Previous talks: with Gold-Seven fav.me/d6aprnx
with steamey fav.me/d6bx1lc
with ekukanova fav.me/d6dzooz
with Tulikoura fav.me/d6gqc7f
with AbePapakhian fav.me/d6l0qap
with kimberly80 fav.me/d6nt0jo
In this issue of "Talks with Tolkien artists", it is my pleasure to talk with a talented self-taught Slovak artist JankaLateckova - . I chose these pictures as a sample from her gallery for you:
(Note: This interview was concucted in Slovak and translated by me. If there are mistakes, they are my fault.)
1. Hello! For the beginning, could you tell us something about yourself?
Hello! I am an elementary school teacher, sponding most of my free time doing what I love, art.
2. When did you read Tolkien's books for the first time, and what impression did they leave in you?
Tolkien's books have attacted me since I was a child. I remembered admiring the beautiful cover of the Lord of the Rings in the book store. Unfortunately, I got to reading them relatively lately, as 21 years old. After watching the Fellowship of the Ring in the cinema, I ran straight to the book store. I read the whole trilogy in a matter of days. The Hobbit followed, then Silmarillion, and gradually all Tolkien's books I could get. The books together with the movies literally changed my perception of the world instantly.
3. How extensive is your knowledge of Middle-earth? Do you consider yourself Tolkien nerd?
I do not consider myself a big expert on Middle-earth, more like its admirer. The world created my Mr. Tolkien is to huge and wonderfully complicated, that I would not dare to title myself as "Tolkien nerd".
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 When the movies came out, many of the inner pictures of characters and scenes in the mind of the readers have been replaced by actors and settings from the movie.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 read the Fellowship of the Ring first after watching its movie version, but my perception of the characters in the book was not influenced by the movie. When reading a book, I always create my own mental pictures of the characters and places, of the feeling I got from them. The invidual scenes get their shape in the process of reading, and become future illustrations.
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?
Art is my hobby. It has been my dream to make my living as a professional illustrator, therefore I always strive to improve. I started drawing as a child - I always ran around with a crayon in my hand, and scribbled something in the sketch-book. It continued in school, where I used to draw under the table - Robin Hood, but later other heroes joined him.
I have always beem self-taught. Fascinated by the pictures in fairy-tale books, I first tried to copy them as good as possible. Only later I started to create my own illustrations, missing in my favourite books. By observing the techniques of famous artists and permanent hard work, I was gradually getting better. My first real idol was not a faous singer or actor, but Leonardo da Vinci, and later Allan Lee and John Howe.
6. Many of your paintings have a very detailed border. Where do you find the inspiration for the intricate shapes and details?
I enjoy "playing" with details, which is evident in the frames of my illustrations. I have always admired the illustrations for russian fairy-tales, as well as the beautifully framed drawings and engravings in old books and the works of Alfons Mucha, which influenced my pictures in a high degree. I look for inspiration for the complicated patterns and details mostly in nature and my surroundings, but a great part of them comes from my fantasy.
7. Where else do you look for inspiration for your painings, not only from contentual, but also artistic side? Do you use references?
I use references, mostly photos, only for sketching the figures. The clothing, background and frame is mostly a result of my imagination. As to the contentual side, I look for inspiration in books and movies, nature and my surroundings, and sometimes also in my dreams.
8. Your technique is quite specific, not taught in any art school, and it's really nice from you that you share the progress shots of your works. How did you develop this technique?
As I have said already, I am self-taught. I learn by the method of trial and error, and mostly observation. I try to combine different artistic techniques and styled, and use various materials and artistic supplies.
9. Do you rather keep to the art techniques and styles you are familiar with, or do you experiment with new ones as well?
I experiment and often invent new techniques, but despite that, I try to not make my pictures and illustrations look like modern art at the end.
10. 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?
My most popular picture on dA, and because I am a romantic soul, one of my most favourite pictures as well.
- a picture that fits your current mood?
- a picture that was hardest to paint?
I can't choose one picture that was hardest to pain, each one was a challenge for me, in a way. But "Vanyar" is a complicated illustration that was born very slowly.
11. 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 greatest support and my first art teacher for me was and is my mother.
Here at dA I met a lot of nice people who support me from the beginning, and I am very thankful for that.
12. 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?
13. There are many Tolkien-themed groups at dA. Do you have some favourites which you would recommend watching/joining? What about other art and fantasy groups?
It is very hard to choose just a few. and belong to my favourites, besides the others.
14. Is there something else you would like to tell to the fans of Tolkien and your art?.
It is not a shame in this time full of evil and cruelty to flee once in a while, and seek for solace in the world created by Mr. Tolkien. I hope that my pictures manage, at least once in a while, to carry people into a better world, where the good always wins, friendship is a greatest gift, courage and truthfulness are a merit, and the ability to love and dream a vitrue.
Thank you once more for this honor.
And I thank you for the wonderful interview!
Talks with Tolkien artists: saphir93
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