Talks with Tolkien artists: NOLANOS

10 min read

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MirachRavaia's avatar
By MirachRavaia

With the beginning of the school year, I present you another interview. It's with an Uruguay artist :iconnolanos: - NOLANOS:


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

Hi, greetings from distant Uruguay! My name is Natalia, I'm 32 and currently studying art as my second choice of career.

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

My username is pretty dull, just a conjunction of N from Natalia and part of my last name. It gives me the idea that when I sign an illustration that I'm not hiding behind an internet alter ego. ^_^

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

One summer when I was 17 or 18 one neighbor pestered me non stop to show him some drawings; I don´t blame him, I was really shy about sharing my art, but at the same time I was always drawing and sketching in my front yard! So when I showed him my crude anime style fanart he was not impressed, but among those were also some others samples of medieval fantasy and mythological subjects and that's when I caught his attention. He said to me that those looked like "The Lord of the Rings" and I confessed that I didn't know what that was. He went to his home and handed me a copy of The Return of the King. He said to me that he didn't know where the other 2 volumes were but that I can keep that one, that I NEEDED to read it.... And what else can I say, here we are all these years later, with that contribution still in my personal library!

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

I'm an average knowledge fan of Middle Earth.

5. Did you read the books, or see the movies first? When the movies came out, many of the inner pictures of characters and scenes in the mind of the readers have been replaced by actors and settings from the movie.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 read the books first, but I can say that I´m deeply affected by the movies and the aesthetics they create, but no so much for the personal appearance of the characters. Even so I´m not sure if that influence is really represented in my works.

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?

At this moment it is just a hobby, as I don't have the time to do more. I´m thinking of making an incursion on the freelance aspect probably next year, so we will see!

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

I tend to choose to paint whatever that touches me, impresses me. Maybe I´m wrong, but I do believe that I like to draw emotion in my more serious illustrations. For example: When reading a text that describes a battle I would get excited by the action and the movement but I would choose to draw (or try to draw ; P ) the uncertainty of the soldier, the determination of a captain, the sorrow of the lost...

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

I'm not good at creating stories or characters so the interpretation of a text is my favorite motive. At this point I can say that If I had the time I would draw something, anything of all the books that I had read in my life. I would love to try my hand and make at least one single image of the things that nurture me!

9. 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 always liked the vibrancy of watercolor, but I still think I'm not really suited for it; watercolor is passionate and free and I tend to restrict it too much... Anyway, I love it and I put all my effort in learning and adapting the technique to my devices. I had tried pencil, charcoal, ink and also digital but I always end coming back to my brushes and watercolor pans, it suits me best! Currently I´m learning oil, and I would love to try my hand at sculpture.

10. Could you give us a link or thumbnail from your gallery of
- a Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?

I do believe that this one is the best in technique, but also really conveys my image of that particular event; a tragic fate faced with strength and love; and showed in a cruel way but with dignity.

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

I love the movement in this one, which is so rare in my works!

- a picture that fits your current mood?


- a picture that was hardest to paint?

This one took me ages to finish...

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

Just to show my face, before I say goodbye. Thanks to all for being here and let me be part of this beautiful and inspirational world!

Thank you for your time and answers!

Coding by Felizias Drawings by ebe-kastein Borders by PhoenixWildfire
© 2015 - 2021 MirachRavaia
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peet's avatar
I really like Nolan0s' Tolkien work - her watercolour technique is really subtle and controlled, which I enjoy in her work (even if she says she's too restrictive with it) ;)