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Talks with Tolkien artists: sstefiart

Journal Entry: Tue Oct 16, 2018, 3:29 PM


It is my pleasure to present you a talk with :iconsstefiart: - sstefiart, who only joined deviantArt a few months ago, but in that time managed to capture our attention with her beautiful pictures:

Turgon, King of Gondolin by sstefiart Silmarillion - prevision by sstefiart
Morgoth by sstefiart Spring in Arda by sstefiart
Finrod Felagund_Leaving Aman by sstefiart
Thranduil (Lee Pase) by sstefiart Varda Elentari by sstefiart

1. Hello! For the beginning, could you tell us something about yourself?

– Hello!
First of all, I would like to thank you for the interview.
My name is Stefka. I’m born and live in Sofia, Bulgaria. A lovely country with centuries-old culture. I’m an impulsive person that loves humor, the smile in people’s eyes, the silence of nature, the color blue, stars and horses.

Horse by sstefiart

2. You only joined deviatArt three months ago. What brought you here and what has been your experience with the site so far?

– My first urge to register here was to present my artwork to a larger circle of viewers.

3. How did you enter Tolkien's world for the first time, and what impression did it leave in you?

– My first touch with Tolkien’s world was trough the movie trilogy. For me, the fantasy genre has always been alluring, but the first movie was love from a first sight, Yes, that’s how I fell in love with the world of Tolkien! After that I waited with anticipation the following movies. Meanwhile I’ve read “The Hobbit”, “Silmarillion” and “The children of Hurin”. I made parallels between the books and movie adaptations. Well, the literary part took precedence. For me Tolkien’s world is complex and multilayered. Based on the eternal conflict between good and evil, it is a fusion between a fantasy world and eternal human values. It can be overseen from different points of view and the viewer will always find something new.

Fingolfin_sketch by sstefiart Elladan, son of Elrond by sstefiart

4. What creates the image of Middle-earth in your mind? Is it more influenced by the books or movies, or maybe other artists, and this it change over time or remained the same?

– Every image which is connected to Middle-earth is a compilation of Tolkien’s book, movies that came to the big screen for the moment and beautiful music. Sometimes a part of nature inspires me to create the image, another time it’s a random person or a conversation. A big portion of my inspiration comes from music. It is the most powerful engine for my imagination. The images, of course, evolve over time and enrich themselves until I reach their final visualization.


5. Some of Tolkien's books can be hard to read, being more of history annals than beletry. Do you enjoy the scholarly side of studying Tolkien's world as well?

– The difficulty with reading Tolkien’s work stops many people at the beginning. I collided with the same problem but I’ve already watched LotR and did not allow myself to stop. I read carefully as a vast world opened in front of me. A world inspired by legends and Tolkien’s massive imagination. Yes, from this point of view, the scientific side with exploring the world of Tolkien interests me.

6. Who is your favourite Tolkien character and why?

– This is a difficult question because I can’t answer unambiguously. I have favourites among all races.
For example – Samwise Gamgee – unselfishly devoted to his friend Frodo, with unshakable faith in good.
The dwarves – Gimli – stubborn, a really good person and recklessly brave. As for the pointy-eared elves – I have a peculiar relationship with them. :) (Smile)

Fingolfin and Anaire_Promises by sstefiart

7. Are there some topics in Tolkien's works that you are particularly passionate about?

– The idea of fantasy writers as architects and creators of universes has always attracted me. And the creation of the Tolkien world trough the song of the Ainur is close to my heart.

8. Now, could you tell us something about you and art? Are you a professional artist, or is art just your hobby? When did you start doing it, and who or what influenced your style?

– I adore art in all of its forms. All human’s and nature’s creations. I started painting since I was little. It’s an internal urge that cannot be resisted, self-expression. I finished “Design” at the Nation art academy in Sofia. Design , as a part of art, has always attracted me more than fine arts. For a long time painting was in the background for me and even with art education I can’t call myself a professional artist. The positive part here is that the creative voice in me is too loud to be silenced. That’s why in my little free time in my tense everyday life, I try to capture a small portion of the incoming ideas. As for my style… it is influenced by realism and my old affection for the impressionism, art nouveau is really close to my worldview as well. I find parts of myself in all these three styles, but I always strive towards something new and unexplored by me in the area of art.

Return of ships by sstefiart

9. How do you choose which scenes and characters to illustrate?

– Creativity is an intuitive process. Images and scenes are associative and details are the result of a study of various sources.

10. What other book or movies (or anything else) inspire you to create fanart, and why?

– I prefer to find inspiration in books, nature and good music. I’m a passionate fen of Terry Pratchett, Markus Heitz and his “dwarves”, George R. R. Martin, early-medieval and Renaissance culture and art, multicultural mythology. I hope that one day I can make illustrations for Terry Pratchett’s universe.

11. What art technique is your favourite? Do you rather keep to the art techniques and styles you are familiar with, or do you experiment with new ones as well?

– I feel most comfortable when I do graphics, but the colors give quite another experience when painting. As for color materials, I prefer pencils and watercolors because of the softness they give me as a means of expression.
As for my style – I’m a seeker. I haven’t been able to create my own style of creation.


12. Do you have some tips and tricks you would like to share with the other artists?

– Search and you’ll find! The universe of the creative imagination is immense.

13. Could you tell us, which
- Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?

Turgon, King of Gondolin by sstefiart

- original picture or picture from other fandom you are most proud of?

This is a wall painting made for my son (2m-3m). It was a great space for drawing and a great challenge for me, but the result was unexpectedly good and he was very pleased.
World of warcraft - Pandaria by sstefiart

- picture fits your current mood?

Questions by sstefiart

- picture was hardest to paint?

Port on the Isle of Balar by sstefiart

14. Would you like to thank somebody here? What key people in your life, (on or off of dA) have been inspirations to you, or has supported you, as an artist? You can also tell us why, if you want.

– Primarily I would like to thank Irjikor, the man whose constructive criticism has given me the confidence to continue to seek and create. Also to all artists in DeviantArt, who fill my eyes and soul with their wonderful artworks. And last but not least, I want to thank my family who tiptoes around me while I paint. :D (Big Grin)

16. Is there something else you would like to tell to the fans of Tolkien and your art?

– I’m sure that every Tolkien fan lives with a small portion of his consciousness in the world of Arda. Never close the door to this wonderful universe! :) (Smile)

Thank you for your time and answers!


Coding by Felizias Drawings by ebe-kastein Borders by PhoenixWildfire

XIII. Tolkien Mailing Competition: Quendi category

Journal Entry: Wed Oct 3, 2018, 2:07 PM



Tolkien Mailing Competition

The Hungarian Tolkien Society invites you to join the international “Quendi” category of the Tolkien Mailing Competition. This category is organised in English, open to any individual participant, but recommended for those older than fifteen. In the course of the Competition you will face different challenges like quizzes, riddles and creative tasks. The five rounds of the competition will last from October to March. The application deadline is 14. October, 2018.

The Tolkien Mailing Competition ("TLV" abbreviated from its Hungarian equivalent "Tolkien Levelező Verseny") takes place for the 13th time this year—and it is international for the 6th time. In the first years it was organised only in Hungarian, and only for groups of Hungarian students aged 10–18-years. As many people above this age group became interested in the competition, we launched a separate category for individuals in Hungarian, and at the same time we decided to go international. The outcome was definitely encouraging. In the past few years the international Quendi category had many participants (and recently an organiser) from various foreign countries: you can check out our bilingual blog to see their works and also the results of the previous competitions.

The international Quendi category is open to individual participants. Both the challenges and the communication will be entirely in English—but don’t be afraid. You won’t need to be fluent in English for taking part in the competition. You only have to be able to understand the texts by Tolkien, and maybe to write an essay—it won’t need to be of university level.

The competition is recommended for the "young adult" age group, since it originally addressed middle and high school students, and we did not make big changes in the style. Still, the competition is open to anybody who feels young enough for it.
There is a maximum limit of 60 for the number of participants in this category. The number of applications were far from this limit in the previous years, but we kindly ask everyone interested in the competition to apply as soon as possible and thus leave us time to plan the process.
Participation in the Quendi category requires a thorough knowledge of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion and, sometimes, The Children of Húrin. Some questions (riddles, quizzes, etc.) will refer to other works by Tolkien, but you will have about four weeks for each round, that is, plenty of time to look up in the books everything you might need.

There will also be some creative challenges. For example, you may be asked to describe a situation, write a short poem, make a drawing or take a photograph, etc. We would like to be proud of our participants, so we ask you to share the rights of your creative productions royalty-free. The best of your works—with due credit to authors/artists—might be published by the Hungarian Tolkien Society, e.g. on our website, www.tolkien.hu, or in our journal, Lassi Laurië. Please do not publish these works yourself without consulting us first, and especially not before the deadline of the round in question.

The contest starts in October and continues until March. Every month you will receive the questions of the next round, and you will have to submit your solutions until the indicated deadline. Communication will be via e-mail. Our e-mail address is tlv[at]tolkien.hu. Questions and comments are always welcome. We are happy to answer all your questions about the competition—except disclosing the solutions of the actual tasks.
There will be no prizes in the international category, only the public announcement of your achievement and a certificate sent by e-mail. There is no registration fee, either.
 
If you want to participate, please fill in this online registration form. The application deadline is:
14 of October, 2018

 


Coding by Felizias Drawings by ebe-kastein Borders by PhoenixWildfire
   
Banner 01 by MirachRavaia
In October and November, we are having a picture challenge. We hope that this picture will be inspiring to you:

The little house in a gorgeous gorge by MirachRavaia

You can write a story that takes place in this lovely setting, or just let the overall atmosphere inspire you for a story or picture. You can also use the picture as a visual metaphor for events that you will depict - it's only up to you how you will look at it.

The deadline for this challenge is November 30.

Send your entries to teitho.contest@gmail.com. The contest is anonymous and the entry can't be posted publicaly until the results of the challenge are announced. Please mind our rules when submitting your entries for the contest.

Happy writing and drawing!

Your Teitho-moderators,
Mirach, Carawyn, Karri, Sian22 and Lotrfan

Banner 02 by MirachRavaia    

Talks with Tolkien artists: hwaetmere

Journal Entry: Tue Sep 11, 2018, 10:36 AM


This week I finished a longer talk with :iconhwaetmere: - hwaetmere. Her gallery, titled very accurately "Tolkien fantasy", is full of Elves, especially Thranduil and his family, but also other characters. Several of those scenes you won't find in Tolkien's book, because they are illustrations for fanfiction stories. That's what we talked about, too, among other things...

Oropher in the days of Doriath by hwaetmere Oropher before the battle (*I see the light*) by hwaetmere Thranduil (*The fire suits you*) / Lee Pace by hwaetmere
(Dark Blue Lite) Thranduil / Lee Pace by hwaetmere Thranduil's nightmares (*The fire suits you*) by hwaetmere An equestrian portrait by hwaetmere
Lady Helwen (*I see the fire*) -original character by hwaetmere fairy Thranduil (*I see the light*) / Lee Pace by hwaetmere Thranduil / Lee Pace. diptych by hwaetmere

Hello! For the beginning, could you tell us something about yourself?

Hi everyone!
I'm Ira, I live in Saint-Petersburg, Russia, and work in IT company as chief analyst. I have no art education whatsoever and draw as I can. So drawing for me is a purely hobby, although I've been drawing since I was a child, and I still look with love at my kindergarten drawings, but you will not see them, because they are naturally bad.

What brought you to deviatArt and how did you pick your username?

Wow! I now checked how long I was on the DeviantArt. It's only 6 years, but it seemed to me much longer. Although most of first downloaded I subsequently deleted. Now there're very few old drawings left.
When I first came, I wanted to show my talent to the world, not only to Russia. Then I didn't look at someone else's arts and didn't appear on the site for several years. There was a big break. And then I changed direction and created only digital horses, but two years ago I went back to the fact that I love drawing the most - to the human faces.
Now I see a lot of other people's arts, and a variety of styles and fantasies amaze me. Most of the times, to be honestly, great arts and cool authors cause me not only a sense of admiration, but more about this later, if you ask about the "cool authors" on dA.
As for username... My serious Internet life began in 2003 with the russian tolkienists forum (henneth-annun.ru), where a company of like-minded people created a sweet local role-playing games. My character of elven origin needed a name. It was necessary to act quickly, and I just chose two words from Sindarin, phonetically, it seemed to me, suitable to each other. Lexically it was complete nonsense, and I will not tell you what these words meant. And then the development of game led to the fact that my character was on permanent residence in Rohan, and it was required to adapt her name to rohirric. I just translated Sindarin into Old English. Over time these two words (the "name" and the "surname") have merged into one word, and since few know what the Old English looks like, for most people my nickname looks like a meaningless set of letters. And I'm really sorry for those who try to spell it out loud.

So when your "serious Internet life" began, you have already been a Tolkien fan. How did you enter Tolkien's world for the first time, and what impression did it leave in you?

The first Tolkien's book I read was, of course, the Hobbit. It seems we were given it in school. At that time I was reading much more serious books, and the Hobbit didn't impress me, besides there were very controversial illustrations... In general, the book took a place on the shelf, and I didn't know anything about the Middle-earth before the age of 13.
In the summer of 1996 I was staying at a dacha with friends, and someone brought a strange book. I don't remember the cover at all, because the content interested me more. It was the Lord of the Rings in one volume. In the end, for some reason, the Hobbit was added, too, and as it seems to me now, that Hobbit had another translation, maybe more adult and more correct...
So, I read the book in two days. I sat on the veranda and held this exploding new world in my hands. It was a revelation for me, really.
In a couple of years I got a Silmarillion and read it five times in that year. And then the world heard that LOTR will be screened...
Now we can smoothly move on to how dear to me (along with the Professor's texts) are the visual masterpieces of Peter Jackson.

Alright, so how dear are they to you? :D (Big Grin) What creates the picture of Middle-earth in your mind and influences your imagination more?

The first thing I have to admit to love the way PJ chose the actors. I don't have any questions for the castes of both trilogies, no, wait, there is one: Peter, are you from future? Landscapes and computer graphics - this is already the tenth thing, but I'm in perfect admiration for the external images of the characters, so it gives me real pleasure to use the actors' faces to represent what I want, and no image has ever conflicted with the fact that I represented at reading.
Books help understand the characters, imagine what they can say or do in different situations. Films give an external picture. Therefore, I can honestly say that I am equally influenced by both.

Who is your favourite Tolkien character and why?

This is an interesting and difficult question.
When I was just reading the book, I liked Eomer the most, well, horses and all that severe steppe life, you know... But in the films this character is not present enough, and in the first one he's not there at all, and my attention has gone to Legolas. Now it's hard to believe, because I draw him very rarely, but I continue to love him. In the book in whole of the Fellowship Legolas is the strangest and seemingly alienated member, and this is a little strange, although I must admit it's intriguing.
But the most Tolkien's intriguing and strong character for me is an yet unscreened Thingol, and for a long time I didn't dare to "give him a face".
Yes, if you look at my gallery, you can see that 70% of the drawings portray Thranduil. And yes, I love this character very much, but, let's be honest, Tolkien has very little information about him. Therefore, I can't call him the favorite character of books. Rather, I love his fandoms image (thanks to PJ) and the way he is described by my favorite author of fanfiction (Ilverin). And, of course, Lee Pace is one of my favorite actors, faces, types etc.


If the movies are giving you the visual for Middle-earth, what about the Silmarillion and other Tolkien's books? Do you think it would be a good idea to make it into movie(s) as well, and would you like to see it?

I will be happy with any adaptation of Middle-earth, whoever created them. Of course, ideally I'd like to see Peter Jackson as the head of the whole process, but other visions, in my opinion, can not be needless. I'm in favor of more screen versions and more popularity for this universe (here I want to thank Christopher Tolkien for continuing to update and publish his father's texts. Damn, this is so cool!)
And if it turns out that something in the visual plan doesn't coincide with my ideas, it will not be a tragedy, because there will always be books and my imagination.

What about fanfiction? Illustrations for it are a big part of your gallery, so how do you perceive the stories from Middle-earth written by fans?

There are different stories. You can write how three-legged elves conquer space in a winged canoe, and it will be fun and authentic, or you can describe the typical inhabitants of Middle-earth, whose actions and thoughts will cause a constant reader's "what's going on?" Not "WOWhat's going on", but "WAT's going on" And it doesn't depend on how much my headcanon coincides with the writer's.
I like AU and crossovers (in illustrations, too), although, of course, there is very little Tolkien's spirit in all this, but what to do, this is the law of the genre.

How would you define this "Tolkien spirit" in fanfiction? And if that's not what's important to you, what is? What qualities needs the story to have, while still qualifying as Tolkien fanfiction, to pick your interest and make you draw illustrations?

This is subjective perception. We all feel the books' characters in a certain way, and if in the fanfic they looks alike, for me it is the "Tolkien's spirit". But it doesn't mean that I'll want to draw it. I don't have specific illustrations for the original texts. For example, Thingol or Oropher are just pictures of characters in some approximate period (wandering in the forest, or Doriath, or Eryn Galen).
I usually draw something that suddenly and strongly appears in my mind. Or comes in dreams. Of course, I've known Tolkien's texts so long that such inspiration almost doesn't come from them, but fanfics can impress me much. In addition, there are so many illustrations on Tolkien's texts that I don't want to repeat or create the twentieth version of the same scene. But that doesn't mean that I don't want to draw portraits. For example, I already promised myself to add to Thingol Finwe and Ingwe from the same "under stars" time.

"I see the light" and "The fire suits you" seem to be the stories that inspired you the most. Can you tell us a bit about them?

Oh, you even looked at the titles! It is very pleasant for me, because these works are almost like my own, and these are the first not mine texts that I so much wanted to portray.
These stories are two stretches of Thranduil's life, during the days of Doriath and Eryn Galen. Of course, there is a lot invented and not everyone will like the love line, but the writer and I are fantastically coinciding with the perception of theTolkien's world and Thranduil himself, and this is amazing and rare! Now the writer is experiencing a creative crisis, so I finally have time to illustrate other fandoms and my own writings, hurray! No, in fact it's not very fun, and I'm really looking forward to continuing these stories.


Is there some topic in Tolkien's works that you are particularly passionate about?

Hard to say. I never singled out for myself any red lines in Tolkien's books. Rather, I perceive the history of Arda entirely as a kind of reality (with many topics and problems, as it should) - and this is exactly what fascinates me most.
Today in literature there are so many different worlds, but I know for sure that they are all fictional. And with Tolkien's world everything is different with me. Despite the objective fictionality, it seems to me (even in my already not very young age) that all this was (or is) for real.
Probably, this is the main thing that fascinated me and continues to fascinate till now.

What other book or movies (or anything else) inspire you to create fanart, and why?

I'm a Trekkie girl, really. But I have so few StarTrek artworks that it's hard to believe. I hope that this will change, because I almost don't see arts on this fandom in a style similar to me. Maybe I'm looking bad? Can someone help me out?
I learned about StarTrek thanks to my beloved Karl Urban. Before the Reboot this universe wasn't so popular in Russia - only TV shows of the 90s were broadcast, and it was a long time ago, I missed it. I liked these characters in the new movies, their stories, humor, all scripts. Then I, like all the newly-converted, returned to the roots and looked TOS. Of course, there are funny looking today special effects and scenery, but the main thing is not in this. The show, which is more than 50 years old, still surprises. The themes that are raised there, they are topical, they are bold, there is much to think about. It was lost in the new movies, so sad...
In general, yes, I hope I will have more StarTrek arts in future.

With books it's all more difficult. If the book is popular - it already has a million illustrations. I don't really like to offer readers my (and a hundredth different in fandom) image of the character, if it doesn't have a screen or a writer's version. Thingol and Oropher are not considered, because they are more drawn because the fanfics of Ilverin.

In addition, I've always loved and will continue to love to draw famous people, actors first. And it can be characters from any movie or actors on their own.


What art technique is your favourite? Do you rather keep to the art techniques and styles you are familiar with, or do you experiment with new ones as well?

In the past two years I've been experimenting a lot with different materials, tools and styles. And, it's strange, I've been afraid of colors for so many years, that the fact that I can create not only black-n-white pics, has become for me a stunning discovery.
My parents are both artists, just like me, amateurs without education. My mom never used colors, she only recently began to try something, as I do. My father was more of  painter than graphic artist. Unfortunately, he hadn't time to teach me how to handle colors, only showed the basics of chiaroscuro, and I remember these lessons all my life. So for 25 years I was exclusively a graphic artist (I don't consider digital horses as real painting, there are other principles).
Think, I made my first adult work in color only two years ago! Now my arsenal of tools consists not only of a pair of pencils and an eraser, it takes up a whole desk.
But with the style I haven't decided. I think I don't have it. Or my style is the lack of style. I tried to do some styling, but I so like realism that these experiments failed.

Do you have some tips and tricks you would like to share with the other artists and hobbyists?

It seems I don't have any common tricks or tips. I personally need a soundtrack for  the process. If there is no suitable music - there will be no drawing, or I will do it painfully long and often mistaken.
One thing I can tell everyone: the more you try, the more you can. But all artists know this without my advice.

Could you tell us, which
- Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?

Thranduil / Lee Pace by hwaetmere
With this drawing I started to draw Tolkien's world consciously.

- original picture or picture from other fandom you are most proud of?

Ethir (*I see the light*) - original character by hwaetmere
Despite the fact that this work is in the Tolkien's fantasy section, this is an OC and can belong to any world. I like how the armor turned out. I'm really proud of this work.

Eddie Redmayne by hwaetmere
I usually don't like drawing hair and don't like the way they do it. Here the hair turned out perfectly :) (Smile)

- picture fits your current mood?

Thranduil / Lee Pace by hwaetmere
I'm on vac, relaxing like a hero in the picture, which I want to all the - adult - readers :) (Smile)

- picture was hardest to paint?

rainbow Thranduil / Lee Pace by hwaetmere
I drew these hairs for almost a month. In a week I hated them. I finished the drawing, but I still remember the feelings.

- other picture you would like to share with us and why?

new for the High King by hwaetmere
For today this is my last completed drawing, and it contains the most different tools. A very large amount of tools, I don't even believe that I was able to combine so much. And this is most intriguing character of the whole Legendarium for me.

Would you like to thank somebody here? What key people in your life, (on or off of dA) have been inspirations to you, or has supported you, as an artist? You can also tell us why, if you want.

First of all, I'd like to thank my writer: ZatrianX (Ilverin). She has an account here, although rarely visits the dA.
Also all my close people support my creativity from the very childhood. Often they are even kinder to it than it deserves.
I also want to say thank to the wonderful and drop dead talented artists, whose works: a) plunge me in delight; b) drove me into depression, because I can't draw as well; c) create inspiration and confidence in my abilities.
I don't always notice the names of these masters (not only on dA), but I'm grateful for their work.

Would you like to use this space to give a feature to someone? Is there some artist(s) at dA you know, who doesn't have as much attention as they would deserve? If yes, could you give us some thumbnails from their gallery?

As a rule, I'm the last one who meet some cool artists. So by the time I see these stunning drawings, the whole drawing world already knows these people.

Is there something else you would like to tell to the fans of Tolkien and your art?

I'd like to say to everyone who like the Professor's works for many years: thank you very much for not forgetting your passion. And to those who have only joined our community: thank you for finding the Tolkien's world among today's broadest choice of universes and you have understood it, have become a part of us. Thanks to those who like (or not) separately characters. Thanks to all people who like my drawings and creativity of people close to me. It's so amazing when you find out that a person from the other side of the planet represents something just like you. Incredible feeling.
And of course, thanks to those who read that interview to the end, and to the one who waited for my answers in weeks :) (Smile)

Thank you for your time and answers!


Coding by Felizias Drawings by ebe-kastein Borders by PhoenixWildfire

Talks with Tolkien artists: Cocoz42

Journal Entry: Tue Sep 4, 2018, 9:43 AM


The Chinese artist :iconcocoz42: - Cocoz42 was very concise in her answers, maybe because of the language barriere and limited access to the site, but her
Tolkien gallery speaks for itself:

Goldberry by Cocoz42 Glorfindel by Cocoz42
Christopher Lee as Gandalf by Cocoz42 Nazgul by Cocoz42
Luthien Tinuviel by Cocoz42 Idril Celebrindal by Cocoz42
BLACK SWORD by Cocoz42 Sweet Home by Cocoz42

1. Hello! For the beginning, could you tell us something about yourself?

One thing I'm really bad at is introducing myself.

2. What brought you to deviatArt and how did you pick your username?

I want more people to see my works. My user name is my English name with some add-ups.

3. How did you enter Tolkien's world for the first time, and what impression did it leave in you?

Watching LOTR trilogy in theater when TROTK launched. I fell in love with a great work in one day. 

4. What creates the image of Middle-earth in your mind? Is it more influenced by the books or movies, or maybe other artists, and this it change over time or remained the same?

Movies, later I read novels, but not much has been changed.

5. Some of Tolkien's books can be hard to read, being more of history annals than beletry. Do you enjoy the scholarly side of studying Tolkien's world as well?

I didn't even finish English version of Unfinished Tales...very hard to read to me, not an English-speaker. Though I read Chinese versions, not all of them.

6. Who is your favourite Tolkien character and why?

Sam, everyday I need courage to survive in my country (like Mordor), really need to believe there's something worth to live for, to fight for.

7. Now, could you tell us something about you and art? Are you a professional artist, or is art just your hobby? When did you start doing it, and who or what influenced your style?

My passion on art is less and less during these years, I'm not a professional artist, though I want to be one, also, it is highly impractical in China than other places for me. My style varies according to the theme.

8. How do you choose which scenes and characters to illustrate?

I don't choose, I only do what I have inspirations about.

9. What other book or movies (or anything else) inspire you to create fanart, and why?

A lot Star Wars stuff, RPG game stuff, like the answer above, depends on does it give me inspiration or not.

10. What art technique is your favourite? Do you rather keep to the art techniques and styles you are familiar with, or do you experiment with new ones as well?

I don't have regular style, and I like to try new ones.

11. Do you have some tips and tricks you would like to share with the other artists?

No, I think people are so different from each other, tips and tricks are for specific questions, not generally to everybody.

12. Could you tell us, which
- Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?
 
I haven't finished it yet...and I even don't remember in which year I draw it on paper...for now, Goldberry.

Goldberry by Cocoz42

- original picture or picture from other fandom you are most proud of?

I like my recent fanart of Star Wars and old works on Dragon Age.

Singin' in the Force by Cocoz42
After Kirkwall- Not just a nightmare by Cocoz42
- picture was hardest to paint?

None, as long as I posted it already.

13. Would you like to thank somebody here? What key people in your life, (on or off of dA) have been inspirations to you, or has supported you, as an artist? You can also tell us why, if you want.

Minako Narita sensei, manga artist from Japan, I met her in person on her 40 years career ceremony this year, said thank you to her. Her works means more than art to me. And Professor Ma kexuan, an animation artist passed away years ago, he told me my goal was worthy and I was on the right way. Last but not least, my family, they all support me for my choice, and you should know it's rare in Chinese culture.

Thank you for your time and answers!




Coding by Felizias Drawings by ebe-kastein Borders by PhoenixWildfire
Banner 01 by MirachRavaia

Our theme for September and October is Honour. Thanks to Shire Rose for the suggestion!

The concept of honour is very old, maybe as old as human society, although different cultures can understant this term differently. It is an inner moral code that is put above one's well-being and gain. Honour is similar to conscience, a moral compass that helps discern good from evil. But conscience only tells the difference, while honour acts upon it.

In some societies honour is celebrated and gives a certain social status. Commiting something dishonourable marks one for the whole life, if people find out about it. And even if they don't, the shame of the act is perceived as a stain on the person's honour by themselves, and can change their life and actions since then. That is, if the person is honourable, because there have always been and will be individuals who do not care for it, and the conflict of honour and dishonourable acts is a driving force of many tales.

And like the actions considered dishonourable can be different between cultures, they can also differ between individual people. For example, a man doing woman's work ir wearing female clothes can be viewed as shameful in one culture, while it wouldn't be a big deal somewhere else. But a certain twisted sense of honour can even be found in those who in the tales stand at the side of evil. Maybe they take innocent lives without a wince, but would never betray their commander or endanger their family.

Tolkien's world is full of honour and nobility, and these two are very important in his tales. It was honour that made Finrod keep his oath and aid Beren, even though he knew he is going to his death. It was honour that guided Aragorn in protecting the Hobbits, and it was the knowledge that he acted dishonourably towards Frodo that led Boromir to sacrificing his life for them. On the other side, these are characters who maybe understood and had honour once, but it got twisted and slowly forgotten, like Gollum, Grí­ma or Saruman.

Whether you decide to write about an outher conflict of honour against adversity or the inner conflict caused by the how hard it is to remain honourable in a certain situation, please be honourable and keep our rules.

The deadline of the challenge is October 31st.

Send your entries to teitho.contest@gmail.com. The contest is anonymous and the entry can't be posted publicaly until the results of the challenge are announced. Please mind our rules when submitting your entries for the contest.

Happy writing and drawing!

Your Teitho-moderators,

Banner 02 by MirachRavaia    

Talks with Tolkien artists: Miruna-Lavinia

Journal Entry: Sun Aug 26, 2018, 2:30 PM


This week I bring you a talk with a romanian artist and writer :iconmiruna-lavinia: - Miruna-Lavinia. She creates a big variety of art from  landscapes to portraits, which can be found in three folders of her gallery: Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and The Hobbit fanbook. We also talked about the Tolkien fandom, and what it means to be in it vs. being a fan. But before we get to that, enjoy a sample from her gallery:

PROJECT LOTR - landscapes by Miruna-Lavinia
The White Tree by Miruna-Lavinia Into the woods by Miruna-Lavinia
Downfall of the firedrake Smaug by Miruna-Lavinia Oliphant in Ithilien by Miruna-Lavinia
The End of the Last Ship by Miruna-Lavinia Friendly enemies- for SALE by Miruna-Lavinia
Burglar and King by Miruna-Lavinia

Hello! For the beginning, could you tell us something about yourself?

For start, to say I am a painter from Romania, and I grew with a great passion for painting and drawing. I love to travel and to write, reason why I now decided to write books and travel a lot more than before. I graduated high-school as a visiual technician and in Tourism in college. Now I work as a graphic designer and writter. I also love to take photos, reason why I also worked in mass-media as a photographer. I love listening to rock music and movie soundtracks, I grew up in a mountain area and I am always drawn to the nature, reason why most of my works are about nature and mountains.

That's an impressive set of artistic pursuits! How did you decide to present them on this site and how did you pick your username? You are a long-time member and have met some of your deviantArt friends in real life as well, so can you tell us more about your experiences here?

My username is actually my real life name, which I decided to use almost everywhere, so it can be easily recognizable.
I've been on DA for more 10 years, and even before joining, I knew of DeviantArt ever since it was launched, but I joined here due to a "friend" from the LOTR fandom (I actually knew her from LiveJournal), back in 2007, and she persuaded me to be here.
It was actually a lot of fun being here, I've made real life friends, I've met people with common interests, and seeing talented people from the Tolkien fanbase I decided to keep on my work.
One of the first painting that I've submitted here as LOTR fanart was this drawing of Smaug:


How did you enter Tolkien's world for the first time, and what impression did it leave in you?

When I first watched The Fellowship of the Ring, I was, 10 years old, and it was the most impressive movie I had ever seen. I was taken to the cinema by my aunt who persuaded me to watch it. Little did I know it will have such impact in my life!
Being soo young, I did not catch and many things from the movie, but by the time the second movie released I was determined to read the books, and I read the trilogy when I was 12-13 years old  (2003-2004)... then I read the Hobbit during summer vacation, and I continued with Silmarillion and I loved the books so much.
In the meanwhile I was creating fanart (but at that time, I did not knew it was called fanart)... and that was the only thing I had in mind: Tolkien's books.
The sad part was that I was mocked and bullied in school for being a LOTR fan, because most people loved Harry Potter at that time, and ONLY boys liked LOTR or talked about it, and to be honest I had hard times until the end of High School.
I kept creating fanarts and I began posting them online, it was so awesome meeting people from around the world, sharing our opinion of the characters from the books/movies and making lots of fanarts.

What creates the image of Middle-earth in your mind? Is it more influenced by the books or movies, or maybe other artists?

I've always loved nature, and the landscapes shown in the movie (both LOTR and The Hobbit) have something really magical in them that I got so excited into making more Tolkien based landscapes.
I'm more of a visual person, and if this movie brought to me so much color in my life, I was also inspired with painting landscapes from the specific location from Middle-Earth.
I have to admit, I was inspired by other with their technique of painting, especially :iconpeet: 's style of working.
The way now I imagine Middle-Earth is by how I think it looks, with only several inspirations from the movie (expecially the way Shire is shown) but the rest, I created by my own imagination, or, but that is very rare, if I see a specific landscape in real life and looks Middle-Earth-ish, then that landscape will appear in my fanart.
Here are some Middle-Earth illustrations that have been inspired by real life locations:
To the Blue Mountains by Miruna-Lavinia   Ered  Nimrais (west of Gondor) by Miruna-Lavinia   Mering Stream in Rohan by Miruna-Lavinia   Black Riders by Miruna-Lavinia

What about the Silmarillion and the other Tolkien's books? Do you enjoy the scholarly side of studying Tolkien's world as well or rather prefer those that are written in easier style?

I have read Silmarillion right after I finished reading The Hobbit, that was around 2005-2006, and it was, for me, the most complex reading of my life, but I did enjoy to find out how Arda was created, and all the stories of Beleriand, the mayas, though I have to admit, I did have to read twice to understand. 
The most easy ride of Tolkien's works was Roverandom, and it was a very fun reading.
All these I read them in the Romanian language, and here comes the tricky part: Leaf by Niggle, Farmer Giles from Ham, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, Smith of Wootton Major  I read them in English, and are still my favorite. Yes, I favored a lot more his easy style of writing.

Could we now talk a bit about the Tolkien fandom? Recently you posted a journal about leaving this fandom, although you don't intend to stop creating art inspired by Tolkien. How do you understand being a part of a fandom versus being a fan of something without necessary interaction withy others? Aren't all fans a part of fandom?

Until recently I talked with fans from around the world, and it seems to me that I've encountered some differences between my visions and other's, for me that's ok, we all have differences because after all, we are people. I decided to step back for my sake. I respect people's ideas, but also I support mine. 
For me as an artist is important to keep on doing what I love! 
My teenage years and also adulthood have been market by LOTR and the Hobbit (both movies and books), and I still love it still, and I think it's impossible to stop because, even if I don't get receive anything back, I've got people who love my work and are always excited when I post something, and I don't want to let them down. 
I think that one reason I cannot leave for real my love for Tolkien's work is that, I feel it's a part of my life of who I am, and I don't want to supress my desire to draw something Tolkien related just because I got upset of something.

So, do I understand right that being a fan of Tolkien and being in "Tolkien fandom" are two different things to you? You are remaining a fan, but stepping out of the fandom, as a community?

Yes, for now, these are two different things!

I see. So what do you think is the problem with Tolkien fandom?

I personally don't think there is a problem with the fandom as a whole, and as a community.
I think, after all these years that this fandom is great, with fans all around the world, and will continue to be awesome years to come, and to be honest I cannot wait for the next wave of fans after the release of Amazon's series :) (Smile)
One single thing that I did not understood is that as we people are different tend to shove some ideas and they stick with them, and if you don't approve, then you are mean and ignorant. That was when I decided that the best way to cope with this is step back.

Now about something else: Is there some topic in Tolkien's works that you are particularly passionate about?

There are two things that caught my attention: the deep friendship or camadery in the LOTR books and I'm sure many noticed how deep and rare are the bonds created by Tolkien. I've learned many things myself by understanding Tolkien's motifs for such bonds between friends, races and people.
And the other is in fact the geography and maps he created, one thing that you see is how many landscapes I created based on the maps of Middle-Earth. I am very fascinated that he did put so much thought in every detail of Arda, Beleriand and Numenor. As an artist, I can invision immediatly the region, how the mountains look just by the description from the book.

What about you and art? Is there an overlap of your work as a graphic designer with what we see in your gallery, or is your work separate from art as your hobby? When did you start painting, and who or what influenced your style?

My real life job has (unfortunatelly) nothing to do with my art here, online, what I do in as a living are very big projects that are not under my name, but the company's.
I do post sometimes commissions I do for people in real life, otherwise, what I post here is made out of passion and devotion for the things I love.
I've painted all my life to be honest, even when I was little, I made doodles everywhere I go.
I had a lot of influences in my style, from the Disney animation style of making the characters, to realistic style.
As for the Tolkien based artists there are many... many from the past (like in 2003-3004) were some artists whose name I do not remember now (and are no longer active) that inspired me the most, then came the more actual artists like Kinko White and my favorite Donat Giancola.

The picture in your gallery vary from landscapes to portraits and comics. How do you pick the topics to draw?

I love to vary my works, and sometimes it depends on my mood, there are times that when I watch a movie I want to draw the portrait of the main actor, sometimes I want to paint mountains or forests, other times I have new ideas for Tolkien art and its nice to explore this spectre of art because it opens a lot of doors, and I never get bored.

Your Hobbit fanbook is a series of several stories in comics form exploring the relationship of Bilbo and Thorin. Could you tell us more about these comics and the relationship how you see it?

I think I came up with the idea when Desolation of Smaug just came out and I was in vogue with Tumblr posts and I kinda got stuck with some weird things I thought back then and I decided that, I have to do this, otherwise I will have it o my mind forever. Most of my comic came quite natural, very much inspired after the movie and BTS with the actors.
For me, its quite nice to explore many aspects of the "human" circumstances which which these comics were born, even if they are platonic or something else. But to be honest, I kinda moved on with that.


What other book or movies (or anything else) inspire you to create fanart, and why?

One series that really changed me (for the better as in art) is NBC Hannibal. Despite the gruesome, the series is like a piece of art, and I got attached to it by the moment I watched it.
I do watch quite a lot of movies, but the ones I decide to make fanart after are those movies that touch my heart, and I feel something special about it.

What art technique is your favourite? Do you rather keep to the art techniques and styles you are familiar with, or do you experiment with new ones as well?

I love to work in acrylics and oil pastels, and most of my works are done in these two media.
I also love to paint with watercolors because in cases I want to paint a cloudy sky, the colors on paper creates an unique texture and somehow resembles the sky, or water.
Here I have an example of how I used watercolors to create the water of the Rauros waterfall:

  Rauros by Miruna-Lavinia
I also like to draw with graphite, but on few occasions, for example that time I used pencils to draw the characters from my book:

Your book? Are you a writer as well? Would you tell us more about it?

I got into writing a long time ago when I was wrtting fanfiction, and since I decided to keep with original stories, and now I have one book published, and one still in progress.
The one I am writing now is a fantasy novel, and it has, at the foundation of it many Tolkien inspirations.

It's interesting how many Tolkien artists are also writers :) (Smile) Was your fanfiction also Tolkien themed, or was it from a different fandom?

My first ever fanfiction was indeed a LOTR movie verse fanfiction, written in 2003 or 2004 I think. I don't remember what it was about, but all I know it was how excited about writing fanfiction I was.

Do you have some tips and tricks you would like to share with the other artists?

As a Tolkien fan, there is only one thing I can give as an advice: remember that Tolkien has given us a great fantasy world, and without him, we would never have such a rich modern fantasy literature, and I for one, cherish that more than anything in this domain. He changed my perspective of the world.
And a second thought: if you like what you do, continue doing, art, fiction etc, because as long you feel content about yourself doing it, nothing else matters.

Could you tell us, which
- Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?

PROJECT LOTR - landscapes by Miruna-Lavinia

- original picture or picture from other fandom you are most proud of?

Waterlily with koi fish by Miruna-Lavinia

- picture fits your current mood?

Escape by Miruna-Lavinia

- picture was hardest to paint?

PROJECT LOTR - landscapes by Miruna-Lavinia
(this one again, took me 2 months to finish)

- other picture you would like to share with us and why?

Milky Way over my childhood's Mountain by Miruna-Lavinia

This drawing in oil pastel is a representation of the Straja Peak, the mountain I used to see from my window from my city I used to live as a kid, and the milky way over it. What I love about it is the amount of colors that made it special and nostalgic

Would you like to thank somebody here? What key people in your life, (on or off of dA) have been inspirations to you, or has supported you, as an artist? You can also tell us why, if you want.

There are many people, artists that inspired me in this fandom, people who later became my friends and so on.
If I were to thank them, I would thank everybody who advised me, were with me in my darkest times (few of them of course) but nonetheless, they where there, and for that a honest Thank you.

Is there some artist(s) at dA you know, who doesn't have as much attention as they would deserve? If yes, could you give us some thumbnails from their gallery?

Unfortunately I don't know any artist who hasn't come out in the spotlight at this moment.

Is there something else you would like to tell to the fans of Tolkien and your art?

Well, Tolkien has reshaped the fantasy genre, and we fans are so lucky to be a part of this whole thing that surrounds us and we must be proud of what we do.

Thank you for your time and answers!


Coding by Felizias Drawings by ebe-kastein Borders by PhoenixWildfire

Talks with Tolkien artists: anastasiyacemetery

Journal Entry: Mon Aug 20, 2018, 2:51 AM


This week we have here a dose of dark and hot art and a very interesting talk with its creator, :iconanastasiyacemetery: - anastasiyacemetery. She speaks openly about the hard life of an artist from Siberia, fascination with dark characters and sexuality in art, and usefulness of Patreon. But first you may take a look at her gallery here!

random balrog by anastasiyacemetery Namo Mandos fanart Silmarillion by anastasiyacemetery
Melkor by anastasiyacemetery Thranduil by anastasiyacemetery
Annatar by anastasiyacemetery another tolkien fanart by anastasiyacemetery
Morgoth by anastasiyacemetery Sauron and ArPharazon by anastasiyacemetery


1. Hello! For the beginning, could you tell us something about yourself?

Hello! First of all I want to apologise for my English because I'm Russian and can't speak English very well.
And of course I want to thank you for inviting me to this interview and for patience while I was trying to write English text )
Ok, I was born in Siberia, Surgut, the land of -40°C in winter and +40°C in summer. That's all that can be interesting ) It was a sociophobic life for around 18 years,
after that it became a little less sociophobic, hehe ) After moving in Saint-Petersburg I began to understand that there is the Life in this life.
Unfortunately now I am in Siberia again but have a plan to get out of here )

2. What brought you to deviatArt and how did you pick your username?

I don't remember what brought me here, it was around 10 years ago, omg so long... It was popular in that time, now we have Tumblr, Insta, Pinterest and new Patreon, in that time there were no such things. I opened a vocabulary, just put the finger on a random word on random page, it was "cemetery". Well, ok, it was "dumb" in first but the second was «cemetery». I thought it was better. Around a year ago I took a second nick "Algrass" - for fanart, because it's really hard to combine two diverse topics under one nickname. Now I have a problem, because I like the realistic style and the cartoon at the same time. And it's hard, you can lose both.

3. How did you enter Tolkien's world for the first time, and what impression did it leave in you?


I always tell the truth about it: it's hard to me to name myself as «fan of Tolkien», because I prefer science-fiction more (Strugatskiye, Azimov, Clark...) and something about dark stories (Lovecraft of course, maybe even Barker sometimes). But it was ironic that fantasy gave me characters that interested me. I'm not a master to disclose characters and most likely I'm just a person who has fun. As most “non-fans” of fantasy books, I've heard about Tolkien after the known to everyone film “Lord of the Rings”. I just watched LOTR (I loved it only when I watched the full versions) and read “Lord of the Rings” and “Silmarillion”. Hard books for childrens... ok, for adults too )) Tolkien never blew up my mind, but I believe that he sincerely loved his work and it always deserves respect and attracts attention. Human being who loves his job.

4. Some of Tolkien's books can be hard to read, being more of history annals than beletry. Do you let that discourage you or not? How extensive is your knowledge of Middle-earth?

Ha ha, exactly! I almost forgot everything that I didn't use for pictures ) I remember information only if it bears practical benefit (like knowledge that is useful to me in life) or something that impressed me (like a science-fiction or dystopia-utopia ideas in books). Most of the "Silmarillion", for example, had the character of a “historical reference", it could not impress me. All the impressions artists have already developed in their stories. So I don't remember a lot )

5. Who is your favourite Tolkien character and why?

I think - Huan ) Extriemly cool wolf )

6. Now, could you tell us something about you and art? Are you a professional artist, or is art just your hobby? When did you start doing it, and who or what influenced your style?

I'm not professional and it's pain of my life. I've never been in any art school, I have another higher education and I hope that one day I'll take second, true education - of an artist. If a had a real style maybe I would have started to think what or who can to influenced it. So far this style is a collection of errors as a result of the fact that there was never a person able to tell me how to do better. I'm too chaotic and there's nobody to form my style.

7. Your gallery might be a bit of a surprise for conservative Tolkien fans: your art is mostly erotic or humorous (or a mix of the two). What are their reactions, and what would you tell them?


I'is strange but I don't remember any nehative reactoins) Maybe they will be after this interview, hehe ) I'm of that kind of people, I think, who think that there's almost nothing
that you can take seriously. Almost ) Sense of humor is an uncontrollable thing, it is a means of communication. Sense of humor can not be learned on purpose, it is the result of our life experience. I can not change it, I found a way to communicate with the world through art as I can. Yep, it's strange. For a long time I lived a lonely and isolated life, often sad. So, of course, I had to develop a sense of humor and of course the erotic theme was present too. A moment of sadness) Now everything is ok)
The dark Lords were distorted. They are not only "rang the gate and ran away while somebody goes to open it". It is possible that they showed their distortions in all kinds of perversions. It's not always nice and not always likeable.

8. You often post full version of your pictures on patreon, with just a tease in your deviantart gallery. What's your experience with patreon and would you recommend it to other artists?

Interesting question ) How I wish to know English better to explain more! Т_Т Patreon has many disadvantages in the interface, I spent hours to understand these rules and to speak with administration (they are good guys, they always answered ). It doesn't have elementary features such as smiles in dialoge or the function to add more than one picture in post. But! I am convinced that it's a unique site for now, it's different than Kikstarter, it's more suitable for artists and in perspective it can give a priceless thing - more freedom in life and art ) I hope to assemble just 100 patrons, they give me enough time to up my skill and start to
draw something more interesting, I think ) Of course I recommend this site! But remember: it's not so internally interactive and you can attract patrons most from other sites.

9. I always wondered about the influence of having a patreon account on artistic freedom. Since you do make some money with your art there,
do you feel like you draw for yourself or more for the people who support your art? Do you try to come up with something that would appeal to them, or just draw what you want to?


Well, about freedom. If you don't have money - you are not free anyway ) I must work in a store or medical center to have this money ) Do they give me an artistic
freedom? Of course not ) Patreon CAN give much more artistic freedom. Of course I must support the necessary number of drawings and the necessary balance of topics but when you have really many patrons - you must experiment with topics as you like. You don't have to take commissions (only if you like), you don't have to do not-your-work in life, and of course it's an artistic freedom, not in absolute but in its maximum. The absolute - when you was born rich and can to do what you like )

10. Gothmog is a bit of your trademark-character. How did you come up with the design and character of that sexy balrog (and other balrogs in your drawings)?

Absolutely spontaneously, as always ) He is flexible and spontaneous, frivolous, individual but impersonal, the embodiment of sex >_< )) And he is always a bit
changing, it's so strange. It's my unprofessional skill Т_Т I hope to make more cute and sexy monsters, but this guy is so nice for me that I want to draw him more)


11. Sexuality is a bit of a taboo in Tolkien's original work, which was a product of his time. What do you think of sexualizing Tolkien's characters, especially the dark lords, and why do you think did such views get more popularity recently?

This is a social reality, which is aimed at individualism today. Dark characters are cool. They are single, but strong. Especially those who were lonely in their childhood and adolescence, who too disliked themselves and were not loved by others want to associate themselves with them, so "bad guys" are always in popularity, because very few of us experienced a true love for ourselves and others. This is an attempt to love and exalt yourself, being an outcast in life. For the love of "light" you need to be a more complete and strong person, you need to grow in love. I think society will go to "light" only when it becomes more healthy.
People from this type of fandom whom I know - are alone. And of course they do not have enough love. The lack of love always showing itself in its extreme
forms of sexuality and aggression, manifested in bad characters. Of course, this is only my opinion.


12. Your humour is also quite characteristic (I don't know about anyone else who would draw Azog as Marilyn Monroe :D). Where do you get these ideas?

Azog by anastasiyacemetery

ow, you know, it's sooooo hard to be funny im another language! I'm much more funny in Russian )) I have some pictures that don't have a correct translation to English, they are only in Russian fandom. Why was I not born English-speaker Т___Т



13. What other book or movies (or anything else) inspire you to create fanart, and why?

Ow, now I don't have any other book or movie that I can process into art. I wanted to do Lovecraft panteon, but they are unespeakable for now. Of course, I loved Alien by Giger and the films, maybe Alien has a certain effect on features of appearance of my monsters and even people.

14. What art technique is your favourite? Do you rather keep to the art techniques and styles you are familiar with, or do you experiment with new ones as well?

I'm spontaneous, do not have clear instructions and do not recommend it to anyone - it's my fault )

15. Do you have some tips and tricks you would like to share with the other artists?

Of course. A useful exercise: put the pen down, sit straight and think about finding a normal job )

16. Could you give us a link or thumbnail from your gallery of
- a Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?

Melkor for online magazine by anastasiyacemetery

- a picture from other fandom or original picture you are most proud of?

killing miracle by anastasiyacemetery

- a picture that fits your current mood?

found a sketch of a beautiful Beyonce by anastasiyacemetery

- a picture that was hardest to paint?
all cartoon or comics style was hardest - it's new to me

- a picture that is most special to you?

Unusual in habitual by anastasiyacemetery
 (but it's old and more ugly than others)

16. What key people in your life, (on or off of dA) have been inspirations to you, or has supported you, as an artist? You can also tell us why, if you want.


All of that is one person that ever told me good words about my art )
I've started to draw because of my best-best friend ) She is a nice artist, she was in the same useless University as me, in my group. And
she was just drawing. I saw this and I've started too. Thanks to her for that ) Now I've been in cool Russian group on VK - House of Melkor and this guys have supported and inspired me too. There was another cool group in VK too but unfortunately it was closed.
Aaand of course my patrons, it's very important.

17. Is there something else you would like to tell to the fans of Tolkien and your art?

To the fans of Tolkien — sorry for all of this )) It's not me, KGB made me do this.
To all - don't be born in Siberia! Don't make art, find a good job! )
Seriously, I do not think that I have the right to give advices until I'm not living the life that I want to live. I don't know how to live )
I just wish you the best and of course a million dollars so that you can become my patron, hehe ) Life is short and I wish you to spend it in a place that you love with people that you love and making the things that you love. And I don't always answer but I always read you feedbacks. Thank you 8 )

Thank you for your time and answers!


Coding by Felizias Drawings by ebe-kastein Borders by PhoenixWildfire

Talks with Tolkien artists: JayEyBee

Journal Entry: Sun Aug 12, 2018, 5:19 AM


This week I talked with :iconjayeybee: - JayEyBee. Her gallery has a lot of art with Tolkien's characters, with an emphasis on Elven and Valarin couples and families. Take a look!

Thingol + Luthien by JayEyBee Galadriel and Celebrian by JayEyBee
Varda Elentari + Manwe Sulimo by JayEyBee Irmo x Este by JayEyBee
Earendil + Twins by JayEyBee Glorfindel and Ecthelion by JayEyBee
Feanorian Week - Maedhros 1 by JayEyBee Lieutenant Mairon and the Dark Lord by JayEyBee

1. Hello! For the beginning, could you tell us something about yourself?

Hi! Hi! I’m a 25-year-old gal and a graphic designer by profession.

2. What brought you to deviatArt and how did you pick your username?

My step-brother was a DeviantART user before I got interested in joining, so I think it started there. My username has changed over time, but the current one I have is a play on my initials.

3. How did you enter Tolkien's world for the first time, and what impression did it leave in you?

Hmm, good question! I think my interest was a little gradual, of course starting with the LOTR movies, then the Hobbit book which we had to read in High School…then the movies came out and I started digging a little more into this amazing fantasy world, which I gotta say leaves a lot of room for imagination!

4. What creates the image of Middle-earth in your mind? Is it more influenced by the books or movies, or maybe other artists, and this it change over time or remained the same?

I’d say it’s a mixture of all of those, plus occasionally role-playing in that fandom helps a lot too. It probably remained the same overtime, but perhaps with a little more influence from the artists on tumblr and whatever interesting info I can find online or through the books, but the visuals I get come mostly from the movies.

5. Some of Tolkien's books can be hard to read, being more of history annals than beletry. Do you enjoy the scholarly side of studying Tolkien's world as well?

Sure! That is…when I have the will and patience to read it, lol. Yes it can be pretty hard for some to digest the historical books on Middle Earth. Take “The Silmarillion” for example; it can be a bit of a challenge getting through the narrative that I think is quite different from the sequel books. I myself took YEARS to read that through entirely (had to start over a couple times). Since finishing that one I’ve tried reading a few things here and there from the other books I purchased. I got through most of the “Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle Earth” but have yet to get even halfway into “The Book of Lost Tales.” You gotta be committed to it Nod

6. Who is your favourite Tolkien character and why?

Oh god, there are so many! I guess if I had to pick one I’d say King Thranduil from “The Hobbit.” He’s just so interesting, both in the movies AND book version! Of course other sources have lot to do with the character’s likability too; fanart, fanfics, role-play, that sort of thing.

7. Now, could you tell us something about you and art? Are you a professional artist, or is art just your hobby? When did you start doing it, and who or what influenced your style?

I’d like to say professional artist, but my profession doesn’t really deal with illustrations much so I guess it’s turned into a hobby now. I occasionally offer commissions, though. I started art-sing when I was a youngin’, and a lot of my influence comes from animes that I’ve watched over the years. I think “Naruto” has influenced my style a lot since I’ve spent quite a few years obsessed with that fandom Meow :3

8. How do you choose which scenes and characters to illustrate?

Sometimes it just comes to mind, other times I take suggestions from my Tumblr peeps.

9. The topics in your gallery vary from light and humorous to serious themes, but one - the Birth of Feanor comics seems to be standing out with the seriousness of the idea of a childbirth trauma and postpartum depression, which is actual in current society as well, although not much discussed. Can you tell us more about he idea behind this comics?

This comic idea surged from my milestone reach of 1,000 followers on my Tolkien Tumblr account, vardathebeloved. While I was thinking up different themes for the comic, it just sort of sprung to me how I haven’t really seen any work depicting that moment. It’s a very delicate topic, but I guess I chose it because it’s also very relatable to real life and it did stand out from the ever-seemingly-perfect elven culture by being the only instance that a mother has died (albeit gradually) from giving birth. It’s more complex than that, of course, and it depends a lot on how people interpret it.
Speaking of which, I think I might add another page to it sometime in the future; don’t feel as if it’s quite complete yet. We’ll see!


10. You do not avoid erotic themes in your art either. What do you think about the esthetics and public perception of this kind of art?

Sometimes eroticism is intriguing and attractive. I also use it as an excuse to practice anatomy. While I do dabble a little in my art, there’s not a whole lot of it. It really depends on how people perceive it. There are some erotic art that people find awesome, and some that they don’t really like or find it offensive and I can be like that too. Again, it’s a complex topic.

11. What other book or movies (or anything else) inspire you to create fanart, and why?

Aside from Tolkien books? There are the Harry Potter series, some TV shows I guess, Anime in general, and other people’s artwork also helps with the inspiration; it’s a web of sources, really. I suppose the fantasy aspect is what attracts me to draw these fanarts. Oh and music! Music always helps set the mood too.

12. What art technique is your favourite? Do you rather keep to the art techniques and styles you are familiar with, or do you experiment with new ones as well?

I just love love love manga/anime style, it’s basically where I got started, trying to mimic that crisp-looking art (and failing a lot of times). I wish I’d experiment more, especially when painting sceneries. I’m just not all that patient Sweating a little... and that can set me back a lot.

13. Do you have some tips and tricks you would like to share with the other artists?

This isn’t really a trick but–sketch it out! When I was young, I used to be stubborn about using those guidelines with the circle head and the markers for the face and the mannequin-type body, you know? I thought it was a waste of time and would just wing it on paper. Over the years I’ve found that it really helps to set up the basis for my drawings, especially now that I’ve done mostly digital and being able to work in layers is the best thing ever.

14. Could you tell us, which
- Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?

Feanorian Week - Nerdanel + Feanor by JayEyBee
This piece which I did for Fëanorian Week on Tumblr.

- original picture or picture from other fandom you are most proud of?

Vote Harley (single frame no BG) by JayEyBee
Super proud of my Harley!

- picture fits your current mood?

Thuringwethil Sketch by JayEyBee
Gloomy because my tablet stopped working Grr.

- picture was hardest to paint?

Maedhros + Glorfindel by JayEyBee
A lot of others like this, but I chose it because of the scenery. Sceneries are so hard for me, even if I use pre-made brushes.

- other picture you would like to share with us and why?

Irmo by JayEyBee Feanorian Week - Caranthir by JayEyBee Celebrian by JayEyBee
These because I'm also proud of them


15. Would you like to thank somebody here? What key people in your life, (on or off of dA) have been inspirations to you, or has supported you, as an artist? You can also tell us why, if you want.

I’m always grateful for my family & friends’ support, as well as my followers & watchers Heart

16. Is there some artist(s) at dA you know, who doesn't have as much attention as they would deserve? If yes, could you give us some thumbnails from their gallery?

None that come to mind right now that aren’t CRAZY good and have plenty of attention already, haha.

17. Is there something else you would like to tell to the fans of Tolkien and your art?

First and foremost, I would like to thank everyone for supporting and liking my art. It really means a lot to an artist to know that their work is appreciated in any way. Also, Tolkien Fandom FTW! :hooray:

Thank you for your time and answers!


Coding by Felizias Drawings by ebe-kastein Borders by PhoenixWildfire

Talks with Tolkien artists: Crocorax

Journal Entry: Sat Aug 4, 2018, 5:08 AM


:iconcrocorax: - Crocorax is a Slovak digital artist. If you look at the thumbnails of his pictures, you will see beautiful dramatic landscapes. But look more closely, and you can see the characters, equally important in the picture, and giving you a perspective and focus point. You can find mostly Gandalf's journeys documented this way in his gallery, but also other characters and topics:

Over the Misty Mountains cold by Crocorax Of the Gray Pilgrim's Life by Crocorax
Forbidden love - Turin and Niniel by Crocorax Hope Elrond will join us by Crocorax
Stalking the wizard by Crocorax Grey wanderer by Crocorax
Bolg the Commander by Crocorax Somewhere in the the Misty Mountains by Crocorax

1. Hello! For the beginning, could you tell us something about yourself?

 First I have to thank you for the interview :) (Smile)
This is very complicated question. Realy hard to answer. :) (Smile) (better to ask my friends) :D (Big Grin)
Where should I begin. So we can say, I am passionate. When I am doing something I like, I would like to enjoy it as much as possible. I love nature and fishing and if I have a free time, I spend it in the nature :) (Smile)

2. What brought you to deviatArt and how did you pick your username?

Deviantart. Simply - the amazing source of marvelous artworks of outstanding artists and the amazing source of inspiration especially.
My username. Why Crocorax? Simply to remember (for the others) and hard to explain (for me) :D (Big Grin) It is derived from the Corvus corax (the common raven). It is mighty and clever animal with realy strong voice (it helps to create the amazing scary atmosphere of dark scenes in many movies :D (Big Grin) ).

3. How did you enter Tolkien's world for the first time, and what impression did it leave in you?

This is sad question for me. I remeber that it was the talking about movie trilogy when it came out what brought me to the Tolkien´s world. I remember how my teacher described the first movie as realy realy impressive. I was young and I did not care about movies very much. But when I saw the first movie in the TV... I was stunned. After I saw "Two towers" I started to read the book trilogy and I was catched... then The Hobbit and so on...

4.How much did the movies influence your imagination when reading the books?

I think the movies have created many of my "Tolkien´s characters". So the influence was realy strong. Fortunately, reading The Hobbit was untouched. :) (Smile) But still there is realy huge place for my own imagination of places, landscapes etc.

5. Some of Tolkien's books can be hard to read, being more of history annals than beletry. Do you enjoy the scholarly side of studying Tolkien's world as well?

Hope the readers will not judge me. I enjoyed the story parts of Tolkien´s work more. I love details, I love the journey, I like the path more than the list of results. How to explain it... . In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.

6. Who is your favourite Tolkien character and why?

I think I don´t have favourite character. I like them all. Sometimes I prefer Gandalf, sometimes it is Bilbo or Aragorn or Elrond... but I think they are on the same line. But I prefer Gandalf in my paintings , for now :) (Smile)

7. Now, could you tell us something about you and art? Are you a professional artist, or is art just your hobby? When did you start doing it, and who or what influenced your style?

Painting is something what gives me wings. I feel so free. I can paint what I am thinking about. That´s amazing. When I read a book I have many scenes in my mind. So many... It is impossible to paint it all. I know. But If I could paint only some of them I will be proud.
Painting is my hobby, so I am not paid for it. When did I start? I think it is 3 years now.

8. How do you choose which scenes and characters to illustrate?

This is realy about how I feel. The idea comes during reading a book or watching a film. Sometimes, I have the picture in my mind for a realy long time (a half year or more - years). But if I don´t have time to paint it when the idea comes, I have to save it in my head for the next time :) (Smile)

9. Pictures of landscapes tend to be peaceful, but not in your case. Even those of your paintings that don't contain any characters are full of tension and express the strong, dynamic and majestic side of nature. Does it reflect how you see nature in reality? Or is it rather a statement about your personality?

I live in a small beautiful country, full of hills and small rivers. Everything looks quiet and peaceful (hope it will stay so). So I think that this is more about my personality. Maybe I just want to paint something I can´t see on my own eyes. Who knows. :) (Smile)

10. Speaking about characters in your paintings, they are often present in the distance or partially outside of the frame, offering a small but important focus point. What led you to this style of depicting characters in the landscape?

Characters in my paintings are very important. They are as important as the place where they are. When I started with digital painting I allways admired paintings which contained majestic landscapes. I allways imagine that I can visit these places sometime (and meet one of my favourite characters). These pictures can bring me to these majestic places and this is what I realy like.

11. What other book or movies (or anything else) inspire you to create fanart, and why?

For the inspiration I prefer books. I like fantasy, sci-fi and horror genres. If I could be more specific, I realy like Robert Anthony Salvatore and his "Legend of Drizzt" (fantasy), Markus Heitz and his "Dwarves" (fantasy), Arthur Charles Clarke and his "Childhood´s end" (sci-fi), Peter Lengyel and his "Second planet of Ogg" (I´m not sure if it is translated properly, did not find it in english - sci-fi again), Stephen King and many more.... I used to give a chance to every book or movie of these genres. :) (Smile) But sometimes I can find many inspirations on the internet - videos and artworks of many artists.

12. What art technique is your favourite? Do you rather keep to the art techniques and styles you are familiar with, or do you experiment with new ones as well?

My favourite technique is digital painting. I tried the traditional way of painting but it was many years ago (I remember I liked it) :) (Smile) I hope I will have a chance to try serious traditional painting with real brushes on a real canvas sometimes :) (Smile) I like to try new techniques but it is still a digital painting.

13. Do you have some tips and tricks you would like to share with the other artists?

Never stop doing what you like (and always remeber why do you like it and why do you do it). I know, this is not trick or tip, but it is important to have it always on your mind, when you feel you are stuck.
Tip - don´t focus on trying new brushes in digital painting. It is waisting of time. There are so many brushes on the internet you can never use them all properly. Choose only few basic brushes and few special brushes you like (texture brushes etc.) and learn how to work with them. You will save a lot of time :) (Smile)

14. Could you tell us, which
- Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?

I am proud of every painting I made, because every work is a result of a proces and it is valuable experience :) (Smile) But If I should choose one it will be this one:

Expedition... by Crocorax

- original picture or picture from other fandom you are most proud of?

Lets say this one, a World of Warcraft character picture (because this was my first serious work - hard but very important experience)

Tauren warrior: Tank by Crocorax

- picture fits your current mood?

Pursued by the Nazgul by Crocorax

- picture was hardest to paint?

Following the secret path by Crocorax

- other picture you would like to share with us and why?

I would like to share this picture because it was my first painting:

Bridge of Khazad-dum by Crocorax

15. Would you like to thank somebody here? What key people in your life, (on or off of dA) have been inspirations to you, or has supported you, as an artist? You can also tell us why, if you want.

I want to thank all the artists who share their artworks and who share their knowledge especialy :) (Smile) It is realy generous, inspirational and it realy helps to stay motivated (this is very important) and I think I could never be here without their help.

16. Is there some artist(s) at dA you know, who doesn't have as much attention as they would deserve? If yes, could you give us some thumbnails from their gallery?

There are many awesome popular artists at Deviantart I admire. But I will focus for digital art (because this is what I am interrested in the most right now) - for example Bayard Wu, ReFiend, 88grzes (Grzegorz Rutkowski), Flavio Bolla. We can find many less popular artists here at dA who are also very talented.

PiotrDura - his landscapes are absolutely stunning - these two are my favourite

Karamissa - very talented artist. I realy like how she works with colors, mood and shapes
GG-arts - love the color palette, composition and the traditional look of his paintings

kynlo - his portraits are superb and feel for poses is outstanding

kiddo428 - simply awesome artist!

and many more. You should only browse the whole dA :) (Smile)

17. Is there something else you would like to tell to the fans of Tolkien and your art?

I am very grateful for Mr. Tolkien's books and the exciting world he has created. I am so glad that I could ever read his books and see the movies. The another thing I am realy proud of is the community of fans of Tolkien. It is beautiful to have the possibility to share the joy, the pleasure and the enthusiasm I am experiencing by the reading his books, with people who love it as I :) (Smile) And of course I would like to thank all the fans who like my paintings. I am realy proud of every comment, like, or suggestion. It keeps me motivated and makes me happy :) (Smile)

Thank you for your time and answers!


Coding by Felizias Drawings by ebe-kastein Borders by PhoenixWildfire

Talks with Tolkien artists: Attiris-V

Journal Entry: Sat Jul 21, 2018, 1:14 PM


:iconattiris-v: - Attiris-V (Vojtěch Vodička) paints illustrations for the Hobbit with a charming style reminding on the illustrations in children's books. You can take a look at his gallery before reading a talk with him:

Smaug by Attiris-V Spiders in the Mirkwood by Attiris-V
Arkenstone by Attiris-V Dol Guldur by Attiris-V
Woodland Halls by Attiris-V Bard by Attiris-V

1. Hello! For the beginning, could you tell us something about yourself?

Hello, I'm a 21 yrs old guy from the Czech Republic, studying a programme of Architecture and Building Structures. I've been drawing since I can remember, actively pursueing it my whole life.

2. What brought you to deviatArt and how did you pick your username?

I honestly don't remember what have brought me to deviantart, but my nickname comes from a world I've created when I was little for a book I was trying to write at that time.

3. How did you enter Tolkien's world for the first time, and what impression did it leave in you?

I suppose I've always knew about Tolkien and his world, but at first I despised it a little bit as I was more into wild west books and movies. Then I started to like medieval times which led into reading fantasy books. So I actually got to the Tolkien world after exploring other worlds. Probably the first spark for me was a old cartoon of Hobbit by Ralph Bakshi which my dad showed me.

4. How much did the movies influence your imagination when reading the books?

I have definitely came to contact with the movies earlier as it was all around me, in action cards, tv, games etc. but, although it is definitely one of my favourite cinematic works, it didn't left as much influence as I would have expected. Ted Nasmith and Alan Lee [who is probably one of my all time favourite artists] have played much bigger role.

5. Some of Tolkien's books can be hard to read, being more of history annals than beletry. Do you enjoy the scholarly side of studying Tolkien's world as well?

Yes, I do actually. I have read Silmarillion several times as well as Children of Hurin. That's what makes the unique atmosphere for me.

6. Who is your favourite Tolkien character and why?

When it comes to the Lord of the Rings, then it's Samwell, who is the bravest and most loyal and honest of them all. Other than that I love high elven characters like Finrod Felagund, Gil-Galad and others.

7. You have only drawn pictures for the Hobbit. What about other Tolkien's books? They don't inspire you or rather do not fit your style?

Well I feel that my style really doesn't fit the atmosphere of the books which are for me perfectly presented by Alan Lee and in some way his are perfect for me and unbeatable.

8. Speaking about your style, it is very fitting for childrens' books illustrations. Do you draw with that intention in mind?

Well that is definitely one of my side dreams. Illustration is the branch of art which was always closest to me. At the same time I have always had the ambition to write a book, so that would be a perfect opportunity to present my mind completely. As for the style, I have somehow naturally grew into it working with watercolours and trying to avoid the classical watery look, which i find kind of cheesy, when not performed perfectly.

9. What other book or movies (or anything else) inspire you to create fanart, and why?

I really like to do comic book stuff, as I love the ability of the style to capture movement and action and in that matter is a real inspiration. Other than that I usually create my own stuff as creating them is as much fullfilling as drawing them for me.

10. What art technique is your favourite? Do you rather keep to the art techniques and styles you are familiar with, or do you experiment with new ones as well?

I don't experiment as much with new styles as I would like, only touching oil and acryl from time to time compared to nonstop drawing with pencil, marker or watercolours.

11. Do you have some tips and tricks you would like to share with the other artists?

I don't really believe in universal tricks which work for everybody. Artist should find their own tricks, which make their works unique and personal.

12. Could you tell us, which
- Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?

probably Troll Bonfire, which was my first or Gandalf in the Caves

Troll Bonfire by Attiris-V
Gandalf in the Caves by Attiris-V

- original picture or picture from other fandom you are most proud of?

my gallery isn't the largest, but for me its my first picture on this site - Little Prince with the Fox, a picture which fulfilled for me everything I have expected from it

Little Prince - 05 by Attiris-V

- picture fits your current mood?

It depends, there are some spontaneous but sometimes it takes more times to really get it right and then its more of planning and thinking.

- picture was hardest to paint?

probably the one from little prince with the flag on the north pole, i had to try it several times till i got the right scenery and style.

Little Prince - 08/2 by Attiris-V

- other picture you would like to share with us and why?

this was one of the spontaneous pictures, which was my response to the Melancholy Hill by Gorrilaz which was my favourite song at the time and it still resonates in me.

Melancholy hill by Attiris-V

13. Would you like to thank somebody here? What key people in your life, (on or off of dA) have been inspirations to you, or has supported you, as an artist? You can also tell us why, if you want.

I come from a art/supporting family when it comes to both visual art and music. My dad always supported me a lot. The next important person was my art class teacher who lighted the fire in me to create my own things.

14. Is there something else you would like to tell to the fans of Tolkien and your art?

I would say that Tolkien for me isn't about the story or the characters, though both of them are amazing. It about the atmosphere and that's what I'm trying to capture. There are many character designs, which are amazing but the hard thing is to present them in the ancient world that Ea is.

Thank you for your time and answers!


Coding by Felizias Drawings by ebe-kastein Borders by PhoenixWildfire

Talks with Tolkien artists: CKGoksoy

Journal Entry: Sat Jul 14, 2018, 3:35 AM


Prepare for a dose of epicness with this talk! There will be battles and dragons, since those are the favourite topics of a great turkish digital artist Çağlayan Kaya Göksoy :iconckgoksoy: - CKGoksoy. You can find more of these in his Middle-Earth gallery:

Spirit of Fire by CKGoksoy
Bridge of Khazad-dum by CKGoksoy Lament for Boromir by CKGoksoy
By the Gates Of Angband by CKGoksoy
Ancalagon the Black by CKGoksoy
Glaurung The Deciever by CKGoksoy

1. Hello! For the beginning, could you tell us something about yourself?

- Hi! I'm Çağlayan Kaya Göksoy, I know you can't spell that so no worries :D (Big Grin) I'm a self taught artist from Turkey, currently "studying" graphic design but not really. As most of you I have been painting, drawing stuff since I was a child and decided that I didn't want a regular job so I clenched my teeth and grind through years. Hopefully I'm a bit more professional than before :) (Smile)

2. What brought you to deviatArt and how did you pick your username?


- I joined to Deviantart in my early highschool years -oh wow it's been 8 years already. I was mostly drawing superheroes, video game characters etc. on the backs of my notebooks and stumbled upon this site and I was like "Oh yeah people would definetely want to see my amazing drawings!" Ah, so naive... :D (Big Grin)

My previous user name was "Skyrace" which is roughly my name surname in English "Göksoy". CKGoksoy looks more formal and easy to remember so I changed it last year I think.

3. How did you enter Tolkien's world for the first time, and what impression did it leave in you?

- Ah, so when The Fellowship of The Ring and The Two Towers came out I was like 6-7 years old and didn't have the chance to catch those, but my father took me to theatre to see The Return of The King a year later. No need to say, I was blown away. For an 8 year old kid that experience was spectacular. I tried to draw everything I remembered as soon as I got home and didn't stop for days. Ofcourse most of the important details flew over my head as I was mostly focused on the spectacle :D (Big Grin).

4. How much did the movies influence your imagination when reading the books?


- To my shame, for some reason I read the books completely much later. Probably I needed more brain power to process all of the stuff going on. While I was reading most of the characters, voices and set pieces were like their movie counterparts. I think Peter Jackson did an excellent job on creating the Middle-Earth and on casting. Ofcourse having an awesome team of creators and artists is the most important aspect of this success I believe.

5. Some of Tolkien's books can be hard to read, being more of history annals than beletry. Do you enjoy the scholarly side of studying Tolkien's world as well?


- That aspect was the hook for me actually, the world was written in a way that it felt lived in. It is full of details, shadowy corners and in the same time open to roam in. I spent countless hours on reading the appendices, letters and studies regarding Middle-Earth. And most likely I still have a lot more to read! :) (Smile)

Vinyamar by CKGoksoy

6. Who is your favourite Tolkien character and why?

- Ah man... It has to be Samwise. I mean it's actually hard for me to choose one because I have several favourite characters from different time periods like most people I imagine. When it comes to Sam however, I think it's because he is the friend we all want and need, he is a great role model. Be like Sam. -2 and 3 would be Tom Bombadil and Glorfindel.

7. Now, could you tell us something about you and art? You are a professional artist; how did you decide to pursue this career? When did you start doing it, and who or what influenced your style?


- My art... Hmm. Well I decided to pursue art as a profession in the last year of highschool. I was more or less expected to study architecture or engineering, and when the time has come to decide on which university and such I realised I just wanted to paint, so I went for graphic design.

As for working on a professional level, it's fairly new. I have been working as a freelance illustrator for only 2 years. I was pretty shy about taking jobs since I didn't feel confident in my art, so I grinded as much as I can, I'm still not really confident haha.

When it comes to the influences, I can't really give you a specific answer since everything I read, watched, played, listened have some degree of influence on what I think and create. As with all of us, we are our experiences. Ofcourse there are great artists, directors, writers that I can name as much as I can that gave me "Woah!" moments, and certainly artists like Ted Nasmith, John Howe, Bob Ross, James Mccarthy and many I can't remember the names of sadly showed me what one can achieve with colors but in the end even simple conversations with friends influenced most of my paintings.

8. Your pictures mostly depic epict battles or dragons. I suppose drawing idyllic landscapes does not suit you? :D (Big Grin) What draws you to draw these dynamic scenes and how do you choose the themes and characters?


- Well landscapes are nice and all but I don't possess the ability to make a landscape interesting and make it tell a story :D (Big Grin) I'm more driven to characters and their interactions. I enjoy the stillness of a frame in chaos. That little "calm" moment in the movies, books etc. is what I'm interested in, so I try to convey those as close as I feel.

Shieldmaiden of Rohan by CKGoksoy

9. What other book or movies (or anything else) inspire you to create fanart, and why?

- Hmm... Star Wars is definetely one of them :D (Big Grin) I actually have a folder full of fanarts that I started to paint but never had the time to finish them. I have at least a couple of paintings for most of the books I read recently, Kingkiller Chronicles, The Expanse and Gentleman Bastards are the ones that first came to my mind. Basically if there is a nice story whether it's a movie, book or video game, I definetely have some sketches for it :D (Big Grin)

Dragon Lair by CKGoksoy

10. There is a poll on your page saying that you are almost done with the overall script of the comic and the universe. Would you mind telling us a bit more about this comic?

- Ah yes, the comic that I can't finish. Around 7 years ago I started to write down short stories about The Cauldron -that being the fictional world I created- over time I kept building this universe. 2 years ago I decided that I should take this lore and put it in use, so I began working on it with a serious intent. Needless to say, the lack of proper knowledge on how to manage a script and story proved stressful. Many alterations were made but I think now I'm in a good place regarding the story.

The Cauldron isn't really set in one time frame such as medieval fantasy or future. Right now the comic mentioned is set in more of a victorian era, I enjoy steampunk and fantasy so I said why not both :D (Big Grin) Since the past and the future of the universe is already written, I'm trying to write this particular one as a stepping point for people to get into the universe. Hopefully it will turn out ok :D (Big Grin)

11. As a professional artist, do you have as much time to draw what you want as you would wish? Were you able to keep the passion for art that is typical for hobbyists?

- I can't really find time for personal projects lately but while I paint for other people I try to accept the jobs that resonates with me and sounds fun. So that way while I'm painting I don't really feel like working. Ofcourse there were times that I pull my hair and such but luckily I had nice clients more than bad ones :D (Big Grin)

12. What art technique is your favourite? Do you rather keep to the art techniques and styles you are familiar with, or do you experiment with new ones as well?

- I really like oil painting and wanted to practice it myself, I have been working almost all the time on digital media for the past 3 years. As far as it goes I'm trying to implement 3D into my work, but again that takes time.

13. Do you have some tips and tricks you would like to share with the other artists?

- The only valid advice I can give is to be patient and practice as much as you can. There are no shortcuts so the skills you need to learn have to be learnt and kept polished. I did the mistake of getting ahead of myself and jump into advanced stuff, that lead to a painful realisation of when you are a beginner artist you have a raw ego which must be destroyed in order to improve. So learn from other's mistakes too. Starve the ego, be humble and you will improve faster and be healthier.

14. Could you tell us, which
- Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?

Shieldmaiden of Rohan by CKGoksoy

- original picture or picture from other fandom you are most proud of?

Episode VIII by CKGoksoy

- picture fits your current mood?

Must be this one :D (Big Grin)
Paladin by CKGoksoy

- picture was hardest to paint?

I think I won't be able to share the hardest one yet, NDAs... But from the ones in my gallery:
The Hunter's New Grounds by CKGoksoy

- other picture you would like to share with us and why?

Enter Smaug by CKGoksoy
This one is fairly simplistic compared to most of my works but I really enjoyed paintings this one.

15. Would you like to thank somebody here? What key people in your life, (on or off of dA) have been inspirations to you, or has supported you, as an artist? You can also tell us why, if you want.

- Well I should definetely thank to my parents, as they managed to keep up with my unconventional decisions through the years :D (Big Grin)
Also the fantastic people here on DA that gave me critics and commented on my works, you are awesome!
There are many great artists on DA I want to mention here but it would take too much space :D (Big Grin)

16. Is there some artist(s) at dA you know, who doesn't have as much attention as they would deserve? If yes, could you give us some thumbnails from their gallery?

- Almost all of my friends are more known than me so it's hard to find one :D (Big Grin)

17. Is there something else you would like to tell to the fans of Tolkien and your art?

- You guys are awesome, please keep up the spirit of fantasy and create your own art! There are so many stories to tell, to paint, to sing. And if you like my art, I humbly thank you for your support, if not I hope I can improve myself more in future :D (Big Grin)

I wish you all a nice and happy day!

Thank you for your time and answers!


Coding by Felizias Drawings by ebe-kastein Borders by PhoenixWildfire

Talks with Tolkien artists: dieroteiris

Journal Entry: Sat Jul 7, 2018, 1:27 PM


:icondieroteiris: - dieroteiris is a minimalist - her pictures tells stories with just a few lines. She also has Dwarves and dragons wandering the walls of her flat! Take a look at her gallery - you can find her Tolkien-related pictures in three folders: The Hobbit, Mightiest and Fairest of all F-Elves' :) and Tolkien - Other. Here are just a few examples:


Of Niniel and Glaurung by dieroteiris Of the Sun and the Moon by dieroteiris
Of the Burning of the White Ships by dieroteiris Farmer Giles of Ham II by dieroteiris
East End by dieroteiris The Black Rider by dieroteiris
Of Beren's and Luthien's Arrival at Thangorodrim by dieroteiris discovering pipe weed by dieroteiris

Hello! For the beginning, could you tell us something about yourself?

Hullo,
I'm Claudia aka Die Rote Iris. I'm around 30ish and I'm living in the south of Germany. My hometown is in the vicinity of  Munich which some of you maybe know.
I'm an amateur artist, I've been drawing ever since ... kindergarten. But I'm also a dietician and a gardener. Currently I’m working for the 'Deutsches Museum München', which includes a lot of commuting and a lot of reading.
I'm a big Fantasy and Science Fiction fan, but I'm also in love with nature, minimalism and art nouveau, which I think you can tell from looking at my pictures.

What brought you to deviatArt and what has been your experience with it?

I've known deviantArt for man years before I joined. But it was always something other people did.
Also I was quite sensitive about my English skills.
But someday around 2014 - I had just started a new job and everything felt like new beginnings - I joined. Without any long planing or wanting to. Just did.

My overall experience is very positive. I've discovered a great many amazing artists, made a few new friends and rediscovered some old ones.
I love the diversity here on deviantArt. There really is something for everybody - be it traditional watercolour city scapes or digitally rendered space ships. Also I'm delighted about how geeky everybody here is!

How did you enter Tolkien's world for the first time, and what impression did it leave in you?

I kind of stumbled upon Tolkien by accident. I was part of a group that dressed up and went to renaissance fairs where I met my future husband and his peer group of fantasy nerds. They were all huge Tolkien fans (still are) and organised monthly Tolkien moots and the like.

Obviously I felt compelled to read the books. I confess I struggled with them at first. They seemed slow, outdated and went on and on - with this stupid ring still not destroyed ... But someday it was like the flick of a switch and something changed. Suddenly there was this complex and rich world before me with so much to discover, so much detail, so much history ...
And the parts that seemed slow before are now my favourites!

Today I'm a member of the German Tolkien Society (www.tolkiengesellschaft.de) and try to make a habit of reading the books every other Christmas.

So did your interest in Tolkien become scholarly as well, like it happens to many fans who delve into the world too deeply?

Just a tiny little bit, but not really.
Though I have friends who immersed themselves deeply into Tolkien's world an can tell you the exact details of the evolution of the elves or quote Tolkien's letters from heart. I've also attended some Tolkien conferences and found them extremely fascinating.

For myself I'm interested in cuisine, farming, plant life and the climate of various regions of Tolkien's world. I like to think about what the are growing and eating in the different regions of middle earth and try to match them to cuisines in our world.

What about the movies? Did they influence your imagination of Middle-earth and Tolkien's characters?

Not much I hope!
To be honest I'm not really a fan of the movies (especially the Hobbit-trilogy - I didn't even watch the last one of those).
True, after the 2001 middle earth just looked like New Zealand for a while.
But I think I've managed to keep that influence for myself to a minimum. 
Luckily there are many great Tolkien artist out there who inspire me and help me form my own pictures about the middle earth in my head.

Who are the most inspiring Tolkien artists to you, then?

Well, there's Tolkien himself of course! I especially love his drawings of Mirkwood.

I really like Cor Blok (his minimalistic style), Ruth Lacon (the colourful, stylised paintings), the pictures of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, Rodney Matthews (his insect inspired pictures are sooo strange), German artist Anke Eissmann, old illustrators like Pauline Baynes and Horus Engels and of course the great Alan Lee!

Tolkien artist on DeviantArt I admire are s-u-w-i, faQy, EKukanova, DonatoArts... and surely many more that I've forgotten.

Honorary mentions to the brothers Hildebrand (I don't really like their pictures, but they are so ... strange...), John Bauer (not a Tolkien artist but a huge inspiration of mine) and Paul Kidby (also not a Tolkien artist).

How do you choose which scenes and characters to illustrate in your minimalistic style? Do the topics have to be suitable for the style, or would you be able to depict any topic in it?

I mostly rely on gut feeling when choosing scenes to draw. My subconscious and I have a fairly good relationship and from time to time it comes up with an idea for me to draw. It's convenient that way.
When I was illustrating 'The Silmarillion' it was not that easy because my goal was to do at least one drawing per chapter. As a result some of the pictures feel a bit ... forced.

I would like to tell you I can draw anything but I fear that’s not true.
I prefer quiet, nature and outdoorsy scenes. Energetic, dynamic ones are harder for me to depict.

Of the Old Dwarven Road by dieroteiris  

A good example for a quiet drawing is 'Of the Old Dwarven Road' which I'm fairly pleased with.
A dynamic scene you can see in 'Of Numenor sinking' which I'm not so proud of.

Of Numenor sinking by dieroteiris

Next to Tolkien, plants are a major topic in your gallery. What is your relation to them, and to drawing them?

As a gardener you don't necessarily have to love nature, but it helps! It helps me anyway.
I'm outside on a daily basis and I love to watch plants grow and change during the seasons of the year.
It's a fascination that permanently increasing.

Many ideas for pictures come from the things that surround me. As I am outside so often, it's plants and flowers and birds and weather ... that inspire me.

Cristallo Di Ghiaccio VIII by dieroteiris

This one for example came from a cold, frosty morning in spring.

Do you have an ambition to stay true to this style, or do you have plans to try some other styles and techniques as well?

Surely I will chance. I don't feel the need to repeat myself over and over.
I'll go where the road takes me.

The last few years I had a phase where I matched drawings of plants with tiny stick-figures.
(There are a lot of pictures in my stack that I haven't published yet. Shame on me)
Like that one for example (not a Tolkien one):

Tiny by dieroteiris

I also like to try new techniques. The focus on ink and watercolours is mainly due to circumstances.
(Tiny flat, little working space ...)

Do you have some tips and tricks you would like to share with the other artists?

Be open for new ideas and trust your gut feeling.
Stay curious and if you have the chance learn new things.

Could you tell us, which
- Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?

This is a triptych showing the dwarves and Bilbo (and Gandalf) on their way through 'Mirkwood forest'.
It's one of the first pictures which turned out the way I wanted it to. I'm really proud of it.
Also it's heavily inspired by John Bauer.

I've even won a prize for it (from the Spanish Tolkien society) so others seem to like it too.

Down The Road by dieroteiris


- original picture or picture from other fandom you are most proud of?

They are both from a phase in 2009 (dear god that’s over ten years ago!) when I was drawing these trees with eyes in them and goblins with leaves as hair. I still love them!

Who's watching? by dieroteiris   Hobgoblin by dieroteiris


- picture fits your current mood?

My vacation is coming up and it's high time.
I'm looking forward to going cycling and spending the midday heat somewhere in the grass daydreaming and listening to the birds.

Tagtraum - Daydream by dieroteiris


- picture was hardest to paint?

That one.
Took me a whole weekend to paint - was worth every minute!

Grantchester Meadows by dieroteiris


- other picture you would like to share with us and why?

Not one but three picture.
I've made a habit of painting little pictures on the walls of my flats. Here are three Tolkien ones. The 'Hither Shores' in my bathroom and the Dwarves on their way to 'Mirkwood Forest' with the 'Lonely Mountain' just behind the bedroom drawer.
Why? Because they were fun to paint and I think it's a nice way to decorate ones flat.

Anderswelt - Hither Shores by dieroteiris
Anderswelt  - the Dwarves on their way to Mirkwood by dieroteiris Anderswelt  - The Lonely Mountain by dieroteiris

Would you like to thank somebody here? What key people in your life, (on or off of dA) have been inspirations to you, or has supported you, as an artist? You can also tell us why, if you want.

I'd like to thank all of you at dA for being so very, very creative and inspiring.
And for your open welcome especially DavidStaege for being a great guy and Art-and-books for printing many great cards for us (including our wedding invitations!).

There wasn't really any key person in my life - but a lot of people who have been very sportive of all the strange notions of mine. First and foremost there are my parents and my husband. But also some very dear friends who encourage me, hang up some of my pictures and in some cases let me paint part of their walls. Special thanks go to my brother who provides me with a wall in his home for my latest project.

Wall of Geek - WIP by dieroteiris

Concerning inspiration, my first one were my grandmothers chicken in our backyard. :) (Smile)
Later on there were many classical fantasy artist whom I adored. For example Rodney Matthews, Amy Brown, Brian Froud and Bruce Pennington...
Today there are a some artists who inspire me: performer Amanda Palmer (for the sheer bloody-mindedness with which she defies convention), writer Neil Gaiman (he has such a strange mind and isn't afraid to show us) and artist Elfi Cella (who makes such fabulous botanical collages). Also a lot of inspiration comes from nature (especially birds, butterflies and native plants), all things concerning Art Noveau (or Jugendstil as we call it in Germany) and the minimalist movement...

Is there some artist(s) at dA you know, who doesn't have as much attention as they would deserve? If yes, could you give us some of your favourite pictures from their gallery?

This is a hard one. There are so many great artist out there and they all deserve more attention!
I've narrowed it down to seven - less was not possible:

Tolkien artists:

Earendil by aegeri  


  Luthien Tinuviel on the way by goraakkaya


Artisan:


Non Tolkien:




Thank you! Is there something else you would like to tell to the fans of Tolkien and your art?

Tolkien's world is vast and manifold. I'd like to see in imagined in every way possible. Please continue to be creative and original - don't let there be one 'officially approved' way middle earth has to look like, which can never change!

To all artists here on dA (myself included) I'd like to say: "Keep on talking!"
Everybody appreciates a Llama or a fav, but it's so much better to receive a question or a compliment.
Ask about our work, tell us what you like, what you don't like, if you think something could be done better, ask us anything ... keep talking - and never stop being creative!

Thank you for your time and answers!


Coding by Felizias Drawings by ebe-kastein Borders by PhoenixWildfire

Talks with Tolkien artists: rowanbaines

Journal Entry: Sat Jun 30, 2018, 2:42 PM


:iconrowanbaines: - rowanbaines is an artist and fanfiction writer, whose stories are pictures are interconnected - you can't talk about one without mentioning the other. You can also find her on tumlr as acommonanomaly and read her stories on AO3. "I unapologetically love Fëanorians and people who unapologetically love Fëanorians," she claims, and so that is the prevalent theme in both her stories and pictures, which you can find in her Tolkien gallery:

Curufin and Celebrimbor by rowanbaines Nerdanel, Maedhros, and Maglor by rowanbaines
Modern AU: Elrond and Elros by rowanbaines Sibling bonds: Maedhros and Maglor by rowanbaines
Caranthir for Feanorian Week by rowanbaines
Finrod by rowanbaines Maglor and Elrond Reunion by rowanbaines

Hello! For the beginning, could you tell us something about yourself?

Hello, and thank you for your interest! I go by the name Rowan Baines online, which is the name I adopted when I started writing fanfiction, but I also use Acommonanomaly on tumblr and other sites. I am a single parent with two young boys, and I draw and write in my free time.

You have been on deviatart for two years. What brought you to this site and what has bee your experience with it so far?

I actually forgot that I had a deviantart account for a while, but last year I made it a point to start posting more of my art on this site. I'm much more active on tumblr, but I haven't had any negative experiences so far over here.

How did you enter Tolkien's world for the first time, and what impression did it leave in you?


I read the Hobbit at some point when I was younger. It wasn't until I was older and saw the Lord of the Rings movies that I started reading more of Tolkien's books, though. I've always loved elves, but Tolkien's elves really intrigued and inspired me. It was once I read the Silmarillion a couple years ago that I felt compelled to create Tolkien fanworks. I'm really drawn to complex, tragic figures, and I fell madly in love with the exiled Noldor in particular.

So you have read the Hobbit before the movies, but LotR after seeing the movie - which way do you prefer? Did the movie influence your imagination when reading the book later?

I'm a very visual person, but with movies it's more just sitting back and appreciating the visuals as they are presented to you. With books, it feels so much more engaging because you're creating the visuals in your head. So even though I did see the LotR movies first, and it did affect how I pictured some of the characters, when reading there's a lot more freedom to visualize things how you want and I love that. I don't think I have a preference when it comes to reading books first or seeing the movies first, but in general I do tend to enjoy reading books more.

The Silmarillion is somewhere on the border between beletry and history annals. Do you enjoy the scholarly side of studying Tolkien's world as well?

I do! More so since I read the Silmarillion and started writing fanfiction. In order to really flesh out the characters in my mind, it has been helpful for me to read HoME and Tolkien's letters to get a better understanding of the characters, the world they live in, and Tolkien's intent when he was writing them. I have seen interpretations in fandom that are very black and white, but I feel like that flattens the story and does a disservice to the beautiful, complex world and characters Tolkien created. Even just learning about Tolkien's life (his romance, his experiences with war), has enriched my understanding of his writing.

That's great! You proclaim your love for the Fëanorians in your tumblr profile. Is it equal for all of them, or do you have a favourite character among them too, and why?

I really adore them all, but in different ways. Some of them I find more relatable, but it's hard to narrow down a favorite. I started off loving Maglor and Maedhros the most, Maedhros for how hard he tried to unite people to fight against Melkor, and Maglor for the bond he developed with Elrond and Elros. But since I started writing about them, I've formed a better idea of who I imagine each of them to be, and I've become very fond of Caranthir. He strikes me as someone blunt who speaks his mind, which is a trait I appreciate, and I really love his character development, the way he comes to appreciate the valor of the Edain once he meets Haleth.

Let's talk about visual art now. When did you start doing it, and who or what influenced your style?

I've been drawing and writing since I was young. I used write stories in little notebooks and illustrate bits of the scenes in the margins, though for a long time I was more concerned with writing than drawing. I went through a rough time in my 20's and didn't write or draw for years, but after having children I started back up again as a way to express myself. It's embarrassing for me to look back at my art from even a few years ago because I'm still learning, but I hope to keep improving. I admire so many different styles of art, so it's been tricky trying to find my own style, but I've always really loved art by Alphonse Mucha.

Feanorians are most prevalent subjects in your gallery. How do you decide what situation to draw them in, and whether it will be a happy childhood picture, or a more tragical later theme?

I tend to get hyper-focused on whatever my current interest is. Since I'm writing about the Fëanorians, they are often on my mind, and I feel inspired to draw them. I try to maintain a balance between drawing tragic scenes from the Silmarillion and more lighthearted scenes inspired by what I'm writing, because in life there is both sorrow and joy, and I want to capture that. I have also made Tolkien-themed shirts and pendants.
Crafty Feanorian Stuff by rowanbaines  
I do try to branch out and draw some of the other characters that I love, too. To help with that I sometimes open requests on my tumblr, and I recently started a drawing series of my favorite Tolkien women.

Yes, I saw the beginning of the series in your gallery. Do you think women are under-appreciated in Tolkien fan-art?

I think it would depend on where you look, as I'm sure some artists make it a point to show their appreciation for Tolkien's women. But overall I would say yes, with the exception of a few characters, like Luthien, who I see art of more frequently than many of Tolkien's other women.

The previous questions were about your pictures and I was planning to ask about your writing separately, but it seems they are interonnected for you. So let's focus on writing now - what are your favourite topics and genres, and which writers had most influence on you?

When I was younger I read books by Jane Austin, Emily Brontë, and Charles Dickens, but I became very fond of fantasy and science fiction later. Though I do appreciate Tolkien, my favorite writer is Ursula K. Le Guin. Her book, A Wizard of Earthsea, had a huge impact on me when I was younger. I loved that it didn't take a simple "light is good, dark is evil" approach, instead showing the importance of balance:

Only in silence the word,
only in dark the light,
only in dying life:
bright the hawk's flight
on the empty sky
- The Creation of Ea
― Ursula K. Le Guin

In my own writing I tend to focus on themes of healing. And because I deeply dislike black and white thinking, I have recently been exploring how even good people can fall and lose themselves, and how they can come back from that.

How do you feel about the position of fanfiction in the current literature?

I've come across fanfiction that was better than many published books I've read, and there are some fanfiction stories I've gone back to again and again because they so effectively transported me into whatever world they were writing about. When I was in the Star Trek fandom there were so many stories that had incredible world-building and well-developed alien races/cultures, and it was really inspiring! I think it's wonderful when such gifted storytellers carry on or expand on existing creative works.

You have mentioned Earthsea and Star Trek. Do you draw and write about these as well? What other book or movies (or anything else) inspire you to create fanart and fanfiction, and why?

I only seem able to focus on one or two interests at a time, so right now it's The Silmarillion and Dragon Age that inspire me creatively. I have written Star Trek fanfiction in the past, and some of a Dragon Age fic that I haven't posted, but lately I've been focused on writing for the Silmarillion. When I'm done with my current writing project, I would really like to start focusing on my original fiction, though, which I've started making art for. But I'm sure I'll be making a lot more Silmarillion fan art in the meantime because I'm not ready to move on from these characters!

What art technique is your favourite? Do you rather keep to the art techniques and styles you are familiar with, or do you experiment with new ones as well? (Not just in art but in writing too...)

I'm still learning and developing my style, so I do tend to experiment. I've only been creating art digitally for a few years, and before that I sketched with pen or pencil. At one point I experimented with acrylic and oil paints, but I wasn't really satisfied with any of my paintings and lost interest. To my everlasting horror both my sister and my father kept some of my early paintings, and I cringe whenever I see them! I've experimented a lot with writing as well, and I wrote poetry at one point, though I haven't done that in a while.

Do you have some tips and tricks you would like to share with the other artists?

I don't know that I have tips to offer besides the most obvious ones, such as practice, practice, practice! Which is something I need to do more of, actually. Though I would tell artists who are doubting their ability to keep at it, and don't compare yourself to other artists. For me it's been helpful to draw inspiration from artists whose work I admire rather than despairing over how far I still have to go, and to remind myself that everyone improves at their own pace.

Could you tell us, which
- Tolkien illustration and Tolkien fanfiction you are most proud of?

For the fanfic, probably Many-Colored and Splendid because I was so nervous about writing a fic about modern Maglor from the POV of an original character, but I did it anyway and it was a very cathartic fic for me to write. For art, I think maybe my Thranduil drawing because I love him and was eager to come up with a design for him that wasn't based on the movie.

Thranduil by rowanbaines

- original picture and story (or one from other fandom) you are most proud of?

I'm proud of the fanfic Undone that I wrote for the Spock/Kirk pairing in the Star Trek fandom. Original art I'm most proud of would be the drawings I recently did of my OCs, Talvryn and Justine:

Talvryn and Justine by rowanbaines 

- picture or story fits your current mood?

For the story, Sunlight Comes Creeping In about young Elros and how his relationship with Maedhros develops, and I think maybe this drawing, because both are somewhat melancholy but also hopeful:

Let Us Be Glad by rowanbaines 

- picture was hardest to paint and story that was hardest to write?

The story that has been the hardest to write is the one I'm currently working on, What Fades Away. It covers the events of the Silmarillion, as well as what came before and after, all from the POV of Maedhros. It's a lot to think about! The hardest to paint was probably my most recent endeavor:

Defiance by rowanbaines 

- any other picture or story you would like to share with us and why?

I think this one because I have often been lazy about backgrounds but I actually put some effort into this one:

Favorite Tolkien Women: Haleth by rowanbaines 

Would you like to thank somebody here? What key people in your life, (on or off of dA) have been inspirations to you, or has supported you, as an artist? You can also tell us why, if you want.

I would like to thank my friend NixieGenesis, who is also an artist/writer and has been incredibly supportive of me, taking an interest in both my art and my writing. Also, I am immensely grateful for everyone who has ever taken the time to leave a comment on my art, and all the wonderful people who have said nice things about my art in their tags on Tumblr. It can feel a bit like throwing your creations into a void when you don't get any feedback, and positive feedback encourages me to keep creating and sharing content!

Is there some artist(s) at dA you know, who doesn't have as much attention as they would deserve? If yes, could you give us some thumbnails from their gallery?

There are so many artists I admire here! Off the top of my head, the-ALEF:
The Tempered Steel cover. Fingon by the-ALEF  

Tottor
Beleg Strongbow by Tottor   

and my friend 
NixieGenesis
Tyelpe by NixieGenesis 


Is there something else you would like to tell to the fans of Tolkien and your art?

Take care of yourselves, have fun, and be nice to your fellow fans! Heart

Thank you very much for your time and answers!


Coding by Felizias Drawings by ebe-kastein Borders by PhoenixWildfire

Talks with Tolkien artists: Eirwen980

Journal Entry: Sat Jun 23, 2018, 2:04 PM


:iconeirwen980: - Eirwen980 is an artist from Italy whose illustrations of Tolkien remind on fairy-tales, with a wonderful use of negative space. Take a look at her gallery before reading the talk!

Feanor e Telperion by Eirwen980 Sauron by Eirwen980
Tuor and the swans by Eirwen980
Smaug-sketch by Eirwen980 Grumpy Melkor by Eirwen980
Elven march by Eirwen980
Annatar by Eirwen980


1.  Hello! For the beginning, could you tell us something about yourself?

This is a little difficult but basically I'm a former illustrator in love with everything fantasy/magical since I was little, I have always loved to draw and luckily I had the chance to study art and to follow my passion.  

2.  What brought you to deviatArt and how did you pick your username?


I had an old account on DA that I had to delete because it was full of sketches, unfinished work and sloppy pieces.  Really unprofessional.  So a year ago I decided to come back with a 2. 0 version of me, fighting the fear to show my works to other people and determined to do my best.
My username is very "old", I used it the first time when playing Neverwinter online five or six years ago maybe, it means "snow white" in welsh and because I'm really pale with dark/black hair I tought it would suit me somehow.

3.  How did you enter Tolkien's world for the first time, and what impression did it leave in you?

This is funny because when I was three or four years old my father would "force "me to watch lotr movies, of course in a funny way and until I was 12 I kinda hated all lotr things related. Then I decided to re-watch the films but most importantly to read the books and I fell in love with tolkien works, all of them, really. The way he writes, his imagination and endless culture, not to say elegance in every story he created.
Tolkien literally blew my mind and since then I've always read every book he wrote. . . yup-

4. How much did the movies influence your imagination when reading the books?


Like I said before I watched the movie first when I was little and I have to say that the images from the movies did not affect my immagination while reading the books, on the contrary, it's fascinating to see how different people see the same thing differently on so many levels!

5.  Some of Tolkien's books can be hard to read, being more of history annals than beletry.  Do you let that discourage you or not? How extensive is your knowledge of Middle-earth?

To me all the books were really easy to read, maybe because Tolkien's style resonate with my standards, I don't really know but everything he wrote is a pleasure to read as it's really well written and nostalgic, in a certain way. My knowledge of middle earth is pretty extensive because I have read pretty much all of them and (I don't know how) even if I've read one of his book years ago I still remember all the details.

6.  Who is your favourite Tolkien character and why?
I love Melkor and Mairon of course, but my favourite is Eol, because we have some things in common but then he has some wonderfully human flaws and his emotions are so intense that I think it's a pity that a lot of people don't even know who he is.

7.  Now, could you tell us something about you and art? Are you a professional artist, or is art just your hobby? When did you start doing it, and who or what influenced your style?

I'm studying to be a professional artist, it's a passion I've always had and I want it to be my work.  There are lot of artist, even really different from each other that influenced my style, some of them are: jordi bernet, gigi cavenago, alex toth, schiele, klimt, anderson, nielsen, bauer, lee, Mignola, Gipi and Dino Battaglia, but these are just a few!

8.  How do you choose which scenes and characters to illustrate?

If something catch my imagination I'll illustrate it, it's a really instinctive process and I cannot help it, sometimes it happen when I'm on the train or on the bus, something gets in my mind and my brain goes (I think it has a life of its own)

9.  Your illustrations for Tolkien's tales remind on fairytales.  Do you think there is something in common in their themes or narrative, and what is it?

I think that there's a lot in common with Tokien's work and fairytales, he loved them too and referred to them in many of his writings; They are alike in their atmospheres, magical and yet so human and relatable sometimes. I love the fact that most of his characters are not just the stereotype he shows on the surface but are far more complex creatures and even if they appear as "good" or "evil" If you change your perspective of the story, or point of view they can reveal a totally different nature, showing that the world is not black and white, and to me this is a BIG point in common with fairytales because to be understood they have to appear simple, showing you the stereotypes like the good hero, the evil wizard and so on but if you analyze them they can reveal nuances and gray tones you'd never expected and Tolkien did the same -

10.  Can you tell us a bit about the negative space that is an important part of many of your pictures?

I see negative space maybe heavier than the full one because it creates tension, voids, anxiety in some cases and it's not casual or anything. Sometimes when I draw it is good at the first try, some other time it's more calculated because there's a delicate balance that's important not to brake.  

11.  What other book or movies (or anything else) inspire you to create fanart, and why?

Some other books that inspired me are the Harry Potter books of course, because of the amazing world they describe, not to mention the characters; Poems like Faust, Sir gawain, the Gerusalem Delivered and even some Branduardi's songs are other works that inspired me with their elegance, pathos and sometimes simplicity.

12.  What art technique is your favourite? Do you rather keep to the art techniques and styles you are familiar with, or do you experiment with new ones as well?

My favourite ones are charcoal pencils and guaches/watercolour, not only because I'm most familiar with them but because there are thousand ways to use them! I love experimenting and if it was me, I'd draw even with the craziest materials!
Charcoal example : Page1-Three shadows by Eirwen980
DIgital-Pittoric example : snape sketch-no outlines by Eirwen980

13.  Do you have some tips and tricks you would like to share with the other artists?

Some tips that helped me, expecially when I was feeling down and wasn't drawing anything because of my anxiety are to set a small everyday goal, like drawing every day, even a scribble, it really worked for me. Looking at things as a costant inspiration works as well, it doesn't matter if you're doing the dishes, walking your dog etc, there will always be something new (compositions, colours, people, objects, situations, emotions) or ready to be look with new eyes and different perspectives. Think big, "wide", let you imagination flow.  Costant Practice is also very important, study and you'll see the result, learn to embrace critiques from people who know more than you in that subject , ask for them! And experiment, always, don't be afraid of change.

14.  Could you give us a link or thumbnail from your gallery of

- a Tolkien illustration you are most proud of? 

Thingol and Eol by Eirwen980

- a picture from other fandom or original picture you are most proud of? 

Bill by Eirwen980

- a picture that fits your current mood? 

illustrazione per rivista by Eirwen980

- a picture that was hardest to paint? 

Mairon - by Eirwen980

15.  What key people in your life, (on or off of dA) have been inspirations to you, or has supported you, as an artist? You can also tell us why, if you want.


I've always been inspired by all the artist I've studied, in particular the ones that are closer to me, talking of age and country, like Gigi Cavenago, Gipi or Zerocalcare (and I'm really talking about 2% of the popular ones in Italy). Because I've seen their journey and evolution.  Speaking of people I've really known, the most important is preatty recent and is one of my teachers, he's an amazing artist and frank and that made me fully trust him, he really believes in my art, encourages me, correct me on lot of things and I couldn't be more grateful to him.

16.  Is there some artist(s) at dA you know, who doesn't have as much attention as they would deserve? If yes, could you give us some thumbnails from their gallery?

There's this friend of mine that does pagan art like wood carved stuff and compositions, they're really butiful, check them out!

:iconvocedelbosco:

17.  Is there something else you would like to tell to the fans of Tolkien and your art?

To the fans of Tolkien I would like to say to keep loving this amazing artist and intellectual that Tolkien was and to be inspired by his creativity! To my fans, I really appreciate the support you gave me and love I received from you in this year because it was the only one I had and was so precious and unexpected that I really don't know how to thank you!

Thank you for your time and answers!


Coding by Felizias Drawings by ebe-kastein Borders by PhoenixWildfire

Talks with Tolkien artists: M-azuma

Journal Entry: Fri Jun 15, 2018, 1:24 PM


Manga is an important part of japanese culture, and so it is no surprise that the japanese artist :iconm-azuma: - M-azuma uses this style to express her love for Tolkien's world and characters, to explore the realtionships between Elves and Men in her comic Seven Songs around elves and men or in other pictures in her Tolkien fan-art gallery, both serious and humorous:

Seven songs around men and elves by M-azuma Thranduil in battle armour by M-azuma
Evenstar and Greenleaf by M-azuma
hairdressing by M-azuma Aragorn and Legolas 1 by M-azuma
Summer by M-azuma Autumn crown for father by M-azuma

1. Hello! For the beginning, could you tell us something about yourself?

I’m Japanese fan-artist of Tolkien’s works. Usually I’m in Pixiv or Twitter.

2. What brought you to deviatArt and how did you pick your username?

The first time I learnt about dA was in a class about the foreign pop-culture when I was a student. Though I'd already been drawing fan-art of LOTR among Japanese fandom ( websites, pixiv, and Comic-market) at that time, I hoped more people to see my pictures.
So I tried dA from that time.

My username, M-azuma, is simply short for my Japanese HN, Midori Azuma.
Midori means ‘green' and Azuma means ‘east' in Japanese.

3. How did you enter Tolkien's world for the first time, and what impression did it leave in you?

From PJ's movies.
My mother introduced the LOTR movie to me, and soon I was attracted by Middle-Earth and characters in there.

4. How much did the movies influence your imagination when reading the books?

The visual image is so powerful. It influenced most of the scenery and characters (also clothes, architectures, and so on).

When I read the books after seeing the movie, I naturally imagine movie-like appearance even about those who are not in the PJ's trilogy.
For example, most of elves in my image have long hair with braids and half-uped.

5. Some of Tolkien's books can be hard to read, being more of history annals than beletry. Do you let that discourage you or not? How extensive is your knowledge of Middle-earth?

When I first read the Tolkien's books (LotR), I was confused because there were many strange names, words and languages. Next I read “Hobbit” , “the Silmarillion” and “ the Unfinished Tales”. At that time, I got to know more about Middle-Earth.

But there was some help of forerunners.
In 2002 ~ 2005, there were many Japanese fan-sites which deal with not only LotR but also Hobbit and Silmarillion. Fan-artists draw the characters like Feanor, Fingolfin, Thingol, and Luthien in each their images.
By borrowing their visual-image, I could easily remember a lot of characters in such a way to memorize comic-characters.
That's why elves in my fan-art have Japanese comic-like faces :) (Smile)

6. Who is your favourite Tolkien character and why?

Legolas ! Not only because of Orland Bloom’s perfect visual but also Legolas’s positive character in books.
He is always cheerful and some kind of other-worldly.
I like him because he stayed in Middle-Earth until Aragorn’s death and took Gimli to the West.

7. Now, could you tell us something about you and art? Are you a professional artist, or is art just your hobby? When did you start doing it, and who or what influenced your style?

It’s difficult to answer… Now I’m hoping to be a professional comic artist in Japan. But I’m still just an assistant cartoonist. Sometimes I publish my own comic-works. But fan-art is only hobby.

From when I was a child, I’ve been drawing comics and the artist who mostly influenced me is CLAMP, the Japanese comic artist group.

8. How do you choose which characters to illustrate?

It depends on mood of that time.
Sometimes I draw picture on special date that is mentioned by Tolkien. For example, May 1st is the crowning of King Elessar and March 1st is both of his birthday and death anniversary. So I drew the suitable pictures for the day.

5/1 Crowning of King Elessar by M-azuma Born and fall of Hope by M-azuma

9. Could you tell us a bit more about your comic series "Seven Songs around elves and men"? What is the idea behind it, and do the seven parts have a common theme connecting them? Also, there are only two posted so far, what about the other 5? Are they not draw yet, or just not translated?

When I first finished reading “the Silmarillion”, I was so impressed by the connection with time and history that were made by Men and Elves.
So I wanted to make a story that connects my favorite characters little by little.
An Omnibus-form seems best for it.

Now there are 6 parts uploaded in dA. (Sorry, I hurried posting the series after receiving this interview ;;) (Wink) The last one is still in translatiion and you may find a common theme of this series when you read last episode.

Seven Songs around Men and Elves ep3 page7 by M-azuma Seven Songs around Men and Elves ep4 page9 by M-azuma

(note to readers unfamiliar with manga: the panels should be read from right to left)

10. While the Seven Songs are rather nostalgic and serious, there are also quite a few idylic or humorous pictures of Lotr characters in your gallery. I'm always interested to ask people who draw humorous pictures - how do you come up with the jokes?

Well… I don’t even know the answer myself!
May be I think like this; “It’ll be lovely if the characters do such a things” or “This is the funniest scene in book. Don’t you think so?”

Hobbit at X'mas by M-azuma I go to find the sun by M-azuma

11. You are from Japan and manga is a part of your culture. What do you think about the synthesis of Tolkien and manga style?

Yes, it is. I think that manga style has some advantage in drawing especially fantasy world like Middle-Earth. It is so difficult to portray too beautiful things like elves, but manga- style makes it possible by drawing characters in some kind of deformation.

In addition, Manga is familiar to people in Japanese fandom.
Although Fan-fiction of Tolkien's works may be difficult to approach for some people, I think that Manga- style lowers a hurdle.
I want more people to be interested in Tolkien's world just like I was helped by fan-art.

12. What other book or movies (or anything else, if there are some) inspire you to create fanart, and why?


Fantasy books like Harry Potter series and Dragonlance are interesting to me.
Also movies like Marvel, StarWars and others.
The story which has a lot of characters and much room for imagination makes me creative.

Master and Apprentice by M-azuma Tanis and Frint and Tasselhof by M-azuma
 
13. What art technique is your favourite? Do you rather keep to the art techniques and styles you are familiar with, or do you experiment with new ones as well?


It is the style of Comics and Animations in Japan. I’d like to make this grow forever and ever.
At the same time, I want to adopt the styles like concept art or realistic image.

14. Do you have some tips and tricks you would like to share with the other artists?

I don’t have any tips enough of those about.

15. Could you give us a link or thumbnail from your gallery of

- a Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?

Seven songs around men and elves by M-azuma

- a picture that was hardest to paint?

Poster illust at Tolkien pettit only event by M-azuma

16. What key people in your life, (on or off of dA) have been inspirations to you, or has supported you, as an artist? You can also tell us why, if you want.

My friends and family in real life are definitely supportive for me. And fan-artists in other SNS (ex. Pixiv, Twitter, Weibo) are also important to me. Their works and love for the favorite characters always remind me of a new viewpoint. In Tolkien's fan activity, it is one of reason why I read the books again and again. The other's passion advances my passion.

17. Is there some artist(s) at dA you know, who doesn't have as much attention as they would deserve? If yes, could you give us some thumbnails from their gallery?


They has been already evaluated enough, but the artists whom I like are;
EKukanova :iconekukanova:
@Ilixwing :iconilxwing:

18. Is there something else you would like to tell to the fans of Tolkien and your art?

Thank you for watching. I'm happy to get to know many fans of Tolkien through the Internet!

Thank you for your time and answers!


Coding by Felizias Drawings by ebe-kastein Borders by PhoenixWildfire

Talks with Tolkien artists: Sempern0x

Journal Entry: Mon Jun 4, 2018, 2:05 PM


There are different kinds of artists: some only paint landscapes or architecture, and others focus on portraits. In this issue of Talks with Tolkien artists, I talked to a portraitist of Tolkien's characters, :iconsempern0x: - Sempern0x. You can see all of them in her Tolkien gallery:

Finrod and the Nauglamir by Sempern0x Varda by Sempern0x
Finwe by Sempern0x Luthien by Sempern0x
Manwe by Sempern0x Orom - Huntsman of the Valar by Sempern0x
Melian by Sempern0x Glorfindel + Flower crown by Sempern0x

1. Hello! For the beginning, could you tell us something about yourself?

I'm Lisa, 21, from Belgium. I'm in my first year of college right now studying to become a high school teacher for English and history. Those were the two subjects I was best at and the ones I was most interested in as well.

2. What brought you to deviantArt and how did you pick your username?

I wanted a bit of an outlet for my drawings. I used to have account long ago, but I started all anew when I started to draw more seriously. The very last drawing that's in my gallery is a bit of a 'remnant' from my old style.
Veins by Sempern0x
I don't really remember why I chose this username. I guess I was still in my emo phase and decided to make 'always night' into Sempern0x, don't ask me why the 0. I don't know.

3. How did you enter Tolkien's world for the first time, and what impression did it leave in you?

I was already drawing elves before I got to know Tolkien's work. People kept on telling me to watch it. I finally did when I was 13 or so when it was on tv. I only got to see The Fellowship right until Bree back then, but we had the DVDs at home so I decided to watch them on my own them. I immediately fell in love. I loved how rich the world felt and how every character already felt so familiar at a first watching.

4. How much did the movies influence your imagination when reading the books?

For Lord of the Rings I was definitely extremely influenced by what I'd seen in the movies. I kept trying to recall how the characters had looked in the movies. And for characters that weren't in the movies I just kinda imagined further on what I already knew.
But for The Hobbit and The Silmarillion I backed off a little from that singular vision and started to imagine more of my own things.

5. Some of Tolkien's books can be hard to read, being more of history annals than beletry. Do you let that discourage you or not? How extensive is your knowledge of Middle-earth?

As I am quite a history nerd and willingly read history books in my free time I had no trouble reading those books. I loved it.
My knowledge is a bit muddled at times since I have a chaotic mind. So I tend to go back to the lotr wiki a lot to check that what I put out isn't wrong.

6. Who is your favourite Tolkien character and why?

I honestly couldn't choose. Even characters I don't particularly like I still admire for their complexity. Though I guess among my favourites are Finrod, Haleth, Nerdanel, Éowyn, Faramir and Aragorn.
Haleth by Sempern0x

7. Now, could you tell us something about you and art? Are you a professional artist, or is art just your hobby? When did you start doing it, and who or what influenced your style?

I draw only in my free time. I'm just a student so I have to really watch my time and energy for drawing. But I've always been drawing. My mom says it's like I must've once picked up a crayon when I was little and I never let go of it anymore. My style has been influenced by quite a lot. The way I draw hair is still like when I drew manga. There's tidbits of every piece of art I see that somehow ends up in my own drawings. Technique-wise I mean.

8. How do you choose which characters to illustrate?

Randomly, really. I go through my references folder and select a picture I like and somewhere along the process I decide what character I feel most like drawing in that moment. Goes for my entire drawing process, the hair, the clothes, the jewelry and the colors. I don't have enough patience to take a long time planning everything.

9. Why portraits? That's almost the only kind of art we can find in your gallery...

To be very honest: I just never really practiced drawing anything else. I'm trying to draw more varied poses and to slowly go to full bodies, but it's going slowly as I need the energy and motivation to draw more.

10. Recently you moved on from Tolkien's elves to much more detailed busts of the Valar and Maiar. What caused this shift?

Just like my drawing process: randomly. I used a reference picture which was more than just the head and I decided to go with it and that became my Arien. I hadn't expected it to work out so well, so I'm happy people liked the final product as much as I did. So after that I decided to keep on drawing busts.

Arien - Spirit of Fire by Sempern0x

11. What other book or movies (or anything else) inspire you to create fanart, and why?

Oh, almost anything I see or read. Dragon Age is one of my major other fandoms.

nobility costume design #1 by Sempern0x

My playthrough with my human Inquisitor Gorgo is one I illustrate a lot even when those drawings don't always end up on DA.
Other things that inspire me are Mass Effect, Skyrim, The Witcher, Narnia, Trudi Canavan's works and a whole lot of k-dramas and k-pop. History is also a huge factor since it's what helps me to think of clothes and hairstyles to draw.

12. What art technique is your favourite? Do you rather keep to the art techniques and styles you are familiar with, or do you experiment with new ones as well?

My favourite art technique is the one I use now, though I'm not sure how I'd describe it. Once I find a way of drawing/colouring I like, I tend to stick with it for a long time too. But I'm always willing to learn new stuff and make progress.

13. Do you have some tips and tricks you would like to share with the other artists?

The only tip I'd have is to just experiment with lots of techniques and styles and create whatever makes you happy!

14. Could you give us a link or thumbnail from your gallery of
- a Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?

Nerdanel by Sempern0x
This was the first portrait I drew after a long hiatus of having not much energy so I was really happy and proud that it had worked out well.

- a picture from other fandom or original picture you are most proud of?

Athena by Sempern0x
I drew this for a college presentation and I'm glad I managed to draw one of my favourite goddesses like this.

- a picture that fits your current mood?
Arachne (design sketch) by Sempern0x
I'm in the mood for some doodling and sketching.

- a picture that was hardest to paint?
Yavanna - Queen of the Earth by Sempern0x

I always get so frustrated with drawing flowers and plants because what in the world am I supposed to draw in between the flowers??

- any other picture you would like to share with us and why?

VAIR - The Weaver by Sempern0x
My last picture so far and one where I spent a really long time getting all that embroidery on her clothes...

15. What key people in your life, (on or off of dA) have been inspirations to you, or has supported you, as an artist? You can also tell us why, if you want.

My friends were definitely a great support as well as people I know on Tumblr who encourage me. I always feel motivated when I read comments or tags wherein people say they like my drawings! On DA I haven't really interacted with people enough to really pinpoint someone...

16. Is there some artist(s) at dA you know, who doesn't have as much attention as they would deserve? If yes, could you give us some thumbnails from their gallery?

Not that she doesn't get enough attention, but she's probably one of my favourite artists on here: kimberly80

Aragorn by kimberly80

17. Is there something else you would like to tell to the fans of Tolkien and your art?

Keep on dreaming and imagining. Together we're keeping Tolkien's legacy and world alive and it's truly an amazing thing.

Thank you for your time and answers!


Coding by Felizias Drawings by ebe-kastein Borders by PhoenixWildfire

Talks with Tolkien artists: LegendariumStudio

Journal Entry: Tue May 22, 2018, 2:24 AM


This talk will be about a different art form than usually: it's about the synthesis of concept art, artisan crafts, script writing, acting, camera and many other kinds of art and talent in a fan movie. The movie is called The Sunset Kindom, and I strongly recomment you to watch it before reading the talk (it's just a few minutes long, despite the huge amount of work behind it):

www.thesunsetkingdom.com/film


And here I talked to Mark
, the director of Legendarium studio :iconlegendariumstudio: - LegendariumStudio:

Elven Halls miniature by LegendariumStudio Thranduil concept art by LegendariumStudio
Nazgul Crowns by LegendariumStudio Galadriel promo by LegendariumStudio


Hello! For the beginning, could you tell us something about yourself?

Well, my name is Mark, and I`m a director of Legendarium Studio — a group of multi-skilled fans of J.R.R. Tolkien.  Our main interest concerns visual aspect of Middle-Earth: we`re really keen on costumes, props and armor. By the way, I`m an architect, so WETA`s miniatures struck me really hard. Two years ago we set a goal to shoot a short fan-video about events that took place in Mirkwood during The War of the Ring. This is a story about Thranduil`s struggle with orcs sent to conquer Woodland Realm. Also there`re some additional storylines such as Glorfindel`s clashing with Nazguls. The premiere screaning was in December 2017 in the chief local cinema. Now we`re working on an original short-film which will be a screen version of my own graphic novel.

Barad-Dur miniature by LegendariumStudio Glorfindel promo by LegendariumStudio
Thranduil Throne by LegendariumStudio

I will get to the questions about the movie soon, but first let me ask a bit more about yourself. You joined deviantart only recently. What brought you here and what has been your experience so far?

I can't say I am active Internet user, but sometimes I need to find visual material for my designs. Scrolling pictures in a web browser I noticed that best of them are uploaded to Deviant Art. I decided to join and get what I need from one place instead of constant searching throughout the net.  Actually, for me DA is not only a way to find inspiration, but also to show our works to those who may be interested in. I believe that communication based on common interests gives massive opportunities for work.

How did you enter Tolkien's world for the first time, and what impression did it leave in you?

My first meeting with Middle-Earth took place in the early childhood. It was Ralph Bakshi’s cartoon film, which shocked me with its dark aesthetic.  I was pleased to see a lot of similar in Jackson’s trilogy — perhaps he took inspiration from Bakshi’s work. As I remember none other than this cartoon sparked my interest in modeling and cinematographic art. 

What about the books? When did you read them, and did either Bakshi's or Peter Jackon's version influence your imagination of characters and places?

I read “The Lord of the Rings” much later than watched the movies and cartoon, so it undoubtedly influenced pictures which came to me during the reading. But both Sir Jackson and Ralph Bakshi  didn’t touch upon some storylines and characters, so I managed to create them on my own. For example, our Glorfindel is absolutely original.
Glorfindel concept art by LegendariumStudio

What about the Silmarillion and other Tolkien's books?

I  think Silmarillion is really challenging for all who are connected with art. There’re so many stories and characters… Every designer or artist must be truly excited while reading it. As for me, I’m not an exception. I’ve been dreaming of Silmarillion movie since I have met it for the first time (which has happened when I was 12). If we talk about the others professor’s masterpieces, then I’ll make mention of “The Children of Húrin”  and “The Hobbit”, but latter seems to me a bit ingenuous.

So already 12 years old, you knew you wanted to make movies and imagined them while reading the books?

Yes, I always imagine movies or cartoons while reading a book. It helps me to create more spectacular pictures. I try to treat all literary things as potential scripts for movies, so that they become a source of inspiration. My brain automatically starts generating ideas for visual designs, and if the story is really breathtaking I can even forget about the real world. For me film-making has always been a sort of magic that can turn printed sheet into gorgeous performance.

Can you tell us about your artistic journey from imagining movies to actually creating them?

Two years ago I was struck by the idea of making my own Middle-Earth movie. I can’t say why — perhaps, I needed to find a new form to express my personal ambition and passion for Professor’s world.  Obviously, It is difficult to make something more fascinating than Jackson’s version (especially for a cash-strapped fan), so I decided to work in the same style. Despite that, we tried to transform stunning WETA’s designs and make something unique. The idea was to prove that fans can achieve great results if they work together and their enthusiasm is strong. Firstly, we needed a precise graphic conception of the movie and clear identification of the characters. I sketched some concepts which determined the atmosphere and production started. The task for me as an organizer was to gather as many enthusiastic people as I can find. After that everyone was going about his own work, and I needed only to rule the process in general. As a result we get a short video which describes the fading atmosphere of the Third Ade’s ending.

So the prompts and miniatures in your gallery are a result of team work with you as an organizer and concept artist?

Not exactly. I discharge functions of art director as well. It means that designing, casting, making drafts, choosing technologies and materials are included in my duties. I must be able to do everything on my own because only in this case I can control quality of the whole product. I also had to do some handwork. For example, Barad-Dur, Morannon and Orthanc miniatures are entirely made by me.  However, I would not cope with the project without our talented tailors, videographer and fighting scenes director. Also I want to specify the work of Legendarium co-producers, Anna and Ksenia. These fellows are absolutely irreplaceable. 
Tower of Orthanc by LegendariumStudio Morannon Miniature by LegendariumStudio
Barad-Dur details by LegendariumStudio


Thank you for the clarification! So what is the actual process of making a fan movie from the idea to the final result on the screen?

Well, I suppose it’s much more different from a professional film making, but it has some common features. Surely, you need a script (or an exposure sheet in our situation) for a videographer to understand exactly what you want. When the script is ready, you start actor casting. This process has its difficulties caused by the fact that all participants are not professionals.

Another important point is preparation for shooting. Undoubtedly, props and costumes were the most resource-consuming aspect: I mean both time and money.  After all arrangements the shooting phase finally starts. Usually it takes no longer than a few weeks depending on difficulty of current scene.

The last but not the least is postproduction. In “The Sunset Kingdom” videoproject we had two scenes with chromakey background, and it took some time to edit. Color grading was extremely important as we shot scenes in different days with diverse lighting (and even using various cameras). Because of that we had to turn the film into monochromatic scheme with a bright red accent.

All in all, we had a lot of fun. Maybe, you’re interested in any particulars I haven’t mentioned?

Well, I think the most obvious question is money, since filmmaking is one of the most expensive artforms... Did you have a funding campaign or did you pay for everything yourselves?

We had two successful companies on Boomstarter (local analogue of Kickstarter) thanks to which we collected about 500$, but the whole movie budget is 1000$. So we had to pay one half by ourselves. Taking into account the fact that our project have lasted for two years, we could pay by installments and  it wasn’t so disastrous.

Are you a filmmaker also in your professional life, or is it just a hobby?

I am an architect. Filmmaking provides a possibility to create new forms of material culture, as well as architecture does. So it is not a simple hobby, it has strong sense for me.

What about the prompts and miniatures you have created for the movie? Could you tell us more about the process of making them and your inspirations?

All stuff is hand-made, and there are many things we have never created before. For example, Thranduil’s throne was a really challenging task. On the one hand, this is a real-scale set, so its dimensions are about 5 metres height and 5.5 metres width. On the other hand, we needed to transport it from place to place. The solution was to make it portable (6 separate parts) and use bladdery shells. The supporting frame was made of wood and steel, and all decorative elements (including horns) are polyurethane-made. Also we used papier-mache. LOTS of papier-mache.
Another point are Nazgul armor gauntlets which cached a lot of interest of our followers. The technology of making is simple hot pressing with plaster molds. The main difficulty in each situation is to choose the correct way of making.
We take our inspiration from other artists and craftsmen, mainly from WETA’s talented crew. Their works have enormous influence on me and my team.

Thranduil Throne by LegendariumStudio
Nazgul Armor by LegendariumStudio

Are you planning to continue making LotR fan movies or maybe to expand the one you already made?

Making Middle-Earth screen visualizations is really difficult and money-consuming, so we decided to freeze.  Now we’re going to shoot a series of short movies about mysterious world imagined on our own. The main advantage is the fact we won’t need any expensive costumes and decorations — artistic conception will be expressed by checkered light and shade, metaphors and abstract symbols.

Do you have some tips and tricks for other artists and filmmakers you would like to share?

Perhaps I can offer a couple of advices for those who’re going to lead an artistic group.

Concerning teamwork — try to have a deal with those who is interested in it no less than you.

It’s good to have a big working group, but much better to have a small team of really obsessed.  

Get real. Never turn to a job you won’t cope with.

Be self-rigorous. Otherwise you can’t require anything
from others.

Never ask to do anything that you wouldn’t do yourself.

There’re no untalented people, there’re unconcerned ones.

Thank you! Here I would like to give you the space to give credit to your creative group and anyone else who has supported you or your project. Could you introduce them a little?

First of all, many thanks to my closest deputies Anna Vist and Ksenia Starygina who are always ready to cover my back. The project would not be finished without their invaluable help.

Special thanks  to Legendarium Studio crew: artists, designers, costumiers, props-makers, make-up artists and all who had a hand in the movie.

I am also proud to introduce our multi-talented cameraman Igor Tokarev. His patience and industry are beyond praise.

My respects to our fight scenes director Vlad Kazachek, thanks to whom we coped with one of the most difficult part of the project.

The last but not the least — all backers who supported our foundation campaign, especially to Anton Kruglov and Sergey Polyakov. They made it possible to get money for the shooting and let «The Sunset Kingdom» come to life.

Thank you, guys. Together we made a lot, and more to come!

Usually I ask these questions about pictures, but this time I will rather ask about the movie:
 
- which scene are you most proud of?

Talking about the best scene in the video, I think that’s ship leaving Middle-Earth (2:23-2:40)

- which prompt are you most proud of?

Concerning props and costumes, the greatest (and both hardest to make) is obviously Thranduil’s feathered robe:

 Thranduil robe by LegendariumStudio

- which scene was hardest to make?

The most laborious scene was battle in the throneroom (3:23-3:32) — all because of working with chromakey. There’re some mistakes, but in general I think we coped well.

- any other scene or prompt you would like to share with us and why?

Actually, I consider you will like our final teaser:



It is quite dynamic and impressive, and it shows Legendarium Studio’s qualities in the best way.

I know you aren't on deviantart for long, but despite that, are there some artists you know that you think don't have as much attention as they would deserve?

I don't think these artists are lack of attention, but they are really well-deserved:
:iconmagusverus: :iconleptitsuisse1912: :iconteradiam:
Their galleries are absolutely outstanding.

Is there something else you would like to tell to the fans of Tolkien and your art?


Only one thing: if you cannot get yourself into Middle-Earth, make it on your own!

Thank you for your time and answers!


Coding by Felizias Drawings by ebe-kastein Borders by PhoenixWildfire

Talks with Tolkien artists: aegeri

Journal Entry: Sun May 13, 2018, 5:14 AM


:iconaegeri: - aegeri is a great Czech artist and active member of the Tolkien community. Below you can read more about her art and all the other fun things she does, after a few examples from her tolkien gallery (but take a look at her main gallery as well, there is more uncathegorized Tolkien stuff).

(Note: I have translated this interview from Czech, so any mistakes in it are mine, not aegeri's)

Fingolfin and Morgoth by aegeri
The White Tree of Gondor by aegeri Edoras by aegeri
Steward of Gondor by aegeri Earendil by aegeri
Two trees of Valinor by aegeri Varda and stars by aegeri
Feanor and his sons by aegeri sauron and nine mortal men by aegeri

1. Hello! For the beginning, could you tell us something about yourself?

Greetings, my name is Lída Holubová, but in our Czech Tolkien/larp community I'm rather known as Aegeri. I come from the western part of Czech republic. It's a beautiful and wild country. But currently I live and work in Prague, where I have stayed after finishing my studies. I have a cat named Cat.

2. What brought you to deviatArt and how did you pick your username?

I used to browse deviantart looking for inspiration since high school - so most probably I got to it through classmates. It's quite a few of years already. Anyhow, I only joined dA about 3 years ago, from my own iniciative - I wanted to draw myself to creation. 

3. How did you enter Tolkien's world for the first time, and what impression did it leave in you?

Through the books from the local library. I was around 10-11. I liked reading legends since I was little, it just felt right to me. I was most fascinated by the depth and elaboration. Every time when I returned to the books, I discovered something new, something that had evaded me before. 

4. When the movies came out, many of the inner pictures of characters and scenes in the mind of the readers have been replaced by actors and settings from the movie. Did it happen to you as well? Did you try to prevent it?

My biggest problem with keeping my own inner pictures was with some places - it would be reason enough that my favourite book illustrators, John Howe and Alan Lee, had been working on the staging. These two artists influenced me most, I used to "learn" to illustrate from their work. So I would rather say that I tried to deal with the images from these illustrators than with the shots from the movies. But the older I am, the more I'm trying to free myself from any source of inspiration from my tolkienistic beginnings. I didn't resist it that much when I was younger.

5. Could you tell us more about Mittalmar, your other Middle-earth related activities and your adventures with tolkienist friends?

Well, Mittalmar is a Czech tolkienistic blog, one of the fractions of the Czech tolkienistic community. Every fraction either organises, or cooperates in organising of different (more or less public) activities around J. R. R. Tolkien. Officially we have the Community of friends of the work of JRRT in Czech republic. There are mettings and cons several times a year, and different thematic concerts or workshops even more often... We also often take part in larps and battles with wooden weapons - so one could say that thanks to Tolkien, I also learnt to sew costumes.

6. Some of Tolkien's books can be hard to read, being more of history annals than beletry. Do you let that discourage you or not? How extensive is your knowledge of Middle-earth?

It's not much of a discouragement to me, history has been close to me since I was little. In high school, I voluntarily :) used to borrow books about the crusades, building of cathedrals... all scholarly literature. So my problem after reading Tolkien was rather opposite - to find a suitable book replacement, because everything seemed too little elaborated to me. My knowledge is... well... probably good, illustrating is a very good occassion to review thoroughly. I just can't afford to make mistakes - the book is quite detailed, and people come right away with the classical "but this was different in the book" :D

7. Who is your favourite Tolkien character and why?

Definitely Eärendil - his story is amazing, and very good for illustrating. Otherwise I like Éowyn and Faramir very much, for their humanity and melancholic, bittersweet fate. Éowyn is quite close to me with her behavior as well. 

8. Now, could you tell us something about you and art? Are you a professional artist, or is art just your hobby? When did you start doing it, and who or what influenced your style?

Although I have studied art, I don't work in that area. So it stayed at the hobby level. I have enjoyed drawing and painting since kindergarten, and it accompanies me in my life until now. I'm partially self-taught and something I learnt during my studies. It's also a way of relaxing for me. My main influences were Tolkien illustrators, but also favourite comics artists - like for example Shaun Tan, Moebius, Jiří Grus... Generally I enjoy depicting Tolkien's works in comics form. 

9. How do you choose which scenes and characters to illustrate?

It's random, what currently touches my heart. I have a list of scenes from Tolkien's books, but mostly I don't foollow it. It is just random and depends much on mz current mood...

10. What art technique is your favourite? Do you rather keep to the art techniques and styles you are familiar with, or do you experiment with new ones as well?

I have three techniques that I use separately and also like to combine them: watercolor, crayons, pen. I keep to them, I understand them, these techniques suit me. I elaborated them during the years. I don't experiment much. 

11. You took part in the Inktober project with a series of 31 pictures from Middle-earth. Was it difficult to keep up with it? Do you recommend taking such a challenge?

Without a full-time job, it wouldn't be a problem. But like this, it was on the edge with time. But I don'tregret it, I'm looking forward to the next year. I certainly recomment it to everyone. It's a great practice.


12. Do you have some tips and tricks you would like to share with the other artists?

Mostly for the beginners: to not give up and perservere. And always have your eyes open. You learn to paint also by observing the world.

13. Could you give us a link or thumbnail from your gallery of

- a Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?

Hobbiton by aegeri

- a picture from other fandom or original picture you are most proud of?

The wizard by aegeri

- a picture that fits your current mood?

A Feast in Mirkwood by aegeri

- a picture that was hardest to paint?

Earendil and Elwing by aegeri

- any other picture you would like to share with us and why?

Luthien by aegeri
(it was painted by one beautiful place near Prague :) )

14. What key people in your life, (on or off of dA) have been inspirations to you, or has supported you, as an artist? You can also tell us why, if you want.

Certainly Šárka :iconsarkaskorpikova:, I still remember her picture of Fangorn
that I encountered while browsing dA during the highschool graphic lessons (secretly, of course). The more fun it was, when she, after I made a dA account, approached me and drew me into the Cyech Tolkien community. Then there is another prominent Czech artist Matěj Čadil :iconmatejcadil: , it is an honor to chat (and organize exhibitions) with such wonderful people. And not just that - we challenge each other to reach higher and higher.

others:
:iconfaqy::iconfilat::iconrieile::iconrioli-ahyaminke::iconekukanova::iconffey::iconturnermohan:

15. Is there some artist(s) at dA you know, who doesn't have as much attention as they would deserve? If yes, could you give us some thumbnails from their gallery?

These people would certainly deserve more attention, their galleries are amazing:
:iconperiannart::iconnieninque-nyerea::iconrioli-ahyaminke::iconqitian::iconmadshuttlecock::iconqueenslandchris::iconelencarnil::iconyeldabon::iconropsik::icontomashijo:

16. Is there something else you would like to tell to the fans of Tolkien and your art?

Maybe just... thank you. To everyone. I'm glad that my works are inspiring to someone else. And thank you for a chance for this talk. :)

Thank you for your time and answers, too!


Coding by Felizias Drawings by ebe-kastein Borders by PhoenixWildfire

Talks with Tolkien artists: the-evil-legacy

Journal Entry: Sat Apr 28, 2018, 4:47 AM


This week, I would like to introduce you :iconthe-evil-legacy: - the-evil-legacy. If you take a look at the Tolkien fanart in her gallery, you can mostly (but not exclusively, as you can also see in the examples below) find pictures of the royal family of Mirkwood, both humorous and glamorous, but also more serious and melancholic sometimes.

LOTR - Oropher by the-evil-legacy LOTR - You look terrible! by the-evil-legacy
LOTR - You Failed by the-evil-legacy LOTR - Serpent Of The North (part1) by the-evil-legacy
LOTR - Bigger than yours by the-evil-legacy LOTR - Elf's feminity by the-evil-legacy LOTR - Tears by the-evil-legacy
LOTR - Morgoth by the-evil-legacy LOTR - Spring crown by the-evil-legacy

1. Hello! For the beginning, could you tell us something about yourself?


Hello! My name is Adeline, alias the-evil-legacy. I'm 26 years old and live in France. I made Art Studies and I'm a professional illustrator (yes that's my job ! ^^). I have already published a illustrated book for children and had worked with Ubisoft for their new video game FarCry5.

2. What brought you to deviantArt and how did you pick your username? Or, to be more exact, whose evil legacy?

I'm on deviantart since 9 years now. And I discovered this wonderful website while looking for fanarts drawings from some video games. My username comes from a video game (Devil May Cry 4), there is an artifact called "evil legacy"

3. How did you enter Tolkien's world for the first time, and what impression did it leave in you?

I enter it when I watched the first "Lord Of The Rings" movie on TV (at this time, I was too young to have seen it at theater and I didn't know the books). This first movie made me want to know more about this universe and I started reading the books. I was totally subjugated by this amazing world and became a big fan!

4. How much did the movies influence your imagination when reading the books?


Yes I saw the movies first. And when I read the books, my imagination was totally influenced by movies : characters, places, battle scenes… I was happy to find everything I had seen in the movies.

5. Some of Tolkien's books can be hard to read, being more of history annals than beletry. Do you let that discourage you or not? How extensive is your knowledge of Middle-earth?

It discouraged me at first when I was too young for read those books, because it was really hard. But with time, I succeeded to read "The Lord Of The Rings" and I started to read "The Hobbit". I started to read it in french (my native tongue), and in english after. And I started to read The Silmarillion and all others books from Tolkien because it was a vast and interesting universe and a source of inspiration for me.
I'm not an expert, but I think I have a lot of knowledge anyway and when I want to find informations on a characters, a place, a battle, I search on the internet to know more about it.

6. This might be obvious from you gallery, but I will still ask: Who is your favourite Tolkien character and why?


XD THRANDUIL !!!!

At first, when I watched "The Lord Of the Rings" movie, it was Legolas (I love elves), but with "The Hobbit", Thranduil became my favourite character. But I love a lot of other characters (from movies or books), like Bilbo, Aragorn, Gimli, Gandalf, Elrond, Azog, Thorin and others… And what amazing actors for played those characters! And I have a weakness for Sauron and Morgoth, because they're soooo badass!

7. Now, could you tell us something about you and art? Are you a professional artist, or is art just your hobby? When did you start doing it, and who or what influenced your style?

When I started on DeviantArt, I was only an hobbyist, but now I'm a professional (but my art on DA is only hobby ^^). I made an illustrated book for children called "Oligo et le Labyrinthe des fées" (influenced a bit by Tolkien universe), and I worked for Ubisoft on "FarCry 5". Now I work on the new "Oligo's book" ^^.

8. You only started drawing Tolkien related art recently, but are doing so with an obvious dedication. Before that, your gallery contains various other fanarts. Do you think Tolkien is "just a phase" for your art, or something with a longer future?

Yes, I'm a great fan of fanarts ! All my gallery is fanarts ! I often have phases and drawing things who inspire me. I've always wanted draw Tolkien fanarts, but I had never had inspiration until now. But I hope this "Tolkien phase" will continue for a long time!

9. In your pictures, the royal family of Mirkwood is both a source of humor and serious emotions. What makes you lean towards one or another when deciding what to draw?

That's a great question… When I had the idea to draw serious scenes, the inspiration often come to me when I listen music (beautiful, sad, or badass) and I than I have the idea to draw a battle scene, a sad scene or others things like that.
And for the funny part… It's comes from my imagination, sometimes because I talk with an other fan… Or because I LOOOVE drawing Thranduil in embarrassing situation (poor him!).

10. What other book or movies (or anything else) inspire you to create fanart, and why?

MARVEL ! The Marvel universe (book and movies) inspire me a lot. It's not really like Tolkien… But I a fan of fantasy and Science-Fiction. Because it's so badass, and all characters and universe are amazing!

11. What art technique is your favourite? Do you rather keep to the art techniques and styles you are familiar with, or do you experiment with new ones as well?

I love drawing characters with traditional stuffs (a simple pencil), but for colors and big artworks, I prefer use photoshop with a graphic tablet.

12. Do you have some tips and tricks you would like to share with the other artists?

Hmm… Not really, In fact, it's to hard to explain. What I can say is to draw as often as possible ! You can only improve with work, watch tutorials and take inspiration from other artists.

13. Could you give us a link or thumbnail from your gallery of

- a Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?


(this one because I love that scene from the movie)
LOTR - dragon's fire by the-evil-legacy

- a picture from other fandom or original picture you are most proud of?

(this one because there is a big work with T-Rex, Iron-man and with the background)
deviantart mashup - Iron man vs. T-Rex by the-evil-legacy

- a picture that fits your current mood?

(this one because I'm happy to doing this interview ^^)
LOTR - Best friends by the-evil-legacy

- a picture that was hardest to paint?


(this one because It's an action scene with lots of different characters and it takes me looong time to draw that with textures, colors, light..)
The Walking Dead - Fuckin' Bastard by the-evil-legacy

- any other picture you would like to share with us and why?


(this one because it's takes me long time to do that, and I love this actor, and It was the first realistic drawing I have managed.)
AVATAR - Sam Worthington by the-evil-legacy

14. What key people in your life, (on or off of dA) have been inspirations to you, or has supported you, as an artist? You can also tell us why, if you want.

My family and friend (in real life ^^), they support me a lot. And On DA, all my friends, in particular :iconaspi-galou: who is a wonderful person !
I love a lots of Marvel's artists, their art is wonderful!
Alan Lee (who made fantastic Lord Of The Rings art), is one of my favorite artist.

And lots of others!

15. Is there some artist(s) at dA you know, who doesn't have as much attention as they would deserve? If yes, could you give us some thumbnails from their gallery?

:iconaspi-galou::iconpathea::iconk-zlovetch::iconjafean::iconehnala::iconistriel:

and lots of others! ^^

16. Is there something else you would like to tell to the fans of Tolkien and your art?

THANKS TO EVERYONE ! KEEP YOUR COOL ATTITUDE AND YOUR KIND COMMENTS ! ^^

Thank you for your time and answers!

Coding by Felizias Drawings by ebe-kastein Borders by PhoenixWildfire