This is a strange position to be in. I may be a bigger fan of one of my fans than they are a fan of me!
I’ve been spoiled by the outpouring of artistic talent my readers have let forth lately. Promotional posters and book covers have been spawned (and paid for) through this awesome social network interplay. I’ve felt blessed.
Well, now I feel like a kept man. I feel like Julia Roberts in PRETTY WOMAN. I feel unworthy, dirty, a slutty, trashy man trying to make sense of this dapper millionaire sitting across fine linens from me. I feel like a teenager being courted by an older man. I’m that girl from 50 SHADES OF GREY (haven’t read it, just hypothesizing).
Here’s what showed up in my inbox like a box of chocolates with every chocolate gone and replaced with canary diamonds:
Jaw, meet Floor. Floor, Jaw.
Someone drew this. Look at it again. Someone drew that. As in, the screen was blank, there were some menus and a color palette, a toolbar. They created a few layers, took digital pen to digital tablet and frickin’ drew that.
Look at her eyes. Look at the bodies on the ground (spoiler alert!). Look at the ruined city, the colors, the lighting. This isn’t mere fan art, this is a professional. Dabbling. Blowing my mind.
I’m still awed by it, every time I look at it. A-Mazing.
And wait, there’s more:
Jaw, Floor, you remember each other, right?
I got emotional when I saw this. The Wool cover might get all the FB comments because more of you have read it, but Molly fans will flip out to see their heroine for the first time. That’s her. There she is. And Anlyn to boot. And Molly’s bunk on the Parsona. I really did tear up seeing this.
So here’s the question: who is this Rembrandt Reader? How in the world did someone draw those hands and feet, the lighting on those legs, the shadow behind her head, the translucent tail on Anlyn? Who?
His name is Jasper Schreurs. He’s a professional artist who does storyboarding and art work for major companies (Adidas, Unilever, Philips, Shell, and the like). He has apparently lost some sleep to the Wool and Molly books, and with a few days off work, decided to “brush up his digital art skills.”
Jasper, you’re done brushing, my man. You’ve done brushed up against perfection.
Jasper grew up in Africa, but returned to Holland at the age of 14. He says he was sucking at school, so they threw him into art academy. His natural gifts became readily apparent. He did two years of masterclasses before a Dutch Baron who could trace his ancestry back a thousand years sent Jasper around to museums to do reproductions of his ancestors. I believe it was at this point that Jasper accidentally flicked a splotch of yellow paint onto a Rembrandt, which led to a bit of drama and a meeting with the very pleasant museum director. Yeah, this guy has defaced a Rembrandt and lived to tell about it.
After a stint in London working in advertising, Jasper finagled his way to Fiji where he lived for 13 years, married, raising his daughters, and doing magazine covers and illustrating books. It was while here that Jasper formed a counterfeiting ring.
Okay, actually, he was commissioned by the government to design and draw two of their bills. He did the 2 and 2,000. Figuring one would have more circulation, he managed to work his daughter onto the twoer (that’s her with the hat at the top right).
I asked Jasper if I could lop off an ear and send it to him in fealty. I asked Amber if we could have kids so I could send him my firstborn son. He said to forget about it and send him some signed books. I put a box in the post today to the Netherlands and sure hope it gets there.
Ladies and gentleman, I can’t tell you what this has been like for me. Not just with Jasper but with Nicole and Mike and Marianne and Kate and everyone else. With the crew of the USS The Sullivans. All these gifts and contributions, it means the world to me. I feel like a hack dabbling in wordplay over here. You people have real talent and are doing amazing things. I mean, look at that Molly Fyde cover. That’s Molly. I could cry right now just looking at it. And wait until you see the I, ZOMBIE cover that Mike Tabor put together. It’s all just too much.
Thanks, Jasper, and everyone else, for making this the craziest handful of months of my life. I’ll never be able to repay you. Any of you.
But I do have this ear, here, and I’m not putting it back on. Since Jasper has no need for it, I’ll send it to the first person who raises their hand.