Talks with Tolkien artists: aegeri

16 min read

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By MirachRavaia

:iconaegeri: - aegeri is a great Czech artist and active member of the Tolkien community. Below you can read more about her art and all the other fun things she does, after a few examples from her tolkien gallery (but take a look at her main gallery as well, there is more uncathegorized Tolkien stuff).

(Note: I have translated this interview from Czech, so any mistakes in it are mine, not aegeri's)

Fingolfin and Morgoth by aegeri
The White Tree of Gondor by aegeri Edoras by aegeri
Steward of Gondor by aegeri Earendil by aegeri
Varda and stars by aegeri
Feanor and his sons by aegeri sauron and nine mortal men by aegeri

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

Greetings, my name is Lída Holubová, but in our Czech Tolkien/larp community I'm rather known as Aegeri. I come from the western part of Czech republic. It's a beautiful and wild country. But currently I live and work in Prague, where I have stayed after finishing my studies. I have a cat named Cat.

2. What brought you to deviatArt and how did you pick your username?

I used to browse deviantart looking for inspiration since high school - so most probably I got to it through classmates. It's quite a few of years already. Anyhow, I only joined dA about 3 years ago, from my own iniciative - I wanted to draw myself to creation. 

3. How did you enter Tolkien's world for the first time, and what impression did it leave in you?

Through the books from the local library. I was around 10-11. I liked reading legends since I was little, it just felt right to me. I was most fascinated by the depth and elaboration. Every time when I returned to the books, I discovered something new, something that had evaded me before. 

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 When the movies came out, many of the inner pictures of characters and scenes in the mind of the readers have been replaced by actors and settings from the movie.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?

My biggest problem with keeping my own inner pictures was with some places - it would be reason enough that my favourite book illustrators, John Howe and Alan Lee, had been working on the staging. These two artists influenced me most, I used to "learn" to illustrate from their work. So I would rather say that I tried to deal with the images from these illustrators than with the shots from the movies. But the older I am, the more I'm trying to free myself from any source of inspiration from my tolkienistic beginnings. I didn't resist it that much when I was younger.

5. Could you tell us more about Mittalmar, your other Middle-earth related activities and your adventures with tolkienist friends?

Well, Mittalmar is a Czech tolkienistic blog, one of the fractions of the Czech tolkienistic community. Every fraction either organises, or cooperates in organising of different (more or less public) activities around J. R. R. Tolkien. Officially we have the Community of friends of the work of JRRT in Czech republic. There are mettings and cons several times a year, and different thematic concerts or workshops even more often... We also often take part in larps and battles with wooden weapons - so one could say that thanks to Tolkien, I also learnt to sew costumes.

6. 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?

It's not much of a discouragement to me, history has been close to me since I was little. In high school, I voluntarily :) used to borrow books about the crusades, building of cathedrals... all scholarly literature. So my problem after reading Tolkien was rather opposite - to find a suitable book replacement, because everything seemed too little elaborated to me. My knowledge is... well... probably good, illustrating is a very good occassion to review thoroughly. I just can't afford to make mistakes - the book is quite detailed, and people come right away with the classical "but this was different in the book" :D

7. Who is your favourite Tolkien character and why?

Definitely Eärendil - his story is amazing, and very good for illustrating. Otherwise I like Éowyn and Faramir very much, for their humanity and melancholic, bittersweet fate. Éowyn is quite close to me with her behavior as well. 

8. 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?

Although I have studied art, I don't work in that area. So it stayed at the hobby level. I have enjoyed drawing and painting since kindergarten, and it accompanies me in my life until now. I'm partially self-taught and something I learnt during my studies. It's also a way of relaxing for me. My main influences were Tolkien illustrators, but also favourite comics artists - like for example Shaun Tan, Moebius, Jiří Grus... Generally I enjoy depicting Tolkien's works in comics form. 

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

It's random, what currently touches my heart. I have a list of scenes from Tolkien's books, but mostly I don't foollow it. It is just random and depends much on mz current mood...

10. 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 have three techniques that I use separately and also like to combine them: watercolor, crayons, pen. I keep to them, I understand them, these techniques suit me. I elaborated them during the years. I don't experiment much. 

11. You took part in the Inktober project with a series of 31 pictures from Middle-earth. Was it difficult to keep up with it? Do you recommend taking such a challenge?

Without a full-time job, it wouldn't be a problem. But like this, it was on the edge with time. But I don'tregret it, I'm looking forward to the next year. I certainly recomment it to everyone. It's a great practice.

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

Mostly for the beginners: to not give up and perservere. And always have your eyes open. You learn to paint also by observing the world.

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

- a Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?

Hobbiton by aegeri

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

The wizard by aegeri

- a picture that fits your current mood?

A Feast in Mirkwood by aegeri

- a picture that was hardest to paint?

Earendil and Elwing by aegeri

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

Luthien by aegeri
(it was painted by one beautiful place near Prague :) )

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.

Certainly Šárka :iconsarkaskorpikova:, I still remember her picture of Fangorn
that I encountered while browsing dA during the highschool graphic lessons (secretly, of course). The more fun it was, when she, after I made a dA account, approached me and drew me into the Cyech Tolkien community. Then there is another prominent Czech artist Matěj Čadil :iconmatejcadil: , it is an honor to chat (and organize exhibitions) with such wonderful people. And not just that - we challenge each other to reach higher and higher.


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?

These people would certainly deserve more attention, their galleries are amazing:

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

Maybe just... thank you. To everyone. I'm glad that my works are inspiring to someone else. And thank you for a chance for this talk. :)

Thank you for your time and answers, too!

Coding by Felizias Drawings by ebe-kastein Borders by PhoenixWildfire
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greenapplefreak's avatar
wow! I hadn't seen some of the deviations before!! really nice and interesting! especially the inktober ones!
aegeri's avatar
Thank you for the opportunity to talk :)
Filat's avatar
Your "Talks" are always interesting to read! :)
Lin-0w0's avatar