In this talk, we will again make a trip into the dark side of Tolkien's Middle-earth, this time with - AncksiestasInh:
1. Hello! For the beginning, could you tell us something about yourself?
I’m Ancksiestas Inh! Also some people know me by another nickname that I was not planned to use as artist pseudonym, but it somehow settled down, and I had to accept that. tiamat_magrein – by this nick I can be found in VKontakte and Instagram.
Oh, what’s to say… I’m artist and I draw as much as I can remember myself, although there were some pauses. No one is immune from creative crisis. Also I write prose and poetry, but this is not so long ago as painting. I love music, solitude and nature.
Probably, as any another creative person, I’m one from those whom often roughly and ironically called as dreamers. Yes, I'm a dreamer to the most extreme and dangerous degrees with ensuing consequences. But is it so bad? Any person is given a certain amount of time to live. Why not to extend it by… dreaming, thereby sensing on own soul many things that are not available in everyday life. But maybe I grown but still remain child. In any case I don’t want to regret about it.
Dreaminess mixed with romance, philosophy, depression of loneliness in crowd and unmeasured belief in the fact that you can create a miracle with your own hands – all this allowed me to become what I am. To become artist and also just person who try to create something at every second. To become a creator. Yes, everyone who can awake some emotions in others by color, sound, word or gesture, who can help to realize or imagine any world from books or to make own – is true creator, and I timidly dare consider myself to them.
2. What brought you to deviantArt and how did you pick your username?
I have come on deviantArt to assemble almost all my arts and surely to demonstrate them to viewers who might not like it all, but I decided to try. In any case, retaining of all my creations in plastic file in closed drawer is pointless and very stupid. Yes, I was wanted to share my ideas expressed by paints to others and to find who will be interested in that.
Ancksiestas – Inh – I had come to this name not immediately.
It is composite name. Ancksiestas – it is compound of some distorted Latin words which in common means something like “Generating darkness”. I choose that because more often in different universes I like characters that usually associated with evil without understanding reasons of their actions. And it is very offensively that evil is always perceived as bad. But what is about person? What about reasons? That’s why Ancksiestas. I paint that evil, I paint that darkness, but I try to show it as vivid and sensual.
Inh. Inh is a first three letters of main character’s name of my own universe. And this means so much for me that I just can’t express. By this abbreviation on DeviantArt and Tumblr it is possible to find arts exactly from my universe – Inh himself, another characters, landscapes. In future I plan to develop this more scrupulously and strenuously.
3. How did you enter Tolkien's world for the first time, and what impression did it leave in you?
As home-bird and introverted person, I like any magic things, I always watched such films and cartoons. Of course, I watched films from Lord of Rings trilogy, but admission to genuine Tolkien’s works happened much later. It happened just some years ago, because of that, I cannot call myself as old and all-knowing fan of Tolkien’s universe. And I was brought here by fan-arts filled with crazy adoration of this universe.
I had seen just fascinating Sauron drawn by Phobs, who has been painted as live and emotional man, not as flame Eye or heavy-armored silhouette. And then I thought: what happened with this creature, what he had to endure to become so.
I started to read books, watch films more attentively, research different articles, listen to music, in general, carefully and selflessly educating. And I admired then Greatest Tolkien's World started to open for me like some wondrous flower ... like a lily from Valinor. I'm touched by Middle Earth history, and history of all there. I saw as something vivid and such real, as we are, appeared from usual black string on white sheets. And I was understood that I fell in love in that.
It seems to me that I really feel warm that radiate from this creation. And I began to create by myself. My first work inspired by Tolkien’s world was inaccurate portrait of Melkor and Sauron, personalities of which was expressed insufficiently, although art itself was vivid. I had not enough skills in digital painting, but I tried. I published this aught and got positive reviews. And I understood that I able to attract new fans, as some time ago Phobs’ arts attracted me, to that wonderful and saturated world that is not childish and simple.
4. How much did the movies influence your imagination when reading the books?
I saw all «Hobbit» films in cinema, but it was before falling in love with this universe. I really liked these films and images created there. All that was great, but I still was not understand all deep and detalization of this universe, and as result I unwittingly underestimated and knew it only superficially. As I already spoke, fan-arts helped me. And the first thing I read was the "Silmarillion". Experienced fans discouraged me from starting reading from Silmarillion, but I presumptuously disregarded that somebody was unable to read Silmarillion even from 11th attempt. And I read it.
From first attempt and I was excited.
But really, this book is quite difficult for unprepared reader. The way of narration is very peculiar and in some ways it seemed to me as religious. And presentation in form of historical chronicles could at all seem an outdated technique. But my imagination joked with me. Literally from each string I imagined whole picture, vivid, real, filled by light, odors and sound, which was very, very near. I felt the emotions of all characters, and I really started crying when Noldor left Valar, when they went on ice and burned ships, when they died, when they despaired from goal that they achieved.
I saw wars of Middle Earth, I felt smells of ash and blood that was mixed with odors of seas and forests. I heard sound of wind, elven songs and thin trill of musical instrument strings. I heard footsteps on young soil of Arda. And it is inexpressibly beautiful. But most of all, I was impressed by images of Melkor and Mairon. Darkness... it isn't worse then light, which often blinds you.
Then I read «Lord of Rings», «Hobbit», now «Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth» lies on my hands. And I'm incredibly happy because first book was Silmarillion. After it, even smallest and seemingly insignificant event is filling by such degree of intertwining events in history, so it remains only to die in ecstasy. I'm even happy about not having read the books before the movies, because at that age I just have not been able to understand all immensity, and because of that, I could not to fell in love in that so much.
5. Some of Tolkien's books can be hard to read, being more of history annals than beletry. Do you let that discourage you or not? How extensive is your knowledge of Middle-earth?
Yes, as I said, the "Silmarillion" is quite difficult to read, but it remains my favorite book.
Discourage? Hmm, maybe someone discouraged with this, but I see only pluses because I'm artist and I can, at least for myself, think up such little things, from which even more breathtaking. And then I can paint this to share breathtaking with others. Skipped scenes... they can be drawn too and that allows to show this universe more detally.
Oh, stars! And It is happyness! It is not allowed to completely express in books all that was in history. In other case, it kills thinking. This must not be done in any case. While reading book, you must Think. It is pleasure - to understand the great world by yourself, and therefore live in it. I should not judge about my knowledge, but I don't stop studying.
6. Who is your favourite Tolkien character and why?
Melkor, Sauron, Feanor and Eru.
Yes, such list may seem strange, but so it is. Let's start with Eru. Creator and incomprehensible god who is... cruel. Yes, yes, he is cruel and somewhat ruthless. He created the world.
Great and splendent world. And he created this by Song. Creator. Here we can argue a lot, give different reasons, even talk that it is not allowed to judge and somehow classify this character. But I, as simple and mortal man, see one very terrible feeling in this character. Loneliness. Powerful and formidable Iluvatar, he was and remains alone, despite the fact that he created a lot of children. Ainur, Arda — all of that is an escape from loneliness.
He simply beats in the shackles of his suffering, but he is silent. Who able to help him? Therefore, I had one sketch portrait at that I depicted Eru in the form of ordinary man who descended into the world he had created, in order to not be alone just for a single moment.
Feanor. Yet another creator. I associate him to artist. Why? It's very simple. All artists in one way or another study the laws of drawing, use them, suffer, but at one day they create a masterpiece, even if only for themselves. It can be with mistakes and misses, but it will contain something that will cause breathtaking and eyes will freezes on this art. And surely, someone from viewers will say: How is it, why you doing such strange and scary things? But artist himself is scared. He himself don't understand what he did, and even in a greater degree. Also Feanor And try to imagine his horror when someone took away his great child from him, and moreover caused such horror to his close ones. All of that is understandable, but it insanely hurts.
Melkor. Another loner, who is most like his Father, who never admitted this. Abandoned, rejected son And he is very scared. Scared at highest degree, to craziness and teeth pain. Even if he never admit it. Melkor did a lot, but he just sink in darkness. Not in evil, but in darkness. As a boy punished by evil parents that locked him in a dark room and then forgot about him.
Wild wild horror. But this boy grew up… And how this adult child could save himself from suffering? Of course, he had to try to create his own, but it did not work out. Rage and resentment strangled that in him, so he went to take revenge. Maybe unconsciously, but very diligently. And he found someone who suddenly and unthinkably understood him.
Scary? Scary. I almost don't doubt that Melkor initally tried to kill Mairon. And it is hard to identify, who was leader. Though yes, Melkor was mentor. He is older, severer and somewhat restrained, and Myron is a young. Sauron — another creator who was not allowed to do that he want and that he can do, because his ideas were out of standard, out of general intent. But why not?
Why it's not allowed to be yourself? Why it's not allowed to show yourself? Because others unable to respond? So that another loner come.
It seems to me that initially he was really exemplary light, he did what ordered, he listened and shone, but then he faded from monotony and satiety of existence under the instructions of Lights. But his creations did not contain him, his true essense and will, his uniqueness. And then he heard Melkor and, perhaps, even unconsciously understood why he was like that. Sauron reached for him when he saw that, despite the fact that Melkor was already dark, but he was still real.
Melkor and Mairon is an excellent tandem, master and apprentice.
Melkor and Sauron. Do you want to know why I love them more than anyone else? This is really simple. They are only ones who have remained themselves, despite of everything. After going through pain, ice, contempt and burning coals of the war, they did not lose themselves. They rejected Eru's covenants to survive and live, not just exist. They are only ones who lived! And not as bright, which have become nothing but shiny idols of something necessary, but in fact they are only adjusting everything under common limits. And also... they were much more honest than all others. They just proclaimed that they are darkness and evil, but they covered themselves under this mask of common enemy, they raised a banner that cut them off from the entire world. And by that they cut off all expectations in order to remain themselves and to achieve all that they wants instead of falling down under deceitful light rays. Ohh, stars, where to take so much courage to be real, and not to pretend to be normal?
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 drawing at all my life, though there were interruptions.
Yes, I'm professional artist, but I still need learning and learning more. I went through art school, various courses and I almost completed education of design. And painting is my life.
The first thing I remember in my life is how I was bitten by a wasp at the age of 2 and at quite same time how I was drawing by blue gel pen in a notebook, drawing a nightstand with a big handle.
At some time the classical school of easel painting pushed me to drawing real paintings - on canvas with oil paints. Now I dedicate more time to this.
Upon admission to university, I learned more about digital painting and bought a graphics tablet. Oh, so it turns out that I'm drawing on computer only for 3 years. I think that I have quite good results)
I am striving for something that can be called a fantastic realism with an admixture of romanticism and symbolism. But I still learning and we should leaning for all our life.
Who influenced on me... oh, it's difficult question. I'm unable to precisely answer, it was some collection of viewed arts, pictures, sketches and many other. But I can tell that I like arts of Rami fon Verg, Anndr, Jodeeeart.
8. How do you choose which scenes and characters to illustrate?
Only by feelings. I read, I think, I guess. Then everything is formed in the head, some picture appears. And I draw it. Mood and music have very strong influence. Sometimes I just listen music and it gives me the cue, but more often I purposefully select some compositions for my work.
In general, I want to make a whole arch of serious and deeply meaningful works about Tolkien's world. Let's hope that there is enough time... real life, coursework, etc...
9. From your gallery, it's apparent that your sympathies lie with the "dark side" in Middle-earth. What do you find inspiring in the characters of Melkor and Sauron?
It was already discussed above, but I want to add some thing. Affection.
Lecherous pictures with these characters are very widespread among fans. I don't want to judge anybody, but I want to tell about my vision.
Yes, in my opinion there is strongest affection between Melkor and Mairon, I can even tell 'love', but let's immediately reject all vulgarity and lasciviousness. It is strong feeling, but as they are nor people nor elves, how we can associate our carnal views and understanding with them?
Nohow, I suppose.
And so that this affection is something special, high and ununderstandable for us. They understood each other. Two eternal beings who are doomed to suffering. And they had no anyone except themselves They appreciated it, they loved and valued themselves. They lived by each other.
And try to imagine all the scare and panic of Mairon, when Melkor was captivated at some time.
He was left alone! Oh my god, he left alone. Absolutely alone, to pain, cramps and craziness.
And no one can help him. Absolutely no one. And even no one to speak with, no one to ask for help. Alone.
Then Melkor returned, but world became more evil...
And what's next? After some time, Melkor was captivated again and departured off The Edge, but Mairon remained. It's chthonic horror. I even can imagine this. Exhausted thin guy who stands in the ruins and mountains of corpses and screams, tearing his voice, from helplessness.
How does it feel to lose someone who has given strength and meaning to live?
It seems that I could not bear it.
But he was able. But in general, he lost himself. Sauron. A nightmare and horror.
He survived and all that coming next... Numenor, The One Ring... all of that was just usual revenge of being forced to live dead.
And after that, is he a real evil?
But may be evil is Eru, who created marionettes and offended when some of them refused to obey him?
10. Several of your pictures also depict your own world and characters. Could you tell us a bit about them?
Yes, I have my orinal universe. And it isn't only arts and sketches.
In my head there is large universe with plots for three books (at this moment). I'm publicating one book on fan-fiction site, but only in Russian language. In case if someone interested, here is referense — ficbook.net/readfic/6008913.
What is this all about …
This book is about world there flight between galaxies is usual thing. It is book about gods, priests and peoples, mong whom a little boy is lost... This boy... But who is he? Actually, it is frightening question. Have you ever asked yourself who you are? I asked and understood that answer can not exist. It is the world of wandering, pain and puzzles. It's world of choice...
World is huge...
It has no end, it is eternal and almost inviolable. Year after year, it will knowed better.
All knowledge is strictly and carefully recorded in the tables and diagrams. And it is right, it is natural, but what if we lose something very important?
Do you know why this world was created? And who created it? Who gave us this merciless chance to exist? Why this almighty one have need of us? But main question is: Is He pleased with his creation? Or will he ever want to destroy everything in an unremarkable moment?
Oh, it seems that I can speak about this infinitely!
All my world is about one who called himself as Inhamanum. It's about first book.
The main character came to me through dreams with vague images, it took me more than one year to realize and embody him.
Every art with him is big pain and suffer for me.
Inh consumed all my power and emotions, it's scaring me, but I'm ready to give all for this. Probably everyone who creates own worlds is ready to give all his blood by drop to give life to it.. I dare to hope that I will succeed. I will have my own world.
In addition to Inh, there are other significant characters, they will be more detailed later, after the completion of the first book. And I was told that it would be better to make illustrations - summaries of each character. Therefore, in some way, my story will be shown here as well.
11. What other book or movies (or anything else) inspire you to create fanart, and why?
Star Wars. I was very fond of this universe for very long time, but new canon disappointed me. Therefore, I'm here, dreaming about pointed ears and Ring of Absolute Power.
Also I like one another character — Sergey Razumovsky from «Mayor Grom» comics series. He is very ambiguous personality also.
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?
Oh, I can't decide. Probably, oil painting.
Of course, I experiment, and quite often, but I do not always show these attempts. But mainlyt I strive for realism.
13. Do you have some tips and tricks you would like to share with the other artists?
Everyone makes up his own techniques, so it is matter of trial and errors.
But main advice is: don't stop. You have greatest chance to not draw apples if form of circle, but to create entire worlds by paints. Don't stop! Spit on critic and work, work, work!
14. Could you give us a link or thumbnail from your gallery of
- a Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?
- a picture from other fandom or original picture you are most proud of?
- a picture that fits your current mood?
- a picture that was hardest to paint?
- any other picture you would like to share with us?
15. What key people in your life, (on or off of dA) have been inspirations to you, or has supported you, as an artist? You can also tell us why, if you want.
Friends who make me rise when I mope. They always remind me that I should work. In general, they are kicking me to action, and they are also supporting me in creating my world, because they are the first readers of my book.
16. Is there something else you would like to tell to the fans of Tolkien and your art?
I give a solemn oath that I will develop and improve further!
Thank you very much for your time and answers!