Talks with Tolkien artists: greenapplefreak

25 min read

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MirachRavaia's avatar
By MirachRavaia

An interesting variety of Feanorian-centric illustrations: humorous comics, heart-touching pictures, fanfiction illustrations, AU theories...
Let's talk about them with their creator, :icongreenapplefreak: - greenapplefreak 

war games by greenapplefreak waiting hall by greenapplefreak
My ol' enemy by greenapplefreak Shattered by greenapplefreak Mirror, mirror by greenapplefreak
first age armor by greenapplefreak Brothers by greenapplefreak

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

Hello! Well, to start with, my name’s Lilian, but you guys know me as Greenapplefreak and I also go by Lidoshka. I like languages and sweet foods, and I’m a fan of quite a few 90’s and 00’s cartoons, as well as a Tolkien fan.

2. What brought you to deviatArt and how did you pick your username?
I don’t remember very well how I ended here… I think I made a google search and found cool images in Devianart and I decided it’d be cool to show my coloured drawings here… aaaand that was almost 10 years ago. Wow, time sure flies!
I guess I picked Greenapplefreak because I wanted a whacky name…and I like green apples slices with chilly.

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

To be honest, I have no idea this whole universe existed until I saw the Fellowship of the Ring in cinemas, and I thought it was really cool, but back then you couldn’t find the Works of Tolkien on any random bookstore, and you definitely wouldn’t find them in English! But after the first movie I got really curious (because I was told there were going to be three movies) and asked a friend to get me the English version of The Lord of the Rings… and it was awesome!
Seriously, I was so impressed, not only that a book so thick could draw me in, but also by the story, the drama, the light moments in the middle of this war…and yeah, I was a little bit in love with Legolas. :P (Lick) so after Reading that, I tried to find other books by the same author and now here we are.

4. How much did the movies influence your imagination when reading the books?

Actually yes; when I got the book of The Lord of the Rings I tried to read as fast as I could, but eventually the second movie cameo out before I fully finished. (I was kinda confused when Haldir didn’t appear in the book to protect Helm’s Deep, actually) and yeah, the authors are pretty much what I think about when I try to draw them; which is… *tries really hard to express with words* not bad, but certainly limits the way I could have drawn them…
I mean, even the recent movies kinda ruined my creativity; Thranduil is fine, I already knew he was gorgeous, so there’s not problem matching Lee Pace with Thranduil…But Thorin was supposed to be a grey haired, wrinkled (and kinda bitter) old dwarf… and I got gorgeous Richard Armitage and now every time I try to draw Thorin I draw him as he looks in the movies… and wearing blue, for some reason it’s always blue. And it’s not on purpose, It’s just a thing I do. Please someone come and save me.
(Legolas will forever be blonde to me. Period.)

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?

if you want me to be honest I kinda skipped the first two chapters of the Silmarillion and started Reading just after it said “the history of the silmarils”
Later in life (read: several years later when the English language was not so confusing to me and the only confusing thing were the Tolkien names) I went back to read them, but pretty much I focus in specific parts of the universe. I think after Reading the end of the silamrils I read the rest of the book once, maybe twice. So I really have no idea of many of the kings of numenor, and I tried to learn elvish once but never finished. SO I guess my knowledge of Tolkien is kinda…specialized; ask me the father and mother name of the seven sons of feanor and I can recite them in one breath though… :P (Lick)

6. Who is your favorite Tolkien character and why?

I think it’s Maedhros, because his life is one big tragedy and I don’t think he enjoyed much of the things he ended up doing.
Also, aesthetically, red hair is something that intrigues me because up to a year ago I had never seen a natural redhead, and that intrigued me.
…Though I also love drawing Caranthir; for some reason I think he’s “the odd man out” of his brothers, and the one who doesn’t have a brother at his side, and I imagine he’s lonely and that makes me want to draw him.
So yeah, it’s either one of them, or maybe it’s a draw.

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’ve always loved drawing, since I was 6 and spent recess drawing along with a friend, and I’ve taken several courses, like oil painting, watercolor, comics, human figure and so on, but I’m definitely not a professional.
Personally I never thought my style was good enough to make a living out of it. It looks a bit anime-ish (because I watched a lot of anime when I was a teen) and to be honest, sometimes my style doesn’t work well with more serious scenes. Still, it’s still pretty fun to try and draw the things that appear in my head, so I continue
(yep, it’s practically the same position …guess I haven’t learned anything these last few years.. :P (Lick))

8. Even when your illustrations fit Tolkien's canon, they usually depict scenes "between the lines", especially from the life of the Feanorians in Valinor. How do you choose which scenes and characters to illustrate?

well, I don’t know if this happens to anyone else, but sometimes I have this kind of …reel in my mind, that kinds shows me scenes of specific characters while I’m reading something completely irrelevant.
Its’s annoying, but it helps me design original ideas… and I really have no idea how I decide which character I want to draw… (I actually draw a bunch of sketches, and some ideas work and some other are terrible, and most of the time I just decide to color and upload the ones that worked).
…now that I think about it, I guess I have an idea how each character is supposed to act, so if that character Works with that scene I add him, and if not, just don’t add them… (like, sure, Galadriel was probably as good a rider as Aredhel, but I sure as hell never gonna draw her in a riding in the front of a hunting scene, for example)

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

anything that is trendy can catch my eye; a new anime can air and if I see it and I like it, I’m gonna draw fanart of it. The same happens with movies, or books.
But the ones that kinda work as pillars for my nerdiness are Transformers, Rurouni Kenshin, DC comics (specially batman, teen titans and Young justice) and Tolkien (but mostly it’s the silmarillion, and mostly it’s just the House of Feanor :P (Lick))
I also like to read a lot of fanfiction, and sometimes a specific scene gets stuck with me so strongly that I just need to draw it. This is not an option, it’s almost like and itch I need to scratch.

10. Your profile says that canon is more of a guideline to you. What are your favourite non-canon depictions of Tolkien's characters?

I think everything I’ve ever drawn from Tolkien is something completely non-canon (from Feanor being a good- if somewhat awkward- dad, to Maglor being a bit of a jerk) Wink/Razz, but there’s one thing that has caught my eye recently and that I think it’s supper interesting:
I don’t know it this is non-canon anymore or not, but one thing that I’ve seen more and more is how people paint Tolkien characters with different tones of skins besides “pale pasty caucasian” and I love it! (I mean, I haven’t done it myself yet… but I still love it)
I find the whole idea amazing, simple because to me, the books were written by a British guy and the story somehow was set up in an older version of the European continent, so: Europeans=p (Razz)asty White people. *ducks several shoes* but I know different now! I was Young, and impressionable, and beauty magazines kept telling me the shape of real beauty were tall, lean and White women!
But after Reading this comment of characters skin tones in Tolkien works (…), I’m starting to try and design my characters differently…I mean, I haven’t made many changes, but I’m trying!
Halleth then and now!

11. The emotions in your pictures range from humorous to some very sad ones. Do they reflect your real mood when drawing them?

I think they do… to some extent, I wouldn’t be able to draw something like this:
Without feeling a Deep sadness and pity for Amras.
…on the other end of the spectrum, I was drawing a funny comic that was just refusing to be drawn, and it was so frustrating, so you bet I was definitely not happy nor merry when I was drawing it! (and in case you’re wondering, it was This one:

12. You also illustrate fanfiction stories. What do you expect from a well-written story, and what makes you want to illustrate a fanfic?

the first thing I expect is proper spacing (I don’t care if it’s the next best seller, if it has not spaces between paragraphs I’m not gonna read it)
I also expect characters to act similar as they do in canon, or at least to start up as they are in canon; of course the narrative is gonna change them, but if they are too OOC since the beginning I start thinking that maybe the author was too lazy to make a proper character development. Still there’s a really fine line there.
I don’t think there’s any other requirement, as long as I find the story engaging I’m going to stick around and review and sometimes make fanart.
What makes me want to illustrate a fanfic? It doesn’t have to be a big fanfic, or popular… sometimes I eve suspect some author don’t want me to draw fanart for their stories, but I still do it because I just have an inner need to immortalize a scene or a character in my own style!

13. 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 mostly use pencil and paper, because I have a lot of used papers that I can recycle, then I ink them and in the last few years I started using Corel Photoshop and Adobe Photoshop to color my images. Eventually I also got a Tablet which makes thing much easier. But sadly, I don’t venture too far away from my area of comfort.
Sweating a little...

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

oh boy! I’ve recently used some tutorials that I need everyone else to practice!
 I Also recommend to gather as much research as possible; when I plan to draw something new, like water or snow or fire, I save as many images as possible of how other people draw those elements, and by analyzing them, sometimes I get to figure out to develop my own style!
And finally, I encourage all artists to get their own patterns, for example, half my phone is full of photos I took of clouds, rocks, pieces of pavement, cloth designs and such, because I can use them to get their color palette or simply to help me design!

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

- a Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?

This is the one I’m really proud off, half collage, half black magic I really have no idea how I draw this!
 the same fire inside by greenapplefreak

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

Every time I see this one, I can feel my shoulders relaxing:
Time off by greenapplefreak

- a picture that fits your current mood?

Right now I’m really happy, and jittery, and nervous! Just like this guy:
coming in from the cold by greenapplefreak

- a picture that was hardest to paint?

Half my gallery was a Pain to draw while I think I was possessed by and inner fire for the other half, but recently I had a lot of problems with this one:
my clique by greenapplefreak

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

I’m really proud of this one comic because of how the water came out looking!
What if no. 43: Waters of Rebrith by greenapplefreak

16. 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.

On the top of my mind and checking my fav section, I can say:

:iconekukanova: because dear Eru! Look at those talented hands!
:iconntldr: because she’s a wonderful person and an extraordinary writter!
:iconscoutdoodles: because her desings look so cool! And she inspired me to draw more Tolkien comics!
:iconfish-in-fridge: because eshe made some amazing fanart for a fanfic I love and I’m simply awed by her skills!
:icondeceptiveshadow: because his lines are so smooth!
:iconcylindric: beause she draws so much detail into each of her desings that she makes em wanna try harder!

17. 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?

Well, I don’t think these DArtists are overlooked so much as they are more popular in other websites… still, for me they are amazing! just look at the emotions and action you can see in each image!
The Best creation of Feanor by the-ALEF by :iconthe-alef:
Feanor Maglor Elrond Elros by IDAHL by :iconidahl:

Mature Content

Maedhros by owl-glass
by :iconowl-glass:
legolas and gimli by 3393339 by :icon3393339:
<da:thumb id="458582947"/> by :iconsnartha:
Luthien in Nargothrond by Irsanna by :iconirsanna:

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

Yes: you guys are awesome! This fandom is so nice, so knowledgeable, so full of fantastic people! Must of the time I act like a wallflower, stalking your art and reading your Tumblr posts, but I want to extend one great clapping to all of your guys! You rock!

Thank you for your time and answers!

Coding by Felizias Drawings by ebe-kastein Borders by PhoenixWildfire
© 2017 - 2021 MirachRavaia
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greenapplefreak's avatar
thank you so much! this is wonderful!
excited happy 
Nelyasun's avatar
one of my favorite artiest due to often making the Feanorian family life funny XD
EEHills's avatar
One of mine too, and for much the same reason.