Talks with Tolkien artists: Ffey

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MirachRavaia's avatar
By MirachRavaia

:iconffey: - Ffey is a Czech artist, who doesn't only paint detailed scenes from Middle-earth, where there's something going on in every part of the picture, but also beautiful landscapes and fantastical creatures.  You can look at a few of her Tolkien themed pictures here, before getting to the talk itself:

Edit: Ffey has deactivated her account, so I'm giving you the pictures I managed to save here:

You Shall Lead And I Will Follow By Ffey D9nfwno-p by MirachRavaia
He Chanted A Song Of Wizardry By Ffey D4timup-pre by MirachRavaia
D72vgrp-cc20e2a0-2c86-4a76-898b-2ef51666bf87 by MirachRavaia
D72r1k7-e4db58f3-9c8f-4f54-9523-a28708cb666a by MirachRavaia
D72r0du-7e5d4bd5-cb5b-4b5d-97bd-f98df4983bb1 by MirachRavaia
Cd2cef0e1f40ccf567a35b0406647551 by MirachRavaia
7ace37ab749eabca6238c98d1a9fbd7e by MirachRavaia
Now Men Awoke And Listened By Ffey D4zp9ua-pre by MirachRavaia D8g3cnf-3400d004-7775-4b5c-8d66-0ed0b2a835ee by MirachRavaia

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

Hi! I am 28 years old, living in Prague where I came from Ostrava to study informatics. I have a boa constrictor and one day I hope to live somewhere in nature with dogs and corvids.

It is interesting to find out the stories behind people's usernames. What is yours?

F E I were my favorite letters when I was 16 and creating an account on the internet for the first time. It changed to "fey" very soon (and I had no idea that this word had a meaning in english), but such short name is often taken, so I must add more letters.

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

I need to say here, that my tastes in literature and music (and maybe any art) were different from those of my surroundings. And I was shy to express what I like (because I was always told that it is bad and not normal). My preferred reading at that time were encyclopedias about mythology (i loved greek mythology - which I kept secret, because it was weird) and I thought that if I want to read something that I really like, I have to write it myself (so I was writing a lot). Then I saw the fellowship in a cinema - I didn't really understand it but it left a feeling in me, so when I found at home a book with the same name I read it. And I loved it. It was source of beauty and wonder in my ordinary monotone life. I didn't find the next books, so I was rereading this one for whole year - until I saw the two towers in cinema (several times) and I was completely in love, so much that I asked my mother to buy me the other two books and I devoured them both in few days forgetting to eat and sleep, I wasn't thinking about anything else for the whole year. I remember clearly reading the silmarillion for the first time (it was in the same year) - with mixed feelings at the beginning, because it was something different than what I expected - but then I got used to it and I read it slowly, pausing to imagine all the missing things or unable to continue because it was too tragic. And I loved the stories, the characters, the tragedy, I loved the style it is written in, it was exactly what I wanted to read, a perfect book for me.

How much did the first two movies influence your imagination when reading the books?

Not so much in visual things, more in characters and actions.

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 with the third movie? Did you try to prevent it?

It did happen and I did try to prevent it and I failed. When I watched the return of the king I disliked many scenes because I imagined them different while reading. But now I am no longer able to imagine them like I did before.

How extensive is your knowledge of Middle-earth? Do you consider yourself Tolkien expert?

I am certainly no expert, but I think that I would be pretty knowledgeable about Middle-earth if my memory wasn't so bad. I am reading the silmarillion once a year and I spent many hours in The History of Middle-earth (how awesome that it exists!) but it leaves more in my heart than in my mind.

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, it consumes most of my free time. I started when I was a child and didn't stop, because I like to create things.

How do you choose which scenes and characters to illustrate?

Those that struck me while reading or those that represent the emotion or idea that i'd like to express (and are reasonably paintable).

Who is your favourite Tolkien character?

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 really enjoy painting traditionally and would like to experiment more, but I am afraid to make mistakes and waste materials. It is completely different with digital media - I like to search and try different software, different brushes, techniques - I don't enjoy it when there is nothing new to discover and try.

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

I came across these tips in traditional painting tutorials, but I keep them in mind also when I paint digitally:
- use a bigger brush than you think you need
- don't correct your mistakes (immediately)
- stop before you think you are finished

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?

Thlatic by Gawarin<da:thumb id="255692820"/> Afternoon in The Spine by Forestia Lord Chamberlain SkekSil-Color Panneaux by SkekLa moria by aegeri
Thank you very much for your time and answers!

Coding by Felizias Drawings by ebe-kastein Borders by PhoenixWildfire
© 2016 - 2021 MirachRavaia
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ElisaMelis's avatar
it was interesting to know more about Ffey and how she discover her love for Tolkien and his stories..:heart:
and thanks dear for the mention ; __ ; i have no words...really..:huggle::heart:
Meltintalle's avatar
"it leaves more in my heart than in my mind"

What an excellent way to describe the impact of Tolkien's imagination! Ffey's art captures that feeling as well. :)
MirachRavaia's avatar
Indeed! I would be borrowing that expression myself, but my memory is rather good, so it's about equal :)
aegeri's avatar
thank you for great and interesting article :) ;)
Wasserwaldnymphe's avatar
"but it leaves more in my heart than in my mind. "

Yes, I know what you mean, although there are sometimes little details, too, which I can't forget.
AnotherStranger-Me's avatar
Thanks for an interesting reading!)
Great artist!
SkekLa's avatar
Oh, my!...I need to thank Ffey for giving me a moment on the limelight...She is a wonderfully talented artist, and I truly thank her for mentioning me up there as "deserving more attention"...That is really flattering aand so very kind from such a brilliant artist! ^^
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