She started drawing characters from Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter Chronicles almost a year ago and she has quickly become a favorite fan artist among the fandom and Clare herself. Artist Cassandra Jean finds inspiration in Clare’s stories and brings them to life on a page through her art. Jean has even helped Clare in revealing a new twist on teasers through art. Most recently she has gained everyone’s attention through tarot cards, Shadowhunter-inspired tarot cards.
Jean is making a 22-piece set of Shadowhunter-inspired tarot cards. Her work is incredible and she truly shows how a fan with a passion can contribute something powerful and meaningful to a fandom.
When I approached Cassandra Jean about an interview she was thrill and so easy to work with. Her Q and A was amazing and fitting for a two-part series. She is a great person to get to know. Don’t miss part 1 in this Q and A and now for part 2.
Do you have a favorite drawing?
Not really. I go through this cycle of self-loathing every time I finish a picture. The moment I finish a drawing I hate it. It takes me about a day to go back and look at it objectively and realize it actually isn't so bad. So now when I look at all the drawings I've done, there are definitely some that I like more than others, but it's hard for me to pic a favorite. I'm pretty pleased with the little one page comics I did of Will x Jem and Will x Tessa though. (See? All that Will pleases me.)
You have helped Clare share teasers through your art. Can you explain how that started?
Well, I think it started with a drawing I did of Will... (Will again! You see?!) Cassandra Clare contacted me then about the Shadowhunter Codex, asking me if I was interested in being one of the artists to work on it. I said of course! (I had to force myself to be very polite since what I really wanted to say was "Are you kidding me?! Hell YEAH I want to work on this!!") So I got a chance to produce art for the Codex, and ... well you'll have to ask her what she was thinking, but I guess she liked my art enough to keep hiring me to work on things for her! Like the actor portraits for the TMI movie, and then again with the teasers for Clockwork Princess, and now the Shadowhunter Tarot.
The Mortal Instruments fanbase is full of talent. How do you feel when fans praise your work?
Mostly I feel relieved. There are so many talented people out there, drawing these characters, making posters, writing fanfiction, and I was worried that I would get angry letters from people telling me that I was drawing the characters all wrong. Luckily, that only happened a few times, for the most part everyone has been really sweet and seemed to like my version of the characters. Since these are novels, you don't get to see the characters so I suspect everyone imagines the characters a little differently. So some people might dislike how I see the characters, while other's feel like I nailed it just right. So I'm happy that most people seem to agree with my interpretation. I'm really grateful for everyone's acceptance and encouragement.
When/how did you decide to create the Tarot cards?
That was Clare's idea! She messaged me about drawing the Tarot cards of the Infernal Devices characters. I think as a way to introduce them to the world. So really it started off as intending to be only 7 cards. Then somehow it turned into an entire Shadowhunter deck! (And by somehow, I mean that I may have enthusiastically suggested it and Clare seemed not to mind the idea. Wait, was I the one who brought it up? Now I can't remember.)
What do you think about the fan response and the support of Cassandra Clare?
I think the Shadowhunter fandom is one of the most impressive I've ever seen. I mean... sure, there are huge fanbases for movies, but I mean... these are books and yet still there are so many people who are always so excited over the books, the characters, the stories and so supportive of the author. Books! So many people who love books! I mean, true, the City of Glass movie will come out soon, but you can't say that all the fans are around just because of that. It's really cool to be a part of a fan base that is so supportive and enthusiastic. I see very little negativity going around and I'm always impressed when everyone rallies around Cassandra Clare. (She's so kind, really she deserves the support.)
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