Talks with Tolkien artists: noleme

18 min read

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MirachRavaia's avatar
By MirachRavaia

Would you like cookies with your daily dose of Tolkien humour? :iconnoleme: - noleme can provide you with both, and also show you what hapens when Tolkienverse meets Potterverse:

From Morgoth with Love by noleme TmP - Lord of Werewolves by noleme
Faramir and Eowyn cookie by noleme 'We've got company' by noleme
A Grim Prophecy by noleme
Ladies' Men by noleme Celebrian Leaving for Valinor by noleme

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

Hello! I’ve been on DA for 6 years, mostly lurking, faving and collecting. I occasionally create humorous drawings and cookies that I share here, but the majority of my works are just fun doodles that accompany my Tolkien-themed gifts for those members of my family who are Tolkien fans like me.

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

Wow, I don’t even remember why I came to DA – it’s been so long! Likely to favorite the works of Tolkien fan artists, collect stamps with messages I agree with, and share my Tolkien creations with fellow fans.
As for my usename, I stumbled upon 'Finwë Nólemë' in the Histories of Middle-earth, and it was love at first sight. It’s ironic that I later found out the name was probably an early version of 'Fingolfin' while I ended up preferring his half-brother. x)

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

I read the Hobbit when I was about 12, enjoyed it very much, but didn’t feel like reading the other, more complex books. When the LotR movies were in cinemas, I had to be persuaded to go. But ever since that one memorable evening of 2002 (at least I think it was), I have never left the Tolkien fandom. Looking back, TH was a fun and adventurous narrative, such as I loved reading in my early teens, but LotR was something different, deeper; a shelter to resort to when the absence of Tolkien’s ideals in today’s world overwhelms one.

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

I saw the movies first, but came to appreciate the books more. I’ve partly managed to see the two universes as separate entities: I never think of the movie characters when reading the books, and vice versa. It’s much harder with the settings though.

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?

Here’s my key to reading Tolkien’s less popular works: I skip the boring bits. ;) (Wink) Sometimes, I accidentally stumble upon them months and years later, and am surprised that they’re actually more interesting than I’d thought they would be (happened to me with 'Wanderings of Húrin').
My knowledge of Tolkienverse is fairly extensive, but I’m definitely not a scholar. If you find a mistake in one of my Tolkien submissions, you are very welcome to correct me.

6. Who is your favourite Tolkien character and why?

There are so many I love, it’s difficult to choose just one. It would ultimately be a tie between Frodo and Fëanor. Frodo because his tremendous sacrifice is generally underappreciated (and many people are swayed by the movie script which does his character a great injustice). And Fëanor because he’s often portrayed black and white – he’s either the cool bad boy, or he’s a heartless maniac. But to me he’s much more complex than that.

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?

Definitely just a hobby, and I think it’s very obvious. ;) (Wink) I’ve drawn since I was small, but I’ve always been lazy, especially when it comes to backgrounds and coloring. When it comes to drawing males, my Tolkien art is heavily influenced by Karina Chmiel (Kasiopea), who I am a huge fan of. The original inspiration for my 'comic strip' style is the art of makani of DA. Too bad their galleries have all but disappeared from the internet!

8. There are two important ingredients in your gallery: cookies and humour. I would like to ask about the humour part first. Do you consider yourself a "fun" person in daily life as well?

It depends. I am introverted, shy and not very sociable, especially with people I don’t know. Once I get to know someone better, I usually open up a bit. But I’m definitely not a natural entertainer or a party joker, except in my innermost family circle.

9. When Tolkienverse meets Potterverse, it's a great source of jokes, at least in your gallery. How do you get the ideas for these comparisons?

I wish I knew! Usually it’s an out-of-the-blue revelation that I get when reading a passage in Tolkien or HP.

10. Now, about cookies. It's really an unusual artistic medium, so I will ask directly: why cookies?

It all began with the cookies my mother makes every Christmas. As a child, I was fascinated with how beautifully she decorated them. Also, we’ve always had a special set of cutters, the likes of which are not commonly sold in shops – cutters shaped like squirrels, cats, churches, foxes, even babies… I did the outline design for some of the cutters, and as years went by, I began to experiment and test what could be improved about mom’s original decorations. Cookie-spruces got needles, babies got more realistic faces, chicken became sparrows and so on.
About 10 years ago, I noticed the leftover dough and its interesting shapes, and wondered what Tolkien- or animal-themed drawings would fit in them. And that’s how my Tolkien cookies came to be. :) (Smile)

11. Would you mind sharing the recipe?

I’ve been very unsatisfied with the quality of my gingerbread dough the last couple of years, and have been (unsucessfully) experimenting with new recipes, so at the moment I cannot.

12. Are there some other books or movies (or anything else) inspire you to create fanart, and why?

Definitely. The Garfield I drew in my 'Red-headed League' crossover was an example of that. It’s just my laziness that prevents my ideas from becoming comics or cookies. ^ ^
I am determined to draw at least one figure-skating-themed cookie or comic in the future, as watching it is one of my most recent passions.

13. Do you rather keep to the art techniques and styles you are familiar with, or do you experiment with new ones as well?

I‘ve started using a brush for my cookies, and as for my drawings, I really want to try watercolours. I’ll keep the black marker lineart, but coloring using pencils is a drag, and, have I told you I’m lazy? :P (Lick)

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

Honestly, I don’t think I’m qualified to give tips... Except this one: if you want to decorate cookies using chocolate, make sure you buy one that is sold for that purpose (icing). Right now, I just don’t know of any 'normal' chocolate, no matter the brand and price, that doesn’t develop unsightly discolored spots by day 2. So different from several years ago...

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

- your favourite "Tolkienverse meets Potterverse" joke?

Lost in Translation by noleme
I am fond of 'Lost in Translation'. One doesn’t have to know much of either universe to get the joke, and it’s also a comic I feel was least influenced by others' art.

- a cookie you are most proud of?

Recovery in Mithrim - cookie by noleme
As much as I love 'Faramir and Éowyn', I am most proud of 'Recovery in Mithrim'. I’m pleased I managed to capture Maedhros pretty much as I imagine him.

- something that fits your current mood?

Off to Middle-earth by noleme
'Off to Middle-earth'. Because it’s holiday time! I wish I could join them! :D (Big Grin)

- a piece that was hardest to create?

The Gift of the Ring by noleme
'The gift of the Ring', which also happens to be the one I am least proud of. It’s proof that elaborate doesn’t always translate into pretty.

16. You returned to deviantart after a long pause. What brought you back?

To quote Tolkien - Looking behind! :D (Big Grin) No, really. I missed all the pretty fan art.

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?

A number! For Tolkien comics, I choose The-Black-Panther (Who remembers the Nazgul comics? And this one even comes with a brain teaser!)
and Hemhet (isn’t this one sweet?)

For Tolkien crafts, I choose BonnieLeeman’s glass art (aren’t these just magical?)
and one piece by a fellow cookie maker, LalaAdanwenB (for Hobbit movie lovers!)
<da:thumb id="418817132"/>

And for general Tolkien art, special shoutouts to EPH-SAN1634 (very unique style, and one that fits Tolkien’s mythology quite well!)
and Filat (who I’ve followed for a long time, and love how noble her Elves look)
and MatejCadil (many delightful, detailed and rarely drawn /not only/ Tolkien landscapes)
Durin's Stone by MatejCadil

And for non-Tolkien art, I pick Akoustam5 – one of the few who draw figure skating fan art here. Her art nouveau style collection is especially beautiful:
Yuzuru Hanyu Coloring Page by Akoustam5

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

I’m grateful for each and every fav, comment and watch I get. Thank you all, you know who you are!
And here’s a little something I haven’t shared with anyone yet: I secretly wish my username was my RL name. Thanks for reading! Hi!

Thank you for your time and answers!

Coding by Felizias Drawings by ebe-kastein Borders by PhoenixWildfire
© 2017 - 2021 MirachRavaia
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Filat's avatar
Thank you very much for mentioning! :)
Akoustam5's avatar
Thanks so much for the mention. The cookies look amazing!
EPH-SAN1634's avatar
I am mentioned again! I am SO HONOURED!!! :D