Talks with Tolkien artists: sstefiart
|14 min read
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By MirachRavaia   |   Watch
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Published: October 16, 2018


It is my pleasure to present you a talk with :iconsstefiart: - sstefiart, who only joined deviantArt a few months ago, but in that time managed to capture our attention with her beautiful pictures:

Turgon, King of Gondolin by sstefiart Silmarillion - prevision by sstefiart
Morgoth by sstefiart Spring in Arda by sstefiart
Finrod Felagund_Leaving Aman by sstefiart
Thranduil (Lee Pase) by sstefiart Varda Elentari by sstefiart

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

– Hello!
First of all, I would like to thank you for the interview.
My name is Stefka. I’m born and live in Sofia, Bulgaria. A lovely country with centuries-old culture. I’m an impulsive person that loves humor, the smile in people’s eyes, the silence of nature, the color blue, stars and horses.

Horse by sstefiart

2. You only joined deviatArt three months ago. What brought you here and what has been your experience with the site so far?

– My first urge to register here was to present my artwork to a larger circle of viewers.

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

– My first touch with Tolkien’s world was trough the movie trilogy. For me, the fantasy genre has always been alluring, but the first movie was love from a first sight, Yes, that’s how I fell in love with the world of Tolkien! After that I waited with anticipation the following movies. Meanwhile I’ve read “The Hobbit”, “Silmarillion” and “The children of Hurin”. I made parallels between the books and movie adaptations. Well, the literary part took precedence. For me Tolkien’s world is complex and multilayered. Based on the eternal conflict between good and evil, it is a fusion between a fantasy world and eternal human values. It can be overseen from different points of view and the viewer will always find something new.

Fingolfin_sketch by sstefiart Elladan, son of Elrond by sstefiart

4. What creates the image of Middle-earth in your mind? Is it more influenced by the books or movies, or maybe other artists, and this it change over time or remained the same?

– Every image which is connected to Middle-earth is a compilation of Tolkien’s book, movies that came to the big screen for the moment and beautiful music. Sometimes a part of nature inspires me to create the image, another time it’s a random person or a conversation. A big portion of my inspiration comes from music. It is the most powerful engine for my imagination. The images, of course, evolve over time and enrich themselves until I reach their final visualization.


5. Some of Tolkien's books can be hard to read, being more of history annals than beletry. Do you enjoy the scholarly side of studying Tolkien's world as well?

– The difficulty with reading Tolkien’s work stops many people at the beginning. I collided with the same problem but I’ve already watched LotR and did not allow myself to stop. I read carefully as a vast world opened in front of me. A world inspired by legends and Tolkien’s massive imagination. Yes, from this point of view, the scientific side with exploring the world of Tolkien interests me.

6. Who is your favourite Tolkien character and why?

– This is a difficult question because I can’t answer unambiguously. I have favourites among all races.
For example – Samwise Gamgee – unselfishly devoted to his friend Frodo, with unshakable faith in good.
The dwarves – Gimli – stubborn, a really good person and recklessly brave. As for the pointy-eared elves – I have a peculiar relationship with them. :) (Smile)

Fingolfin and Anaire_Promises by sstefiart

7. Are there some topics in Tolkien's works that you are particularly passionate about?

– The idea of fantasy writers as architects and creators of universes has always attracted me. And the creation of the Tolkien world trough the song of the Ainur is close to my heart.

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?

– I adore art in all of its forms. All human’s and nature’s creations. I started painting since I was little. It’s an internal urge that cannot be resisted, self-expression. I finished “Design” at the Nation art academy in Sofia. Design , as a part of art, has always attracted me more than fine arts. For a long time painting was in the background for me and even with art education I can’t call myself a professional artist. The positive part here is that the creative voice in me is too loud to be silenced. That’s why in my little free time in my tense everyday life, I try to capture a small portion of the incoming ideas. As for my style… it is influenced by realism and my old affection for the impressionism, art nouveau is really close to my worldview as well. I find parts of myself in all these three styles, but I always strive towards something new and unexplored by me in the area of art.

Return of ships by sstefiart

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

– Creativity is an intuitive process. Images and scenes are associative and details are the result of a study of various sources.

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

– I prefer to find inspiration in books, nature and good music. I’m a passionate fen of Terry Pratchett, Markus Heitz and his “dwarves”, George R. R. Martin, early-medieval and Renaissance culture and art, multicultural mythology. I hope that one day I can make illustrations for Terry Pratchett’s universe.

11. 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 feel most comfortable when I do graphics, but the colors give quite another experience when painting. As for color materials, I prefer pencils and watercolors because of the softness they give me as a means of expression.
As for my style – I’m a seeker. I haven’t been able to create my own style of creation.


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

– Search and you’ll find! The universe of the creative imagination is immense.

13. Could you tell us, which
- Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?

Turgon, King of Gondolin by sstefiart

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

This is a wall painting made for my son (2m-3m). It was a great space for drawing and a great challenge for me, but the result was unexpectedly good and he was very pleased.
WorldofWarcraft - Pandaria - landscape by sstefiart

- picture fits your current mood?

Questions by sstefiart

- picture was hardest to paint?

Port on the Isle of Balar by sstefiart

14. Would you like to thank somebody here? 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.

– Primarily I would like to thank Irjikor, the man whose constructive criticism has given me the confidence to continue to seek and create. Also to all artists in DeviantArt, who fill my eyes and soul with their wonderful artworks. And last but not least, I want to thank my family who tiptoes around me while I paint. :D (Big Grin)

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

– I’m sure that every Tolkien fan lives with a small portion of his consciousness in the world of Arda. Never close the door to this wonderful universe! :) (Smile)

Thank you for your time and answers!


Coding by Felizias Drawings by ebe-kastein Borders by PhoenixWildfire
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Comments (3)
Sterys's avatar
Sterys|Hobbyist General Artist
Great interview!
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EPH-SAN1634's avatar
EPH-SAN1634|Hobbyist General Artist
So impressive!
Reply  ·  
Wyzzel's avatar
Wyzzel|Hobbyist General Artist
Already watching ... really great art and nice interview, thanks!
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