Hello. Welcome to Tessera – A Creative Guild. My name is J Edward Neill. You can call me J. It’s great to meet you. I’m glad you stopped by.
A few months ago, three fellow artists and I opened a door together. We’d been friends of a sort, long ago, but we’d been flung apart by life, circumstance, and the pursuit of our separate dreams. But…on one unremarkable day in the summer of 2013, something unexpected happened. The four of us were involved in a slow-speed, four-car collision at the intersection of ‘We want to spend our lives creating’ and ‘How in the hell do we do it?’ We’ve always been that type, they and I. We want to live, breath, and die in what we create. We want our art to define us. And so here we are.
In case you wondered, we are:
Amanda Makepeace: Painter, Photographer, Web-Warrior Princess, Blogger, Writer, and Lover of Wilderness. I wish I were half as web-savvy as Amanda. Were it not for her, I’d have drowned in the internet long before Tessera saw the light of day
Chad J Shonk: Movie-Maker, Author, Blogger, and Brave Escapee to the Wild, Wild West. I envy Chad his escape from the Southeast, but less so his status as a new father
John McGuire: Comic Book Crafter, Author, Serial Novelist, and general badass neighbor. John is one of few folk alive who can thank himself for inspiring me to write, though I’ll never tell him the why or how of it
J Edward Neill: That’s me.
I still remember my first encounters with John, Chad, and Amanda. We were different people in the dark ages of our youths, but somehow we were the same. Even then, long before we reconnected for Tessera, we existed in a guild of sort. We used to meet in the school library well before the bell rang to announce first period. We were the Breakfast Club, the Goonies, and the White Council all wrapped into one juicy, creative enchilada. If you’ve ever been a part of a group like this, you know exactly what I mean. It’s sacred. No matter what happens when we grow up, it never leaves us.
And so, in the dead of summer 2013, the four of us e-bumped into each other and decided, after very little angst, to crack a door open. It was a musty old portal. Its hinges squealed. Its planks were dry and warped, but as sturdy as stone. The sunlight slipped in through the crack we made, along with a few shadows. Many years had passed us by since last we convened like this. Our individual works were so vastly different than each other’s. Across the eons, we’d scripted movies, painted haunting works of art, created edgy comics, and written novels. We knew we wanted to present a unified front, but not how.
Enter Tessera. If you’re wondering what Tessera means, look it up. It’s Greek. Old Greek. The name fits, and so we stole it away into the night. After we pilfered ourselves the name, we went to work. In a very non-literal sense, the four of us hunkered in a room with a lamp, plucked our pens and paintbrushes from their hiding places behind our ears, and started to write…and draw…and paint…and write some more. We’re not kidding. We take our work seriously. That’s why we’re here.
So…what can you expect from Tessera? Content. Lots of it. We’re driven, we are. I like to think we’d all gladly move to a cabin on the side of some lonely mountain, and create from now until the end of time. Instead of that, we’ll be here every weekday, blogging our wee hearts out. We have downloadable content, including free art, excerpts from novels, short stories, and more. We have stuff for you to buy: books, art, comics…delve deep enough and you’ll find something for everyone. We’d like to connect with you, our readers. If there’s something you want to see on Tessera, we want you to tell us. We’re also receptive to guest bloggers and new guild members. Pour water on us. Let the sunshine in. We want to grow.
There you have it. Tessera…the four of us in a nutshell. In the coming days, you’ll read introductions from the other members of the guild. I hope you’ll get to know them. They’re good people, and damn fine artists in their chosen mediums. In the coming weeks, you’ll see us flood Tessera with ideas, images, stories, thoughts, hopes, fears, light, darkness, and everything in-between. We hope you’ll visit us every day. We’d relish that. We’re a guild, and every guild needs loyal patrons.
J Edward Neill – Author of the Tyrants of the Dead trilogy, Co-author of the Hollow Empire web series, writer of innumerable short stories, and lover of everything beneath the clouds
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