This week I talked with - JayEyBee. Her gallery has a lot of art with Tolkien's characters, with an emphasis on Elven and Valarin couples and families. Take a look!
1. Hello! For the beginning, could you tell us something about yourself?
Hi! I’m a 25-year-old gal and a graphic designer by profession.
2. What brought you to deviatArt and how did you pick your username?
My step-brother was a DeviantART user before I got interested in joining, so I think it started there. My username has changed over time, but the current one I have is a play on my initials.
3. How did you enter Tolkien's world for the first time, and what impression did it leave in you?
Hmm, good question! I think my interest was a little gradual, of course starting with the LOTR movies, then the Hobbit book which we had to read in High School…then the movies came out and I started digging a little more into this amazing fantasy world, which I gotta say leaves a lot of room for imagination!
4. What creates the image of Middle-earth in your mind? Is it more influenced by the books or movies, or maybe other artists, and this it change over time or remained the same?
I’d say it’s a mixture of all of those, plus occasionally role-playing in that fandom helps a lot too. It probably remained the same overtime, but perhaps with a little more influence from the artists on tumblr and whatever interesting info I can find online or through the books, but the visuals I get come mostly from the movies.
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?
Sure! That is…when I have the will and patience to read it, lol. Yes it can be pretty hard for some to digest the historical books on Middle Earth. Take “The Silmarillion” for example; it can be a bit of a challenge getting through the narrative that I think is quite different from the sequel books. I myself took YEARS to read that through entirely (had to start over a couple times). Since finishing that one I’ve tried reading a few things here and there from the other books I purchased. I got through most of the “Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle Earth” but have yet to get even halfway into “The Book of Lost Tales.” You gotta be committed to it
6. Who is your favourite Tolkien character and why?
Oh god, there are so many! I guess if I had to pick one I’d say King Thranduil from “The Hobbit.” He’s just so interesting, both in the movies AND book version! Of course other sources have lot to do with the character’s likability too; fanart, fanfics, role-play, that sort of thing.
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’d like to say professional artist, but my profession doesn’t really deal with illustrations much so I guess it’s turned into a hobby now. I occasionally offer commissions, though. I started art-sing when I was a youngin’, and a lot of my influence comes from animes that I’ve watched over the years. I think “Naruto” has influenced my style a lot since I’ve spent quite a few years obsessed with that fandom
8. How do you choose which scenes and characters to illustrate?
Sometimes it just comes to mind, other times I take suggestions from my Tumblr peeps.
9. The topics in your gallery vary from light and humorous to serious themes, but one - the Birth of Feanor comics seems to be standing out with the seriousness of the idea of a childbirth trauma and postpartum depression, which is actual in current society as well, although not much discussed. Can you tell us more about he idea behind this comics?
This comic idea surged from my milestone reach of 1,000 followers on my Tolkien Tumblr account, vardathebeloved. While I was thinking up different themes for the comic, it just sort of sprung to me how I haven’t really seen any work depicting that moment. It’s a very delicate topic, but I guess I chose it because it’s also very relatable to real life and it did stand out from the ever-seemingly-perfect elven culture by being the only instance that a mother has died (albeit gradually) from giving birth. It’s more complex than that, of course, and it depends a lot on how people interpret it.
Speaking of which, I think I might add another page to it sometime in the future; don’t feel as if it’s quite complete yet. We’ll see!
10. You do not avoid erotic themes in your art either. What do you think about the esthetics and public perception of this kind of art?
Sometimes eroticism is intriguing and attractive. I also use it as an excuse to practice anatomy. While I do dabble a little in my art, there’s not a whole lot of it. It really depends on how people perceive it. There are some erotic art that people find awesome, and some that they don’t really like or find it offensive and I can be like that too. Again, it’s a complex topic.
11. What other book or movies (or anything else) inspire you to create fanart, and why?
Aside from Tolkien books? There are the Harry Potter series, some TV shows I guess, Anime in general, and other people’s artwork also helps with the inspiration; it’s a web of sources, really. I suppose the fantasy aspect is what attracts me to draw these fanarts. Oh and music! Music always helps set the mood too.
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?
I just love love love manga/anime style, it’s basically where I got started, trying to mimic that crisp-looking art (and failing a lot of times). I wish I’d experiment more, especially when painting sceneries. I’m just not all that patient and that can set me back a lot.
13. Do you have some tips and tricks you would like to share with the other artists?
This isn’t really a trick but–sketch it out! When I was young, I used to be stubborn about using those guidelines with the circle head and the markers for the face and the mannequin-type body, you know? I thought it was a waste of time and would just wing it on paper. Over the years I’ve found that it really helps to set up the basis for my drawings, especially now that I’ve done mostly digital and being able to work in layers is the best thing ever.
14. Could you tell us, which
- Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?
This piece which I did for Fëanorian Week on Tumblr.
- original picture or picture from other fandom you are most proud of?
Super proud of my Harley!
- picture fits your current mood?
Gloomy because my tablet stopped working
- picture was hardest to paint?
A lot of others like this, but I chose it because of the scenery. Sceneries are so hard for me, even if I use pre-made brushes.
- other picture you would like to share with us and why?
These because I'm also proud of them
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’m always grateful for my family & friends’ support, as well as my followers & watchers
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?
None that come to mind right now that aren’t CRAZY good and have plenty of attention already, haha.
17. Is there something else you would like to tell to the fans of Tolkien and your art?
First and foremost, I would like to thank everyone for supporting and liking my art. It really means a lot to an artist to know that their work is appreciated in any way. Also, Tolkien Fandom FTW!
Thank you for your time and answers!