We had a chance to talk with Miss Cassandra Jean, our very own ‘Master of Feels’ about her collaboration with Cassandra Clare in ‘The Shadowhunter Tarot Cards’ Project which every day for the next 84 days Miss Clare will be sharing the complete deck in her Tumblr page.
Here is our exclusive interview with miss Jean, in which she talks about a herself, her artwork, Cassandra Clare, the ‘Shadowhunter Tarot Cards’, her favorite character in the series and officially being part of The Mortal Instruments Family.
Cassandra Jean (The squirrel?)
1.Cassandra, how are you?
Hey! I’m doing great, thanks! It’s hard to be anything but great now that it’s finally spring.
2. A little personal question, how old are you?
I’m 26…. I think… Dang am I really 26 already? To be honest I stopped counting after 21.
3. Are you a college graduate?
Yes, I graduated from the Ringling College of Art & Design in Florida. I majored in Illustration.
4. How long have you been creating such beautiful art?
Flatterer. If you’re asking how long I’ve been drawing. I have been into art since I was in elementary school. But I personally wouldn’t say my work was -wonderful- until I went to college.
5. When you started drawing, did it ever cross your mind that so many people would love your artwork?
Not really. I mean, I had always hoped that people would like my work. I’m pretty sure that’s what everyone hopes for. But I didn’t expect it. I’m really thrilled though that everyone seems to be loving what I’ve been drawing lately, nothing encourages me and inspires me more than knowing people appreciate what I’m working so hard to create.
6. I know that you created the work in The Beautiful Creatures Manga, how do you feel about that?
I’m really pleased with how the Beautiful Creatures Manga turned out! That story was awesome, and I loved the characters, so I had a blast working on it. And it’s my first book that has actually been on book store shelves. I can’t tell you how exciting it was to see it in Barns&Noble, and Yen Press did a marvelous job with the printing. (HARDCOVER! WOO HOO!)
7. How did you come up with the idea of drawing The Mortal Instruments/The Infernal Devices characters?
I don’t know, it’s just that I enjoyed the books and the characters so much that I wanted to draw them. Art is how I express myself. I’m not a very talkative person, and I’m not much of a writer myself, so when I really enjoy something, or want to share an idea, I share it through art. So when I read a book I enjoy and the characters fill up my mind, I feel like I have to draw them!
8. How did you end up collaborating with Cassandra Clare?
Hmmm well, first it started off with the Shadowhunter Codex. She saw my fanart on Tumblr (I think it was my Will Herondale fanart that she liked) and hired me to do some drawings for the Codex. I guess she found me easy to work with, or liked my art enough, because she then hired me to draw the portraits of the actors from The City of Bones (as gifts for the actors when she visited the set). And some time after that, approached me with the idea of drawing the Dark Artifice characters as tarot cards.
9. How did you come up with the idea of drawing a full set of Tarot Cards ?
It was Cassandra Clare who mentioned tarot cards first. She was looking for a way to introduce the characters from her new series “The Dark Artifices” and thought it would be a cool idea to draw the characters in tarot-card style. So originally it was just going to be about six or seven cards. But then I tempted her to do more (why stop there? Why not do the whole deck?!) And voila, an entire set of Tarot Cards. At least I think it was my idea to continue, I kind of forget now…. There has been a lot of talking back and forth about it.
10. Fans are always creating theories, about everything. Some say there’s clues hidden in your drawings of the Tarot Cards(For example, that infinite sign on top of Jace’s and Magnus heads in one of the cards) is it true?
Oh gosh guys! Don’t analyze the cards too closely!! It’s true, that there are some clues in the cards. (Hint: check the background scenery of the Jace & Alec parabati card) But not everything is. Cassandra Clare has been with me every step of the way with the Tarot Deck. So if I draw something or someone incorrectly, she will point it out to me and I’ll fix it. So the depictions of the characters and scenes are as close as possible. But there was some wiggle room for a little artistic license. Some of the things that stand out in the cards might actually just be my homage to the original Rider Tarot Deck. Those infinite signs are in the original Rider cards. In the magician card (which is Magnus’ card) the Mage has an infinite halo over his head. The same goes for the Strength card that Jace is on. That’s all, not a big secret or anything! I used some of the same symbolism from the traditional Rider tarot deck in order to tie them all together.
11. Even before Clockwork Princess was published, Cassandra Clare released a few of your draws and Tarot Cards based on the book, how you were able to make those, without reading the book?
Well, she described the scenes to me. They were pretty big spoilers and she totally teased me with them before finally telling me, but she told me what I needed to know in order to draw the images. But even so, there were a couple of cards I had to redraw after reading the book, once I knew more details. (ahem, the Brother Zachariah card).
12. Usually, how long does it takes you to draw a Tarot Card (or any TMI//TID related draw)?
I would say… an hour to two hours? It really depends on the drawing. If it has multiple characters, a complicated background, or a lot of color, it will take me much longer. But I’ve always worked fairly quickly, really. So I guess the average would be like I said, between an hour to two hours. Usually not much longer than that.
13. What’s your favorite character to draw?
Will Herondale is my favorite to draw. I’m not sure why, but I feel like I have the best grasp on his looks. He makes any drawing look good. Maybe it’s his hair? I like his messy black hair…. hm.
14. What’s your favorite Tarot Card so far?
My favorite card is the Max Lightwood card. (He’s the Five of Runes.) It’s not a very happy card, but I liked it the moment I was finished drawing it. I also really, -really-, loved drawing the Jem/Tessa card. (The Ten of Runes.) I know it’s caused a lot of drama, but I was so touched when Cassandra Clare described the card and the scene for me. I was grinning and crying it was so sweet and wonderful. And I’m pleased with how the card turned out, I think I did the best I could with that scene. I’m also pleased with the Eight of Rings card, but I can’t say who is on it….
15. Whats your favorite book in TMI/TID?
That’s hard! UH…. I guess… City of Glass, I think, is my favorite. It’s hard for me to pick favorites out of a series though, since it’s the overall story that I love so much.
16. While drawing the tarot cards, there was one specific tarot card that made you cry?
THE JEM/TESSA CARD! I cried. But they were tears of joy. I was just so -happy- for them. Especially for Jem.
17. Cassandra Clare said once, that the full tarot card set might be on sale at some point. Are you excited/ready to join the Mortal Instruments merchandise madness?
I am incredibly excited. And kind of shaky and nervous. I really hope that we are able to sell the deck to you guys. And I really REALLY hope y’all like all the cards. I know how much everyone loves these characters, I don’t want to disappoint anyone. I might be a little bit terrified.
18. What you think about officially being a part of The Mortal Instruments/Cassandra Clare family?
I couldn’t be happier! It’s really sweet how Cassandra Clare is willing to include me in things. Letting me read some things ahead of time and encouraging me to do artwork for it. She’s a total sweetheart. An absolute pleasure to be associated with in any way!
Thanks You so much Miss Cassandra Jean ‘Master of Feels’ for taking the time to answer this CSI-Like questions for our little site! Here in The Mortal Minute, you have a very special place in our hearts!
MAKE SURE TO SEND CASSANDRA JEAN LOTS OF KISSES AND PINK UNICORNS.
Did you check out question number 10?? Sound off in the comments!
By Pamela Pena (Site Founder)