Talks with Tolkien artists: kimberly80

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MirachRavaia's avatar
By MirachRavaia

Previous talks: Bullet; Blue with Gold-Seven
                            Bullet; Blue with steamey
                            Bullet; Blue with ekukanova
                            Bullet; Blue with Tulikoura
                            Bullet; Blue with AbePapakhian

Today I bring you and interview with a talented Russian artist kimberly80 - :iconkimberly80:.
While a few of other artists declined to be interviewed due to their lack of language skills with English, she was brave enough to answer my questions with the help of English speaking friends and google translator. Still I had to make a few corrections in her answers to better get her point across the language barriere. I hope I understood everything correctly, inculding the number of question that was being answered, so in case I got something wrong, it is only my fault (English is not my 1st language either, if you want to know...). But enough of talk about languages, let's let the art speak for itself:

Daeron by kimberly80
Thingol by kimberly80 Ulmo by kimberly80
Melkor by kimberly80
1. When did you read Tolkien's books for the first time, and what impression did they leave in you?

I got my first Tolkien book from my uncle when I was 11. He said it was something incredible and he had never read anything like it before. The book was "The Hobbit". Just imagine my surprise when I later found out that Bilbo had a nephew and what happened to him.

I read "The Lord of the Rings" thousands of times during my childhood and Frodo became one of my favourite characters. I remembere that there was a cartoon with very odd and funny hobbits (from Bakshi). In those moments I thought with sadness: "Why doesn’t anyone make a film of this?!"

Time passed and one day I received some awesome news: "Peter Jackson is filming "The Lord of the Rings"...

It was a culture shock for me!

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

Despite my experience with “The Hobbit”, I don't generally consider myself a true Tolkienist. I don't think I can remember all the names of the House of Fëanor, play role games, or write reports about the Professor’s creation.

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 When the movies came out, many of the inner pictures of characters and scenes in the mind of the readers have been replaced by actors and settings from the movie.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

"Epic, but gloomy", I thought, especially after jokes about beards or after gnomes singing all the time.

But I could forgive all of this because of Gandalf. He was the one from the book who I always imagined that way (as he appeared in the movie) as with Frodo and the Shire. While I saw Elrond as young man with a golden hair, Rohan and Gondor overwhelmed me.

I recently returned to his works after the release of "The Children of Húrin ", which impressed me a lot. And once again, I experienced Peter Jackson and the company of gnomes! Those hairstyles were something!! Judging by their beards, they could be Russians!

4. 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?

My specialty is art history and I am and expert on fine art, but sometimes I draw. Until recently, I worked mostly with church art, but that is another topic.

5. One could say you are a specialist in portraits. When you give face to Tolkien's characters, how do you find the right one?

I am a portraitist?! *makes a face of Bilbo in the moment he found out he is a "burglar"*.

Well, your dA gallery is full of portaits, so you must forgive me for calling you that ;)

Getting back to the portraits of Silmarillion characters – my images are very controversial. I'm interested in visualizing them somehow. I'm very happy when my vision for a character is similar to another artist’s. This means the image is more realistic; the face must always be instantly recognizable. There was a picture on the Internet (unfortunately I don't remember the author but everyone saw it) of Melkor with the face of Jude Law. When I saw it I thought: "Why not?"

6. Where do you look for inspiration for your painings, not only from contentual, but also artistic side? Do you use references?
In the matter of painting I began to love watercolor, although I had never done it before. Almost everyone who is interested in this technique knows Piliserro Silvia (Silvia Pelvis) (:iconagnes-cecile: at dA). I am endlessly inspired by her work and I think she is extremely talented.

I do like the series of watercolors on Tolkien from Kinko-White - :iconkinko-white:. In my opinion she is а finding for a publisher. I really love her airy-fairy style.

7. Do you keep to the art techniques and styles you are familiar with, or do you experiment with new ones as well?
To tell you the truth, I'm not a fan of different kinds of digital painting. (There are great ones however.) I prefer traditional art though some people may think it is pretty old-fashioned. But I do like a lot of new art as well, something you can see and say, "Wow, I want to do this too! ". The style doesn’t matter. I believe the desire to learn something new is very important for all artists. Art always involves some kind of message to the world.

8. Could you give us a link or thumbnail from your gallery of
- a Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?
Mim by kimberly80

- a picture that fits your current mood?
Feanor by kimberly80

- a picture that was hardest to paint?

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

This talk was about an amazing person and talented Christian writer, who gave us an incredibly beautiful magical world consisting of the characters who make you think of the way we behave and of our actions in real-life.

Thank you for the interview!

Rohirrim journal skin.

Horse head © 2009 - Grinmir-stock
Texture by kizistock
Knotwork by gbrgraphix
© 2013 - 2021 MirachRavaia
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MariaB9's avatar
I can't remember which was the first painting I saw of her (Aule, maybe) but I loved her style from the first sight. She is awesome!
gbindis's avatar
Wow, brilliant works! I never saw them before so I'm glad she decided to participate in the interview. Mim's painting looks truly stunning!
MirachRavaia's avatar
That's just the point of these interviews, I'm glad they are fulfillilng their goal :)
Arameldie's avatar
I love her works! All those faces are so real, so unique, they have some special magic...Congrats for kimberly80 ! She's a very talented artist!
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