Talks with Tolkien artists: Crocorax

19 min read

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MirachRavaia's avatar
By MirachRavaia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

6. Who is your favourite Tolkien character and why?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Expedition... by Crocorax

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

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

Tauren warrior: Tank by Crocorax

- picture fits your current mood?

Pursued by the Nazgul by Crocorax

- picture was hardest to paint?

Following the secret path by Crocorax

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

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

Bridge of Khazad-dum by Crocorax

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

kiddo428 - simply awesome artist!

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

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

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

Thank you for your time and answers!

Coding by Felizias Drawings by ebe-kastein Borders by PhoenixWildfire
© 2018 - 2021 MirachRavaia
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5ocean's avatar
Thank you for the interview and for the pictures! I enjoy a lot the art!)
Eldr-Fire's avatar
Enjoyed this interview - thanks for introducing me to this great artist!
MirachRavaia's avatar
EPH-SAN1634's avatar
One of the most mesmerising artists