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Banner 01 by MirachRavaia

We have had many wonderful stories contributed to this contest, with a wide variety of themes, and about many different characters, but they all have one thing in common; they all exist within the world created by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien. With a movie about his life being released in May, it seems only fitting that we honor him. The theme for April and May will be Legends, suggested by Sian22.

The Professor is a legend in both the academic and literary worlds. His writing has influenced many other writers, including George R. R. Martin, Terry Brooks, and Neil Gaiman. His stories are full of legends as well.

Aragorn is certainly one, as the king who returned and reunited the kingdom of Gondor after leading armies to defeat the Dark Lord. His ancestor, Elendil, is a legend for leading the faithful to Middle-earth after the fall of Numenor. Bilbo Baggins became a legend in the Shire after his initial and subsequent disappearance, and was talked about for long after his speech at the party tree. Gil-Galad is honored in song and story an age after his death in Middle-earth. The legend of Earendil and the star he wears on his brow has passed through the ages to be celebrated in song, story, and wonder.

Legends can also be stories that are regarded as historical but are unauthenticated. Eorl is said to have tamed Felarof, the first of the Mearas, by ordering him to pay weregild for killing Eorl's father. Bandobras Took supposedly invented golf when he struck off the head of his enemy and sent it sailing over 100 yards into a rabbit hole. It is said that Queen Betuthiel's cats served as her spies, slinking about in the dark almost as stealthily as Gollum.

What other legends might there be in Middle-earth, passed down from one generation to another? What heroes might have performed great deeds and been immortalized in song or stories? This is your chance to contribute your very own legend while honoring Tolkien's Legendarium. The deadline for this challenge will be May 31

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

Tolkien Reading Day 2019

Journal Entry: Sun Mar 24, 2019, 2:50 PM


25th of March, is Tolkien Reading Day!

Chosen for the date on which the Ring was destroyed, people around the world come together to read their favourite passages and celebrate the author.

What will you read?

Various types of heroes - Tolkien's Reading Day by Odamako




Coding by Felizias Drawings by ebe-kastein Borders by PhoenixWildfire

Talks with Tolkien artists: ArlenianChronicles

Journal Entry: Sun Mar 3, 2019, 1:23 PM


Today I would like to introduce an artist whose Tolkien Fanart gallery is full of hugs, gentle feels and bitter-sweetness. Meet :iconarlenianchronicles: - ArlenianChronicles!

Feanturi by ArlenianChronicles Varda Elentari by ArlenianChronicles
Lembas Picnic by ArlenianChronicles
Passage of Time by ArlenianChronicles
Reunion by ArlenianChronicles The Moth and the Flame by ArlenianChronicles
Beleg and Turin by ArlenianChronicles
Fingolfin and Hador by ArlenianChronicles Moonlit Seas by ArlenianChronicles

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

Of course! My name is Cassandra, and I am a university student in Canada looking to major in Linguistics, while drawing and writing on the sidelines. I love eating Vietnamese food, soft ice cream, vegan bean chips, and mandarin oranges. I also enjoy listening to indie game/movie soundtracks, along with Celtic and Russian folk music!

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

I first came to DeviantArt to upload my art and share it with others, around a year or more ago. It first began with me posting art of my characters, but I never really got “out there” until I started making fanart of Tolkien’s books. And now I have found a Tolkien community, and am very happy to be with you all! :) (Smile)
My username is actually the name of a series of books that I’m writing with my friend, Ebrbfureh! The word Arlenian refers to my characters’ family name, Arlenia. Hence, the books are the chronicles of the Arlenian family’s adventures!

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


I first learned of Tolkien’s world when I was around eight or nine, having watched the Lord of the Rings movies. They were my favourite trilogy, and I watched them over and over until I could recite the majority of the dialogue said in the films! The movies left a very big impression on me, and I was so inspired that I wanted to create my own LOTR character! My stories are even somewhat inspired by LOTR, though I’m trying not to stray too far into Tolkienizing everything XD
I only started rewatching the movies several years later, in high school, when I planned some movie marathons for my friends in order to introduce them to Tolkien and the trilogy XD Those marathons lasted twelve hours each because I used my boxed set extended edition!
I've read the Hobbit, the Silmarillion, and the Children of Húrin, but I never finished reading The Lord of the Rings. The other books were easier for me to read, mostly because they are shorter than the LOTR books XD

Wow, really? I suppose knowing how the story ends might have played a role as well :) (Smile)

I suppose it did play a role XD I watched the movies first before attempting to read the books, and when I finally tried to read them, there was so much going on, and so many descriptions, and I guess I didn't have as much patience at the time XD I was in elementary school when I tried to read it! (I have read the Silmarillion in high school :))

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 did it change over time or remained the same?

My first image of Middle-earth was influenced by the movies when I was young. The location sets, the clothing of the characters, the actors’ faces … It’s all been burned into my brain after so many re-watchings! At one point, I tried to read the books, but gave up halfway because it was too much for my mind to handle! I feel that I can only see the characters of LOTR in my mind as the movie portrayals, However, I love to see other people’s interpretations of them, because it’s so refreshing to see different versions of the characters and their designs!
My vision of the Silmarillion, in contrast, is influenced by artists everywhere, and even my own imagination. For example, I would not have known that Maedhros is red-haired, or that Fingon wears gold ribbons in his braids, had it not been for all the fanart. I suppose I could have read up on them through wiki sites, but I prefer looking at fanart XD

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

I enjoy looking at the family lineages of Tolkien’s works! At first it was somewhat confusing to learn of all these characters, but once I got their names right, it added to the fun of following them throughout their journeys.
The languages are a also a big part of the experience. They add to the characters’ culture, and to the world of Arda in general! I remember how surprised and interested I was when I first learned that the names of all the characters in LOTR had actual meanings – for example, Aragorn means “noble king,” Arwen means “noble maiden,” and Celeborn means “silver tree.” After that, I really got into the languages and what the Silmarillion characters’ names meant XD
The geography is also a cool topic to think about. My copy of the Silmarillion has a large map of First Age Middle-earth attached to the inside of the cover, and it’s interesting to see how it was changed, later becoming Third Age Middle-earth!

6. Who is your favourite Tolkien character and why?

I can never have just one favourite character! Beren and Lúthien are my favourite couple, but I would say that my favourite characters are Maedhros, Maglor, Elrond, and Elros, specifically when all four are together. In my head, I imagine them to be a family, a dysfunctional one, perhaps, but a family nevertheless. The book leaves a lot to the imagination on Elrond and Elros’ childhood while being raised by the Feanorians, but I’ve gotten so used to the idea of Maglor being a foster-father and Maedhros being a foster-uncle/father (though there wouldn’t be trust at the beginning, I think; they would’ve had to build that). Taking care of small children would probably have brought out the Feanorians’ caring side, as they’d have to care for the twins, and if you’ve seen my drawings of them, you’ll see that I visualize a very tender caring on the Feanorians’ part XD

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


I’m quite passionate about the love and friendships shown in Tolkien’s works. Frodo and Sam were the first that stuck out to me when I was younger (I still get chills when Sam carries Frodo up Mt. Doom!). Nowadays I think of the relationships between Elves and Men in Tolkien’s works – more of the friendships than the romances. Finrod with the Edain (Bëor, Barahir, Beren); Fingolfin and Hador; Turgon with Húrin and Huor; Beleg and Túrin; Legolas and Aragorn (and Gimli haha), etc. There is something really appealing to me about these interspecies friendships: I always wonder about the interactions between an immortal and a mortal, and how the passing of the mortal would affect the immortal.

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?


Art is my hobby :) (Smile) I first started drawing when I was a toddler (my parents once showed me videos of baby me scribbling on paper lol), but it was only until I watched the PowerPuff Girls movie that I created my first OC and started drawing her a lot. I usually only draw characters, and very soon, I had created forty-something OCs!
Webcomics played a part in the development of my style, I believe. I learned some form of anatomy from them, and then I began looking at other artists’ work to develop my knowledge of it. If you look far enough in my gallery, you’ll see that I once had a semi-realistic style, but after one particular drawing of my OCs, my style changed into the one it is at present.

9. What's your creative process from picking the theme to finishing a picture?


The process usually depends on my motivation XD If I’m not motivated, or if I’m burnt out, then I’ll likely have a hard time carrying out the drawing to a finished product. However, my process usually begins with an image in my head of the characters I’d like to draw. While I’m sketching out a composition, I’ll likely be inspired by something, like a scene that could have taken place in the book, but is not shown, for example. This might influence how the drawing comes out, or the context that I developed for it.

10. There is one recurring theme in your art - embrace, together with emotions and compassion. Is the topic of caring important for you in fiction and real life?

I usually feel that I can’t draw characters, Tolkien’s or mine, without some form of intimate and platonic interaction. This might change in the future, but for now, I have taken to drawing people in the acts that you have mentioned :) (Smile) Caring is indeed an important topic for me, especially in fiction – both Tolkien fiction and my stories. I find myself leaning toward more friendships and familial relationships than romances. For example, I drew my interpretation of Beren’s relationship with his son Dior and how it progressed as they both aged. I also drew scenes of Melkor and Manwë together because I wanted to explore their brotherly sides, and how they might have interacted before Melkor’s fall.
I think that the compassion aspect you’ve noticed may have come into my fanart from my stories. Something I’ve been really keen about is portraying familial relationships and friendships through my OCs, while romance doesn't really have as much emphasis. At the moment, I’m working on a certain story whose main character is very kind and compassionate, humble and meek. Now that I think about it, spending so much time in this character’s mindset must have influenced my Tolkien fanart XD

11. You often draw original characters as well. Could you tell us more about their story and world?


Of course! I have a major series that I’m working on with my friend (she joined to edit and co-write after I showed her my drafts), which is the Arlenian Chronicles. The world my OCs live in is filled with humans, elves, and dwarves, but also with peoples of celestial light, and magical creatures.
The stories themselves take place over three continents and span three generations in the Arlenian family, starting with the grandmother (and her brother):
(this is an old drawing lol)

Then her daughters:
(another old drawing XD)

And then her granddaughters:

Their stories include many adventures and meetings, but the heart of the story are their bonds with each other :) (Smile)
There is also a second series of stories that are like spinoffs, but they follow a chronological order and make up the history of the world before the Arlenian family’s time.
These include tales of a dragon befriending a celestial child:

An Elven Empire:

A Prince Imperial of a human Empire, and his father-figure:

A smaller story of interspecies friendship:
In the Fields by ArlenianChronicles

And many other stories that I haven’t drawn illustrations for, as of yet XD

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

Music can inspire me to draw, or even inspire me while I’m drawing, by setting the mood! My most recent inspiration has come from the indie game Gris (please forgive me if this sounds like promotion XD). That game has such beautiful piano music, melancholy and hopeful, and it really got me into drawing pieces like my Melkor and Manwë, and Beren with Dior!
I haven’t drawn much fanart of other books or movies, though I used to while I was in high school. Tolkien’s works are so far the only ones that have impacted me in such a way that I feel motivated enough to draw fanart for them!

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?

I usually use Paint Tool SAI to draw digitally, as it is the most comfortable for me to use. I used to draw traditionally, but soon grew out of it as I wanted to add colour to my drawings. I have experimented at times with styles when drawing my characters (my current style was the result of wanting to draw more cartoony-like), but I don’t usually do this at present.

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


Have patience, take breaks, look outside the window to rest your eyes, and be sure to stay hydrated!

15. Could you tell us, which

- Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?

The entire comic of Maedhros, Elrond, and Elros! It’s also the only comic that I’ve managed to stay motivated for, and finish XD


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

Guidance by ArlenianChronicles

I love how I got the colours and the stained-glass effect of the background.

- picture fits your current mood?

Elrondionnath by ArlenianChronicles

Studying for university makes me tired and lazy lol

- picture was hardest to paint?

Rescue from Thangorodrim by ArlenianChronicles

None of my drawings have been particularly hard to paint, but this one was a little tricky because there were quite a number of elements in there that I had to keep track of. AND Fingon’s hair braids irritated me so much that I went back after a while and changed their design XDD
I am also currently working on a new project that may overtake the piece mentioned above, as this one is an arduous process and will likely take a long while to complete!

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

Destiny by ArlenianChronicles

I feel particularly happy about this one, not just because it was the first drawing done in my new (and current) style, but also because of how I got the composition and colours down! It was originally meant to be a sketch of my OCs, but then turned into a full illustration XD

16. 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.

Elena Kukanova (EKukanova) has been the biggest inspiration to me on DeviantArt! I just love all of her Tolkien paintings, with all their details and colours!
Clamavi de Profundis (on YouTube) for inspiring me with their amazing covers of Tolkien’s poems!
I would also like to thank my friends for being with me and supporting me, especially Ebrbfureh, my co-writer and editor friend XD (She’s more active in real life than on DA lol But I’m hoping that, one day, she will magically appear in my notifications!)

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

You are all a wonderful part of the Tolkien community! Thank you to all those here on DeviantArt who have stuck with me or taken the time to pass by :) (Smile) I really appreciate your kind comments, and I love you all!

Thank you for your time and answers!


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

In March and April, we are having a picture challenge, and this time we would like to try a different kind of picture. We hope that this children's drawing will be inspiring to you:

You can write a story about the child who drew this, or about the characters in picture. You can also use the picture in any other way that inspires you, since fantasy has no limits, especially when it comes to children!

The deadline for this challenge is April 30th.

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

Back to Middle-earth Month 2019

Journal Entry: Wed Feb 20, 2019, 2:04 PM
Skin by TMNT-Raph-fan




March is Back to Middle-earth month and Bilbo Baggins is back with his bingo game!

In short: You can claim as many bingo cards as you would like from here. Every day, a number will be drawn and posted here, and if your card contains that number, that's the prompt you should fulfill. Any creation is accepted. The challenge is purely for fun, but everyone who gets a bingo will receive a banner.



Talks with Tolkien artists: a-shipwright

Journal Entry: Mon Feb 18, 2019, 1:45 PM


David Lee, :iconashpwright: - ashpwright is the creator of a wonderful visual representation of Ainulindale (be sure to click on the link to see the whole tale) and several other pictures that would please a Tolkien fan. You can find them in his gallery:

Ainulindale 1 by ashpwright Ainulindale 3 by ashpwright Ainulindale 6 by ashpwright
Ecthelion vs Gothmog by ashpwright Begone, foul dwimmerlaik, lord of carrion! by ashpwright
Earendil was a mariner by ashpwright
Pale Kings of the Unseen by ashpwright Tilion protecting Moon from the spirits of Morgoth by ashpwright

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

I'm an artist working on traditional illustrations, and considering to become a comic artist someday (maybe).

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


I can't recall the memory of first time i've met deviantart, but my username came from the term Earendil the shipwright. I don't know why, but the term caught my mind.

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


I first read the Lord of the Rings when i was in elementary school, and of course i didn't understand what's going on. Since i was a great fan of the movie series from very long long time ago, maybe since juvenile, it didn't take much time to fall into the affection of book.

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 did it change over time or remained the same?

The movies were the first media that i came across with the world of Middle Earth, its visual creation influenced me the most.

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

Well, as the one who even enjoyed reading college books, it wasn't that hard for myself to enjoy those things. It only need little preparation.

6. Who is your favourite Tolkien character and why?

Frodo Baggins. Many people hate him of becoming too passive, but i love his characteristic of sacrifice.

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 a professional, but only uploading hobby drawings on the online.

8. What's your creative process from picking the theme to finishing a picture?

I'm not sure on that even by myself.

9. You created a visual representation of the whole Ainulindale. Was it difficult to illustrate something so abstract? Would you tell us more about the process?

Well i was interested in the idea of making webtoon version of Ainulindale for a long time, by an idea to express the whole process of world creation with a 'line'. The abstract concept of line was appropriate with the media webtoon for you have to scroll it up and down unlike the other style of comic.

However it was pretty hard to bring a mere concept into the real form of visual art, and many of representations didn't really work as i thought. Moreover i wasn't used to do it with digital painting. It left me so much regret but it was meaningful of making me realize my limits, and extending my own style of drawing. Without this project, i would never try drawing on abstract things.

10. Some of your pictures are arranged into stories, like The Story of the Boy and The Log of the Traveler. What comes first here? Do you have a story in your mind that you want to illustrate, or a single picture that grows into a story?

In the case of the Log of the Traveler, the single picture grew into a whole story. But in the case of the Story of the Boy, it was part of the artwork called the Story of Irvine Family, creating a whole record of the group of documents relating the family of Irvine.

11. Another of your gallery folders, The Wood Tales, contain concept art made for an RPG. Can you tell us more about this game and world?

The Project Wood Tales began to visualize the TRPG session i played with my friends. So its world has no deep foundation and was created without much consideration.

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

Every movies give me inspiration, for anything can be recreated into a fantasy idea. Even meme or children's cartoon gave me inspiration of doodles.

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?

I'm used to the traditional style of art technique, especially with ink pen. However, i'm still interested in digital painting too.

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

Well, i don't know about that. I don't think i'm professional enough to share or teach some stuff.

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


Ainulindale series will be my favorite for I put so much time and effort in it.

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

Celestial by ashpwright

Combination of abstract and realistic came together to create a fantasy visual.

- picture was hardest to paint?

The Voyage by ashpwright

it took me a month to draw with the size of the paper, and with the technique that takes long time to finish.

16. 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.

My parents were always great supporters of my life and i'm thankful to them all the time.

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

Well i'm always thankful for them who like my works even though i lack in skill. I promise them i'll be more good at it and bring you better works day by day.

Thank you for your time and answers!


Coding by Felizias Drawings by ebe-kastein Borders by PhoenixWildfire

Talks with Tolkien artists: sandzen

Journal Entry: Fri Feb 8, 2019, 5:18 AM


This issue of Talks with Tolkien artists is with a very interesting person about a very interesting art form. Joe Girard, :iconsandzen: - sandzen offers great insight into Tolkien's literary genius as a writer, and gives tribute to him through his "Lord of the Sand" zen gardens:

Elrond's Midnight Flight by sandzen
Bag End by sandzen
Minas Ithil by sandzen
Lidless by sandzen
The Fall of Denethor by sandzen

1. Hello! You are an accomplished writer, film-maker and much else, so I suppose it's a bit unusual for you to be approached over fan-art, but here it is  For the beginning, could you brag a bit and tell us something about yourself?

Something most people learn about me pretty early on is my world records at Pokémon Puzzle League. I have the gold, silver, or bronze score in almost every game and minigame within the larger game. My friends and family used to joke that I’d sold my soul for my ability to play. As such, I happen to be one of the best Tetris players, as well. In the early days of The New Tetris, I held some records, but they’ve been surpassed.



2. What brought you to deviantArt and what was your experience on the site so far?


A bottomless respect/jealousy for visual artists, and a passion for modernity. Well, that’s what kept me here. When I met my partner, 14 years ago, she had an account for her photography and illustrations. I had an earlier account where I posted some really bizarre/abstract Microsoft Paint art, but it wasn’t until I began working for the Asian boutique, East Wind, where I discovered zen gardens, that I started to feel like I had something worth sharing. Then I discovered the poetry community here, and that sealed the deal.

I’ve never quite understood the folks who hate on devART (many of whom seem to be active members); for me it’s been a wellspring of inspiration and motivation. I’ve seen work on here that far exceeds (on an entertainment level) most of what gets published in professional journals and books—whether that’s poetry, photography or illustration, or what have you. The most applicable critique I could self-apply would be the way the nature of the site encourages me to create more for myself, than for larger audiences. I’ve since learned that professional artists are discouraged from posting their works here at the art school level around the globe, the idea being that you should have your own site, for the sake of professional appearances. But devART is still the best site for bringing artists of all stripes together, and I can’t help but see any opposition to that as inherently malevolent, whatever you might say about the site’s design.

I distanced myself in recent years, to see if it would lead me to take on more ambitious projects, at the risk of more immediate satisfaction, and I’m glad to say, that worked for me. Call it a sad reality of capitalism, perhaps. I’m also guilty of pulling myself in ten artistic directions at once, and devART stokes that impulse. Getting away from it has allowed me to zero in on much grander, and more cohesive visions, and to prioritize how I want to improve more select crafts. But that doesn’t mean I don’t miss it dearly. If I ever find the time again, I’d like to strike a better balance.

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


I was assigned The Hobbit in grade four. It was the first year of what’s called the gifted program in Canada, a special kind of schooling seemingly designed to torment and pressure cook the impressionable minds of children who score well on flawed tests. At the height of its ambition, it serves as a way to bring bright youngsters together, but it’s really a luck of the draw thing if the class chemistry clicks or if sharp divisions emerge between different factions—so, probably just like regular school, with slightly harder reading and math. The Hobbit was the highlight of that horror. I struggled to understand everything he was describing, but it seemed like the kind of thing I wanted to do, explore another world in my mind. My first fantasy world my older brother and I worked on that year: a world where all the people were walking, talking eyeballs, ears, noses, or tongues. He drew the pictures and I came up with the legend. But, being children, we let that languish, and a couple years later I started work on a fantasy series, and I’ve been working on it ever since. I recently wrote out what I consider a rough outline of the 7000-year history of this universe, some hundreds of pages with an encyclopedic approach, and some think I should develop that into its own kind of Silmarillion.

Incidentally, how I got back into Tolkien, and ended up reading everything available of his (right up to The Story of Kullervo), was by listening to The Hobbit on audiocassette in the late 90s. With my condition (dyslexia), that was infinitely more illuminating, and drove me into the arms of the Unfinished Tales, and on and on. The Lord of the Rings was the last of his works I read (before new publications came out, like Kullervo), and I would strongly recommend that approach to the uninitiated. In fact, if I ever lost my memory, I would want to rediscover Middle-Earth in perfect sequential order. How have they not published that?

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 did it change over time or remained the same?

The Jackson films (including the Tolkien Edit of the The Hobbit films) rest at #4 on my top 1000 films of all-time list (mubi.com/lists/the-new-nirvana…). I just did my annual watch-through, and it’s pretty astounding that, in this near-post-GoT world we’re in, those films hold up majestically, and with proud self-assurance. Mortensen imagines, in one of the featurettes, that remakes of the franchise are inevitable, but I seriously have to wonder if there’s a point in recasting Gollum, Gandalf, Galadriel, or numerous others, frankly. I almost feel that to surpass the characterizations by Serkis and McKellen and Blanchett you almost have to change the tone of the entire project.



I wish I could say that Tolkien’s words painted clearer pictures than they do feelings and philosophical perspectives, but, for almost ten years, the image that lived closest to my heart was the John Howe art for The Two Towers, which my older brother brought into the house. It scared the daylights out of sensitive little me, as did my brother’s descriptions of the Nazgûl. The films do a good job of not skirting around the issue of Tolkien’s sense of abject horror, but nothing from the films thrilled me in quite the same way as those illustrations (with the possible exception of the “I am no man” sequence).


Howe’s aesthetic was then deeply reinforced for me thanks to my near-equal love of Yoshitaka Amano’s art for the Final Fantasy VI game.

toolsandtoys.net/final-fantasy…

So, it isn’t so much an issue of changing, or staying the same. It’s an issue of accumulation. Which visions of Middle-earth have jived with my inner eye, and which haven’t. I’ve dispensed with those that haven’t. The upcoming television series may work for me, and it may not. But what I’m hoping for is not another trip down Jackson/Walsh/Shore/Lesnie/Major/Henneh/Selkirk lane, endless as my respect for them may be. I’m hoping for a gentler, sadder, softer vision. My favourite story of all Tolkien tales is Narn I Hîn Húrin, which, for me, is one of the five most gut-wrenchingly sad tales ever told. The effect that GoT has had on global audiences will be hard for the producers as Amazon(?) to ignore, and that’s going to be the sharpest of double-edged swords in the wrong hands. Fingers crossed.

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


I’ve probably answered this implicitly, but I want to be clear: that became my favourite part. The overarching dramatic form of Middle-earth is ingenious, of course, especially for anyone who’s studied Joseph Campbell. For many years, my partner and I only had to say “Of Beleriand and its Realms” for one of us to double over at the ridiculousness of Tolkien’s attention to detail, or my pure love of it. But you don't really go to him for his Mamet-level dialogue, or his Chekhovian dramas.

I’ve also worked for libraries much of my adult life, and the problem that a lot of men have generally with reading fiction is many writers don’t write as if they believe utterly in what they’re saying. They tend to express this as some variant of “It’s just a story. It’s not real.” My dad once said to me about his family-famous status as one who had not read a book in his life, "Why would I be interested in something that never happened?" Yuval Noah Harari, the author of Sapiens, has spoken out against mankind’s love of stories, but perhaps never so succinctly as this, “Biology enables, culture forbids.” Many narratives leave room for you to wonder what the author actually thinks about existence or morality. I think this can come across as a pointless cop out, or worse, a deliberate attempt at incepting you with some ideology you’d rather protect yourself against. I think men can sometimes struggle to understand the applicability of an unreliable narrator, or parody, or even just an author with an open mind, who can see things from multiple perspectives (like, say, Ursula K. LeGuin). That straightforward clarity of vision is where Tolkien really shines. None of his characters who suffer inner conflict delude themselves on the nature of this conflict. Sméagol is cozened and warped by a barrage of psychological warfare. Saruman is open about what he sees being his logical calculus for succumbing to the dark side. Aragorn openly frets over his bloodline, and submits to the humility he sees coming with it (I've often wondered if Tolkien imagined Aragorn becoming less humble as Elessar, but the kneeling to the hobbits at the end seems to speak to that). Denethor might be the most deluded character, but we only really know him as a man addled by grief and self-pity. And it’s never unclear that the larger story is a tale of the hope of the beneficent versus the decay of the malevolent.

So, through his agonizing histories and geographies and biologies we get an unavoidable quest for truth. An early attempt at moral science, perhaps. Does Middle-earth pass your test for what feels like a true world? If so, then you can begin to extrapolate true meaning, and apply it to your life. Essentially, it performs the same job as a myth or a religion, but without the arch “You Must Believe” essence of myths and religions. Despite the zealous fervour of some superfans, Middle-earth is a fantasy you can play with.

6. Who is your favourite Tolkien character and why?


Jeepers. That’s a doozy.

I tend to think the most on the suffering of the tragic cases. Sméagol, Túrin Turambar, Denethor, even Fëanor or Frodo.

I’ll answer from the writer’s perspective: I think Sméagol is his grandest conception. Dramatically, he’s the most mercurial and interesting, the ultimate trickster. But unlike many trickster figures, his trick is somewhat on himself, as we watch his inner war unfold. He’s the most unclear: is Gollum a fragment of his shattered mind? Or a kind of alien growth within his mind, borne of the ring’s innate evil? Or something else, like a projected subconscious dream of Sauron’s, a representation of Sauron's all-consuming desire to reclaim the ring? It’s a question that is unanswerable for a character who is always believable and works. Why does he work? Well, Gollum works like a mirror, reflecting darkly on Sméagol’s naïve aspirations, while at the same time, they both mirror Frodo’s struggle, and shade in the hidden torments that lead the resilient hobbit to make his own pathetic 11th hour choices. And if you jive with Tolkien’s moral vision (centred, self-assured self-application leads to growth, inner duality and subservience to force and power leads to decay), it’s pretty spectacular that he was able to envision a character who embodies everything he would stand or caution against, and not only made him sympathetic, but even introduces you to him in the Lord of the Rings as someone worthy of pity.

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



I’ve never liked the term “world-building”, because the way most people use it, it’s like when someone says, “I know everything there is to know about music: I listen to the radio.” Tolkien himself was wowed by the response he got from fellow science-types, who would write in to him to ask exactly how the Oiolairë flowered, or whatever. He never saw the series getting to that level of detail. I think for him it was enough to know who god was, who the gods were, the music of the Ainur, the story of creation, and the order of creation, and then he used that as a kind of mirror-template upon which to conceive the way all the other rivulets of story and theme could course along. In other words, I like anything in his work that shows how he conceived and built this world. His logics as a writer, his moral compass, his purpose as a myth maker. I like how when you go back to his earliest works, there’s the drive to create unity between his writings, but not the conception for how that was possible. Once that moment of inspiration occurred (the birth of Middle-earth as a self-contained reality), I imagine it infused the whole rest of his life with purpose, which I find beautiful to imagine. So I guess my answer is a bit meta, but that’s the most wide-reaching part of it for me.

On a related note: I love how he approached the issue of multiplicity. Like, does all of fate really have to do with two hobbits wrestling on a stone platform above a lava pit? Well, yes. But the issue of how that turned out, has to do, in one way of other, with what many, many other people were up to. Indeed, what all of history was up to, until that moment. How the ring came to exist has its history with Sauron, which couldn’t have happened without Morgoth. Aragorn wouldn’t exist without Isildur, who also helped create Gollum by dying. Shelob and Ungoliant. Galadriel and Eärwen. Frodo and Bilbo. And on and on. The interconnectedness is at once organic and properly dramatic. As a science-minded fellow, I would say that most myths and religions live and die by how well they test against our science of the day. Tolkien created a myth where everything flows out of an evolving relationship between everything with everything. Even the different races tell us things, broadly, about the way he regarded biological evolution. The further you delve into his mechanics, the more ingenious the gears seem to turn. His geometry is tear-jerkingly beautiful in its simple elegance.

You can quibble, of course, and that’s why we have A Song of Ice and Fire. Actually, just one more note: I think Martin is doing a better job of incorporating a real sense of evolution into the mix. In LotR, when you surpass the War of the Ring, you get the sense that this was always meant to represent the closing of the Music of the Ainur, which really invokes the question, “Was the point of all time and history purely the laying waste to all of Melkor’s essence?” Like, if the dissonance that Melkor brought to the Music of the Ainur was consistent, then there should really be no moment of history untouched by that dissonance. All of existence should wrap up after the last person who was touched by that dissonance passes on. And when that happens, is it a good thing? Will all the good peoples of those days be thrilled at the prospect that their world is coming undone? So, despite its moral virtues, the overarching reality is still kind of bleak in a way.

To dial us back from grandiosity, I’ve been an environmentalist and a vegetarian for much of my life, so whenever those themes pop up, I get pretty jazzed.

8. Now, let's talk about the part of your work that might interest Tolkien fans (not that other parts wouldn't ). Sand gardens is a rather unusual form of art. What brought you to it and what does it mean to you?

The shop I worked for would get about a customer per hour, and I worked alone, so when I didn’t have any chores, I would play with the different things we sold, like the gardens, or the Buddha Boards, and read up on Asian culture and history from our book collection. Eventually, I started using the shop as a way to practice my photography, and the gardens were my first subject. Obviously, I took less time to refine the photography aspect than I did refining the gardening aspect.

Traditionally, the stones in a garden represent islands, and the lines represent waves. You’re not supposed to allow the rings from a smaller stone/island to overlap the rings from a larger stone/island. So, my gardens were an attempt to break free of those dictums. And to make them look more beautiful to the customers: which proved effective, incidentally.

Stealing from my answer to the last question, I think Zen gardens express the elegance of simple geometry. I’ve always been drawn to minimalism and geometry. But also parody and satire. So I guess in a sense I was introducing unserious concepts to a solemn art form. I also enjoy artists who’ll combine two unusual things to create a new effect, like Alex Colville or Charles Addams or Max Ernst. So I tried out a variety of concepts, like using the board to express iconic cartoons, constellations, and then moments from the world of Tolkien. Zen of the Rings or Lord of the Sand, or whatever you want to call it, just seemed like the best way to bring my fandom into the gardens beyond, you know, a Totoro face, or the Cliffs of Insanity. And I think that speaks to the rudimentary nature of so many Middle-earth moments, even in the way Tolkien himself drew them. That saga, better than any other I considered, plays really well into a geometric reimagining.

9. What's your creative process from picking the theme to finishing (and in this case also destroying, I guess) a sand garden?


I’d set the board in the traditional fashion, dragging out a canvas of straight, evenly-mounded lines as best I could, and then it was basically between whether I wanted to try weaving a new pattern around an old arrangement of stones (one of my favourite patterns is two stones tall and three stones across, evenly spaced from one another, like points on a Go board), or if I wanted to express something more unique to my past work, or something more organic/chaotic. I never liked doing anything that couldn’t be done freehand. But I also hate the way those, what we might call, hesitation marks show up in photos, so I did develop a few techniques for creating smoother curves.

I rarely started with the theme in mind. It was more like, let’s see what happens when we play. Of course, you don’t randomly end up with a No Face mask, or an Om or a Shirivasta.

Sometimes destroying them is a sad affair, but if you don’t play regularly in your Zen garden, you get dust bunnies, and there’s a lesson in that, I guess.

10. You already gave one interview about writing, so I will just ask - would you like to add something to it here?



Our Poet of the Month: AugustHello guys, this is miserabel, newly in charge of the Monthly Member feature, which will pop up every second Monday of the month! :woohoo: If you know of a member of PoeticalCondition who could do with some more attention, then please note me about them and I'll check them out (and possibly feature them in a future blog)!
This feature is supposed to bring talented writers to your attention who haven't recently gotten a DD or DLD; in other words, the well-hidden gems of the deviantart literature community!
August's pick is:
:spotlight-left: :iconsandzen: :spotlight-right:
sandzen
Go check him out, folks, it's worth it! Not only is his writing definitely note-worthy, he also gave very interesting responses to my questions and some epic advice for aspiring writers further down.
:star: hand-picked favourites out of their gallery:

:star: sandzen's favourites:

Tell us


I don’t remember anything I said in the one you’re thinking of, or if I still agree with any of it. But I don’t think there’s any one piece of advice more broadly helpful or time-tested than this: if you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write. Stephen King said that, and I’ve heard many a novice writer rebuke it…only to never get published. They say getting published is harder than meeting the pope. That’s a fact. Depending on your standards for what "being published" means.

Perhaps I’ll add this: write as a way to understand yourself. I’m not saying don’t be inspired, but if emulation is all you’re after, you probably won’t understand why you make what you make. When you look back on old writing, it’s the stuff that Tarantino calls “the truth the truth the truth” that will make your older heart sing. As a simple metric: if nothing you write embarrasses you sometime shortly after you write it, you either aren’t being honest with yourself, or you’re supremely confident in your humanity. In which case, how on earth are you a writer? Why aren’t you fighting sharks in a volcano aboard your time machine?


11. As a multi-talented artist, do you like experimenting with new art forms? Which have you already tried?


I just came through some years of tending to my dying mother, so I’m emerging from a creative dead zone. I was having the hardest time believing in any idea I’ve had for the past four years, and one night I wept over the sink when I was talking to my partner, and it hit me just how many ideas I’ve let slide through my fingers over the years. That’s probably what lead to one of the two enormous projects I’ve undertaken over the past year, the likes of which I’ve never tried before. The one was a poem-a-day project with a very unique point of inspiration. I can’t say more about that one, because the editing stage could go on for some time, and then I need to find a publisher. The other is a book of film analysis, which I’d like to make into a documentary series. I’ve done almost nothing else for the past five months, which means that besides the 500-page analysis, I’ve also watched the same movie about 200-300 times in that same period, so I’m a little stir-crazy, and I could probably use a shakeup soon with something fresh and exciting.

If I just list all the forms I’ve dabbled in, that could get boring. It’s a long, tedious list. I think it’s more interesting to say that I try to create things I’ve never seen before. The Zen gardens are a prime example. My parodies of old poems is another thing I've never seen done.


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



Well, my recent, prolonged journey through excruciating artist’s-block was not aided by my persistent self-crucifixion for the struggle. So, if you find yourself in a similar predicament, please take my partner’s wise words to heart, and be kind to yourself. If you think that self-torture will speed up your recovery time, that’s a hard no, I’m afraid. Being kind to yourself may not help you create the way you’d like, but it’ll ease you up to receiving the good ideas that are worth pursuing, in ways you should trust your instincts to sense are possible.

I also happened to read Sally Mann’s What Remains, a book of photos with an introduction about passing through the horror of her father’s similarly slow death. She talks about how his death just laid her out, useless, on the floor of her apartment for a year. If you’re like me, it can be hard to take comfort in knowing these things happen to people who are way more accomplished than you, because you don’t feel normal if you’re not creating. But that notion did become talismanic for me.

Oh, also, try never to be afraid of either tools that enhance your art or learning more about your art. The world puts a lot of pressure on artists to be brilliant right out the womb. Learn about techniques as much as you can, and when you see someone else doing something cool, why shouldn’t you put that into your own work? Modern civilization wants everyone to think that tools and tricks and techniques “belong” to the artists who “own” them, but it’s just an illusion, a byproduct of capitalism.


13. Could you tell us, which
...
- "Lord of the Sand" garden(s) you are most proud of?

I don’t really think of myself as an artist, usually, so I love the freehand work in It’s Raining Men. And The Hideous Face of Shelob has that 2x3 stone arrangement I love so much.

It's Raining Men by sandzen The Hideous Face of Shelob by sandzen

But I think I have to give it up for The Gates of Moria. Not just because of all the favs, but a) it’s the first one I think of when I think of that series, and b) I know just what people mean when they say they can tell who’s who just by looking at it. And there’s a lot of art I really admire where the artist took a recognizable character and interpreted them some other way, like making Miyazaki characters into Bento Box art, or those minimalist movie poster reimaginings, or even Pop figurines, honestly. And I kinda thought I pulled that off here just by picking out the best nine stones for that board.

The Gates of Moria by sandzen


- other visual art piece(s) you are most proud of ?

I made a 240-page book out of all my old related journal entries, poems, and photos to celebrate my 10-year anniversary, with my partner, Simone. Needless to say, she was completely stunned, and took it everywhere with her for some months. Blurb.com and Bookwright was how I composed it. I’m currently considering making one to commemorate my mom’s life.


- poem(s) you are most proud of?


Poetry is definitely the art form where I’ve explored and covered the most ground, so it’s hard to even give a shortlist of ones I’m proudest of. Pulling off a solid pantoum or parody poem is where I get the most personal satisfaction, I’d say. I performed The Werewolf Monologue to a rapturous crowd at my writer’s circle not long ago, and got no critiques, which was a first for our group, so that certainly had me glowing for a while. The subtext of Spacefeint, I recently learned from my therapist, turns out to have a lot of backing in the science of psychology, which actually surprised me; I had intuited it, purely. But as much as I love form, I’ve always wanted to write great free verse, and The Beautiful Suicide of Narcissus is probably still my reigning champion, personally.

Mature Content

SpacefeintThe astronauts had no rear-view, lying vertical,
eyes to instruments affixed, octopoid arms aflight,
moving eerily as one
practiced organism.
Like college-bound teens, they didn't look back,
the mother's faint tears smothered by
the thunder of flaming engines.
Old films and space museums first alerted their minor selves
to the intoxicating blue of the earth's
throbbing albedo.
In the simulator, they swigged digital earthshine,
complex watertanks faking weightlessness --
the sim just wasn't the same.
Belts unbuckled, floating on ballerina feet, a speechless face
in each porthole, no one noticed the captain's
syncopal silence.
His hypoxic brain unbetrayed by gravity, his limp spine
erect, his outstretched hands drifting clouds,
his eyes wide shut.
In his dream: father sat stiffly at breakfast,
the paper clumped in each fist, with
amnesiac headlines.
Long before Jupiter's great red beauty spot, the iron
hearts of stars, the moon's cephalic
sea of tranquility:
an unbuttered crust of bread,
The Beautiful Suicide of Narcissusthere was nothing left
to do with the peak
conquered all that came after
was a shallow petty thing life
gone from bees trees
now wrappings fill the earth
with air the drunk oil invents
an atmosphere of hollow costs
what price momentarily
perfect lost perception
of a generation fogbound
at the water’s edge splashing
to make the best reflection
even better telling ourselves
what our minds can’t see beyond
the other children our children beyond
the other lives our lives beyond
the other realities our lies
important beyond doom
the lone jammer tries
to focus wifi scrambles
thoughts passing through you
like neutrinos can’t take it
with you isn’t logic
stopping anyone from trying
suicide was sitting there
staring like a mirror
you don’t see porn
to thieve experience as
fleeting as a compliment
you imagined wealth
unknown all around but on what
Narcissus did you spend
your value



- picture or poem was hardest to create?


The hardest poem was definitely Come Home, which took an entire year to create. It's a pantoum, and I think I had the first stanza about a week after our one anniversary, and I liked it so much, I knew I wanted it to be perfect, so, whenever new lines came to me, it felt like lightning hitting twice, thrice, and so on. But if memory serves, I ended up redrafting parts of it over and over, and then finally committed something like every waking thought to it for some weeks leading up to our next anniversary. I guess I'm a bit of a Romantic...


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.


My partner, Simone has been my greatest critic, editor, inspiration, and audience. I write first for myself, second for her, and for the world, always third. But she knows how grateful I am.


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



Just that my perspectives on Tolkien's works are my own; I'm not pretending to be JRR's personal mind reader. I once had the honour of attending a class where everyone had been asked to study one of my books of poetry, and the kinds of ideas the teens had seen buried in my work were really stunning, and a clear indication of the old saying that people will see themselves in art. And I could tell that some of the kids thought I was being evasive and cheeky, but really, no, I know exactly what inspires me to create what I create, and what some of them were saying was 100% their own idea.

That said, I find dissenting opinion the most interesting, so if anyone reading this has other ideas about Middle-earth, I'd be glad to hear them.

Finally, a big thanks to you, Mirach, for having me. This opportunity to reflect on my passions, was a complete joy and honour for me.

Thank you as well for your time and answers!


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

Our theme for February and March is Stranger.

The most famous stranger to Frodo's mind might be Strider, booted and hooded, quietly puffing his long pipe in a corner of the Prancing Pony; watching most carefully and far from chance-met. Eomer, bristling, replied to Gimli, 'the stranger should declare himself first' for strangers (even three of them!) can spring up unexpectedly out of long grass. Dark days in the Third Age made Men wary, suspicious of prying eyes or chance slips of tongue, so that the Steward ordered no stranger, even a Rohirrim that fought with Gondor, could see the path to the Window on the West.

This uncertainty of those-we-do-not-know began when the world was new and young, when the Eldar, the Firstborn, met Men and came to understand that they die indeed-- calling them 'the Guests' and 'the Strangers'. Turgon, Lord of Gondolin, decreed that no stranger, be he Elf or Man, should ever depart the Hidden City. What might lead a Green-elf to let themself be seen to a Man of the House of Haleth? How would a young Elrond and Elros learn to trust the stranger who took them in? The Southrons were strangers to the Men of the West when at last peace was achieved in the Reunited Realms. How could a chance meeting help bridge a gulf of history and animosity?

In fiction, strangers can be catalysts, bad or good, juggling distance and proximity to provoke or open up possibilities to change. To be a stranger can be an escape, a chance to start anew, to walk to where your clothes, your voice and your songs, are unfamiliar to the world around. It can also be the state of being entirely unaccustomed to a feeling, an experience, or situation. Perhaps you'd like to explore more how the Dwarves felt about being in Rivendell? Or how a drunk Legolas adjusts to a new 'tingling in his fingers'? New parents certainly sometimes feel the little one in their arms is a stranger!

For this prompt you can write about stranger as an adjective. We say of someone 'he is no stranger to controversy'. Or 'truth is stranger than fiction'. A young hobbit might well feel so on reading the Red Book for the first time. Whatever aspect of 'Stranger' you choose, please do not be a Stranger and write by March 31st for this prompt!

We only have one story this month

The Shire Lilly in Bree by Eschscholzia 

... which automatically becomes the winner of this challenge and gets a personalized banner:

If you would like to illustrate it, you can take part in our special all-year-round artistic challenge!

The Teitho archive does not allow reviews, but as soon as this or some stories from previous challenges are posted somewhere else online, we will update them with a link. Follow us on facebook, tumblr or twitter to get a notification about this!

Happy reading!

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

Banner 02 by MirachRavaia

Talks with Tolkien artists: Mellaril

Journal Entry: Mon Jan 28, 2019, 1:59 PM


This week I talked to :iconmellaril: - Mellaril (and you will be surprised what that username means if you keep reading :)) about her views of Tolkien and art: she is both traditional and digital artist, as you can see in her gallery:

Voyage of the Vingilot by Mellaril Idril by Mellaril
Father (Eol and Young Maeglin) by Mellaril Earendil and Elwing in Eldamar by Mellaril
Fingon the Valiant by Mellaril The Boy on the Wall (Maeglin and Idril) by Mellaril
The Cave Hewers (Finrod with Dwarf Companions) by Mellaril

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

You bet! I'm a 26-year-old Taiwanese-American woman and an amateur artist. I love painting, Tolkien (obviously) and books in general, horses (I rode them competitively in college!), music of all kinds, writing nerdy fanfiction (my boyfriend makes fun of me but I just tell him I'll leave him for Legolas) and tending to my family of succulents. The most interesting thing that's happened to me is probably almost getting bitten by a rabid monkey. Other answers to random questions: Virgo, O+, healthcare professional, introverted, and yes (but only on Tuesdays).

:D (Big Grin) One not so random question then: what brought you to deviatArt and how did you pick your username?

I actually joined dA like 15 years ago (wow...) because all of my friends from school were on it. At that point it was mostly a lot of really random, really terrible art (if you don't believe me I dug this one off of an old hard drive. For those of you who think no one could possibly be worse at art or improve more slowly than you...here's evidence to the contrary. And that's not even the lamest one).

Crested By Legolasagna Dmhwtg by Mellaril  

I rejoined a few years back because of a reawakening of a desire to make and share art. My periods of improvement and productivity tend to be in spurts with long pauses in between. I started doing paintings of my longtime favorite subject material, Tolkien and fantasy, and that pretty much kept going; I'd get new ideas when I was finishing old ones and never had time to do them all. As for my username, it's a reference to my job in real life as someone working in healthcare. "Mellaril" is actually the trade name for an antipsychotic drug, and when I came across it in my studies I thought, "wow, really, 'Mellaril'? Whatever pharmaceutical employee came up with that must be a LARPer." So I picked it.

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

I was eight when the movie version of The Fellowship of the Ring came out. My dad convinced me to see it with him, and I was very apprehensive because it was the first "grown-up" movie I ever saw in theaters. When Bilbo did the scary-face thing in Rivendell I was terrified and hid for a bunch of the rest of the movie! But I loved it, and Legolas was sooo cute. I read the trilogy (shy kid in school, read a lot more books than most people my age) but didn't get really obsessed until The Two Towers came out. It was the Battle of Helms Deep that left me really awestruck into how huge, beautiful and tragic this world was. I know a lot of people say the books are better, and now I'd have to agree, but that on-screen experience really made me feel. I read The HobbitThe Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales after that. Peter Jackson made a lifelong Tolkien fan out of me :) (Smile)

So what creates the image of Middle-earth in your mind now? Is it more influenced by the books or movies, or maybe other artists, and did it change over time or remained the same?

Definitely a combination. The ethereal atmosphere of the Jackson movies, Tolkien's own gorgeous prose, and the artwork of Alan Lee and Jenny Dolfen (particularly for Silmarillion-era Arda) are the major influences. Ms. Dolfen is an incredible watercolorist; when I discovered :icongold-seven: on deviantArt, specifically this:


...a whole new feeling of richness and passion imbued Middle-Earth for me. That's definitely the most significant change that comes to mind.

Who is your favourite Tolkien character and why?

That's an easy one! It's Maeglin. I'll admit, the first read-through of The Silmarillion, I wasn't too thrilled. It was all a blur of trees, "Light", confusing geography and too many long names. But in the middle of the book, there's this chapter: "of Maeglin." It's really the only chapter titled simply with the name of a person - not even Maedhros, the main character, nor Túrin, who has an entire book to himself later, is given the same honor. A child descended from kings, raised in obscurity, dreams of a better life for his mother- only to be orphaned for his efforts. He swears allegiance to the king who killed his father and fights bravely in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad - and all would be well if he didn't fall obsessively, fatefully, in love with his first cousin.


Father (Eol and Young Maeglin) by Mellaril   Screen Shot 2019-01-14 at 2.54.09 PM by Mellaril SoT 2 by Mellaril    The Boy on the Wall (Maeglin and Idril) by Mellaril  

His actions lead directly to the downfall of elven-kind, and for them he is rightfully considered the evilest of elves, but it's a beautiful, haunting story so ahead of its time! In it you see how love and idealism lead ultimately to devastation; how the pride and greed of the Noldor led to the First Kinslaying, the resentment between Noldor and Teleri, the death of Maeglin's parents, and ultimately to his decision to betray the entire world. It leads you to ask: who really was he? Could things have been different for him? Did anyone love him?

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

Many of them. I absolutely love the letter that Tolkien writes to Milton Waldman telling him about The Silmarillion and what it was all about. He describes the mingling of fantastical myth (elves) with "realer" stories (as Men are interwoven). Elves doomed to live forever and Men doomed to die. The humble and small (Beren and Lúthien) accomplishing the unthinkable in the name of love. The oath of Fëanor, which "dogs all their later heroism, generating treacheries and undoing all victories." Nods to other legendaria including Norse mythology, Christian tradition, Oedipus and Greek Myth. And of course: love, friendship, loyalty and sacrifice, over eons. For instance, the Ring of Barahir that Finrod gives to Barahir in thanks for saving his life, later invoked by his son Beren, leading Finrod do sacrifice his own great life for him. The list goes on!

Now, could you tell us something about you and art? What was it that reawoke your desire to make and share it, and how did you lose it in the first place? When did you start doing it, and who or what influenced your style?


I've been drawing for as long as I can remember. I filled dozens of sketchbooks. They're still on my shelves. I studied oil painting and sketch and later on taught myself to do other things starting from basic principles. It wasn't really that I lost my interest in art, I just set it aside for a while because other things caught my attention. I tend to have phases of obsession and passion and get really into things - just an addictive personality I guess. My earliest influences I'd say were anime/cartoons, classical and modern portrait painters like Bouguereau, and now contemporary digital artists/illustrators like Kienan Lafferty, Lois van Baarle, and Samuel Youn.  


Asami Korra by Mellaril   Cupidon by Mellaril   Kienan-lafferty-moka-training by Mellaril  
Loish by Mellaril   Samuel-youn-image by Mellaril 

What's your creative process from picking the theme to finishing a picture?

Depends - usually a feeling or idea will strike me when I'm daydreaming. Or I see a photograph, scene in a movie or other artwork that inspires me.

Tracks by Mellaril   Fall by Mellaril   Hands by Mellaril  

Then I try to make it more my own, and gather more references and ideas and try to pull it all together into a composition that is interesting and balanced. I try a couple of rough sketches and thumbnails. I try to think about the time of day and lighting, the feelings of the characters, and elements of background and design. More often than not I think the finished picture doesn't succeed or isn't what I imagined. I'm still trying to get better technically to pull off more of what I want to do.

You said you also write fanfiction. Where can we find your stories, and what is your inspiration for them?

Yes! If you're so inclined, www.fanfiction.net/~dolias 
I'm not very prolific these days, but I've written two stories so far. One is kind of a re-telling of Of Maeglin- it's about his struggle with morality and his past, his relationships, and whether redemption is possible for him. The other is set in Nargothrond, and it's about Gwindor and Finduilas. I was inspired by the song "The River" by Springsteen, about how a once blissful and innocent loves turns sad and difficult. But I also wanted to write a happy ending for them. So, possibly it's still in progress.

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

Books! And music! I love illustrating how written scenes appear in my head. I have vague plans for scenes from the universes of Haruki Murakami and David Mitchell; East Asian Mythology and so much more. Now you've really inspired me to branch out from Tolkien!

Great! :D (Big Grin) Your art is both tradition and digital, do you have a preference in medium? Do you rather keep to the art techniques and styles you are familiar with, or do you experiment with new ones as well?

I prefer traditional! I think the physicality of the medium really allows for gorgeous and spontaneous results. Even in my digital stuff I try to incorporate textures, brushwork and different stochastic elements to give it a more vibrant feel. I definitely don't want to keep to just one style! I'm still artistically a baby, experimenting with different techniques I like from other artists, or just on my own. That's probably why every piece in my gallery right now looks nothing like any of the others. For now I don't really mind that! I don't want to be tied down to a single way!

Despite that, or maybe exactly because of that, do you have some tips and tricks you would like to share with other experimenting artists?

Hmm interesting question! I'd say in general, make art for you - not for your followers, not for any kind of popularity or status. Just do what brings you joy and makes you happy and don't worry if it's not good enough. Every painting I've ever done to try to get more likes, shares, favorites or whatever ended up being flat, frustrating and a chore to do. Especially if you're a hobbyist like me, art is one of the things I do to escape any kind of obligation or expectation. 

On a more technical level: learn the rules before you break them; alternate between painting from reference, copying the work of artists you admire for practice, and painting from imagination. Learn about perspective, composition, value, and color theory. Kienan Lafferty's KNKL show on YouTube is a phenomenal resource. I also use Pinterest a lot to gather references and inspiration, and to broaden my visual vocabulary.

Here's my Pinterest as an example of how I like to organize my thoughts: www.pinterest.com/saliferociou…

Great tips, thank you! Could you now tell us, which
- Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?

The Boy on the Wall (Maeglin and Idril) by Mellaril  Voyage of the Vingilot by Mellaril

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

Molly Grue And The Unicorn by Mellaril

- picture fits your current mood?

Lavender by Mellaril

- picture was hardest to paint?

The Cave Hewers (Finrod with Dwarf Companions) by Mellaril

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

I love this one. It was inspired by a Rodin sculpture. Pretty different from what I usually do. 
Nimrodel by Mellaril

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.

:iconfrerinhagsolb::iconalystraea::iconmaedhrosrussandol: :iconephaistien: :iconirsanna: :icononeout: :iconsindefara: :iconfeynaskydancer: 
Always grateful for your friendship and your fantastic art.

:iconmirachravaia:
What you do for this community is beyond astounding. Thank you so much and thanks for taking the time to get to know me!

And a huge thanks to everyone who stayed by my side when I was down. "Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens."

It's my pleasure! :) (Smile) Would you also 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?

Sure! OK full disclaimer, all the people I'm about to mention are more popular and better artists than I am, but they haven't done interviews here yet. And they don't know how much I admire their art so this may come as a surprise to some of them!!

1. :icononlychasing-safety: He just makes fantastic landscapes and concept art and I am so, so jealous of his skills.

Elven Territory by onlychasing-safety   Mordor by onlychasing-safety   Edoras by onlychasing-safety  
The Ring Goes South by onlychasing-safety   Drums in the Deep - Balin's Tomb by onlychasing-safety   Isengard by onlychasing-safety  

2. :iconodamako: I love her dreamy, whimsical scenes.

Songs of power by Odamako   Lothlorien by Odamako   Beleg Cuthalion by Odamako  

3. :iconkuliszu: Beautifully lit, soft works. And she just keeps getting better!!
The White Rider by kuliszu   The Fellowship of the Ring by kuliszu   The Ring Goes South by kuliszu   The Fellowship in Lothlorien by kuliszu   Aredhel and Eol by kuliszu  

4. :iconthelongdefeat: This art-noveau wolfy stuff is really neat.

All I've Lost by TheLongDefeat   Huan of Valinor by TheLongDefeat   Celegorm and Huan by TheLongDefeat 

Thank you! Just a side note, there has been an interview with kuliszu, but under her old nick AlasseaEarello :) (Smile) And we are getting to the end, so is there something else you would like to tell to the fans of Tolkien and your art?

Oh! That explains a lot! Well I'm glad she's already been recognized. :) (Smile)

Hmm, all I have left to say is thank you, whoever you are, for taking even the slightest bit of interest in what I love to do! I hope we can make friends and learn from each other!

And thank you for your time and answers!


Coding by Felizias Drawings by ebe-kastein Borders by PhoenixWildfire

Talks with Tolkien artists: AYAMEKURE

Journal Entry: Sat Jan 19, 2019, 3:04 AM


"I'm just painting," says :iconayamekure: - AYAMEKURE in her tagline. In this interview, we will take a closer look at the paintings of this Russian digital artist, as well as talk about herself and her opinions on Tolkien and art. You can see her Tolkien-related pictures in her Silmarillion gallery, and if you have tumblr, you can find her there as well.

The Elbereth Giltoniel by AYAMEKURE The saved Russandol by AYAMEKURE
Russingon wedding by AYAMEKURE
After creation of stars by AYAMEKURE The distortion of Mairon, vol2 by AYAMEKURE
Eonwe and Gothmog by AYAMEKURE

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

On this topoic, I always get lost ahah!
Hello! I`m JReizen. My username on the DeviantArt is Ayamekure. I started this account a long time ago, before I began to draw regularly. I like to draw digital and traditional art, but I draw digital artworks more often. I started to get involved in drawing thanks to manga. I love manga very much, and my favorite works influenced my drawing style in many ways (although I didn't notice it right away, to be honest).

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

It happened a long time ago, and I just wanted to publish my work somewhere. I didn't draw very well then, yes .. I was also very unsociable ahaha.
I created my username - Ayamekure - from my usual username - Aya. This username was already taken and I had to use my fantasy, but on other sites I use and sign my work with the name Aya (I hope this does not bother anyone).

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

I first encountered the world of Professor Tolkien when I was little. True, then, because of my age, I understood almost nothing .. And then, when I was about 17 years old, I accidentally saw an epic scene at the end of one of the films “The Lord of the Rings”. It amazed me so much that I decided to get to know this world better and stayed here. I also read his books. After the "Silmarillion" there was no going back ahaha.

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 did it change over time or remained the same?

The image of Middle-earth is constantly changing in my head. The more I learn about it, the brighter and richer this world becomes for me. I started with films, but the books began to influence this image much more strongly and each time they enrich it. In part, other artists also influenced this image; it was interesting to get acquainted with Middle-earth visually. But if I didn’t have my own view of things, what an artist would I be?

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?

Of course! This is so interesting! The history of this world is no less fascinating, and I really like to notice more and more new details in it, to learn something that gives more ideas about Arda, its inhabitants, and what happened in this or that era.

6. Who is your favorite Tolkien character and why?

I have some favorite characters, but most of all I like Sauron. Surprising, right? I don’t know how to explain more precisely, but I just adore characters like Sauron. A delightful villain! Sly, angry, incredibly elegant in his baseness and meaniness, ready to do anything to achieve his goals. Before "The Fall of Numenor" I was not particularly interested in this character, but after I read about it and discovered him for myself, I just fell in love with this evil!


7. You have drawn Varda many times. What drives you to create this many renditions of this Valie?

I love Varda almost as much as Sauron, and if Sauron is of that type of person who can be called "perfect evil", then Varda is just the opposite - true light. In the world of Professor Tolkien, in my opinion, all female characters are perfect. Without exception. Varda is the most beautiful Valie - calm, gentle, but at the same time strong and resolute. Remember? Melkor himself is afraid of this beautiful Valie. Well, hates her at the same time.
I like working with her look, trying to bring it to the ideal. This is interesting - each time trying to pick up a new outfit or hairstyle for her, depict it in a different perspective or depict her with Manwe and discuss the relationship between the rulers of Arda (yes, I love this pairing).


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

In the previous question I said already that Tolkien has all the female characters beautiful. Perhaps this is a topic that I especially like. I do not like it terribly when in a particular work or film, a female character simply merges at the whim of the author, director or someone else, but in the works of the professor I have never seen such a thing once, seriously. All his female characters are beautiful and strong, wise.

9. 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?

In fact, I have long been fond of drawing and even have an art education, but I began to study digital art not so long ago. Initially, what pushed me to start drawing was anime and manga - I really liked the style and work of Japanese artists. I also always wanted to try my hand at digital art, but what then what now my style is still far from perfect. I need to draw more ahah.

10. What's your creative process from picking the theme to finishing a picture?

To be honest, the ideas for my works catch up with me quite suddenly and often - not at the most appropriate time, so the most difficult thing is not to burn out and bring the idea to the canvas in the form in which it appeared. Alas, it does not always work, so sometimes the finished work doesn’t look the way you imagined it, but sometimes it does. I love to finish my work.
However, more difficult than to convey the idea to the canvas, is to outline it adequately. If this succeeds, then the work usually goes on smoothly (except for the case when I updated Photoshop and still could not cope with the new set of brushes, I seriously felt very old then!) I like the process of drawing. It relaxes me and allows me to bring my thoughts in order. Focusing completely on your work, you seem to turn off the world, working with proportions, color, light and forms, space and characters. The work process is quite standard for me: sketch, line, color, shadows, and at the last stage - effects, if they are needed.

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

As I said, I love anime and manga, and my creative journey once began with them. My favorite manga is D. Gray-Man by Hoshino Katsura. I cannot convey in words how much I love this story and characters from there. Now I draw fan art, either according to Professor Tolkien’s world, or according to D. Gray-man, but before that I often drew on Heroes of Might V and Magic (I still love this game, but I still can’t take the time to go through to end).
And I love to create crossovers!


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?

Basically, I adhere to a single style in my works, but this does not prevent me from perfecting it, but, in fact, I need to train more to paint more painterly works. I want to experiment more with the technique of blending colors, with light and angles, and I will definitely do it. I do not want to stagnate in one place.

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

Well, perhaps - general advice given by teachers to their students in art schools, such as “going from the general to the particular”, “squinting at the work more often,” and “looking at its miniature in the corner of the program, or, if you draw on paper, look at your work from afar. " And, of course, practice more!

14. You also have a blog in Russian, where you post you art, but also writing. What do you write about?

Oh, you already know that ahaha.
In my Russian-language blog, I mainly talk about the progress of the work done and share story sketches on its subject - what thoughts did I have while I was drawing it and what I would like to see from it again (from myself). Sometimes I also write stories when I am very inspired by one or another plot.

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

This is my last portrait of Varda. It is difficult for me to do paintings, but here I succeeded.

The Elbereth Giltoniel by AYAMEKURE

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

This is my favorite illustration.

Musician by AYAMEKURE

- picture fits your current mood?

I hope you do not mind that this will be a picture from another blog.

interview ayamekure by MirachRavaia

- picture was hardest to paint?

Not to put into words how I suffered, while drawing it.

Shameless Astaldo by AYAMEKURE

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

Mm, is it?
Well .. just because.

Melkor and Sauron by AYAMEKURE


16. 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 have some close friends who supported me from the very beginning, and I would like to thank them - thanks to them, I have not lost faith in myself and continue to draw. There are also several artists whose style and works inspire me. I look at them and I want to improve!

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

Well, first of all, I would like to thank all those who like my work - it really makes me happy. And I hope that the work of Professor Tolkien will inspire more than one generation of his fans to create something really beautiful.

Best regards, Ayamekure(JReizen)

Thank you for your time and answers!


Coding by Felizias Drawings by ebe-kastein Borders by PhoenixWildfire

Tolkien's Birthday Toast 2019

Journal Entry: Thu Jan 3, 2019, 3:06 AM


J.R.R. Tolkien was born 127 years ago, on January 3rd 1892 in Bloemfontein.

Together with the Tolkien Society, we invite you to celebrate the birthday of this much loved author by raising a glass at 9pm your local time.
The toast is simply: "To the Professor!", or if you prefer Quenya, "Alasse merendenna i Carmo!"

Tolkien by D-morrigan


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


Our theme for January and February is Point of View.

Point of view is typically defined as a particular attitude or way of considering a matter. But in fictional writing point of view is the narrator's position in relation to the story being told.

Any character can provide a point of view - from the main character, to original characters, to secondary observer characters who do not play a major role in the events themselves.

Will you tell your story from Legolas' point of view, if he is the main character in your work? Or from the vantage point of another, viewing your main character?

Will your point of view shift through the narrative, moving through multiple characters - to give a more three-dimensional exposition to the story?

Is your character a reliable narrator? Would seeing events from an alternate narrator change the story?

Perhaps you will choose the more traditional definition of point of view. Characters from different cultures may hold differing views on situations, activities, traditions. Neither view is necessarily wrong but disparate points of view may lead to conflict. Or misunderstandings. Judgements can result from these differences. How would those perceptions change based on another perspective?

Feanor may have a distinctive narrative when compared to Fingolfin. Thorin's memories may very well diverge from Bilbo's. Is the narrator of the Silmarillion reliable? Did the tales Bilbo wrote as "translated from the Elvish" alter from the original by virtue of being translated by a hobbit?

We only have one story this month:

Upon a Cold Stone by Mirrordance 1st place :trophy:

... which automatically becomes the winner of this challenge and gets a personalized banner:

If you would like to illustrate it, you can take part in our special all-year-round artistic challenge!

The Teitho archive does not allow reviews, but as soon as this or some stories from previous challenges are posted somewhere else online, we will update them with a link. Follow us on facebook, tumblr or twitter to get a notification about this!

Happy reading!

Your Teitho-moderators,

Banner 02 by MirachRavaia

Talks with Tolkien artists: Snow-Monster

Journal Entry: Sun Dec 30, 2018, 1:54 PM


The last talk of the year 2018 is with :iconsnow-monster: - Snow-Monster - a very interesting and inspiring talk, well worth the longer read!
And here is a little selection from his gallery:

Ecthelion of the fountain by Snow-Monster Poisonous by Snow-Monster
Fingon and Maedros by Snow-Monster The Children of Hurin by Snow-Monster Burarum by Snow-Monster
Shadow and Flame by Snow-Monster Lady of Lorien by Snow-Monster

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

Hi! I'm a self-taught traditional artist from the American Rocky Mountains. I've developed a love of classical literature, an appreciation for early American history, a keen interest in film and movies, and a passion for ice hockey to name a few of my interests.

My work entertains an interest in discovering a sense of wonder through the natural world around us and the richness of the imagination.

My hope is to develop my artistic talents further and eventually become a storybook illustrator.

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

I was really into superheroes as a teen especially the Marvel characters shortly before the MCU movies were made. I found this Captain America redesign by DavidFernandezArt and was immediately hooked.


As for my username, my first online account was made for a few hockey jersey concept sites which I frequented and submitted designs to. My favorite hockey team being the Colorado Avalanche, I used their first mascot, Howler the Yeti, as inspiration; a snow monster. At the time, I joined deviantart to primarily feature some hockey team logos I redesigned. It was only later that I decided to focus more on my sketches. I've pretty much stuck with the username ever since.

Hockey and superheroes are not really topics leading to Middle-earth :) (Smile) How did you enter Tolkien's world for the first time, and what impression did it leave in you?

I first entered the world of Tolkien when I was eight years old. My mom gave me a copy of The Hobbit and I enjoyed the first few chapters, but it wasn't until I got to the Riddles in the Dark that I really got hooked on the world Middle-earth. Needless to say, once I finished the Hobbit I dove into the first copy of the Lord of the Rings that I could get my hands on. I received the Silmarillion for Christmas after that and have been collecting Tolkien's writings ever since, so it's safe to say that the impression was a lasting one.

So you was not even 10 when you read the Silmarillion, do I understand that correctly? Wasn't it too hard to read for you then?

That's right. I admit it was a challenge for me to read at the time, it may have been beyond my years, but I still found a good deal to appreciate. Even though I didn't fully comprehend the entire account I could recognize the truth and beauty conveyed by Tolkien in his writings. It has taken me several re-readings, but I have found so much to discover and think about in the Silmarillion largely, I believe, because it is relatively untouched by pop culture and modern media and therefore more open to the imagination. I still find the chapter the Lay of Beleriand difficult, but the tales of the war of the jewels are spectacular, somber, and genuinely inspiring. That's what I found mesmerizing as a boy.

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

My primary point of inspiration comes from the books. Tolkien was a master of language and his creativity, or sub-creativity in this case, is astonishingly rich, yet he leaves just enough room for the imagination of the reader to fill in the minute details. I read the books before Peter Jackson's films were released so I had already formed an idea of what Middle-earth looked like. The movies did provide a better sense of scale and the greater scope of Arda than what I originally imagined, so the movies lend some inspiration indirectly, but I tend to avoid any direct reference to the fine work that Weta workshop has done. I won't quite go so far as to say that I'm a purist, I do like many things about the movies and think they are a cinematic achievement, but there are a ton of things that they either changed or left out and not all were for the better. I do enjoy seeing what other artists come up with in depicting Tolkien's world, but they rarely inspire me in my own work. My vision of Middle-earth has changed over time. Not drastically, but each time I read one of Tolkien's books I pick up on details that I missed previously or had forgotten and, in a way, that's one of the great things about Middle-earth; there's always more to discover whether it's linguistic, historical, literary, or something else entirely.

Speaking about Tolkien's books, you said you have been collecting them. How extensive is your collection now?

Well, aside from the books I received as a kid, my wife and I have been giving Tolkien books to each other almost since we met. Between the two of us we have three copies of the Silmarillion (one of which is a first American edition), several copies of the Lord of the Rings, a couple of The Hobbit, The Children of Hurin, The Lay of Luthien, and most recently The Fall of Gondolin in addition to The Unfinished Tales, The Lost Road and Other Writings, The Book of Lost Tales 1 & 2, Tales from the Perilous Realm, The Lays of Beleriand, Tree and Leaf, Beowulf, Sigurd and Gudrun, The Fall of Arthur, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, The Letters of J.R.R.Tolkien, as well as The Tolkien Reader, a few commentaries, and companions. I haven't collected all volumes of the Histories of Middle-earth, but there lie a few opportunities for future birthday and Christmas gifts.

Who is your favourite Tolkien character and why?

My favorite character is Samwise Gamgee. Tolkien considered his ''chief hero'' to be the one whose hope is unwavering, the one who sticks with it all even
though it is not his appointed mission, the one who carries on and endangers his own life to save Frodo. He preserves the hope that the Ring can be destroyed so that the world may be made new again.
In one letter Tolkien once wrote that, “The Sam Gamgee of my story is a most heroic character, now widely beloved by many readers,even though his origins are rustic.” He added to this thought in a separate correspondence to his publisher, Milton Waldman: “I think the simple “rustic” love of Sam and his Rosie (nowhere elaborated) is absolutely essential to the study of his (the chief hero’s)character, and to the theme of the relation of ordinary life (breathing, eating, working, begetting) and quests, sacrifice, causes, and the “longing for Elves”, and sheer beauty.” Sam shares a deep and inextricable connection to the common life. Everything about his existence that he holds dear is the very thing which the heroes defend and without which there can be no heroes. It is because Sam is in such close association with these simple and everyday things that his noble efforts raise him to the high standard as the chief hero of The Lord of the Rings.
Although Faramir is a pretty great guy too.

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

Given that Tolkien covered wholesome themes such as sacrifice, adventure, and causes (even if they are lost causes) in his books I can only grow in appreciation for them after every read. They made such an impression on me that I was motivated to delve into them even further while I was in college basing my junior project and senior thesis on the long defeat  and heroism through Tolkien's works. I'm sure I could go on forever on themes in Middle-earth, but I'll touch on my three favorites: the long defeat, hope, and heroism.

Tolkien frequently wrote on, what he called, the long defeat. Often indirectly, but sometimes, like in the fellowship's sojourn in Lothlorien, he addresses it head-on. The lady Galadriel first mentions this concept to Frodo. Through her, and in many of his other writings, Tolkien eloquently conveys to us that life is full of hardships and that no happiness is on earth is lasting. Difficulties and even sorrow will enter our lives again and again no matter how hard we work to avoid them. But his is not a defeatist mentality, rather it is a sober one and one which realizes that evil, though relentless and unforgiving, will not be the one to ultimately claim the final victory.

Hope is probably the most predominant theme throughout the Lord of the Rings and is certainly the most important. Hope is what propels the fellowship forward through their journeys and towards their destinies. Hope is what inspires each of them to fight for their friends, peoples, and their homelands even if it means they will not live to see the world renewed. It remains a powerful and timeless quality that enriches the story and compels audiences worldwide to aspire to find it in their own lives. As Bilbo Baggins once said: "Where there's life, there's hope."

Finally, the acts heroism displayed in Tolkien's Middle-earth are undeniably worthy of immitation. Even if they are fictional characters one can only admire the leadership of Aragorn, the courage of Borimir, the persistence of Frodo, the loyalty of Sam and the honor of Faramir (just to name a few). All exhibit some form of skill coupled with self-sacrifice. Men who display extraordinary talent and bravery have sparked legends, myths, sagas, epics, faery stories, and romances for countless generations, but Tolkien rooted his heroes in aspects of the finest characters of antiquity and developed them even further by clearly illustrating that heroism comes not from one's own efforts, but by putting the well-being of others before one's own and that this act of selflessness is done so that a greater good may come into being.

Did Tolkien's writing influence your own life with its values then?

Indirectly perhaps, but I believe the values presented in Tolkien's sub-creation reinforced the ethics that I was bright up through my parents. Once I grew up and reexamined those principles I found that not only were those morals still sound, but they complimented the writings of many classic philosophers as well as my own convictions.

Now, let's talk about art. You already said you are a self-taught artist who would like to become a storybook illustrator. What brought you to art and who or what influenced your style?

I've been drawing ever since I can remember. I believe I starting drawing dinosaurs when I was a toddler (still do) and have kept up with it ever since.

In my early teens I started to refine my approach and was drawn to some comic book art. I enjoyed seeing so many different approaches in depicting the same character. Captain America and Batman could be interpreted in a plethora of styles and I started to mimic select aspects in my own work. Comic book artists Jim Lee, Brian Hitch, and especially AdamHughes influenced me the most.

However I've also found inspiration outside the superhero world in Michaelangelo, William Adolph Bouguereau, and Arthur Rackam from the classical side. Being a Tolkien fan, it's near impossible not to like the peices by Alan Lee and John Howe. I don't always love their interpretation of Middle-earth and it's inhabitants, but I do like their techniques and artistic approaches. Finally, Drew Struzan is also a favorite of mine especially with his movie posters.

All of these artists have a sort of stylized realism in their art and that has greatly influenced my own work in some form or another.

What's your creative process from picking the theme to finishing a picture?

Once I have the image in my mind, I sketch a few thumbnails to try out different angles and placements. Then I try to decide what medium fits the scene: graphite, ink, colored pencils, markers, watercolors, sepia tones, black and white...etc. Usually the more colorful the picture, the more cheerful the scene and vice versa, but not always. Then I try to figure out the values and contrast and then get down to work with an underlying pencil sketch and work over that. Finally I'll scan the peice and touch it up with a photo editor program just to bring out the highlights and color.

And before you have an image in mind? How do you decide which scenes or characters you are going to draw?

That's a little harder to explain.Tolkien's work is so descriptive that I could probably draw something from every page of his books (and almost certainly would if I had the time), but some visuals come more readily than others. In a way the artwork allows me to convey what I see or feel in a manner that can  be recognized by others. I suppose I try to depict something that is striking through power or beauty or something that triggers an emotional response. The same pretty much goes for non Tolkien related work as well.

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?

There are a number of advantages to any technique. Ink is sharp and precise, markers are faster and cover more surface area, and paint looks more professional. However, I still prefer old fashioned pencil. Traditional techniques are what I'm familiar with, but there are many more that I haven't tried yet, acrillic for example. One day though, I would like to make the jump to digital in Photoshop and Illustrator.

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

I've always found that I've improved by watching how other artists do their work. Different techniques, styles, and approaches have helped me immensely. Lots of experimenting too.

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

In the Houses of Healing by Snow-Monster

It was a wedding present to my wife a few months ago and was certainly the largest and most intricate artistic endeavor I have undertaken. I chose The Houses of Healing since it is one of her favorite chapters in the Lord of the Rings. While it's not perfect, she was very happy with it, so I'm satisfied.

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

I suppose this qualifies as my favorite picture from another "fandom."

Final Parting by Snow-Monster
 
One of my earlier works, it is taken from a scene in Homer's Illiad. This scene stood out to me, during my first reading of the Greek epic, as one of the most touching chapters as the warrior prince Hector bids his wife and son farewell before his death. Although I'm pretty pleased with this painting from the Legend of Sleepy Hollow too.

The Haunted Hollow by Snow-Monster

- picture fits your current mood?

This one is probably the closest.

 Dreaming of Elven Things by Snow-Monster

- picture was hardest to paint?

Aside from the Houses of Healing piece, Watching Over the Shire proved to be the most challenging.

Watching Over the Shire by Snow-Monster

At the time, I was pretty new to watercolors so this took some trial and error to get close to what I envisioned. It was fun to become more proficient in painting, but it took a lot of work.

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

I would like to add this Beowulf sketch,

Beowulf by Snow-Monster

mostly because it turned out so unexpectedly well and it's one of my favorite ink works. The poem proved to be very influential to Tolkien in his writings and it stands as a great work of art on its own. Plus I'd like to include this other piece I did this past Halloween since it hasn't gotten much exposure.

Halloween 2018 by Snow-Monster

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 have found may sources of inspiration throughout my life, but none more invaluable than my wife who has gently pushed me when needed, sparked many great concepts for me to tackle artistically, and patiently endured Inktober. 

I am also grateful for those in the DA realm who have taken the time to comment, offered feedback, and watched my work. It has been both humbling and encouraging to receive the kind of responce the users of Deviantart have given me. 

 And thank you for offering the interview.

You are welcome! So you took part in Inktober? What was your experience with it? Would you recommend it?

I participated in Inktober for the first time this past autumn.  I've been aware of it for a coupe years now, but for one reason or another never tried it till this year. It was certainly a challenge. The first week or so was a blast, but it did get a little tedious especially when I missed a day or two and had to play catch-up. I'm glad I stuck with it though, it did help me improve my drawing skills and bettered my spontaneous approach when it comes to art. I'll try to post my Inktober work on here one of these days. I would recommend to artists to try it at least once. I'm sure it'll help some more than others, but I can definitely say I've improved because of it and I think many others will too.

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?

Sure! There are a couple of artists I've encountered here who have displayed some good work, are also Tolkien fans, and who have not yet been interviewed by you.

Here are couple by Wyglaff.

Sketchbook Page by Wyglaff Bag End front in sunset light by Wyglaff

And here are a couple from GentianaVerna

Archive - Bilbo and Smaug by GentianaVerna After a while Pippin fell fast asleep... by GentianaVerna

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

For anyone who's a Tolkien fan, I believe it is imperative that one tries to truly understand what the professor was conveying in his writings rather than inserting what one wishes was written or reinterpreting his work. It may take more effort to uncover the hidden meaning, but far too often I come across fan art that has little to nothing to do with what Tolkien had in mind. I won't go so far as to say that I'm a purist, but it is important to respect the source material since we would not be able to enjoy the world of Arda and beyond without the singular vision of J.R.R.Tolkien.

As for anyone who finds my work enjoyable, it is deeply satisfying to know that I have made an impression and I welcome any future feedback. Many thanks.

Thank you for your time and answers!
 


Coding by Felizias Drawings by ebe-kastein Borders by PhoenixWildfire

Talks with Tolkien artists: jessy25522

Journal Entry: Mon Dec 17, 2018, 7:11 AM


:iconjessy25522: - jessy25522 is a creator of beautiful jewellery, often inspired by the trees of Middle-earth. You can find them in her gallery here, or even buy them in her own webshop, JessyHerc.

Trees of Valinor inspired pendant by jessy25522 Melkor's crown by jessy25522
Trees of Valinor necklace by jessy25522 Tolkien inspired bracelet by jessy25522
Valinor by jessy25522 Arwen Evenstar (2) by jessy25522


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

I’m 31 years old and I live in Slovenia with my boyfriend and our goofy German shepherd. I used to be a school teacher but now I’m a handcrafter and a proud owner of JessyHerc jewelry.

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

I actually saw the movies first. I was about 14 when The Fellowship of the Ring movie came out and I was fascinated with all the creatures and the world itself. A few years later I read the books as well and after that I was completely hooked.

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

I would say it’s a mixture of all these things. I started with the movies, then read the books, and when I started making Tolkien inspired jewelry, I also checked out a lot of other artist. All this then mixed into my own image of Middle Earth.

4. 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 do. I find the world which Tolkien created so interesting, that I don’t mind that some of it is written as a history book. However, I do usually skip through the lists of names, because I know I won’t remember them anyway.

5. Who is your favourite Tolkien character and why?

I don’t have an absolute favourite character, but there are a few that stand out to me.
Gandalf is one of them, for example. I love his wisdom in everything that he does and says, and in the way he uses his powers. I also remember that his “all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us” speech made a big impact on me when I first read The Lord of the Rings.
Luthien is another character that impressed me. I guess I have a thing for strong, capable women in literate.
I also like the Ents, but I can’t really explain why. I think it has something to do with the way they were portrayed in the movies.
Oh, and Tom Bombadil! When I read the books, I actually got angry with the movies for leaving him out.

6. Now, could you tell us something about your jewelry? When did you start doing it, and is a job for you or a hobby?

I’ve been making my own jewelry since I was little, but I didn’t start selling it until about 5 years ago. At first I treated it as a hobby that happened to bring in some extra spending money, but after some time it grew into a full time job. So I quit the job I had at the time and focused solely on my business, and I’ve been making a living with my jewelry ever since.

7. Do you rather keep to the techniques you are familiar with, or do you experiment with new ones as well?

I’ve been using a technique called wire-wrapping for the last few years and haven’t experimented with anything else for a while. There are two reasons for that. First, wire-wrapping is perfect for creating my favourite design – a tree. Second, I can see that I’m still making progress with my wire-wrapping skill and that there’s still much room to improve and to create new designs, so I want to see how far I can take this technique.

8. Trees are a leading theme in your jewelry. Are trees special to you?

I love nature and a tree is a perfect symbol of nature. I also like the shape of trees itself, the way the trunk can grow straight or crooked, the way the branches divide and twist. Every single tree is shaped differently and I find that beautiful. And I like the simple shape of a tree leaf as well, so I also created a design for that.

White Tree of Gondor necklace by jessy25522 Leaf necklace with labradorite gemstone by jessy25522

9. What about your most often depicted Tolkien related topic - Telperion and Laurelin? How do you always come with a new and unique variation of this theme and do you think you will ever have enough of them?

The new variations of the same piece of jewelry go hand in hand with my growing skill as a jewelry maker. The very first Laurelin pendant that I made for myself was very basic and simple, not because I couldn’t think up a more intricate design, but because it was my first attempt at wire-wrapping and that was all I was able to craft at the time. But as my wire-wrapping skill improved, I was able to make more and more intricate designs, so I ended up with many variations of the same theme.
I don’t think I will ever get tired of doing the two trees, because the story surrounding them is very special to me. I’m even thinking of getting a tattoo of them.

Trees of Valinor earrings by jessy25522

10. Much of the uniqueness of your jewels is in the stones you use. What comes first - stone or idea? Do you pick the best stone for an idea you have in mind or get the inspiration for it when looking at a stone?

Most often the design starts with an idea. I then go look through my box of gemstones and pick out the one I think will work best for what I’m envisioning in my mind. But sometimes I just mindlessly look through the stones and find one that stands out to me for some reason. I then just stare at it until I figure out what it “wants to become”. This is how the teardrop pendant with the tiny tree was created. I picked up a labradorite stone that had such a wonderful shine that I couldn’t cover it with a tree, but at the same time, I wanted to put a tree in there.

Labradorite pendant by jessy25522

11. You also sell your art through your website www.jessyherc.com/collections. How does it feel to part with a jewel you created and sold? Are there some you would rather keep for yourself?

Making and selling jewelry is my sole source of income, so I get excited about every single sale I make and I’m happy to send the jewelry to my customers. But every now and then I do make a piece that is hard to let go, and sometimes (very rarely) I will keep it for myself.

12. Which piece of jewelery was hardest to make?
Trees of Valinor necklace by jessy25522

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 would never be where I am as a jewelry maker if it weren’t for my boyfriend. He’s the one who believed that my creations should be shared with the world, so he set up my Etsy shop and spread the word about my jewelry through social media. A few years later, I’m living the dream of making a living with my hobby. So I’m very thankful for everything he’s done.

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

Just that I’m thankful for all the support and positive feedback I’ve gotten from them.

Thank you for your time and answers!


Coding by Felizias Drawings by ebe-kastein Borders by PhoenixWildfire

Talks with Tolkien artists: Dalandel

Journal Entry: Sun Dec 9, 2018, 1:53 PM


Here is a person who read the Silmarillion at the age of 11 :) Meet :icondalandel: - Dalandel and her portraits of Tolkien characters. You can see a few of the here, and all in her Tolkien gallery.

Mairon by Dalandel Feanor and young Curufin by Dalandel
Caranthir the Dark by Dalandel Finarfin by Dalandel
Manwe by Dalandel Young Maitimo by Dalandel

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

Hello! I'm Dalandel (also known as Anka). I'm 29 and originally from Sea Lapland of Finland, from where I've migrated down south a few years back. I like to read, write and draw - all of which I should honestly do more, but alas. I've drawn digitally since 2012, back then armed with just my sturdy mouse and Paint Tool SAI. Around 2015 I got my trusty Wacom tablet, and that was also when I got more into Tolkien fandom after being a solitary wolf for years.

Is there a story behind your nick? How did you pick it and what brought you to DeviantArt?

I must have lurked around DeviantArt without an account for years before I finally made mine around the time I started doing digital art. My nickname was Wanamuska back then, derived from another old nick. I changed to Dalandel when I wanted to unify the various forms of my internet presence and bring most things under the same name. It doesn’t mean anything but does taste sort of “flowery” in my mouth. Originally Dalandel was a character of mine in World of Warcraft.

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

It was The Silmarillion that really got me hooked at around 11 years of age. I read it to my mother with a voice suitably full of pathos and fell in love with the tragedy and imagery while at it. Everything about it pleased my detail-oriented mind. The Silmarillion is like a written permission to go nuts with imagination. In a world terribly goal-driven, it’s vital for us see that unfinished, unpolished things can be just as rich, exciting and fulfilling. Tolkien never put the pen down and said, “hey I think I’m done.” That’s why I can still pick up his stories, read and think “hey I didn’t notice this thing before” after almost twenty years. That’s why there’s still that sense of mystery which stayed with me when I read something of his for the first time.

Wow, usually a 11-years old would start with The Hobbit, you got straight to The Silmarillion? :D (Big Grin) What creates the image of Middle-earth in your mind now, after the movies? Is it more influenced by the books or movies, or maybe other artists, and did it change over time or remained the same?

Hehe yes, imagine my surprise when I “backtracked” and read The Hobbit.

Movies for sure have influenced my mind’s eye. I’d like to say that it’s mostly the costumes and sets, which are gorgeous (especially Imladris and Lothlórien!) but of course that’s not the whole truth. I’ve tried to pull back from that and create my own personal headcanons, using wilder colours and creating mishmash fashion, and leeching atmosphere from whichever piece of media has tickled my fancy at a time. I’ve yet to venture into creating landscapes for other means than making backgrounds for my portraits, but that could be interesting to try in the future.

I’ve seen countless pieces of beautiful fan art from various artists on DeviantArt and Tumblr, but it’s hard to say which of them have influenced me the most. My style’s still trying to settle into its place, guided mostly by intuition, trial and error. I have a great love for Akseli Gallen-Kallela, who’s known for his Kalevala-themed paintings, and I have a thing for Alphonse Mucha’s dainty, detailed style. My personal challenge is to develop my knowledge of anatomy and create more dynamic poses. Let’s just say static portraits are my comfort area…

Who is your favourite Tolkien character and why?

If I must choose just one, it would be Fëanor. I have drawn, written, meta’ed and role-played him so much the past few years, just trying to get inside his head. He’s terrifying – his passions burn so hot they cross far beyond the limits of sane and healthy. He’s brilliant and beautiful, and his end is such a horrifying waste. Even the brightest can fall, and he falls hard. While he is the Ultimate Elf, the epitome of the might and ingenuity of his race, he becomes a cautionary example of where lack of humility can take a person, and how absence of self-restraint can cloud better judgment. He’s complicated. I often wonder how much of his ultimate demise is the result of his background and circumstances – how much of it is born of his turbulent nature, and where destiny comes to play. Does he truly have a choice in the end? How much of his horrible march towards death and disaster is premeditated by powers greater than him? Should one be held fully accountable for their own moves if the opponent keeps changing the rules? Is Fëanor a monster on his own right, or is he a pawn in a divine game – or just driven insane by loss and paranoia? I feel he’s swept aside early in the story just because his mere existence upsets the status quo too much.

That's a complicated and intriguing character indeed! Are there some other topics in Tolkien's works that you are particularly passionate about?

A broad and exciting question! I went and had a talk with a co-writer friend, and she pointed out my love for redemption arcs… She might be onto something. I love the what ifs. I adore the beautifully flawed characters and exploring what makes them tick. Male characters not derided for their emotions. Interpersonal relationships. Exploring the elven culture. Dissonance between the Children and the Gods. Unconditional love, and the possessive kind.

Let's talk about your art now. What's your creative process from picking the theme to finishing a picture?

The real artists will frown at me now, but there’s pretty much no solid routine going on. I have a vague image in my head (I usually don’t do actual face-claims, I might pick a photo to check proportions and perspective and such), and I sketch it usually three times layer on top of a layer. That part tends to be messy, I don’t have a very steady hand – and I never learned to use the actual line-art layers, or even liked them when I tried. I fill the sketch in with flat colours first and usually adjust those again and maybe choose a texture for skin. At the moment all my textures and brushes are default ones (there was a bit of a classic computer self-destruction action going on a couple of years ago, and I never got around reacquiring them). They go a long way for me. I use a lot of separate layers, which usually results in a bit of a mess, but that seems to be how I naturally roll – especially towards the end I tend to do a lot of tiny corrections on different layers. The last 20% is my favourite time – I’ll fiddle with colours, textures, add detail, add all sorts of little jewellery and glow and finish the background. That stage can take days for me if I’m really into it. My eye likes busy, full images. It’s an adventure to get there, and usually the result is 75% different from the initial plan. Sounds chaotic? It is, hehe.

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

The last couple of years most of my creativeness has gone towards Tolkien fandom or some obscure personal projects, but I’ve done a couple of drawings with my depictions of angels per my interest in theology, and some related to folklore and different forms of pagan faith. I enjoy looking at art from different eras, from Amarna art to Norse art, to Medieval and Byzantine and – well, the list goes on. Depictions of humankind and their relationship with their creators interests me, and I appreciate anything that has to do with one’s love for their home. I’m attracted to buildings and places full of history and could stay put there just imagining things for hours, wondering what kind of people have passed there before me, and I so wish I could travel more than I do. Prague and many sites in Greece which I’ve been fortunate enough to visit are particular favourites.

Moving on to other things… In literature, I’m fond of Lynn Flewelling’s The Nightrunner Series, Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s Universe, and pretty much anything from Conn Iggulden. I’m interested – and invested – in feminist and sexual/gender minority themes, and always looking for recommendations for good stories with that kind of content.

Regarding movies and series, I’m an old Star Wars fan, and besides that have a horrible tendency to binge Netflix, from where I’ve gained many new favourites during the past few years. I like things which go out of the ordinary, and you can get me hooked with interesting supernatural, sci-fi or fantasy elements, or good quality retellings of historical events. A few weeks ago, I caved in and watched the original Blade Runner after being bugged about it for years (and being told that a person can’t be complete without seeing it at least once), and well… I should have believed them when they first made their case. That movie was a big treat.

I can’t not mention Peter Jackson’s Lotr-trilogy, though that one’s a huge, huge given and we have discussed it above already, hehe.

Most importantly, I’m lucky enough to have like-minded friends who bounce all sorts of crazy ideas with me. Life would be so much poorer without them.

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’ve drawn 98% in digital format since too long for several reasons – my fine motor skills are actually horrendous, so I enjoy having the power of Ctrl+Z, and besides that, my tiny tablet has paid itself back several times in art supplies. I occasionally miss being organic, but I do love the convenience of not making a mess and not having to worry about mistakes and of course being able to finetune colours whenever I want. I’d like to get into acrylic painting, though, and learn to bring my art on multiple mediums. Who knows, I might find something that suits me.

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

For me, I find that the most important thing is to look at art! Even when I have a dry spell, I try to make sure to look at pieces I like, give my favourite artists’ new works that extra attention. I ask myself how would I go about doing this myself? Even if I never will, it’s a good mental exercise. When I lie awake at night, I draw in my mind, at times consciously paying attention to tiny details, and sometimes I just let the brush go wild and make the whole thing a meditative explosion of colour to reflect how I feel about myself and the day I lived through. Even after there’s been weeks or months without touching the pen for whatever real-life reason, I find that I sometimes take leaps in my art regardless.

You get told you should practise, practise, practise some more, and of course that’s the best advice to give to anyone wanting to learn how to draw, but the sum of creation is equally about vision, maturity and mood. Art is art no matter how skilled you’re at it. Everyone should be encouraged to create freely. Without taking away from the hard work and dedication of people who make a living with their hard-acquired skills, I do believe we are all artists. It’s humanity’s default setting. Everyone should be encouraged to create art and find their own voice. You can come back to it, and sometimes you find yourself in the place you needed to be. I think it’s incredibly comforting.

Besides that, life imitates art, and having that twinkle in your eye when you go about your day just makes it a bit more interesting and special for you. There’s so much to discover and appreciate.

That's a really great advice! Now could you show us, which
- Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?

At the moment, probably this one. I love Maedhros and Maglor and I’m still fond of this concept and feel like I managed to capture something of them here.

Maedhros And Maglor by Dalandel

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

Oh goodness. Maybe this one. I liked it a huge lot when I finished it, and it’s not too painful to look at now, hehe.

Morning Star by Dalandel

- picture fits your current mood?

Could we have some snow already?

Grinding Ice by Dalandel

- picture was hardest to paint?

Can I show you this? It was such an ambitious pose for me to pull off, I’m not sure how I managed it as well as I did. Obviously it’s got some problems, but I’m still reasonably happy with it.

Happier Times (Russingon) by Dalandel
- other picture you would like to share with us and why?

Let’s go with this one, my newest. I like the composition and the colours a lot, and in my own horribly biased opinion the atmosphere turned out pretty nice too!

A Mother's Love by Dalandel

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 the people who have favourited and commented on my works and inspired me to paint more. Special thanks to the bassist at home for listening to my endless elf rants, and to my friends Myssy, Ana, Felix, Raiyana and Andii, all of which have been a huge source of inspiration, support and encouragement. Love you guys.

And I’d like to thank you for this chance. I’ve enjoyed reading these interviews and being able to do one with you has been great!

My pleasure! Would you also 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?

Absolutely! Here’s my dear friend OracleofImladris who just remade her account here. She’s an avid fan of Tolkien and an overall enthusiastic, fun and generous person. Besides all that, she’s such a talented artist. I mean, look at this beauteous Glorfindel here:

Glorfindel Portrait by OracleofImladris


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

Thank you all for the beautiful community – it’s a gift that keeps on giving, full of devoted, friendly and talented people. I’m looking forward to seeing what you all come up with the following years!

Thank you for your time and answers!


Coding by Felizias Drawings by ebe-kastein Borders by PhoenixWildfire

Talks with Tolkien artists: Skvorr

Journal Entry: Sun Dec 2, 2018, 1:22 PM


It is my pleasure to introduce a talented ukrainian artist :iconskvorr: - Skvorr to you with this talk. If you follow her gallery, you can not only find great Tolkien themed art, but also many interesting adpotables or commission a painting just for you.

Summer Finrod by Skvorr Fingon, Maedhros, Maglor by Skvorr
Melkor by Skvorr Fingon by Skvorr
Evolution of Maedhros by Skvorr
Melkor and Sauron by Skvorr Finrod by Skvorr


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

Hello! First of all, I should apologize for my bad English. I hope you tolerate my mistakes.
My name is Natalia, I am twenty two years old and I live in Ukraine. At the moment I get a diploma of higher education in the field of painting, and in the future I plan to continue to develop in this area. I am interested in fantasy, RPG and board games.

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


I was looking for a suitable platform for my creativity outside the CIS, and deviatArt seemed to me to be the most convenient site where it was easy to get started. But my username has a long history. In social networks I use the name Starling (in Russian it will be read as Skvoretc). Gradually, this word was reduced to Skvorr.

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

This is a strange story. I first met Arda in early childhood, when my mother bought me a Hobbit, but I really got carried away only a few years ago. My favorite person introduced me to this world, showing it from a completely different side. In any case, both of my "first" times left a surprising aftertaste of magic.

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 did it change over time or remained the same?

I think, like many, I was influenced by Jackson's film adaptation. The design in them is really great. But I was faced with the fact that many people directly copy it, which is why there is a lack of diversity. Now I’m trying to add more Romance to my fan art.

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 is what I like. I love the Silmarillion, but the Lord of the Rings is cold enough. I like innuendo and the ability to analyze, to seek the truth.

6. Who is your favourite Tolkien character and why?

Maedhros, perhaps. This character has such a hot mixture of nobility and dishonor, devotion and betrayal, incredible inner strength that he can leave very few people indifferent. It is a pity that many underestimate him.

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


Yes. I like the motive of senselessness of war. In addition, even the dark characters of Tolkien are not evil initially. Melkor and Sauron built their way, initially guided by no evil intentions. It makes you wonder.

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 make art a living, although I paint only four years. I always wanted my style to resemble the work of Asians, like Ruan Jia, but to this I was very far away.

9. What's your creative process from picking the theme to finishing a picture?

The most standard process. I make a lot of quick sketches, trying to find a good composition and idea, and then just draw.

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

I once drew a little on Dragon age, but now somehow I don’t want to.

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 am always looking for ways to get better. Right now I'm learning 3D, and I hope to embed it in my work soon. Traditional techniques are something I'm not very fond of, but among them I like watercolor, oil and coal.

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

I have one piece of advice: do not look for easy ways.

13. You offer commissions, adopts and "your character here" pictures. What is your experience with this type of business so far? Would you recommend it to artists looking for a side-income?

YCH I started to study quite recently and I can advise very little. It can be hard to find customers, but this is an interesting job.

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

I have an illustration for the Silmarillion, which causes me the greatest pride, although it is rather old. I created it with love and excitement, and I think it feels.

Tol-in-Gaurhoth by Skvorr

- picture was hardest to paint?

The work on Irmo was the most difficult for me. There is a complex color scheme; it was not easy to maintain a balance.

Irmo commission by Skvorr

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

In addition to her, I like this adopt. I drew and sold many adopts, but this design still seems to me to be the best.

Adopt Auction [Closed] by Skvorr

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 cannot say that I have ever had people supporting me on my way. But at one time I was very inspired by the games Bioware, I wanted to work on creating them. Until now, this dream partially makes me strive for the best. My grandmother also helped me a lot. She is a good person, and the only one immediately accepted my choice.

16. 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?

There is one amazing artist who paints interesting art in an unusual style, but her audience is very small. I will be glad if you pay attention to it. fav.me/dcq57zf fav.me/dcb1vx6 fav.me/dcd2gjb

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

I do not think that I am so famous to have fans. But Tolkien fans should know for sure that they are amazing people, and everyone makes their own contribution so that Arda is not soon forgotten. This is really cool, guys. I admire you.

Thank you for your time and answers!


Coding by Felizias Drawings by ebe-kastein Borders by PhoenixWildfire
Banner 01 by MirachRavaia
Again the time came for a Joker theme in December & January.

Like in a game of cards you can use the Joker card to replace any other, now you can pick any of the past challenges that stir your imagination and write a story or create art for it. You can finally write that story you wanted to write for that challenge once, but didn't have time for it, or write a story for some of the challenges that Teitho had before you even knew about its existence! You can see the list of all challenges in the left column of the Teitho website. Please include the title of the challenge you used with your story.

And the winners are:
Herb-lore by Mirach 2nd place :trophy:
Imrahil's Bedtime Tale by Eschscholzia
Practice Makes Perfect by Carawyn 3rd place :trophy:
The Lady of Tears by quodamat 1st place :trophy:

If you would like to illustrate any of these stories, you can take part in our special all-year-round artistic challenge! (We had no participants this time, otherwise we would announce the winners here. We hope we will have some in the following year!)

The Teitho archive does not allow reviews, but as soon as the stories are posted somewhere else online, we will update the stories with a link. Follow us on facebook, tumblr or twitter to get a notification about this!

And this is the winner and participation banner for this challenge:

Happy reading and congratulations to the winners!

Your Teitho-moderators,


Banner 02 by MirachRavaia

Talks with Tolkien artists: FrerinHagsolb

Journal Entry: Tue Nov 20, 2018, 4:24 AM


The interviews got a bit less frequent lately, as I ran out of those prepared in advance, but don't worry about them stopping! (I just hope the new site design doesn't mess up the journals too much...). So here is the next in the series, a talk with a young German artist :iconfrerinhagsolb: - FrerinHagsolb. You can see a few examples of her art here, but check also her full J.R.R.Tolkien gallery!

Rising of the Night by FrerinHagsolb
Beleg's Death by FrerinHagsolb Hotbed of Darkness (Angband) by FrerinHagsolb
Weakness for Power  [15] by FrerinHagsolb Dragon Sickness by FrerinHagsolb
Lull The Black Foe (Luthien and Morgoth) by FrerinHagsolb Well, It was a Try...  [31] by FrerinHagsolb


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

Hello!
My name is Floris (or also Frerin online), and I'm an 19-year-old girl from Germany, currently doing my last year of Abitur (school). I always loved to draw and create things and I spend most of my free time beside school on it, dreaming of including art in my profession later.

Why Thorin's brother as a username, and what is the meaning of Hagsolb?

My whole username is actually an anagramm.
Since I began to keep myself busy with Tolkien's stories, dwarves had a big effect on me. It is hard to tell where it exactly comes from, but they intrigue me. Maybe because their history lets a lot of question open. It was similar when I had a look at the family tree of Durin for the first time and saw Dís' and Frerin's names. I wondered why not more was said about them said, although they actually would be important in their milieu.
Then we had a school project, the first task was to create a new name out of our own one. I had a lot of problems with mine, I don't have the most pleasant letters for that. :D (Big Grin) But then I saw I was able to form 'Frerin'. I was glad about that, it was a hint at my interest for Tolkien and especially for dwarves at the same time. So, 'Hagsolb' are, except for one letter I omitted at the time, the remaining letters. It is definitely not the most beautiful name, but it has its reasons. :D (Big Grin)
A short time after I decided to create an DA-profile and the anagramm was a good possibility to use something different than my common name.

That's cool! :) (Smile) When was it, that you I began to keep yourself busy with Tolkien's stories? What was your first glimpse into his world and what impression did it leave in you?

Not a very long time ago, actually.
I heard of Tolkien's work before, most time through some class mates who talked about 'The Lord of the Rings' or by reading the spines of my dad's books, but I didn't care much about it at the time, although I remember it quite well now.
But when it really began for me was when I started reading (or listening to) the books, of course. It was when they said they would film 'The Hobbit'.
We keep the motto not to watch movies without reading the books before, at least most of the time. My dad came to my brother and me and said 'This is a good moment to bring you into the genre.' And so we sat down every evening and read 'The Hobbit' together. I totally fell in love with the story, it was a wonderful time with the family and I connect many positive moments with it, despite the tragic parts in the stories. Well, after 'The Hobbit' 'The Lord of the Rings' followed the same way and my interest in Tolkien's work grew every day. After this time, I started to read 'The Silmarillion', 'The Children of Húrin' and several times 'The Hobbit' by myself.
I was (and of course still am) fascinated of Middle Earth and the stories, tragic and beautiful at the same time. Tolkien's ideas and his way of writing opened a new world for me.

I approve of your dad :D (Big Grin) What creates the image of Middle-earth in your mind now, after you both read the books and saw the movies? Is it more influenced by the books or movies, or maybe other artists, and did it change over time or remained the same?

Oh, these are always the most difficult questions...it is just difficult to answer, there is so much that counts in. :D (Big Grin)
It is definitely a mixture of all things.
I had few different imaginations when we read 'The Hobbit' which was replaced by the movie versions, maybe the funniest example: Thranduil. It is not that I imagine Thranduil just like the movies now, but it changed my basic idea of elves. There is the scene in the book when it is said that the Woodland King has a favour for wine and - it didn't matter if it was written before that elves are beautiful, I totally ignored that - I imagined him as fat and ugly guy, maybe also because of the fact he imprisoned the dwarves. :D (Big Grin) I really had to laugh when I saw Lee Pace's design in the cinema.
The first movie of 'The Hobbit' was the very first visualization I saw of Middle Earth and so the movies definitely had a lot influence on me. I bought the art and design chronicles they published and those concepts (mainly impressed by John Howe, Alan Lee and Nick Keller's illustrations), the movies and the imaginations I had when reading the books were the basic for the following stories. But the more I read of the stories, the more those images developed, often just by small sentences.
Still, it was difficult for me to come along with own drawings, and I mostly did fan art things of 'The Hobbit' movies. Which is not bad, I still enjoy doing it. :D (Big Grin) But I think I was a bit awed by all the amazing official illustrations that already existed. It were all the wonderful artists on DA then, which showed me that it is possible to get to the stories through many own ways, I think.

The next question will be simpler then (maybe :D (Big Grin)) Who is your favourite Tolkien character and why?

I should take back what I said. :D (Big Grin) But it is a bit easier...
When it comes to a search for a travelling companion, surely Sam. He proved this more than enough, in my opinion.
But also Túrin and Thorin. I don't think travelling would be the best thing with them (they also proved that), but they are very interesting because of their difficult stories and problems, more or less caused by themselves. Still, they are no bad guys and both realize that some things went really wrong, which makes it quite tragic. I know there are more characters for whom the same is valid, but the two are still my favourites.

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

I often feel like I know nothing about the works...not in the literally sense, but there is always something to learn more about, in my opinion I'm still at the beginning. Although I read 'The Silmarillion', I just did it one time, the same with 'The Lord of the Rings'. I think it needs closer looks again after reading the 'main works', to understand different connections, relationships and characters better. That Tolkien's Middle Earth works hang together and include many different parts and individual stories is something that passionates me in general.
But also, as I already said, dwarves and their culture.

And what about you and art? How did you get to it and do you plant to pursue it as a career?

I always loved drawing, painting and trying different materials in these sections, also including ceramics. Art and creating was a fascinating thing for me and something with what I always had an activity whereever I was and a way to express myself. That's what I love about drawing and painting, it actually doesn't need many or expensive materials to do it.
I started with traditional drawing and painting as a small kid, but few years later, when my mom bought a drawing tablet for her work, I tried some things with it, too, but it was always more playing around. It was about 2 years ago I started to take digital art more seriously for myself, but still the traditional way is something I do more often than that.
So I can't name a special date or year when I started with art, but I had the carrer aspiration to work in an artistic way quite early, since the 4th year of school, I think. And it stayed. I'm really interested in comics, graphic novels as well as Illustration in general and concept art, I love the way the things tell stories through pictures. And this is also something I'd wish to do later. But first, I'm searching for Universities. :D (Big Grin)

What's your creative process from picking the theme to finishing a picture?

It actually always starts with a spontaneous feeling or thought on different things- and I sketch it. It doesn't look really beautiful, but it is for the idea. I have tons of such rough sketches, but not the time or strength to realize all. So, some get abandoned over the time, others lay aside to get developed further/spend more thoughts on the basic idea and some get realized immediately. When it comes to the 'real' product, I always make a rough sketch again, refine it more, and then come to the main material - may it be ink, watercolour, or digital.
Most times, I draw or paint on instinct and often keep experimenting and in every stage other ideas come to the work or things get modified. How much it changes over the process is often associated with the materials and time: ink for exmaple is something I can work quite fast with, watercolours need more time and thoughts because of the colours.
For example, the whole process for the pictures were extending over 4 days for the ink work, and few weeks for the watercolour:
The final work looks often different than I thought of it in the beginning. :D (Big Grin)

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

There is a lot that inspires me, like travelling, nature, landscapes, cultures, much inspiration comes from music in combination with it. But actually at first: People. In any case, may it be 'random' strangers I see on the street or in public transport, my friends/classmates, my family. I love how different people are, in their appearance, character and acting. I never really draw all the things how I see them, but it always inspires me.
But of course also visual art, the sorytelling through art (for example in graphic novels), books and movies.
I love animation and how it is possible to exaggerate a character, I'm in love with Pixar's creations. Otherwise, I often watch action or sci-fi movies, and I also like the critical discussion of future things or human behaviour in books, may it be all-day life, dystopian or something like the robot-stories by Asimov. Anyway, those books and movies are something that doesn't really inspires me to create art directly, it is more thinking about it and those thoughts may have influence on different art pieces.

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?

When I'm working traditionally, I mostly use ink/ ink pens or watercolours, I really enjoy working with it, also digital. Those are the things I've got at home or which are the easiest to work with in this work space, but I always love experimenting and trying out new things.
The one that was the most experimental thing I've done for now was probably painting with cocoa, drawing on wood or, what I do at the moment, painting on glass.
Working with new materials is for me a way to get new challenges and experiences. :D (Big Grin)
And with the use of different materials and techniques the style changes a bit, too, in my opinion. I don't spend much thoughts on style, so it is difficult to assess.

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

Mmh, maybe a general tip I learned over the time: Art takes time. :D (Big Grin) What I mean with it: In between, an artwork can look quite strange, with some mistakes, but this doesn't mean it is lost. For me it helps to put it away and have a look at it later again, but carrying on. I often take photos from the work in progress, and seeing how it developed motivates me for other drawing processes, too.

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

Beleg's Death by FrerinHagsolb
I'm always proud when I finish a work, whatever it is. :D (Big Grin) But in this work I love how it came out. The colours in the original work are better and in general I didn't have much trouble with it.

But also this:
Thorin Oakenshield ('Speedpaint') by FrerinHagsolb
It started as a speedpaint, but went a bit further. In the end, I really liked the mixture of roughness and few details.

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

Knowledge (Tattoo Design) by FrerinHagsolb
'Most proud of' is maybe not the best description, but this was a tattoo design my dad asked for which is in work right now, so it is something special.

- picture fits your current mood?

A Moment of Rest by FrerinHagsolb

- picture was hardest to paint?

Turin's Death by FrerinHagsolb
Probably this. Mostly because of the colours and shadows (not quite happy with them), if they should be warm or cold...but I got great help from a friend.

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

A Way Back (World Sepsis Day) by FrerinHagsolb
Because of the subject matter,

Sketching through Iceland by FrerinHagsolb
as a traveling project: Sketching characters every day

and this guy
Am Ende einer Reise by FrerinHagsolb
as character for a graphic novel I'm working on.

So you are working on a graphic novel? What is it about?

It is about loneliness/solitude and getting lost in the anonymity of a society. The drawings should focus more on the developments of the feeling and the young man getting aware of his situation than on a line of action. I'm still collecting situations/aspects and information (and I think this will never stop), but started to write the script, too. It will be a long project, but I hope to get a result to publish in the end.

Interesting, good luck with that!
You also took part in the Inktober project with a series of 31 pictures, with many from Middle-earth. Was it difficult to keep up with it? Do you recommend taking such a challenge?

Thank you!
For Inktober, I didn't want to specialize on one topic, I wanted to keep different possibilities and ideas open. So I've not only created Tolkien-related works, but some. However, it was definitely an enriching challenge. Although it got a bit stressful for me in the end (because of school), I'm glad I made it in the 31 days. I learned a lot for the working process and coming up with new ideas every day. Maybe the results don't get how they should be in such a short time, but I think with challenges like Inktober there are many personal gains, I think it is worth trying it.


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.

Oh, thanking someone could be an endless list, I think...I'm always afraid that I forget someone. :D (Big Grin) So I would like to say a general thank you to all the supporting Deviants on this platform. Since I started the account I received so many positive and constructive feedback which always encourages me.
But I think there is no greater support than the one I receive from my family and friends. They supported me all my life, may it be physical or mental, with materials, feedback, understanding and interest or just the help in the all-day life so that I still can practice my hobby.

Would you also 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?

I think as some examples for Tolkien artists I'd like to feature :iconephaistien: :iconirsanna: :iconmellaril: :iconmatejcadil: :iconsamo-art: :iconwolfanita:  :iconaegeri: and :iconeirwen980:, I always enjoy their work, they do amazing jobs...But damn, there are so many wonderful artists, so many with little to no attention, it is hard to pick one, although they'd all deserve it. It is hard for me to pick someone.

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

Tolkien's stories open so many different doors to common and personal issues and there are so many ways to go through these. This is not only valid for Tolkien's world, but for everything else as well. Everyone has its own way to see a story and get inspired from it, and the result of all the variety shows this and makes the whole alive. I am a dummy!
This sounded a bit strange, I think. What I meant is just: Keep getting inspired and creating!

Thank you for your time and answers!


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

Our theme for November and December is Curiosity.

Curiosity is primarily defined as a strong desire to know or learn something. It is a characteristic we see in the youngest of children and is a concept we carry with us our entire lives.

Curiosity is a keen interest, a spirit of inquiry or inquisitiveness. It can be a child's first exploration of the world around them, a teenager's inquiry into affairs they are not meant to privy to quite yet, a traveler's interest in a new location or culture.

Curiosity can be a benign attribute, evoking encouragement or amusement in those it is directed towards.

But curiosity can also have a more sinister side, when unbridled inquisitiveness becomes intrusive or delves too deeply into secrets or situations better left alone. Sometimes our curiosity gets the better of us and we end up discovering something we were not meant to know. Or finding ourselves in awkward situations of having overstepped boundaries or betraying a trust. Curiosity can result in finding oneself in unsavory circumstances.There is yet another permutation of curiosity—defined as a strange or unusual object or fact.

Will your story invoke the unquenchable curiosity of a young hobbit? Or a Wood Elf's yearning for more understanding of the greater world? Are secrets uncovered by a solitary Dwarf that would have been better left alone?

Does your story take a character along a line of questioning that benefits them or leads to misunderstandings?

Did the residents of Hobbiton think Bilbo's mementos from his travels were mere curiosities of no consequence?

Whatever you decide to present - curiosity as a pursuit of knowledge, or as a prying irritation or even as an unexpected object or realization - please show some curiosity and review our rules for submission.

And the winners are:
A Curious Ailment by Quodamat 1st place Trophy
Down by the Docks by Mysterious Jedi 2nd place Trophy
Echoes by Sian22 1st place Trophy

If you would like to illustrate any of these stories, you can take part in our special all-year-round artistic challenge!

The Teitho archive does not allow reviews, but as soon as the stories are posted somewhere else online, we will update the stories with a link. Follow us on facebook, tumblr or twitter to get a notification about this!

And this is the winner and participation banner for this challenge:

Happy reading and congratulations to the winners!

Your Teitho-moderators,

Banner 02 by MirachRavaia    

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