WonderCon 2014: Jordon Monsell


Jordon Monsell makes silhouettes. Really, seriously, I am not making this up. He will even cut out a portrait while you wait for $20. I would like to now take this opportunity to publicly retroactively apologize to Jordon for standing at his booth with my mouth hanging open in AWE of what he does. And he does it with surgical scissors! Gah! Okay, down fangirl, down. As you can tell, I was seriously impressed by this. He card reads “The artform may be dying, but I’m very much alive.” Jordan is one of the six practicing silhouette makers in California. Three years ago, he learned the art from his mother, who is self-taught and has been making silhouettes for over 30 years. She is one of the two practicing silhouette makers in New England. Jordan filled me in on the history of silhouette: they were most popular in the Victorian era and were a less expensive alternative to having an oil portrait done. The rise of photography was the decline of silhouette making, alas, but technology does that. Scissors are the traditional tool for silhouette making (I was amazed by the control and detail he gets with scissors. Yes, they are swanky scissors, but still…) Jordon’s background and education are in theater, but he picked up a paintbrush before he picked up a pair of scissors. His mother is portrait painter as well as silhouette maker, and travels all over the country and Canada to ply her art, so it runs in the family because Jordan does special events and commissions as well. I asked if he was ever going to do a narrative wordless series of silhouettes, a sort of silhouette comic, but he said he hadn’t considered it. Too bad because that would rule so hard. Jordan uses silhouette paper (very thin; black on one side, white on the other) and spray adhesive to adhere them to the cardstock backing. Like Tanya Bjork and Hillary Bauman, WonderCon is Jordon’s second convention as an exhibitor; Long Beach Comic Con in 2013 was his first exhibiting experience. Jordan is silhouette making at the Renaissance Faire in Irwindale until May 18 and for those of you who attend Comikaze, Jordan will also be exhibiting there this year. Jordan has an illustration website well worth a visit as well.

All artists at WonderCon 2014