Talks with Tolkien arists: steamey

10 min read

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MirachRavaia's avatar
By MirachRavaia

Previous talks :bulletblue: with Gold-Seven

In the "Talks with Tolkien artists", we will not only talk with the most famous artists, but also bring new (on this site) or underappreciated artists to your attention. :iconsteamey: - steamey started posting her wonderful illustrations of Tolkien's works only a few months ago, despite being on dA for two years already. I talked with her about Middle-earth and her art. But first, enjoy a sample from her gallery:

To the Menegroth by steamey
Elu Thingol and the Dwarves of Nogrod in Menegroth by steamey  Feanor with silmaril by steamey 
Haleth by steamey  Ten cats of Queen Beruthiel by steamey
Finwe near his wife Miriel Serinde by steamey Ar-Pharazon by steamey
1. Hello! Besides your obvious talent, there is not much we can tell about you from looking at your dA profile. Could you tell us something about yourself?

Hi! My name is Olga, but at dA I have the nickname `steamey`. I am 26 years old... What can I tell about myself? I love summer, long walks, classic literature, music and painting. Usually people have formed a wrong opinion about me, I don't know why. I try to be honest in life and in work.

2. When did you read Tolkien's books for the first time, and what impression did they leave in you?

The first time I read the `Lord of the rings` 11 years ago. I remember it was a fragment of Pippin and Gandalf`s travel to Minas Tirith. I didn`t know the author's name or title of the book, but the text bewitched me. I could see everything happening as if i was there. This is something incredible!

3. How extensive is your knowledge of Middle-earth? Do you consider yourself Tolkien nerd?

About myself I know that if I get excited about something I'm starting to learn everything related to this theme. And so one by one I read all books than i could get at bookstores."The Silmarillion", "The Hobbit", "The Lord of the Rings", Tolkien's biography, letters, several researches of his work... even fairy tales and poems. So I think that I have somewhere intermediate to advanced level of knowledge.

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 When the movies came out, many of the inner pictures of characters and scenes in the mind of the readers have been replaced by actors and settings from the movie.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

Only partly, although I read the book after watching movies. I am very grateful to the team of Peter Jackson for the creation of a visual image from the book. They did an amazing work! When I read the trilogy, much of this seemed to me the same as in the movie... I mean the characters and locations. But of course not all, because (thank God!) the human imagination works individually. Every man has his vision.

5. 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?

Yes, I am a professional artist. When I was younger, I attended an art school, just like all others who wants to get an interesting job in the future. Everyone starts with this.
But now I feel closer to digital art. In my works I would like to combine elegance, romance, ease of pre-raphaelite style with the ingenuity of artists such as Donato Giancola and Justin Gerard.

6. Many of your pictures depict scenes that are not often seen in Tolkien fanart. Is that your intention? What influences the choice of what part of the books will you illustrate?

It`s because that parts of book do not attract attention. Or can`t inspire others artists. Once i counted at least 30 different images of Eowyn fighting with Witch King. 30! What for? While some of the Silmarillion`s characters can not be seen anywhere else!  To draw on the well-known story is the same as that trying to re-invent the wheel. Isn't it better instead try to "discover America"?

7. Where do you look for inspiration for your painings, not only from contentual, but also artistic side? Do you use references?

I find inspiration in classical oil painting art by old masters. Definitely.

8. Your medium of choice seems to be digital art. Did/do you experiment with other art forms as well?

Not any more. I've dealt with this before, while studying. You know, all these heads of Socrates, Antinous and Voltaire... gypsum figures and forms. Maybe someday I will return to this.

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

Despite the fact that most of the visitors fell in love with the picture of Feanor, I like this one:
Beren, Luthien and Huan by steamey

- a picture that was hardest to paint?

And the hardest thing I had to work with,was this illustration:
Osse and teleri by steamey
(a lot of hair!)

10. 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.

Not just one, but but many authors working with digital landscapes in incredibly realistic style. And also people like :iconmichaelkutsche:

11. 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?

I liked the illustration by :iconfaqy: called `There and back again ...` I think that it`s quite nice, with bright colors and original pencil work.
there and back again... by faQy

I also like the series of tarot cards by :iconsceith-a:, it looks as both book illustration and as an independent work.
Tarot: The Emperor by Sceith-A  Tarot: The Chariot by Sceith-A  Tarot: Justice by Sceith-A

Also very interesting pictures by :iconwangyuxi:, such as `Strider` or `Soldier of Morgoth`. They are very charismatic and expressive.
Strider by Wangyuxi  Soldier of Morgoth by Wangyuxi

Thank you for the interview!

Rohirrim journal skin.

Horse head © 2009 - Grinmir-stock
Texture by kizistock
Knotwork by gbrgraphix
© 2013 - 2021 MirachRavaia
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EKukanova's avatar
Thank you for your work, Mirach! It's really interesting to know closer other Tolkien artists!:love:

And I think it could be interesting to know more of *Gerwell.
MirachRavaia's avatar
I'm glad you like the series! I have added *Gerwell to my list :) (I can't guarantee he will agree to be interviewed...)
VisAnastasis's avatar
Really wonderful interview, just like the last one!  
 I just adore the idea, and will look forward to every new one, both had been very beautiful and inspiring! 
My sole reaction =>    
MirachRavaia's avatar
Thank you very much! What do you think about the question? Will they not get boring if repeating some of them in every interview?
VisAnastasis's avatar
I, personally, like every question, it's all on place, and important, as,  despite repeating them, none artist has to have same opinion on same subject, and it doesn't get boring to read. Even if one or two questions are replied similarly, it doesn't change overall impression. Some questions are even important to interview, like impressions, like, how someone became attracted to Tolkien, what he specially likes about it, how he gets inspiration, all the good stuff. If we are to have insight in artists minds and views, there has to be as many interesting questions, repeating them from one blog to another doesn't matter. 
In summing up, just continue the good job, you are doing very nicely so far :love: 
Toradh's avatar
Im really enjoying this series of interviews :).

Repeated subject matters are an interesting issue. I, too, noticed that there is an incredible amount of Éowyn vs the Witchking pictures, but that probably won't keep me from doing my own version one day. I mean, each illustrator’s view has qualities of its own and deserves to be and deserves to be painted, no matter how many people have done it before.
Which doesn't mean I wouldn't encourage to illustrate lesser known scenes.
MirachRavaia's avatar
I think Éowyn and Witchking is a specific topic, because there was once a challenge at an art forum to illustrate this scene, and a lot of pictures come from this. But it's true that some scenes seem to be more visually powerful and inspiring than others. Illustrating something that nobody illustrated before has its own charm though.
Toradh's avatar
I think that scene was popular even before the days of internet, but it might be my imagination ;).

Anyway, true thing!
Zeonista's avatar
I am a big fan of steamy already. It was nice to see you give her the spotlight.
MirachRavaia's avatar
She deserves it!
Celerana-chan's avatar
Could you interview :iconmatsumotosensei: ?
MirachRavaia's avatar
Thank you for the suggestion, I will add her to my list!
rlkirkland's avatar
Oh my, great stuff!
aunjuli's avatar
This was a really wonderful read! :love:
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