The last interview was with a new emerging Tolkien artist, so this week I'm bringing you one with an artist who has been on this site for some time. - Belegilgalad has not been that active here lately, but he still creates and posts new art, and his Tolkien gallery is worth looking at for any lover of Tolkien fan art:
1. Hello! For the beginning, could you tell us something about yourself?
Hi there. You can call me Beleg, I am 33 years old and I am from Spain but I have been living in London for 5 years now.
2. What makes the characters of Beleg and Gil-Galad special to you, for using them as a nickname here?
Everything started when I joined the Spanish Tolkien Society and they asked me to choose a nickname. I always felt bonded to the elves and specially to Beleg Cuthalion who seems to be so loyal and skilled. And yes, also cool. So i thought if I could be a character that would the chosen one.
And from the Noldo elves my favourite is Gil Galad so... there it is.
3. When did you read Tolkien's books for the first time, and what impression did they leave in you?
It was a summer in my uncle's house. I was 14 years old and I was so bored I asked for a book i hadn't read. This is how the Hobbit came to me. It was there and I knew nothing about it or Tolkien. I read it and I found something I didn't know I was looking for. When I returned home I asked my mum if there were more books about the Hobbit. We were looking here and there (no internet those days) and we found the Lord of the Rings. That story changed me and changed my life in a way not many people can understand. It will be always with me.
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 When the movies came out, many of the inner pictures of characters and scenes in the mind of the readers have been replaced by actors and settings from the movie.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?
I remember I had those fears too but, at the same time, I was very excited because of the movies. I was waiting for them 2 very long years.
When I read the books today I feel I can divide my mind and imagine the characters as I used to do. The good thing about the books is you are not limited by what they told you they should look like. And I remember how I used to imagine some scenes.
5. How extensive is your knowledge of Middle-earth? Do you consider yourself Tolkien expert?
I wouldn't say I am a Tolkien expert as I don't write any kind of essays or give conferences. I do attend conferences and read essays. They are very interesting and you learn a lot of things. So, yes, I know a lot about Middle Earth, I have a very good memory about names, places, creatures, sword names and things like that. I think I have discussed every possible topic about Middle Earth now.
6. Now, could you tell us something about you and art? Are you a professional artist, or is art just your hobby? When did you start doing it, and who or what influenced your style?
Most of my life I have been drawing as a hobby. Things I liked and I wanted to do. No better motivation.
Now I have started to work in the animation industry and I have to design and create for other people.
My personal style has always been between anime and some kind of Disney style although I like trying different things.
I love Todd Lockwood, Alan Lee, John Howe, Donato Giancola...masters of fantasy illustration
7. How do you choose which scenes and characters to illustrate?
Sometimes you see the scene in your mind. Other times you read through it and try to imagine how it would be. Specially characters when the author doesn't give you too much information of their traits and appearance.
I choose characters or scenes I would like to see because they are my favourite or because they are interesting.
8. Can you tell us more about the animation project that you made several character designs for?
Those designs were for my final animation project. A story settled within the norse mythology. And as a Tolkien fan we know where many LOTR things were inspired from.
9. What other book or movies (or anything else) inspire you to create fanart, and why?
Harry Potter, Sherlock, Doctor Who, comics, Narnia, Sandman, mythology, dragons, Adventure Time, The Kingkiller Chronicles, Memory, sorrow and Thorn....
It is the stuff I love.
10. What art technique is your favourite? Do you rather keep to the art techniques and styles you are familiar with, or do you experiment with new ones as well?
I like doing digital painting. I will never learn all you could learn using the programs. I always want to improve. Also I don't have too much spare space to try different techniques.
11. Do you have some tips and tricks you would like to share with the other artists?
Sketch a lot. Draw a lot. It is the only way to learn. Look how the artists who inspire you use the colours, the shapes, the lines. You can also learn from imitation.
12. Could you give us a link or thumbnail from your gallery of
- a Tolkien illustration 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 and why?
13. What key people in your life, (on or off of dA) have been inspirations to you, or has supported you, as an artist? You can also tell us why, if you want.
My friends give me good ideas from time to time. Tolkien is one of my main inspirations and many of those wonderful Tolkien artists out there, most of the time I don't even know their names.
14. 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 don't spend too much time in DA lately so I don't know really.
15. Is there something else you would like to tell to the fans of Tolkien and your art?
I am not very active now but I hope I start creating nice things soon. Thanks for watching me or spendind some moments in my gallery
Thank you very much for your time and answers!