You can find very touching depictions of the friendship between Beleg and Túrin in the gallery of - Ephaistien. This issue of "Talks with Tolkien artists" belong to this Belarus artist.
1. Hello! For the beginning, could you tell us something about yourself?
My name is Maria Awsejkowa. I am a self-taught artist from Belarus.
2. It is interesting to find out the stories behind people's usernames. What is yours?
Ephaistien is allegedly feminine form of the name Hephaistion(Hephaestion). He was friend of Alexander the Great.
And Hephaestus is the god of creativity...God the smith, God the artist.Аnd I am his priestess
3. When did you read Tolkien's books for the first time, and what impression did they leave in you?
I read Tolkien's books first in the 13 - 14 years old.I loved them once and for all. the first thing was certainly "The lord of the rings". and later discovered "Silmarillion" and the "Children of Hurin".
4. Did you read the books, or see the movies first? How much did the movies influence your imagination when reading the books?
I have seen the movies first and my own heroes were very difficult to imagine, constantly interrupted by imposed images from the film. But it was only a problem with the Lord of the Rings. When I read the Silmarillion I saw my own characters. That is, their images were already mine (no Peter Jackson's).
5. How extensive is your knowledge of Middle-earth? Do you consider yourself Tolkien expert?
In general, yes.
6. Who is your favourite Tolkien character and why?
I love Beleg Cuthalion and his friend Turin. Beleg is so brave and strong and at the same time loyal and tender. Turin is noble, strong and so gothik... I also love Aredhel (she is very good mother) and Eowyn (just love).
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?
Painting is my hobby. I did not learn this anywhere else, I was not in any art school. My first experience with it was when I was 3 years old. (It was a drawing of horse and rider; D ) My style was influenced by children's picture books. Later I was fascinated by the works of the Pre-Raphaelites, oriental art and works of Vrubel.
8. How do you choose which scenes and characters to illustrate?
I just see the images in my head and draw them. Normally it's under a strong impression from reading.
9. The main topic of your pictures is the friendship of Beleg and Túrin. How do you perceive the relationship between these two characters, despite its tragical end?
I admire their loyalty. They have a very strong emotional bond, deep platonic relationship and endless loyalty... but it is over. And I cry over Turin. So much pain...
10. What other book or movies (or anything else) inspire you to create fanart, and why?
I love the topic of Alexander the Great and his time. (I love a film and many books about him.) I love Iliad of Homer. The Greek myths (especially of Icarus, Hades and Persephone, Orpheus and Eurydice, Oedipus, Apollo and Hyacinth, Apollo and Daphne ... and the whole Trojan cycle. There I admire loyalty of Achilles and Patroclus, love of Andromache to Hecktor and love Briseis) ... I love the Epic of Gilgamesh. The Scandinavian legends and movie «Trees Grow on the Stones Too». There I admired the atmosphere of ancient Scandinavia and love of Einar and Signy. I love the book Jane Eyre of Bronte... Books of Leo Tolstoj, especially his novel "Holstomer" or "The Story of one horse", "Notre Dame de Paris" of Victor Hugo... I love films "Forrest Gump", "Life of Pi", "War Horse", "Legends of the Fall" (Just love this sad films)...
And music inspires me also.
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?
Hard to say. I like just a beautiful pictures. In all techniques. And I love to experiment.
12. Do you have some tips and tricks you would like to share with the other artists?
Hard question... But I only advise all artists to create! This is the best advice!
13. 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?
- a picture that fits your current mood?
- a picture that was hardest to paint?
- any other picture you would like to share with us and why?
14. 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.
You, of course! It is also my close friend (she's not on DA) and those who simply love my pictures. I am pleased that my work they add to their collection.
15. 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?
16. Is there something else you would like to tell to the fans of Tolkien and your art?
Thank you so much for all the attention and kindness to me! And I want to wish good health and inspiration to all fans of Tolkien and those who just love my work!
And thank you for your time and answers!