Exclusive Interview with Artist Cassandra Jean!

I am very pleased to share this interview with you today. As a huge Shadowhunter Chronicles fan, case I have enjoyed the artwork that Cassandra Jean has produced for the fandom, and am excited about the new things coming, like the calendars and The Secret Treason graphic novel.

For those of you who don’t know, Cassandra Jean is an artist. She works on many things, like original graphic novels, and does artwork for other YA novels, like Beautiful Creatures, The Lynburn Legacy, Shades of London and The Raven Boys. You can check out her website, and her artwork, here.

Cassandra Jean became known to me when she started doing the artwork for the Shadowhunter tarot card series.

Here are some examples:

There are SO many more of these, and you should check them out, because they are SO cool.

After this, I decided to check out Cassandra’s website, where she does a multitude of artwork, all of it so talented and beautiful. I enjoy any time she does work, and especially when its from the Shadowhunter Chronicles. Occasionally she does “sneak peek” or “spoiler” work for City of Heavenly Fire, or to celebrate a holiday and such.

Just recently, she unveiled the Men of the Shadowhunter Chronicles calendar, featuring all of our favorite hotties from the series. You can see all those by clicking here.

Now, I’ve had the awesome opportunity to interview the lovely Cassandra. Enjoy!

Sara: What is your background in art? When did it become something that you were really passionate about?

Cassandra: I’ve pretty much always wanted to be an artist since I was a child. I think there might have been a year in elementary school where I considered being a veterinarian (animals!) but that didn’t last long. I have always wanted to draw. I come from an artistic family so they’ve been a big influence on me and have always encouraged my artistic side. My mother writes, my father paints, my grandparents were art teachers, photographers, writers, seamstresses… so, yeah, I’ve basically always been into art. I majored in Illustration in college and started working on graphic novels straight out of school.

CJ_Will_&_Tessa_1

Sara: How did you get involved with doing artwork for Cassandra Clare and the Shadowhunter Chronicles?

Cassandra: Through my fanart actually! She liked a drawing I had done of Will Herondale and approached me about working on the Shadowhunter Codex. I said YES (of course!) and the rest is history! Since then I’ve had the pleasure of illustrating a lot of things for her, she’s so much fun.

Sara: How do you approach a piece of artwork based on something that has already been written?

Cassandra: Working on something that someone else has written is a lot different from creating your own story from scratch. While working on an original artwork, you are using a character who is unknown and you have complete control over who they are and how they look. But while working on something that has already been written, you’re interpreting something that already exists. Neither one or the other is better, but both processes have their own pros and cons. When I work on something already written, I get to skip the whole script writing stage! But, there is a lot of pressure to get things right. Because these are characters that people have already read about and fallen in love with, and the fans will notice if you mess something up. So in order to get things right, I read the book, and while reading, I take careful notes about the characters. I write down their names, their family, their appearances (hair, eyes, facial structure, fashion sense, quirks, habits, etc) so that when I draw them later, I can consult my notes.

Sara: So many people know you as the artist behind the Shadowhunter tarot cards, the City of Heavenly Fire sneak peeks and now the Shadowhunter Men calendar, but what other art do you do?

Cassandra: Well! At the moment my life is pretty Shadowhunter-ed up! But I work as an illustrator for YenPress. I’ve done the graphic novel adaptations of “Beautiful Creatures” and “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” and a short comic titled “Something Wikkid”. And I have more books lined up!

Sara: What is your process like? What sort of mediums do you use?

Cassandra: I work almost entirely on a computer. Sometimes when I’m sketching up thumbnails for comic pages or trying to decide on the layout for an illustration I will use pencil and paper, but most all of my process is done on the computer these days. I use a tablet so that I can draw digitally into programs like SAI and photoshop.

Sara: What is sort of your goal when you are doing a piece of work? How do you work to capture the essence of a character?

Cassandra: Uhm… hard question! Well, I read the book first and foremost. Since that’s the best way to get to know a character. When I draw them, I try to keep in mind their personality. If they are sexy and flirty, or shy, or quiet and moody. Our personalities, and the character’s personalities, effect how they dress or how I would pose them. Often when I draw a picture I try to focus on the overall mood. Like if I’m in the mood to draw something sad, or happy, or sweet. Then I try to pick characters to draw that suit the mood I’m in. It seems to work out more naturally that way.

Sara: You’ve worked on so many different projects besides The Mortal Instruments like mangas, and Beautiful Creatures and Raven Boys artwork. Are there ever any challenges in doing so many different things or do you like the challenge of that?

Cassandra: I like the challenge. In fact, I kind of need it. No matter how much I love something, I can get exhausted drawing it over and over without any variety. That’s the sort of thing that can send me into a slump. So that’s why I draw so many different subjects. It’s refreshing, and I feel like it keeps me on my toes. Especially when it comes to comics. A comic can take me 8-9 months to finish, and every page is filled with tons of drawings of the same characters. So working on a variety of fanart and projects at the same time prevents me from falling into a rut.

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Sara: What are some projects that you’ve worked on that some people don’t know about but you’d really like them to?

Cassandra: I used to illustrate an online comic called Land of Lions! I haven’t been able to work on it for several years now, since Yen Press started hiring me for work, and these days I’ve improved a lot so the artwork in it is a bit old. But I’m still pretty proud of what I did with it. If people were interested I’d be flattered if they took a look at it. It’s up on a website called MangaMagazine.net In fact that website has a lot of awesome stuff you should check it out some time if you’re interested in reading original works online.

Sara: What are some of your hobbies besides artwork? Do you read, and have you read the books that you’ve done the artwork for?

Cassandra: Art kind of eats up my life. It’s my work AND my hobby. But I do read a lot too. I have of course read all the books I’ve done artwork for. I try not to draw characters for things I haven’t read because I think that if I didn’t, they wouldn’t turn out right. I wouldn’t have a very good grasp on what the characters looked like, how they acted or dressed… (with the exception of the Dark Artifices and TLH which have not been written yet, but Cassandra describes the characters to me in detail so that I get them right) So yeah! All the series I’ve done drawings of, I’ve read, and I’ve read plenty that I haven’t done art for either, sometimes I like to just read. I also play a lot of video games when I get the chance. And rearranging my book shelves. Does that count as a hobby? Because I love doing that.

Sara: What are you working on now and what can we expect from you in the future?

Cassandra: Lately, I’ve been trying to slowly hash out an original story that I’d like to illustrate. But I think it will be quite some time before that’s ready to show off. I’m also drawing the Shadowhunter Calendars still.You can also expect the “Miss Peregrine” graphic novel to be in stores in October along with the Shadowhunter Codex (some of my illustrations are in there, though I haven’t seen the book yet myself so I’m not sure which ones made the cut!) Also the next book I’m working on, which was leaked a few days ago, is The Secret Treasons with Cassandra Clare. So please look forward to it!

 Sara: What can you tell us about The Secret Treasons, and what and when can we expect that? 

Cassandra: I can’t tell you much about it other than what you already know. It follows Valentine and the Circle back in their younger days. I’m looking forward to drawing not only the younger versions of Valentine, Jocelyn and Luke, but also drawing the characters that we never got to meet in the books because they had already passed away. Stephen, Michael… I’m so excited about working on a Shadowhunter comic. Hopefully soon, the publisher (Yen Press) will release more information about it for you guys to feast on.

Sara: A nice little fun question that I ask all the people I interview: who is your fictional crush?

What really happened in Peru - Ragnor Fell 4

Cassandra: Crush? As in just one? UH…Ragnor Fell! My big cranky green lima bean. What’s that? No, he’s not dead! He’s just…hibernating!! [sound of gross sobbing in the distance]

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I hope you all enjoyed this interview with this awesome, awesome artist and super cool person. This was a super fun interview to do, and Cassandra had a lot of new stuff to share with us all.

I hope you all will check her out. You can find her at:

Her Website

Her Tumblr

Her Deviant Art Site

Her Twitter

Happy Reading everyone!

 

Men of Shadowhunter Chronicles Calendar!

Now, viagra buy as if Cassandra Jean, couldn’t get any cooler than she already is, a Shadowhunter Men calendar for 2014 was announced.

For those of you who don’t know, Cassandra Jean is an artist, most known for her Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices fan art. She also does work for original graphic novels, and other YA works like Beautiful Creatures and The Raven Boys. She did a set of tarot cards using the characters from the various Shadowhunter series: The Infernal Devices, the mysterious TLH, The Mortal Instruments, and The Dark Artifices.

So when I found out there would be a calendar, featuring all the steamy men of these series, done in the brilliant artwork of Cassandra Jean, I was SO excited!

Here are the art pieces for each month!

Shadowhunter Calendar January

January 2014: Featuring James “Jem” Carstairs of the Infernal Devices trilogy

Shadowhunter Calendar February

February 2014: Featuring Magnus Bane and Alexander “Alec” Lightwood of the Mortal Instruments series celebrating Valentine’s Day

Shadowhunter Calendar March

March 2014: Featuring William “Will” Herondale from the Infernal Devices trilogy

Hubba Hubba

Shadowhunter Calendar April - Matthew Fairchild

April 2014: Featuring Matthew Fairchild of TLH, the parabatai of James Herondale.

Shadowhunter Calendar May Jaime Rosales

May 2014: Featuring Jaime Rosales of the Dark Artifices trilogy

Shadowhunter Calendar June Jace

June 2014: Featuring Jace Wayland Morgenstern Herondale Lightwood (depending on what you call him) of The Mortal Instruments series.

I call him Jace Lightwood. I can do that because I’m so marrying him. Sigh <3

Shadowhunter Calendar July Julian Blackthorn

July 2014: Featuring Julian Blackthorn of The Dark Artifices trilogy

Shadowhunter Calendar August Mark Blackthorn

August 2014: Featuring Mark Blackthorn of The Dark Artifices trilogy, brother to Julian.

I think I’m going to really like Mark…

Shadowhunter Calendar September Simon

September 2014: Featuring Simon Lewis of The Mortal Instruments series.

Can I just say, the fact that his shirt references the Oregon Trail game is just too hilarious for life?

Shadowhunter Calendar October Raphael

October 2014: Featuring Raphael Santiago of The Mortal Instruments series, looking very creepy for Halloween haha.

Shadowhunter Calendar November-James Herondale

November 2014: Featuring James Herondale of TLH

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Aren’t all those pictures absolutely amazing? AND super steamy and hot. I don’t know about you ladies but I’m pretty excited about those Will Herondale and Jace Lightwood months…

And I know what you’re wondering, where’s December! December is going to be a GROUP picture, and its coming soon. Even better news, there will  be a GIRL character calendar as well.

I am so excited!

And a little surprise for you all, I have an exclusive interview with the artist herself coming tomorrow!

What do you guys think of the Shadowhunter Calendar artwork? Which ones are your favorites? As always, share in the comments!

The Midnight Heir Short Story Review

The Midnight Heir by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan

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You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Cassie’s Website/Sarah’s Website

GoodReads Synopsis:

 In Edwardian London, salve Magnus Bane discovers old friends and new enemies—including the son of his former comrade Will Herondale. One of ten adventures in The Bane Chronicles.

Magnus thought he would never return to London, find but he is lured by a handsome offer from Tatiana Blackthorn, whose plans—involving her beautiful young ward—are far more sinister than Magnus even suspects. In London at the turn of the century, Magnus finds old friends, and meets a very surprising young man . . . the sixteen-year-old James Herondale.

This standalone e-only short story illuminates the life of the enigmatic Magnus Bane, whose alluring personality populates the pages of the #1 New York Times bestselling series, The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices series. This story in The Bane Chronicles is written by Sarah Rees Brennan and Cassandra Clare.

My Review:

I think this installment of the Bane Chronicles is my favorite so far, and it really boils down to the fact that it really makes absolutely no sense and it leaves you hanging. I believe this short story, really, is an introduction to the mysterious TLH series that Cassandra Clare has planned, to follow the lives of the children of the characters in the Infernal Devices series. James Herondale is the son of William Herondale and Tessa Gray and he seems to be even more tragic and messed up than his father had been.

We have no information on TLH at all, besides the fact that it’ll be about the children and that its initials are TLH. Now, I feel like we have an idea of what to expect from this series. We see a very messed up James Herondale, who is in love with someone he definitely shouldn’t be (seriously, that girl is freaky) and we also meet Tatiana Blackthorn, who is angry and has a vicious vendetta against some Shadowhunters and wants help that Magnus cannot give. But Tatiana doesn’t seem the person to give up easily and it really helps me to believe that this what to expect from that series. Its a bit frustrating because you know this series won’t be coming for awhile, because The Dark Artifices is slated to release before that, and the next Bane Chronicle, The Rise of Hotel Dumort, has absolutely nothing to do with that, so now I have to wait to see what happens with James Herondale and his love and his desire to make as much trouble as possible and to find out what happens with Tatiana Blackthorn and her vendetta.

I will say this though, it was absolutely beautiful to see Tessa and Will and Jem, as Brother Zachariah, again. It was wonderful to see how much in love Will and Tessa were, but also to see how in love they all were with each other. No matter what happened with Jem as a Silent Brother, the three of them still had an unbelievable bond and they were still close and they still just loved each other so much. It made me think of Clockwork Princess and I swear, I just about died all over again. Thank you, Cassandra Clare, for killing me once again.

Rating:

5 out of 5 Stars

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