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  • Writer's pictureShea Stanfield

The Greatest Secrets are Hidden

"Watch the world around you with glittering eyes because the greatest secrets are hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." Roald Dahl. There is no doubt that father and daughter artist team Shay and Todd Spoor have developed 'glittering eye' powers in their search for a tiny race of beautiful Fairies and fierce Darkling Sprites known as Mythix.

It all began with British writer, scholar, and explorer Richard F. Burton. During the 1800s, he discovered and captured a tiny race of beings known as the Mythix. The story began when Burton moved the beings away from their magical lands; they entered a deep sleep, frozen in place until they could be returned to their land or something from it was brought to them. Sadly, Burton passed away before he could return the tiny beings to their home. For over two hundred years, the Mythix has been forgotten until now. Shay and Todd have discovered and created a way to bring the Mythix to us.

How did Shay come to this noble mission, introducing us to these extraordinary, delicate, magical creatures? She said, "I have always loved Fairies and Sprites, and of course, these look like gorgeous butterflies and all forms of insects in the natural world." With Todd's help, Shay has combined the two to create new and beautiful creatures from her imagination. She says, "Several movies, such as Pan's Labyrinth and the Spiderwick Chronicles, have significantly influenced my creativity. The process has allowed me to explore a world with my dad where we can bring the Mythix into form to share with others."

"Fairies are known to be tenders of plants and energizing inhabitants of gardens. They are active in preserving what little wilderness remains on the Earth"

You may wonder where on Earth the creative magic happens with Shay and Todd, in this case, Paradise Valley, Arizona. Shay attends a local middle school; still a young creative naivest, she is building the foundations of her imagination. Todd, on the other hand, is a seasoned adventurer in the world of Mythix. He has his BA in English education from the University of South Florida and is the author of 11 volumes of books called Infected by Art. Shay says, "I love everything that art has to offer, and my goal is to expand my career in the arts as I grow older." Todd's magic is, "I have been helping artists from all over the world expand their careers by publishing their art; the series Infected by Art is in its eleventh year."

Shay and Todd's research, gathering, and production studio is not beneath the twisted roots of an ancient ironwood tree or tucked away in a densely packed mesquite grove; it is housed in the magic of their home in Paradise Valley. The "Bug Room" is where the team stores its selection of specimens. Shay states, "We start with different beetle bodies and build from there. Our finished Fairy or Sprite is never the same as when we started; often, it veers off into all sorts of crazy directions." Todd explains, "Each Mythix Fairy or Darkling Sprite is a one-of-a-kind creation. They are created entirely from parts of different small creatures in nature. Each Mythix creature is given a three-digit identifying number and a capture date." Each specimen is as individual as you or I. There will never be two the same.

For those of you wondering about the ethical practices in collecting and producing these wonderful and magical creatures, Shay and Todd can assure you, "All animals and insects used in the production of Mythix Fairies and Darkling Sprites have been ethically sourced after the end of their natural life cycle. Presently the Mythix creatures occupy space at two magical places in the Phoenix metro area; On the Edge Gallery on Main Street in Old Town Scottsdale and Terror Trader on Alma School and Elliot in Chandler, Arizona. "Fairies are known to be tenders of plants and energizing inhabitants of gardens. They are more elusive than Angels and often have lively, mercurial temperaments. They are active in preserving what little wilderness remains on the Earth" Elizabeth Eiler, Swift and Brave: The Scared Souls of Animals.



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