To, Sylessae & Nikki

I’m not sure what witchcraft you undertook to pull off this little surprise, but there’s a love heart for each of you up there because you are both utterly AWESOME!

Okay, folks…here’s a little story about how amazing both the #WritingCommunity and the #ArtCommunity are.

Let’s start with the writers.

As a part of an initiative to boost my followers on Twitter (a not unusual practice for prospective authors), I started following and interacting with the #WritingCommunity. I met a whole bunch of people on there and forged some really interesting friendships. Friendships that transcended the boundaries of Twitter.

One such friend is Nikki. You’ll find her on Twitter under the moniker of @nikkitwisted.

We struck up a friendship quickly and have been helping each other out in all kinds of aspects of writing. She’s been instrumental in helping me query, and has been a god-send when it comes to finding all my stupid mistakes in ‘Hunters‘. She’s a proof-reading goddess!

In return I’ve been helping her with her own book, and doing some logo work for her and her #WCAD Twitter group. 


Now…just before I got wrapped up in the #WritingCommunity, I was avidly following the #ArtCommunity.


Just want to put that out there. I’ve dabbled in art myself, and I think I could get pretty decent at it if I had the time to practice. Alas, my writing and my dayjob take up so much time I don’t get a chance. But I do love watching other people draw and paint. It’s relaxing. It puts me in a mood to be creative myself. (I just wish that they were UK-based so I wasn’t on such a time difference and could watch them Twitch stream more regularly!)

Check them out on the link below…

Find my favourite ARTISTS here! All collected in one place for your convenience.

@Sylessae was the first of these artists I found, and one of my very, very, very favourites. I ADORE her work, and had long dreamed about having a commission piece of hers hanging on my wall. I got halfway to that dream last year when I bought one of her Daemon Animaurus pieces.

Rajni, the White Tiger

I love this piece. 
It struck an immediate chord with me because I have a were-tiger in ‘Hunters‘ and was looking to expand that into Book 2. This picture gave me a huge amount of inspiration… so, Syl – if you’re reading this – when you read book 2 you can smile and accept a chunk of the credit for inspiring me! Thank you!

That piece is hanging on my wall, but the dream was to have a real commission piece. I wanted a Sylessae painting of Gayle. 
One day…

On Monday 9th March 2020 I received a package at work. A tube.

I was heartily confused. Even more confused when I saw the name of the sender… Sylessae.

I pulled the tape off the end of the tube and reached inside. There was a rolled up painting in there, that much I could see, but it was at the other end of the tube. I pulled out the note that was inside it first…

No… You’re crying!

Now by this point, I was already emotional. I get that way when wonderful people do awesomely nice things for me.

Typically in life, I’m the kind of person who expects more to get kicked in the teeth than have good things happen. Yeah, I know… I’m jaded that way.

But I still try as hard as I can to put good karma into the world. I will help and encourage anyone I can to achieve their hopes and dreams. I do this because I know what it feels like to aspire. I have those same hopes and dreams. 

I want to be a published author. That’s my dream and I’m lucky enough to have a wife and wonderful friends who go above and beyond to help me achieve that dream. 

In return, I’ll go out of my way to help the people I love. 

So, I pull out the painting from the tube…

Holy Mudderforking Shirtballs! It’s Gayle! By Sylessae!

It is simply gorgeous. 

Breathtakingly gorgeous and when I saw it I was utterly overwhelmed.

I can’t thank both Nikki and Sylessae enough for this most amazing gift. I’m utterly blown away!

To Nikki… Anything I can do to help you, just ask. I am all over it. Maybe a collaboration book or something. I think it would be super fun to partner up and write with you.

To Syl… I have been a supporter for a while now, and my support is now set in stone. I’m absolutely enjoying watching you grow as an artist and it’s a privilege to have your art on my wall. And when you read Book 2 and see a white tiger lady appear in the story…know it was you who inspired me.

Thank you both. From the bottom of my heart.

Love and Books (& Art too!)

P.S. When Nikki’s book comes out I’ll promote it! SO GO BUY IT! And Syl has a Patreon account, so please go and support her, buy her work. Oh and go watch her on Twitch because she’s just a cute bundle of googly eyed positivity and who doesn’t want that in their life?

Spread the word. Share this post!


  1. Nikki

    Hey, darling. I try not to invade your blog space too often and now here I am two nights in a row. But I simply HAD to say something to you about this beautiful post.
    I know how you feel about life and what you’ve come to expect. I also know how you continue to lift up and support others while asking for nothing in return. You have a habit of telling people they’re a gem or a bright spot, but what you don’t see is how much of your own light you shine on everyone who is blessed to know you.
    Speaking for myself, you have been such a rock for me – scraping me off the floor when I felt doomed and worthless, being there when I didn’t feel like I could tell anyone else how I was feeling, offering me a sanctuary of love and light and trust.
    You know better than anyone that I easily fall into the role of being the proverbial tortured artist and how difficult of a space that is for someone as independent as myself to be in. It takes a special person to really get into my head and be allowed to root around. An even more special person to become someone to whom I’ll listen and acquiesce to. Ha! Everyone comes into our lives for a reason…and you’re a true gift.
    So, when Syl started working on this piece and it struck you as Gayle, I immediately knew I had to contact her to find out what it would take for her to finish it and get it to you. It’s just the smallest gesture to let you know how much you mean to me, to Syl, and to so many others.
    As a side note, getting to know Syl throughout this process has been a wonderful experience and I am so happy to know her! An amazing soul.
    And another side note – a collaboration sounds like a fabulous idea to me!! Let’s discuss that very soon, please!
    So, thank you so much for this really lovely post. It means so much, but you’re the star here, love. You’re Superman.

  2. Olga

    Oh my…. I can totally understand the feeling when you receive some gorgeous artworks of your story from others. Every time I receive an art piece I just feel like it’s my birthday… And yeah it’s always good to engage in a community I guess! Usually they are very supportive! Unfortunately I’m currently at a busy phase in my life where I don’t have much time to catch up what everyone is up to. But I’m really happy for you 🙂

    • Jon Ford

      I know how you feel. Sometimes life keeps me so busy it’s hard to keep up with everything and everyone.

  3. Jackie

    That is a gorgeous piece! You friend is very talented. I wonder if you could use a smaller version of the paining for a book cover. That would be really awesome!

    It’s so sweet of your friends to surprise you like this. I don’t know you well, but I can see that what they said in their note is true – you strike me as a kind and very encouraging person. Your friends are lucky to have you in their lives.

    • Jon Ford

      Aw! Thanks Jackie, you’re making me blush! LOL

      Book covers by @Sylessae would be a dream come true. I am fortunate to know many VERY talented artists. When the time comes I might very well be spoilt for choice. Or maybe if I become big and popular, I could just do different editions with different covers! 😀

  4. Theodora

    Looking at these beautiful pieces of art reminds me that I should pick up my drawing at some point as well. I enjoy both writing and drawing. I draw comics sometimes. But it seems to me that neither my writing nor my drawing is good enough for a story to be revealed to the world.

    • Jon Ford

      Do it!!! In the immortal words of @Sylessae (who painted the picture) – “If you do art…you’re an artist!”
      I don’t proclaim to be a great writer, but I do honestly think I’m better than I was when I started this journey because of the things I’ve learned along the way and the practice I’ve had.
      Drawing and painting is just another skill that you’ll get better at with practice, so pick up that pencil or paintbrush and go for it!

Comments are closed.