‘Shadowhunters’ fanartist series: Spotlight on Cally @shadowcally

"Creating art is a way to contribute back, continue our fandom and balance my emotions."

It’s time for another round of our Shadowhunters fanartist series where we celebrate all the crazy talent and creativity out there! While the first two parts of our series were devoted to two experienced and well-known artists, this part will focus on a fanartist whose passion for creating fanart is still brand new and has been ignited in the wake of the campaign to save Shadowhunters when she discovered a whole new world on Twitter.

Come and meet Cally from Australia! We talked to her about her newly found passion, about Shadowhunters and the campaign to save the show and how creating art can also be a healthy coping mechanism to help you deal with heartbreak and through difficult times in your life.

Introducing Cally

Cally has been creative her whole life, especially in stamping and papercraft, but she only recently discovered that she could draw – a fact she finds funny, but that makes her angry at the same time. “I feel both incredibly lucky and totally angry all at once – I could have been doing this for years!”, Cally comments. She’s still very much in awe of the Shadowhunters fan artists and always feels very humble when someone suggests she is now a part of that talented group. For her, each piece she creates is still a new experience and adventure. Since April, she continues not only to surprise herself, her husband, family, and friends with her art, but also brings delight to her fandom. That’s why we are so glad to have her share her creative experience with us.

Interview with Cally

What made you decide to create fanart for this fandom and where does all your motivation stem from?

While I’ve watched Shadowhunters from the very first episode back in 2016, I only came to Twitter last year to fight to #saveshadowhunters on the day of the cancellation. This was the very first experience I’d ever had with a fandom. Sadly, I had no clue this ‘fandom’ world really existed beforehand. To say it was overwhelming when I did find it would be an understatement! The fandom was experiencing intense emotions of sadness, shock, and loss and I was here to fight to save my show. I immersed myself in Power Hours, hashtags and emails, scrambling to learn about ‘fandom’ as I went.

After a good while, I was very lucky to find 3 wonderful like-minded Shadowhunters fans on Twitter and we really hit it off. We started a group chat together and this was a real game-changer for me. I never had imagined making friends and real connections on Twitter, especially when I initially came to #saveshadowhunters. We started to discuss the fanfictions we discovered, even reading them at the same time in book club-style, discussing them after. A couple of the group chat members started to share some fanart they had been making and it was such a safe and supportive environment, I thought it might be fun to do the same. I wanted to experience all the aspects of what fandom was and in particular the ShadowFam world I’d fallen in love with.

So that’s where it all started?

Exactly! After playing around with a few different styles, watching a lot of YouTube tutorials, making way too many purchases at the local art supplies shop, I settled on ‘realistic style’ in graphite pencil and now I’m also dabbling in watercolour paint and coloured pencils. I nervously started to share my work outside of the safety of the group chat and found that the ShadowFam was just as kind and supportive of my drawing and this encouraged me to continue.

Like reading fanfiction, I discovered drawing was a way to calm my anxieties around the cancellation and distract me from becoming too sad. I had been struggling up until this point and creating art that others in the fandom could also enjoy was a way for me to both contribute back, continue our fandom and balance my emotions and sadness over the loss I was experiencing.

Can you show us some examples of your work? 

Shadowhunters fanart series part 3 (4)
“Good morning Mr. Lightwood-Bane” @shadowcally

I usually draw directly from photos or screenshots but I had an idea in mind for what I wanted for this piece and to make it happen I had to combine 2 completely different photos. This was a challenge as the photos are so very different in light, colour, and style. Also, my photoshop skills are sadly lacking but it all came together in the end.

Shadowhunters fanart series part 3 (3)

The 2019 Indy 500 was good to Shadowhunters and Matthew Daddario fans. We all loved to see Matt in the race car driver’s helmet and I wanted to challenge myself to draw it. I loved every bit of drawing this piece but had to admit defeat and digitally add the #shadowhunters to the helmet but I’m proud to say everything else is 100% pencil drawn.

Shadowhunters fanart series part 3 (2)

Always up for a challenge, I decided to tackle long hair. I loved the reference photo of Katherine McNamara on holidays, looking beachy and relaxed. I was particularly attracted to the freckles and natural look of the photo. While perfection is what we strive for in applying makeup, as an artist I’m more interested in the little things on our faces like lines, freckles or scars that make who we are.

Shadowhunters fanart series part 3 (1)
Created by @shadowcally

I could draw Magnus all day. Harry Shum Jr’s face is amazing and is so expressive. Drawing from screenshots is more challenging because as we all know, Shadowhunters was a very darkly lit show. I tend to be drawn to scenes where they’re outside because the lighting is so much better. Here Magnus gets his magic back from Asmodeus.

Shadowhunters fanart series part 3 (6)

Matthew Daddario has amazing photography skills. The colour in the reference photo was so wonderful, I had to try and use colour myself. This was a combination of watercolour inks I use in inkpads and coloured pencils. This is a personal favourite piece of mine and you’ll see me using watercolours more in the future. I had way too much fun!

Shadowhunters fanart series part 3 (5)

This is my latest work. Harry Shum Jr with water droplets on his face. This was a challenging piece and I threw my hands in the air and walked away from it a number of times but I’m just not good and giving up on things (like trying to save Shadowhunters I guess). So here we are, the finished piece.

From the idea to the finished product: How long does it usually take?

Creating a graphite drawing from start to finish takes me a good few days off and on. I have 3 children and as much as I want to ignore the cooking, my work, school pick-ups and just draw all day, life still needs attention. I am a slow drawer but I’ve discovered I can’t rush it and I need to give it the time it needs. Graphite pencils are quite forgiving and you can erase and correct a lot which tends to give me the ability to be very fastidious. My goal is to make each piece as close to real life as possible.

Recently I set my iPhone to Time Laps above my work desk to record the creation of this Matthew Daddario painting/drawing. It’s 3 minutes start to finish video but was recorded over a 24 hour period. Watercolouring is a faster medium for me.


In your opinion, what top 3 qualities should an artist have?

I’m not sure I’m qualified to say for other artists but for my mind, it’s patience, having an eye for detail and perseverance.

During this interview, it has been more than obvious that you are really passionate about your fandom. What does Shadowhunters mean to you? 

I’d read all the books, watched every episode (may times), fallen in love with the show, the cast and yet it turns out this was just the glue that ultimately binds my favourite thing together – the Shadowfam. I’ve discovered a world of fanfiction, digital media, art, friends from all over the world who have come together to create a rich creative passionate community with such strong love and devotion for Shadowhunters, it’s priceless.

You mentioned being actively involved in the campaign to #SaveShadowhunters from the beginning. Do you think it still can be done?

It seems ludicrous to me that Shadowhunters won’t be saved or re-booted in someway. Ultimately TV is about making money and that being the case, we need to keep being loud, keep being a pain in the networks’ butts, keep voting in awards and tweeting to remind everyone what a gold mine Shadowhunters is. While I initially thought we’d be saved in a few days, I’ve sure learnt a lot since then and had my heart broken in 50 different ways. It’s been the most difficult fight I’ve ever been involved in and I’m not prepared to walk away with the job unfinished.

Are there any stunts going on right now that people can participate in?

I’m personally very focused on voting in the upcoming People’s Choice Awards. This is our time to show that last year wasn’t a fluke. This may be one of the last opportunities our show will be up for nominations as there were still episodes aired this year and we need to make this count. Show the world that we’re all still here and demanding more Shadowhunters with our amazing cast.



Any suggestions or thoughts? Hit us up on Twitter and let us know!

Check out our Shadowhunters coverage here!

Featured Image Source: @shadowcally


Silke M. Powers

Fictional worlds and words have always been my best friends. A college teacher and professional writer in real life, I use writing fandom stuff as my personal form of escapism. Love all things Sherlock (BBC), Shadowhunters, Star Trek and Harry Potter. Enjoy Lucifer, A Discovery of Witches, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, CAOS, True Blood and The Originals. Avid reader, traveler, introvert, fangirl. Hate Mondays and drama, love coffee and laughter.

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