Talks with Tolkien artists: Hemhet

18 min read

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MirachRavaia's avatar
By MirachRavaia

If you look into the gallery of :iconhemhet: - Hemhet, you will find a great variety of interesting things and techniques: pictures, comics, photos, glass and porcelain painting, sewing, papercuts and other creative things. Here is just a little sample:

Welcome in Gondolin by Hemhet The king's new family by Hemhet
House of Feanor- Feanor by Hemhet In the woods of Neldoreth by Hemhet
The gift by Hemhet Amarie and Finrod by Hemhet

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

Hello! My name is Szilvia, I'm living in Hungary. I can say nothing special about me: books, drawings... etc. :) (Smile)

Is there some meaning behind your username, and if yes, what is it?

The story behind my username is the following: in the library of the Hungarian National Museum (I studied archeology) there is a huge catalogue cabinet with lot of drawers. If you read together the inscriptions on the drawers, you can get funny words. Hemhet is one of them :) (Smile)

So it's something like "everything from hematite to heterotrophs"? :) (Smile) And do you actually work as an archeologist now? Is there much diffence between your field of study and fantasy, or are they similar to you in principle - more or less real stories that give an escape from modern reality?

Yes, something like that :) (Smile)
Unfortunately I'm not working as an archeologist.
The archeology is not really an escape for me from the reality. It has to much connection to our modern world. But excavating something, that you are the first, who see and touch it after houndred or thousand yeras, it is really unbeliavlble feeling. And one day our material culture will be archaeological finds too. If someone will find my little rubber ball, that I lost a a child in the grass, maybe will have the same feeling. Unfortunately there is a little chance to excavate a hobbit village, or a burial with a horse from Rohan :D (Big Grin)
Beside the fantasy what I use as an escape from the modern reality is the antique photography. I have some hundreds in my collection. I like just sitting, and looking at them, and trying to find out their untold and forever lost stories.

What was your first contact with Tolkien's world, and what impression did it leave in you?

Unlike the majority, I haven't read the books as a child.
At the university one of my dorm roommates was astonished, that I know almost nothing about Tolkien and Middle-earth. She encouraged me to read first The Hobbit, and then The Lord of the Rings... I was impressed from the first page.

I suppose this was before you saw the movies? What is your relation to those? When they 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?

Yes, I saw the full movies after I read the books.
Unfortunately or not, unfortunately, the films can't be ignore. I'm trying to preserve my inner pictures, but it isn't always easy. (For example: although I wasn't really satisfied with the appearance of the dwarves in The Hobbit films, it is hard to me imagine them in another way. :) (Smile) )

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?

I studied lot of history, also real or fictional history annals don't discourage me. :) (Smile)
I'm not an Tolkien-expert, I'm only a simple fan. Although once I won on the mailing comptetition of the Hungarian Tolkien Society (It is a relly good fun, I propse everyone to take part on it :) (Smile) ). This competiton was good to me to realize, how little my knowledge is. To tell the truth even with a map in my hand, I can be lost on Middle-earth. :) (Smile)

Who is your favourite Tolkien character and why

I have a lot of favorites (as you can see in "The Silmarillion Meme" :) (Smile) )
The Silmarillion Meme by Toradh by Hemhet
But if I must pick up one, maybe it is Elrond for his wisdom. Despite he has seen "three ages in the West of the world, and many defeats, and many fruitless victories" and had lost so many of his family members, still has hope. And even though knowing, the war will end a great loss for him, he helped the fellowship.

Could you tell us something about you and art? Your scope is pretty wide, from traditional art and comics to various artisan crafts. When did you start doing it, and what is your relation to it?

There is some piece of paper with my mother's handwriting: "Train, flower. Drawing from Szilvike at the age of two." If you look long enough at the tangled lines, you can see the train and the flower on the paper :) (Smile)  Also the art and I belong together from my early years.
I'm far from calling myself an expert, but art is like an addiction, which I can't give up :) (Smile)
I like trying out different things like the 3D book, or painted glass, or patchwork (I hope one day I can make a Tolkien themed blanket. Altough non of my friends, or their children like Middle-earth)

Many of those things require a lot of patience and free time. Where do you find both of those? Are you a detailist?

I have more patience, than free time :) (Smile) But if I have some free time, I try to exploit. I often get to make a difficult decision: to draw or to sew.
The details are important me. I like the drawings/ paintings with lot of details,if you look at it, you will always discover something new. I'm trying make something similar.

How do you choose the topics? Is it somehow different depending if you want to do a comics, picture or something in craft? And do you decide first about the topic or about the medium?

For the topics I just open one of the books. :) (Smile) They are full with inspiration.
Usually I decided the medium first. For example it will be difficult to paint in a small bottle a complex scene. But the topics matter too. I never made a sad comics.

So humorous scenes for the comics and sadder ones for full pictures? Does deciding to draw one or the other reflect your real mood as well?

Yes, usually. For me a full picture fits more for something sad. And I like the little humorous scenes tell in more scenes. If I draw that today, maybe it would be even in more images:
 Visit at the grandma by Hemhet
The drawing often reflects my real mood. But drawing something sad, especially something, that takes long time, it can sadden me. Because I have during the process a lot of time thinking about the scene. (After finishing these, I was a really tragic mood:)
Noldolante... by Hemhet

So which techniques can we actually find in your gallery, in art and crafts? Do you like experimenting with new techniques and styles or rather perfecting those you use?

You can find beside the drawings, glass paintings, 3D pictures, pathcworks and some painted textiles. I prefer the well-tried technics, because I always find something to improve in it.
But experiment with something new is fun. I tried the aquarell, but I have to tell, that technique is not really for me.

Do you have some tips and tricks about any of these techniques that you would like to share with the other artists?

The practice is important. And don't get disappointed, when the result looks much awful, than in your head (It almost always happens to me :) (Smile) ) The next one will be better.
If someone is interested more detail in connection with any of my works, just feel free to ask.

Your gallery is not only filled with art, but also photography. What place does that have in your hobbies and what topics are your favourite in photography?

I like photography. When I'm going for a walk, I always have my photo camera with me (My future project is to buy a better one, because it is making rather poor quality photos.)
My favourite topics are the old buildings. I'm realliy fascinated with the elaborated details (doors, windows.. etc.). If they could tell a story, I would like to hear it.
Cold days by Hemhet
I know, it is strange, but I like walking in the old cemeteries, trying to spell the blurry inscriptions, making photos of the statues.
Forgotten by Hemhet

Could you give us a link or thumbnail from your gallery of

- a Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?

An old story... by Hemhet

- a comics you are most proud of?

Brotherly love I by Hemhet
Because it is my longest comics

- artisan crafts piece you are most proud of?

Luthien and Daeron by Hemhet
(It could be the 3d book too , but I mentioned it below :) (Smile) )

- an original picture you are most proud of?

Calendar by HemhetCalendar II by Hemhet
This calendar about the healthy living, because my workplace made a lot of it and every employee get one. And they liked it.

- something that fits your current mood?
The last visit in Lorien by Hemhet

- something that was hardest to create?

House of Feanor- the book by Hemhet
It took a lot of time to draw, colour and cut it out.

- anything else you would like to share with us and why?
Drawing from the past by Hemhet
Because it was made at the beginning of my journey in art :) (Smile)

and this postcard, just because i like postcards :) (Smile)
Greetings from Kanizsa by Hemhet

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 had a really good art teacher in the high school. I learned a lot of him.
But who, that most supported me was my mother. From my early years she always encouraged me to draw, paint. Sadly I lost her too early. She could see none of my Tolkien related works, but I hope, she would like them.

I'm sorry for that... Now we are getting to the last few questions already. 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 was thinking lot on it, because I want someone with Tolkien related art, who wasn't in your interviews. (It is a good thing, that there are lot of interwievs)
:iconfluffypallas: Here is her Tolkien gallery…
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Thank you for the tip! Is there something else you would like to tell to the fans of Tolkien and your art?

It is really good to know, that there is a lot of people who likes Middle-earth and art just like me. :) (Smile)

It is indeed! :) Thank you very much for your time and answers!

Coding by Felizias Drawings by ebe-kastein Borders by PhoenixWildfire
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Hemhet's avatar
Thank you for the interview.
I hope, that I didn't make too much mistake in the English text. :)
MirachRavaia's avatar
You are welcome, I'm glad you participated!
fluffypallas's avatar
I love her Hobbit comics, they are so heartwarming.

Thanks for the mention! :hug: