Landscape plays a great role in Tolkien's writings, where he describes it with as much (or even more) attention than the characters. Despite that, it is often overlooked by artists. But - Yeldabon moved it from the background into the main role in his pictures. If you would like to better imagine the various landscapes you can encounter in the Hobbit or Lord of the Rings, his gallery can be of great help to you!
1. Hello! For the beginning, could you tell us something about yourself?
Hello! My name is Guy Brady and I am currently studying a fine art degree. I am 21 years old and live in the English county of North Yorkshire.
2. What brought you to deviatArt and how did you pick your username?
I was browsing the website for fan art and just so happened to come across deviantart and fell in love with it immediately. My username was just something completely random that I made up at the time
3. How did you enter Tolkien's world for the first time, and what impression did it leave in you?
Watching the movies really opened my eyes to the world of fantasy. I love the films and was immediately inspired to begin creating my own drawings in response.
4. How much did the movies influence your imagination when reading the books?
I saw the movies first, and a lot of the settings and characters definitely carried over when reading the books. However, Tolkiens work is so detailed and expansive that it helps you to envision your own interpretation of middle earth without the aid of imagery.
5. 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 love all of tolkiens work, espeically the annals and appendicies as it gives us more of an insight into the history of the fantasy and enriches our perception of the overall book.
6. Who is your favourite Tolkien character and why?
Probably Bilbo Baggins. I like that he's a stay-at-home creature of habit and yet still possesses the strengths and courage to take himself out of his comfort zone and face mortal dangers.
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?
Whilst I have sold several pieces, had work put up in an exhibition and been featured in a magazine, I still consider my artwork to be predominantly a hobby. It is definately something I'd like to take further into a career but at the same time I'd still do it even if money wasn't involved.
8. You are predominantly a landscape artists. Not many illustrators focus on the environment instead of characters. What makes illustrating the landscape alluring to you?
I've always loved landscapes ever since I was young. I have a fondest for the natural world and enjoy looking out across vast lands of rolling hills, great forests and charming little rivers. I like how landscapes appear to us in so many different appearences and circumstances. Throughout my work I try to capture these feelings in the drawing. In regards to Tolkiens work in particular, I found that upon reading the boom Tolkien goes into great depth describing middle earth, and I wanted to honour his labour by producing works that reflect what he wrote.
9. How do you choose which sceneries to illustrate?
I always think originality is key. Places like Minas Tirith and Rivendell have been depicted so many times that I feel that if I drew them too, I would simply be throwing another drawing onto the pile. Thats not to say that all the work out there is bad, for I love all Tolkien fan art pieces no matter what they show. However I personally wanted to be a little bit different and depict places that tolkien fans may have heard of or read about but never truly thought of before.
10. Can you tell us more about your other art, not related to Tolkien, and about your original story that some of them illustrate?
Before I focused on landscapes I struggled with finding a style that would suit my area of interest. I tried a few portraits and quite enjoyed drawing historical figures and soldiers when I was younger but there was always a part of me that felt as though it wasnt enough. I have also experimented with traditional pastel pieces as well as abstract paint works. I only began illustrating landscapes when the idea came about for me to write my own story. Although I have put this passion aside now, the drawing of fictional landscapes always stuck with me.
11. 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?
This all depends on the sort of images I am trying to draw. In my fictional work I usually stick to the same tricks and techniques because its what I'm experienced in and will ulitmately result in a better picture. In my real-life studies however, I've had to employ a range of different techniques based upon subjects like the weather, architecture, and various plants and vegetation.
12. Do you have some tips and tricks you would like to share with the other artists?
The linework I use throughout my landscapes is by far my most favoured techniques. It is fairly easy to use and once mastered, it allows you to create so much shape, form and direction which comes in handy when creating depictions like hillsides. Stippling/Pointillism is another technique that involves the build up of concentrated dots and marks that have the ability to create very subtle areas of light and shade.
13. Could you give us a link or thumbnail from your gallery of
- a Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?
- a picture from other fandom or original picture you are most proud of?
- a picture that was hardest to paint?
14. 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.
My great grandmother was a keen artist and there are many of her works around my grans house. My father does artwork for cars and motorbikes as well so I guess the creative art gene is in my blood. In terms of other artists I'd say that Pauline Baynes and Alfred Wainwright are my two primary inspirations.
15. 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?
- MatejCadil is my favourite.
16. Is there something else you would like to tell to the fans of Tolkien and your art?
I plan on creating an illustrated walking book for Middle-earth that will showcase all my depictions as well some new ones that show the journey from the shire to mordor in my main style of black and white pen work. So be sure to look out for that!
Thank you for your time and answers!