Economics, is a certified coach and has her own business in strategic planning and communications writing. All very useful when you are writing children’s books. lol. As one of five children of a military family, she went to 13 different schools and has travelled extensively. She lives in Saskatchewan in a perfect old house with her dear husband John and three cats. She dotes on her three adult children and her grandson. She loves taking risks and red polka dots.