Talks with Tolkien artists: RobleskaZeppelin

13 min read

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MirachRavaia's avatar
By MirachRavaia

In today's interview, I would like to introduce you a Czech student and hobbyist artist,  :iconsarkaskorpikova: - SarkaSkorpikova:

I hate him by SarkaSkorpikova Idril, Earendil, Tuor by SarkaSkorpikova
Aredhel, the white lady by SarkaSkorpikova Finrod vs. Sauron by SarkaSkorpikova
Tuor as an outlaw by SarkaSkorpikova Elwing running away by SarkaSkorpikova

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

Hello! My name is Šárka, pronnounced Sharkah. I’m a 20 years old student of biology at Charles university in Prague. I come from the south of Czech Republic (the country with beer) , from beautiful South Moravia (the region of wine). I have a tarantula called Ungoliant and I love everything related to J.R.R.Tolkien.

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

When I was 10, I found an interesting book in a bookshelf in our livingroom. It had some strange runes on the cover and there was an illustration of a dragon at the spine of the book. Of course, it was the Hobbit. The book impressed me a lot with something I could not describe. If you remember the feeling that Bilbo had in the first chapter, when the dwarves were singing in his hole and when he was looking out the windows to the nocturnal scenery – that was exactly what I felt. The desire to wander in the mountains, discover secrets long forgotten, see the wonders of the world, cross through no-man’s lands, leave the comfort of home… After a while there was this LOTR movies mania that passed around me with no consequences, but when I realized that the Trilogy comes from the same author as the Hobbit, it all could fully begin. Not speaking about the Silmarillion. Professor’s books lead me through the whole adulthood, and they lead me now as well.

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

No, not at all. Tolkien’s legacy is my hobby, I especially love investigating the maps and learning the family trees of Eldar and Edain, but…Who can call themselves Tolkien expert? Maybe the professor himself? :-) (Smile) It is also true that I’ve learned much by collecting informations necessary for drawing and painting pictures.

4. 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 adore PJ‘s Trilogy, much more than the Hobbit. I saw the moives before I read the book and I can’t imagine them in another way. In my opinion, the choice of actors is accurate. That’s also why I don’t do much Trilogy illustrations: it is not challenging enough, while all the scenes and faces are so wonderfully depicted.

5. 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 am a pure hobbyist. It is not easy to say when I started painting, actually I’ve never stopped doing it, since I was a small child. The person that had always given me much good advise is my dad, who is an amazing artist in many ways!

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

I love painting scenes that were not much portrayed before, as well as classical issues as Beren and Lúthien. Now I have a long lists of scenes and characters to paint. So I choose what to paint usually according to my current mood and taste. Sometimes it happens to me that I don’t feel skilled enough for a long time to paint a scene, but then I just accept it as a challenge and it simply works.

7. 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’ve always loved watercolor and it is the medium I feel most sure in and also the medium with admirable possibilities and effects. The problem is that I have no basis, so my paintings used to be difficult - I used to use the watercolors the way as oils or acrylics and now I have to learn so much! So when I’m experimenting, it’s only within the radius of watercolor techniques.

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

I don’t feel skilled enough to give advise here, in the environment of hundreds ingenious artists, but if I had to: Try to accept new and new challenges! It can kick you very much forwards.

9. Could you give us a link or thumbnail from your gallery of
- a Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?
The two trees of Valinor IV by SarkaSkorpikova

- a picture from other fandom or original picture you are most proud of?
Evening in the hills by SarkaSkorpikova

- a picture that fits your current mood?
Rhovanion-the brown lands by SarkaSkorpikova

- a picture that was hardest to paint?
Beren Meets Luthien by SarkaSkorpikova

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

Orome hunting beasts by SarkaSkorpikova
I’d like to share this painting because it was the first one where I achieved the atmosphere I planned.

10. 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 supported by my family a lots. My dad is suporting the artistic side of my pictures, while my brother always cheers me up to produce new Tolkien illustrations. Then there are my friends from the University. Without them I would lose a huge part of my will do paint. And also a huge thanks to all supportive lovely people on DA. And I have to thank to Jacek Yerka, my favorite painter, whose paintings are full of inspiration.

11. Is there some artist(s) at dA you know, who doesn't have as much attention as they would deserve?

These people are very inspiring, lovely and their art is amazing. I don’t know, whether they have as much attention, as they deserve, or no, but take a look at their gallery, if you can!
:iconbrunild:, :icongawarin:, :iconcoconut-orc:, :iconmoi-keiniku-sang:, :iconmatejcadil:, :iconakitku:

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

Thanks to anyone who gives favorites and writes comments about my art; thanks to all Tolkien and fantasy artists for so much inspiration! And thank you for the possibility of this interview! :-) (Smile)

You are welcome! :) I thank you as well for your time and answers!

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Rohirrim journal skin.

Horse head © 2009 - Grinmir-stock
Texture by kizistock
Knotwork by gbrgraphix
© 2014 - 2021 MirachRavaia
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Nim-lock's avatar
oo great :^}}
Brunild's avatar
Very nice interview, it is true this girl is really unique, very very special !! And thank you for the mention, I don't know how to thank!! :heart:
Ellosse's avatar
I was so happy to see one of my favorite Tolkien artists get mentioned! Clap :D

A rather technical note; I think that the title of "Talks with Tolkien artists: RobleskaZeppelin" next to the horse's head at the top should be a more contrasting color in comparison to the green background; I had somewhat of a hard time seeing it. Just my opinion, though. ;) (And I do love the format otherwise. :) )
MirachRavaia's avatar
I know that, I asked the readers in one of the very first interviews if anyone knows how to change the color, but I didn't get a reply. Don't you know how it can be changed? I did not make the journal skin, and I do not know how to make them...
Ellosse's avatar
Unfortunately I have no idea. I tried fiddling around with journals but I couldn't find something like that, as I'm not a premium member. I thought that the journal skin was part of the journal itself, actually. Sorry! (And apologies for bothering you needlessly *contriteface*)
MatejCadil's avatar
Nice interview. And thank you too for mentioning me! :thanks:
I haven't submitted many Tolkien illustration lately, though I have several in process. Now this is a motivation for me to finish them. ;-)
MirachRavaia's avatar
Every motivation is good :)
Moi-Keiniku-Sang's avatar
Oh. My. God. THANK YOU. I´m superhonored! Hug Everyone, this girl is amazing, sweet and insanely talented person and I am really happy I met her here :love:
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