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Talks with Tolkien artists: SceithAilm

Journal Entry: Tue Aug 19, 2014, 11:52 AM


:iconsceithailm: - SceithAilm is a talented russian artist and creator of the (still unfinished) Tolkien tarot. It is my pleasure to bring you this interview with her today.

 Tarot: Temperance by SceithAilm
Tarot: The Lovers by SceithAilm
Tarot: The Emperor by SceithAilm Tarot: The Chariot by SceithAilm
Tarot: The Hanged Man by SceithAilm Tarot: The Star by SceithAilm

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


Hey there! My real name is Olga, I live and work in St. Petersburg, Russia (it’s a wonderful city but recently I dream to run away from here). Now I'm an artist in a small company owned by the Austrian corporation Novomatic that produces graphics and animations for casino gaming machines. What else can I say... I just love Shakespeare’s plays, Jane Austen’s novels, Tolkien’s tales and Norse mythology. All of this helps me to break through the edges of reality.

2. When did you read Tolkien's books for the first time, and what impression did they leave in you?

For the first time my father read "The Hobbit" to me when I was 7 years old. And this story, this magical world just struck me. Since then I fell in love with fairy tales and myths of all cultures. But even now my most favorite story is Tolkien's "Smith of Wootton Major". This book is full of some incredible, fragile but powerful magic. It is quite different from the world of Middle-earth, not so dark and less epic, yet more philosophical and magical.
And I still remember that in my childhood I was terribly frightened by "The Fellowship of the Ring". The Nazguls and orcs were so scary that I durst to read “The Lord of the Rings” only when I already was a teenager).

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

No, I don't think so. I’ve read all his books in Russian and "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" in English, so I'm well versed in characters and storyline of these books, but I’ve never tried to remember all the troubles and historical events described there. Several times I read articles about most interesting persons and battles in different guides and theoretical research works devoted to Tolkien's books, but I barely finished them.

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

Yes, I think it's true in my case and I never really tried to prevent it.
Peter Jackson, Alan Lee, John Howe and others have done an amazing job! Costumes, scenery and cast bring Tolkien’s characters and universe to life perfectly, so now it’s almost impossible to imagine them in different way. I don't know any other movie in the entire history of cinema which shows so wonderfully detailed, so beautiful and realistic fictional world. I’ve assembled a collection of artbooks released by Weta Workshop and I can spend weeks looking through and reading them again and again. You see, I’m really a big fan of these movies.

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?

Our city is considered to be the cultural capital of Russia, there are a lot of colleges and academies for artists, so when I started drawing I had a lot of opportunities to study. I’ve got to like drawing since the age of five, and soon this hobby became my profession. I graduated from Saint Petersburg State Academy of Art and Design in 2011 as an illustrator. In addition to the education I’ve learned to draw using a tablet and started painting in Photoshop, it gave me new opportunities for creativity. CG Art brings me a lot of ways for self-development and improvement. This is an incredibly exciting and rapidly developing art form. So I can say that I am self-trained and professional artist at the same time.
Basically, I’ve been influenced by Gothic art and artists of the Italian Renaissance, particularly Sandro Botticelli. The grace and elegance of his paintings are stunning; I adore his fine shades of colors, beautiful silhouettes and sharp lines. All masters of the Renaissance were unequalled drawers and I can only dream to reach their level of art skills!

6. You are working Tolkien-themed set of tarot. How do you choose the characters representing the individual cards? Can you also read tarot, and will you use these cards for it?

No, unfortunately, I cannot read Tarot and I have only some elementary knowledge of its symbolism and meanings.
Originally, I planned to draw deck of ordinary playing cards, it is much more easy and it would have taken less time. The only problem with poker deck is that there are few female characters for the Queens in "The Lord of the Rings", and, at the same time, many male characters that won’t receive their own place in the deck.
The idea to create Tarot deck belongs to my friend MarinArk, she is truly passionate about Tolkien’s universe and seriously interested in Tarot cards, their history, semantics and meaning. Here's what she says about the main idea of our project: "This is a kind of a comparative study of archetypical dimension of The Lord of The Rings; the Tarot is the most well known cultural phenomenon that deals with the visualization of the archetypical patterns and scenarios, so the idea to make some associative link between them appeared on its own: the numerical sequence of the Major Arcana is often interpreted as an allegory of spiritual development path, so this is an attempt to disclose this allegory in the context of The Lord of The Rings."
So MarinArk chose main characters and situations of "The Lord of the Rings", and I designed a color mood, characters and compositional structure of cards) It is a kind of common project).
Hope that someday, when I get through with this deck, many people will be able to use it for fortunetelling :) (Smile) But for me the Tarot is most of all an extremely beautiful and mystical art object.

7. 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?

During my art life I've tried a variety of graphic techniques, not only traditional drawing, and various printing techniques, such as linoleum engraving, etching, lithography, monotype, and others. It was all very interesting and exciting, but these techniques require special equipment that is not so easy to find and keep at home) So now I prefer simple graphic techniques, such as drawing with a pencil or ink pen. It is very convenient, because you can take a pencil and a notebook with you everywhere; at the same time, this is a very nice technique, quite expressive and dynamic. And CGart technologies allow to correct mistakes of hand drawing and also to create images that imitate any real graphic technique through usage of blending modes and different textures.

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

No tricks and secrets here)
I don’t have any special technical skills or tips. At first I try to imagine how the final image should look like, to think through even the smallest details. Then I transfer the idea on paper as accurately as possible. And then I scan the sketch and finish it in Photoshop. You see, it's all pretty simple and traditional.
The only problem is that my skills are sometimes not enough for the realization of ideas)

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


- a Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?

To be honest, I believe that an artist should not choose "the best" or "worst" of his works. So I’ve never even thought about it) There’s no picture which I’m proud of, because I'm sure that I should work much more hard.
However, here are two drawings, which I suppose turned out better than others. The first is Thorin’s portrait inspired by Richard Armitage in «the Hobbit».
Is that the treasure thou dost seek? by SceithAilm

I tried to express the tragedy of this character, his feeling of loneliness and impending doom. And to show how cruel fate and destiny could be. Despite that I failed to achieve physical resemblance, I think the main mood of the character corresponds to my idea.

The second is one of the Tarot cards – The Devil. I think at the moment it is the most eye-catching card in the deck. I think this card has the better composition and impressing color solution.

Tarot: The Devil by SceithAilm

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

At the moment, my beloved character is a famous Norse god Loki and his various appearances in the mythology and the works based on the Northern folklore. I was trying to depict mysterious, cunning, mischievous creature that never calms down and never stops. It should be similar to a flame tail that changes its form every moment. I have done already a lot of conceptual sketches for him, but I am still in search of final concept.

Ready for some Ragnarok? by SceithAilm

- a picture that fits your current mood?

I’m quite depressive and melancholic person. Frequently I just sit and think dreaming about non-existent worlds. This Thranduil’s portrait is a reflection of my feelings and current mood.
dreaming... by SceithAilm

- a picture that was hardest to paint?

It was the sixteenth card in the Tarot - Tower.
Tarot: The Tower by SceithAilm
I spent a lot of time thinking how to place the scene of the attack against Gondor in a small vertical Tarot format. At the moment, this is the most detailed and elaborated card and this is the only one where I had to draw landscape and make it fit with the rest "portrait" cards. It was very difficult to achieve clear and recognizable image while maintaining all the necessary details and characters. Several times I had to change the original concept of this picture :) (Smile)

- any other picture you would like to share with us and why?

It is the first Tarot card. I made it a long time ago, so the style and concept of the drawing has changed since that time. I began to pay more attention to the compositional integrity and clarity of the image and give less time to details and textures of the background. This card looks like a reprint of wood engraving. As result it looks rather old and damaged by time. I suppose this could be a pretty interesting effect. What a pity that it wasn’t preserved in the rest of the pictures.

Tarot: The Fool by SceithAilm

10. 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.


Of course, there were many teachers of painting and drawing in my life. They helped me to receive the initial knowledges about anatomy, perspective, and drawing techniques and skills. And to create my own style of drawing.
But each and every person who does something better, can be an inspiration for me. Talent and mastery of other artists gives me incentive to develop my own skills. And it can be both the world famous painters of past and artists from DeviantArt. The feeling of my own imperfection and ambitions helps me in my work for sometimes, but both cause depression and desire to quit drawing forever)

11. 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?


I would like to present you a wonderful artist Helena Rosova from the Czech Republic, her nickname on DA is Hellanim. She makes incredible illustrations for Poetic Edda’s songs and to other adventures of Norse god Loki. I admire her original style of drawing, it reminds me an engraving or wood carving and her pictures are both witty and elegant, decorative, but at the same time full of tiny exquisite details. Her illustrations perfectly convey harsh humor, power, and unique spirit of northern legends. Here are a few examples of her works:

Loki in Freyjas feather cloak by HellanimThe Adventures of Loki by HellanimQuercus Dub Type by HellanimBludicka by Hellanim

and another one of my favorites is evankart from South Korea, who makes the most beautiful sketches I‘ve ever seen in my life.

Thorin 0826 by evankartWall of Hobbit by evankartAragorn by evankart

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

I just want to say THANKS to all of my watchers and followers for their attention to my work, kind comments and notes. It makes me really happy)

Thank you very much for the nice talk!


Previous talks:Bullet; Blue with Gold-Seven fav.me/d6aprnx
                            Bullet; Blue with steamey fav.me/d6bx1lc
                            Bullet; Blue with ekukanova fav.me/d6dzooz
                            Bullet; Blue with Tulikoura fav.me/d6gqc7f
                            Bullet; Blue with AbePapakhian fav.me/d6l0qap
                            Bullet; Blue with kimberly80 fav.me/d6nt0jo
                            Bullet; Blue with jankolas fav.me/d6o41tp
                            Bullet; Blue with jgilronan fav.me/d720ty2
                            Bullet; Blue with ebe-kastein fav.me/d7432vw
                            Bullet; Blue with MatsumotoSensei fav.me/d76jc7r
                            Bullet; Blue with TurnerMohan fav.me/d78r8wr
                            Bullet; Blue with ullakko fav.me/d79rfcc
                            Bullet; Blue with batwinged-squirrel fav.me/d7aoebk
                            Bullet; Blue with wolfanita  fav.me/d7awlf3
                            Bullet; Blue with marisoly  fav.me/d7awlg4
                            Bullet; Blue with kaijukid  fav.me/d7n5duj
                            Bullet; Blue with faQy  fav.me/d7ox700
                            Bullet; Blue with hitogata / kittykatkanie  fav.me/d7qsais
                            Bullet; Blue with spiegelscherben  fav.me/d7r6bdi
                            Bullet; Blue with The-Black-Panther  fav.me/d7r8jjz



Rohirrim journal skin.

Horse head © 2009 - Grinmir-stock
Texture by kizistock
Knotwork by gbrgraphix

Talks with Tolkien artists: The-Black-Panther

Journal Entry: Sun Aug 3, 2014, 1:53 PM


:iconthe-black-panther: - The-Black-Panther is the creator of another humorous Tolkien themed comic series titles "Meet the Nazgûl". So, what are we waitiing for? Let's meet them... and her, as well!

Meet the Nazgul by The-Black-Panther Meet the Nazgul .5 by The-Black-Panther
Meet the Nazgul .6 by The-Black-Panther Meet the Nazgul .15 by The-Black-Panther
Meet the Nazgul .14 by The-Black-Panther Meet the Nazgul .17 by The-Black-Panther



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


Hello, my nickname on dA is the-black-panther but elsewhere I use simply Pantera. I’m from Poland and I’ve been drawing since I remember.

2. When did you read Tolkien's books for the first time, and what impression did they leave in you?


I read The Lord of the Rings relatively late, shortly before the film The Fellowship of the Ring was released. What’s more I already know the two major spoilers – that Boromir is going to die and Gandalf is going to return. Well, just my luck. However, it didn’t prevent me from enjoying the read. What amazed me was how complex the world was, how very much alive. The Lord of the Rings is one of those books, which leave no doubt that the author had taken into consideration everything from the wide background to the smallest details. Later I read Hobbit, Silmarillion and some other books, but The Lord of the Rings was the one I kept coming back to.

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

No, I don’t. To be honest my bookshelf with Tolkien’s fiction and Middle-earth related books is rather short. In most of the cases – no matter if it’s a book, a film or a tv show I tend to focus on background characters – Tolkien’s books are no exception and that’s why Gríma, Saruman and Nazgûl are among my favorite ones. I guess that’s why I also like Unfinished Tales the most, especially the story about Nazgûl’s Hunt for the Ring and the chapter about Istari.

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?

There is no way to avoid some of it, because the film posters were the first thing that got me attracted to the story. I was well familiar with the faces of the actors when I started to read The Lord of the Rings. I guess after watching the films the landscapes and locations melted with the description in the books in my imagination – especially in the cases when they were so well reflected, especially Shire, Rohan and Isengard. It looks different when it comes to the characters. Although I like to seek some inspiration for the pattern on the clothes (Saruman’s robes embroidery for example) the one I draw the most, Gríma, doesn’t look like Brad Dourif. He is much younger, perhaps even too young for someone, who managed to became the king’s counsellor and destabilise Rohan’s defense so effectively. He also doesn’t look like a-very-suspicious-guy-planning-something-very-cunning, more like some random guy (which I think is justified – a spy shouldn’t raise suspicion). On the other hand the portrayal of Christopher Lee has influenced my image of Saruman, but I liked it so much that I have never tried to actually get rid of it.

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?

I used to work for a few years as 2D animator. However, I’ve never took any professional art course and drawing was always a hobby. I started drawing dragons when I was 8 or 9 years old after I saw a picture of a dragon in a magazine about dinosaurs. It was standing on hind legs and I was greatly surprised years later, when it turned out that majority of dragons is shown as quadrupedal – quite on the contrary to my vision. Horses and animals were a popular topic too. Later I moved between various fandoms but I never gave up drawing dragons. I think I can’t point out clear influences. I like clean black and white pictures thanks to Dylan Dog comics, drawn by various artist – it’s really amazing what they can achieve using this technique. I like to put tiny details in background just like Don Rosa did. I also like Bruce Timm’s style, who is best known from his work on animated series for DC (Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond and others) and try to incorporate something similar in comics.

6. You are an author of the "Meet the Nazgûl" comic. How did you get the idea for it? And why exactly the Nazgûl?

The first part of Meet the Nazgûl was drawn as gift for a friend, who is a Nazgûl fan. And then suddenly was an idea for the second part and for another, and another... Some things, which appear here or there like Nazgûl Horse Express and Gríma’s acquaintanceship with Nazgûl, come from fan fictions I wrote. Sometimes I get inspiration from discussions in the comments under the comics, but often it’s just everyday life – Nazgûl can’t survive their existence without strong coffee, have hard, ungrateful job and a demanding boss, who supervise them all the time and doesn’t want to give them a day off, even if it’s only one for every 712 years in service. Doesn’t it sound familiar (maybe except the last part of the sentence)? As for the second question - well, first of all, Nazgûl are pretty easy to draw. ;) (Wink) What’s more it turned out that a bunch of wraiths with everyday problems bothering them make a funny combination. But what’s is more interesting about Nazgûl’s story in general is the fact that they not always were those dreadful creatures. They used to be humans. Deep down there is the misery, when you start to think what fate came upon them. Probably not all of them were bad in the first place, some might use the rings from a desire to do good. That’s why one day I would like to make a bit more serious comic about Nazgûl.

7. Is humour and fun an important part of your life?

One might expect a person who draws humor art to be light-hearted, optimistic and cheerful. Well, that’s not my case, because I’m rather withdrawn and I don’t open easily to people. However, when it comes to dealing with reality and the fact that life has a tendency to drag you back drawing or writing humour stuff can be helpful to some extent as well as the ability to focus on the ironic side of the situation.

8. 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 used to draw a lot using automatic pencil and pigment ink pens. However, I started to switch more and more to digital art, partially because my scanner had broken down and partially because I started to draw on Wacom tablet. Right now I mainly draw vector art. I couldn’t achieve the effect I aimed to while drawing by hand on tablet in Photoshop, so I started to create outlines in Illustrator, which is my favorite technique right now. As for the styles it depends on the theme. I’m trying to master more realistic way of shading, but there is a long way ahead of me. I feel more familiar with black and white drawings or cel-shading coloring.

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

Nothing special here. When it comes to drawing comics rough sketch of page layout really makes life easier. It might sound obvious, but I didn’t do it when I drew the first parts of Meet the Nazgûl (and that it’s the reason why they look like crap). When I draw I often use photographs as a reference. I made a few pictures based almost entirely on a photograph, but then I gradually moved on and now I use them to get a general idea for the poses. I would also recommend vector art to make clean outlines - it works for me, maybe it'll work for someone else.

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

It would be this one, although the shading here is far from being perfect.

Just another of those days by The-Black-Panther

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


There's nothing left to say now by The-Black-Panther

- a picture that fits your current mood?

Orc's diplomacy by The-Black-Panther

- a picture that was hardest to paint?

Drawing this page was quite challenging.

Meet the Nazgul .19 page 1 by The-Black-Panther

- any other picture you would like to share with us and why?

It has to be a dragon of course. I quite like this one, because I figured out how to get rid of the outline while drawing this.

Don't look back by The-Black-Panther

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.

Honestly I can’t name such key people. When it comes to writing I could make a list of a few authors, who influenced me. For example Joanna Chmielewska, who was a Polish author of criminal novels full of witty and unique humor. She drew inspiration for her stories from life, putting into the plot of her books alter egos of her friends, family, colleagues from the work and also herself. Maybe after all something from her works influenced my art too, because I also like to look for inspirations in the same way she did. But I don’t know where does that need to draw coming from. It just exists. They are artist on and off dA whose technique and skill I admire, but I wouldn’t like to copy their style or vision - aiming for the same level is quite a different thing. As for the support I have a colleague, who I can always ask about tips on shading and coloring.

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?


Sure. :) (Smile) There is going to be nine artists like nine Nazgûl (and ten drawings, because I couldn't decide which picture choose in one case).

Grima by trzecipromienNazgul on horse - Xmas cookie by noleme
Fili and Kili by mstrychowskaInspirations by Ri-zuACEO - Piorun by Naseilen
Zachary Levi as Fandral by staciangstAnger of a furious storm by ansentGanfalf the Grey by EvelinaLindqvist
A Grim Prophecy by nolemeNowa grafa by Eva-the-DragonLady

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


I’ve never really felt like a popular Tolkien artist, but I’m happy every time when I get comment or a sign that someone follows Meet the Nazgûl and finds those stories funny. So thanks to all of you, who not only read, but who also leave the feedback. I guess Gríma, Saruman and Nazgûl related art belong to minor part of the fandom, but I’m going to fill it as long as I have an inspiration to carry on.

Thank you very much for your time and answers!

Previous talks:Bullet; Blue with Gold-Seven fav.me/d6aprnx
                            Bullet; Blue with steamey fav.me/d6bx1lc
                            Bullet; Blue with ekukanova fav.me/d6dzooz
                            Bullet; Blue with Tulikoura fav.me/d6gqc7f
                            Bullet; Blue with AbePapakhian fav.me/d6l0qap
                            Bullet; Blue with kimberly80 fav.me/d6nt0jo
                            Bullet; Blue with jankolas fav.me/d6o41tp
                            Bullet; Blue with jgilronan fav.me/d720ty2
                            Bullet; Blue with ebe-kastein fav.me/d7432vw
                            Bullet; Blue with MatsumotoSensei fav.me/d76jc7r
                            Bullet; Blue with TurnerMohan fav.me/d78r8wr
                            Bullet; Blue with ullakko fav.me/d79rfcc
                            Bullet; Blue with batwinged-squirrel fav.me/d7aoebk
                            Bullet; Blue with wolfanita  fav.me/d7awlf3
                            Bullet; Blue with marisoly  fav.me/d7awlg4
                            Bullet; Blue with kaijukid  fav.me/d7n5duj
                            Bullet; Blue with faQy  fav.me/d7ox700
                            Bullet; Blue with hitogata / kittykatkanie  fav.me/d7qsais
                            Bullet; Blue with spiegelscherben  fav.me/d7r6bdi



Rohirrim journal skin.

Horse head © 2009 - Grinmir-stock
Texture by kizistock
Knotwork by gbrgraphix

Talks with Tolkien artists: spiegelscherben

Journal Entry: Tue Jul 22, 2014, 10:00 AM


:iconspiegelcherben: - spiegelscherben is the author of the "Silmarillion - The Good Parts Version" comics, but more than that, she is also a Tolkien artist and roleplayer. We talked about her art, humour and inspiration.

Silmarillion: The Good Parts Version 1 by spiegelscherben Silmarillion: The Good Parts Version 4 by spiegelscherben Silmarillion: The Good Parts Version 5 by spiegelscherben
Silmarillion the Good Parts Version 9 by spiegelscherben Silmarillion: The Good Parts Version 14 by spiegelscherben Silmarillion: The Good Parts Version 15 by spiegelscherben

(Sorry for the small thumbs, I was having some trouble with resizing them in stash)

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

Hello! I'm a geek girl who lives behind a computer keyboard in Sweden. Computer programmer by day, artist and writer by night (well when not stuck in RP anyway!).

2. When did you read Tolkien's books for the first time, and what impression did they leave in you?

I read The Hobbit for the first time when I was about 11, I suppose. I read LOTR at 14, but I preferred the Hobbit for a long time - I preferred the flawed, pithy Elves over the overly perfect ones from LotR I suppose. But it's also a case of "first book wins" I guess. I appreciate both now.

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


I certainly don't consider myself a Tolkien expert! Except for the Hobbit and LOTR/Silmarillion books, I've been learning most about the history of M-E since I started role-playing in the Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO) MMO. Most of my knowledge was acquired sitting with Wiki open in another tab feverishly checking that I wouldn't say anything wrong while RPing! But then, I also seem to have a talent for learning and retaining useless trivia... so by now I guess I know quite a bit of the history of M-E.

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 think I will always retain my own picture of how Strider looks over the pretty Aragorn in the movies. That's not to say I didn't like the actors or the films - it's just not always my own vision of how things went down.

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?


I've been doing art for a long time, but never very professionally. I enjoy writing and drawing comics and have been doing my own serials off and on since high school. Apart from comics, I suppose my style is equally influenced by classical art and modern illustration (not that I consider myself being as great as either of those!).
 
6. You are an author of the "Silmarillion - The Good Parts Version". How did you get the idea for it, and how do you choose which parts are the good parts?

"The good parts version" is a reference to the Princess Bride - the book/movie is supposed to be the "good parts version" of a rather long and boring book hiding a good story. I have been thinking that the Silmarillion needed a short and concise (and humorous!) version for a long time, and at some point I ran across the Hetalia manga/anime in which countries are represented as persons. I just knew our Elves needed the same treatment!
Later I saw Scandinavia and the World (which I recommend heartily if you do not know it already!), and I can't deny that the look of the comic influenced the final look of my comic as well. But the first comics and character sketches are actually from before I knew SatW.

7. Is humour and fun an important part of your life?

Absolutely! I take a lot of inspiration from the old saying that a fool might criticise a king where the wise may not. Humour is important for dealing with both serious situations and everyday life. You should be able to make fun of yourself and even the things you take seriously.

8. You have several original characters in Middle-earth. One of them, Nimlith, even writes her own notebook... Could you tell us more about your characters, your writing and roleplaying?

Absolutely! I have a bunch of characters (to go into detail in all of those would be a bit too much even for this column...) but Nimlith is my main and favourite character, as my many drawings and paintings of her show.
Nimlith is a Nandor born in the Second Age who has lived in the Greenwood all her life as a healer. As it seemed like war was approaching though, she decided to leave her home in favour of spreading peace and harmony among the Free Peoples. She works to improve relationships and bring hope to all Free Peoples in the dark times that she knows are approaching.
(More can be seen and read on her Laurelinarchives page: laurelinarchives.org/profile/1… )

9. 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 am working with many different techniques, but I find that I keep coming back to comics and ink drawings. It comes easiest to me. At the moment I am trying to teach myself watercolours, which are quite counter-intuitive for me! (I have no patience to let my paint dry... aargh!)

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


Read about art and look at art every day in your life! I always make a point to go to art galleries and exhibitions in every city I visit. You can learn a lot from the masters, even if you do not paint in the same style as they do!
I'd make a point about doing a little bit of art every day as well, but I've not been too good at it myself recently...

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

- a Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?

The Woman in the Woods by spiegelscherben
This picture's colour scheme and look is inspired by John Bauer - I quite like the way it came out, and the scene it depicts.

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

Starcomic page 03: Starkiss by spiegelscherben

An oldie but a goodie. Maybe I'll revisit it some day now that I've gotten my hand in with vector art.

- a picture that fits your current mood?

The Black Waters by spiegelscherben

I've been a bit stressed recently. But now, vacation!

- a picture that was hardest to paint?

 Spring Ritual by spiegelscherben

- this is probably the picture that took the single most time to paint. I changed the size of the picture several times and had to amend. Digital painting is really straining to my wrist, so I am quite happy that I got this one as far as I did before I declared it "done".

- any other picture you would like to share with us and why?

Nimlith's Notebook: The Forest and the Garden by spiegelscherben

A little inspirational story courtesy of Nimlith, who is much wiser than her player.

12. 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.

I come from an artsy family, so it was obvious I would also be interested in art. My boyfriend is very patient when it comes to my "I just have to finish this, I'm in the zoooone!"-cries. And of course the many artists and writers I knew over the years, from Elfwood to dA and on.

13. 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?

I believe Ursula Vernon :iconursulav: has quite enough attention now, being a Hugo-winning comic book author and generally awesome person, but if you don't know her yet, you should definitely check out her gallery! (and books. And comics.)

Mammoth Garlic by ursulavPludwump 2 by ursulavBattle Hamster Raid by ursulav 

And while I'm at it, humon :iconhumon:, the creator of Scandinavia and the World, definitely deserves mention as well.

How to deal with animals by humon What did you say? by humon Clothes Confusion by humon

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


I've rarely seen such a prolific and nice fan community as the Tolkien fans. Keep being awesome!

Thank you very much for your time and answers!


Previous talks:Bullet; Blue with Gold-Seven fav.me/d6aprnx
                            Bullet; Blue with steamey fav.me/d6bx1lc
                            Bullet; Blue with ekukanova fav.me/d6dzooz
                            Bullet; Blue with Tulikoura fav.me/d6gqc7f
                            Bullet; Blue with AbePapakhian fav.me/d6l0qap
                            Bullet; Blue with kimberly80 fav.me/d6nt0jo
                            Bullet; Blue with jankolas fav.me/d6o41tp
                            Bullet; Blue with jgilronan fav.me/d720ty2
                            Bullet; Blue with ebe-kastein fav.me/d7432vw
                            Bullet; Blue with MatsumotoSensei fav.me/d76jc7r
                            Bullet; Blue with TurnerMohan fav.me/d78r8wr
                            Bullet; Blue with ullakko fav.me/d79rfcc
                            Bullet; Blue with batwinged-squirrel fav.me/d7aoebk
                            Bullet; Blue with wolfanita  fav.me/d7awlf3
                            Bullet; Blue with marisoly  fav.me/d7awlg4
                            Bullet; Blue with kaijukid  fav.me/d7n5duj
                            Bullet; Blue with faQy  fav.me/d7ox700
                            Bullet; Blue with hitogata / kittykatkanie  fav.me/d7qsais


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Note of absence

Journal Entry: Fri Jul 18, 2014, 2:12 AM
Skin by TMNT-Raph-fan




"I'm going on an adventure!"


I am posting this note in my personal profile as well as in the groups where I'm the only admin who votes on entries.

:new: I'll be away from August 7th to 18th. (I promised my sister I'll take her to a trip when she graduates high school, so we're going to Corsica :)) I might have some limited internet access through the phone, but I will not reply to any notes and messages, and will not approve the submissions in the groups. I will get back to everything after I return.
I still have a load of photos from Scotland to submit, and I don't want them to get forgotten when I return with new ones (as it often happens to me...), so I'm considering setting a scheduled sumbit for them. Help me decide on the frequency of it here, please! mirachravaia.deviantart.com/jo…

***

I will be away from July 19th until July 27th, without any internet access. In that time I will not reply to any notes and messages, and will not approve the submissions in the groups. I will get back to everything after I return.

(I'm going for a honeymoon in Scotland! Expect photos when I get back! :))

Talks with Tolkien artists: hitogata/kittykatkanie

Journal Entry: Tue Jul 15, 2014, 10:06 AM


For those who like a bit of anime/manga style mixed with their Tolkien, I have the pleasure to present you one of the popular atrists of this style who alse draws Tolkien illustrarions. :iconhitogata: - hitogata, or :iconkittykatkanie: - kittykatkanie under an alternate account, is also a creator of the Noldorin Icon Family - :iconnoldorinfamilystore:. A few examples of her icons:

Icon Family: Finwe by kittykatkanieIcon Family: Finrod by kittykatkanieIcon Family: Orodreth by kittykatkanieIcon Family: Galadriel by kittykatkanieIcon Family: Celebrimbor by kittykatkanieIcon Family: Mahtan by kittykatkanie

And a taste of her art:

Lord of the Lights by kittykatkanie "---yes." by kittykatkanie
NIF: Just another exam day in university by kittykatkanie LOTR: ED parody by kittykatkanie :: b e l o w. t h e. s u r f a c e :: by hitogata
Noldorin Pancake Equation by kittykatkanie T.E.A-S Pile by kittykatkanie


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


Hi! My name is Kat - some call me K for short or "hito" from my username. I'm a Japanese working in Japan right now, but I grew up in Malaysia.

2. When did you read Tolkien's books for the first time, and what impression did they leave in you?

I had to choose a book for free reading from a list back in 5th grade, and I happened to choose The Hobbit. I liked the book, but for the most part all I remember was that the book gave me a hard time to read... (because my English wasn't good at that time).

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


I've read many of the Tolkien books so I consider myself I have good knowledge about Tolkienverse, but not an expert.

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?

To be honest, the movies gave me the reason I was hooked with the Tolkienverse. I haven't read the trilogy before the movies came out so there I had no inner pictures to start with. As for the Hobbit, I had some of my own images, but I like the movie versions too (even though I visualize them differently in books).

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?

I'm just an amature. I loved drawing as far as I can remember, and I spent most of my time drawing in childhood. My style is strongly influenced by anime and manga because I grew up with them, and most of my drawings back then were fanarts of manga I liked.

6. Could you also tell us more about the Noldorin Icon Family that you founded? How did you get the idea, and how does it work now?

I was seeing lots of icon family on dA that time, so I really wanted to make one of my own. And since I haven't seen one for Tolkien, I adopted the concept of Noldors - specifically of those from the House of Finwe down to the fourth generation. So I posted a tweet on my twitter about it to see if anyone would be interested in joining, and I had Finno (vinyatar), Turno (aire73), and Little Gil (AlaudeSketchbook) gave me a big go at the idea. Thus I decided to make them. Then I posted a journal to recruit the rest of the "family" with a small test - I had to add this rule because I realized some people who wanted to join the family had absolutely no idea what Noldors were. Currently, there are 32 of us :) (Smile)

9. 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?


Related to the style influence question, my art technique is strongly influenced from anime/manga. And I'm more comfortable using digital media rather than traditional. There are some traits I tend to keep in my works, but I like to try out new styles whenever I encounter inspirational works while browsing art.

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


Enjoy what you draw, and draw what you enjoy. :) (Smile)

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

- a Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?


Secret Hideout by kittykatkanie

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

Pixel Vignette: Who are you? by hitogata

- a picture that fits your current mood?

Getting hot these days ain't it by hitogata

- a picture that was hardest to paint?

:: H I N A M A T S U R I :: by hitogata

- any other picture you would like to share with us and why?

Evolution of Pixel Vignette by hitogata
One of the most frequent questions I get is "how do I make these pixels."
I fail at words, so by putting the process into a single sequence, not only it helps to explain the process to others, but it reminds me the amount of effort I put into these works - it helps me keeps my motivation. :) (Smile)

12. 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 grandfather.
My father was never happy seeing me spend my time drawing, but my grandfather was the one insisted me I should keep drawing because it's what I love to do. He passed away last year so I can't talk to him anymore, but he has always been and will be my supporter who understands me the most.
Also, he was very inspirational - he was a pâtissier but was great at drawing too, and I learned many things from him including some drawing and crafting techniques.

13. 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?


I have two if you don't mind!
:iconvinyatar:
Coffee Maedhros by vinyatarSend forth your battle cry by vinyatarMortal by vinyatar

:iconheavenlycondemned:
DontGetLostInHeaven by HeavenlyCondemnedearly Xmas giftie of sorts by HeavenlyCondemnedATSebastianMoran by HeavenlyCondemned


Thank you very much for your answers!

Mirach (or :icondreams-of-arda: in NIF ;))

Previous talks:Bullet; Blue with Gold-Seven fav.me/d6aprnx
                            Bullet; Blue with steamey fav.me/d6bx1lc
                            Bullet; Blue with ekukanova fav.me/d6dzooz
                            Bullet; Blue with Tulikoura fav.me/d6gqc7f
                            Bullet; Blue with AbePapakhian fav.me/d6l0qap
                            Bullet; Blue with kimberly80 fav.me/d6nt0jo
                            Bullet; Blue with jankolas fav.me/d6o41tp
                            Bullet; Blue with jgilronan fav.me/d720ty2
                            Bullet; Blue with ebe-kastein fav.me/d7432vw
                            Bullet; Blue with MatsumotoSensei fav.me/d76jc7r
                            Bullet; Blue with TurnerMohan fav.me/d78r8wr
                            Bullet; Blue with ullakko fav.me/d79rfcc
                            Bullet; Blue with batwinged-squirrel fav.me/d7aoebk
                            Bullet; Blue with wolfanita  fav.me/d7awlf3
                            Bullet; Blue with marisoly  fav.me/d7awlg4
                            Bullet; Blue with kaijukid  fav.me/d7n5duj
                            Bullet; Blue with faQy  fav.me/d7ox700


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Talks with tolkien artists: faQy

Journal Entry: Wed Jul 2, 2014, 11:11 AM


Today I had the pleasure to talk with a great Czech Tolkien artist with unique style, and a great person, :iconfaqy: - faQy

Mandos by faQy Aragorn and Arwen by faQy
Earendil and Eonwe by faQy
Eol and Aredhel by faQy gardening by faQy
goblins and dwarves by faQy

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


Hi!...i am student of animation, i like fairy tales and i live in small village somewhere under mountains :3

2. When did you read Tolkien's books for the first time, and what impression did they leave in you?


I think my first Tolkien book was The Hobbit. I was ten years old and I have read every fantasy book that i found in our small library.
I think I started drawing because of that Hobbit book - in czech version there are illustrations by Jiri Salamoun and i didn´t like them when I was young (now i think they are cute ^^; ..but when I was ten I liked "fantasy realism" and such things ^^; ).
 But I really liked the story and i thought that this story deserves much better pictures - so I started drawing them (my illustrations were much worse than the ones by Salamoun but i liked them ^^; )

I see we have read the same version of the Hobbit as our first Tolkien book! :D But to the next question:
3. How extensive is your knowledge of Middle-earth? Do you consider yourself Tolkien expert?


No, no, I´m just fan. I like reading Tolkien's books - I read Lord of the Rings and Silmarillion a few times, but I have to improve my English first and read them in original :)

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 like the versions of the characters that are portrayed in the Lord of the Rings movie but when I am reading the books i imagine them different.

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?

I started drawing when I was 15 years old. Before I preferred reading and writting (and drawing illustrations for book I like... but just sometimes).
After that I somehow made exams and i started going to Art high school. From that time i was just drawing, drawing and drawing. Now I study animation and sometimes work as an illustrator or comic artist.
I'm collecting fairy-tale books and old illustrations are my biggest influence (my favorite is czech illustrator Jiri Trnka).
 
6. How do you choose which scenes and characters to illustrate?


It is really easy - in Tolkien's books you can draw illustration for every sentence. That is why I like drawing illustrations for Tolkien books so much.

7. 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 like experiments but i ussually do not have enough time for it. So my most favorite technique is combination of traditional and digital (like coloured pencils lineart and digital colouring)

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

Be original. I lot of people just tried to draw realistic Tolkien illustrations, but it is really great when somebody has their own style and draws the characters differently.

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

Yavanna and Aule by faQy

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

peter pan by faQy

- a picture that fits your current mood?
Skrinovec by faQy

- a picture that was hardest to paint?
boj by faQy

- any other picture you would like to share with us and why?
rano by faQy
I have a lot of pictures in my gallery but this one i really like this one

10. 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.

Maybe my classmates - they are all so talented and they work really hard (so i have to work too if I want have good grades ). I think they are one of the reasons why I'm studying :)
And same with people here on deviantart (although artist here are so good that i ussually have depression and I don't draw at alll)

11. 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?

Little flight by CrippledPaperCrane we've built this wall we've let it fall by Rarachovna
Park by Dryas-juas Evening in the hills by RobleskaZeppelin
Heart

Thank you very much for your time and answers!

Previous talks:Bullet; Blue with Gold-Seven fav.me/d6aprnx
                            Bullet; Blue with steamey fav.me/d6bx1lc
                            Bullet; Blue with ekukanova fav.me/d6dzooz
                            Bullet; Blue with Tulikoura fav.me/d6gqc7f
                            Bullet; Blue with AbePapakhian fav.me/d6l0qap
                            Bullet; Blue with kimberly80 fav.me/d6nt0jo
                            Bullet; Blue with jankolas fav.me/d6o41tp
                            Bullet; Blue with jgilronan fav.me/d720ty2
                            Bullet; Blue with ebe-kastein fav.me/d7432vw
                            Bullet; Blue with MatsumotoSensei fav.me/d76jc7r
                            Bullet; Blue with TurnerMohan fav.me/d78r8wr
                            Bullet; Blue with ullakko fav.me/d79rfcc
                            Bullet; Blue with batwinged-squirrel fav.me/d7aoebk
                            Bullet; Blue with wolfanita  fav.me/d7awlf3
                            Bullet; Blue with marisoly  fav.me/d7awlg4
                            Bullet; Blue with kaijukid  fav.me/d7n5duj



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Traditional Trees contest winners

Journal Entry: Fri Jun 20, 2014, 5:25 AM

This is a feature of the winners of the "Traditional Trees" contest, held by

:icontrees-with-character:
Congratulations to all winners!

:icontree3plz::iconcheerplz::iconclubinvite::iconspotlightplz:First Place:iconspotlightplz::iconclubinvite::iconcheerplz::icontree3plz:
:iconmolecularart:molecularart
With:
A Walk in Late October
A Walk in Late October by molecularart
More from His Gallery:
Mountain Pines by molecularart
A November Walk to Lake Zorinsky by molecularart A Quiet Walk by molecularart Redbud Before the Storm by molecularart
Walking Near Cuyahoga Falls by molecularart A Walk on the Edge by molecularart


:icontree3plz::iconcheerplz::iconclubinvite::iconspotlightplz:Second Place:iconspotlightplz::iconclubinvite::iconcheerplz::icontree3plz:
:iconkasiarzynka:Kasiarzynka
With:
Fairytale tree
Fairytale tree by Kasiarzynka
More from Her Gallery:
Winter Wonderland by Kasiarzynka
wet morning in the forest by Kasiarzynka Sun Embraced Trees by Kasiarzynka musing of trees by Kasiarzynka
Sine Wiry by Kasiarzynka roman bridge by Kasiarzynka


:icontree3plz::iconcheerplz::iconclubinvite::iconspotlightplz:Third Place:iconspotlightplz::iconclubinvite::iconcheerplz::icontree3plz:
:iconcornproduct:cornproduct
With:
silence
silence by cornproduct
More from His Gallery:
earth engine no.2 by cornproduct
elemental chain by cornproduct gaia by cornproduct thin air by cornproduct
limited EP by cornproduct nature overpowered by cornproduct


:icontree3plz::iconcheerplz::spotlight-left::iconsparklylaplz:Runners Up:iconsparklylaplz::spotlight-right::iconcheerplz::icontree3plz:

:iconleoisnotaturtle:leoisnotaturtle
With:
Cicadas
Cicadas by leoisnotaturtle

:iconredrowandesigns:RedRowanDesigns
With:
Autumn Forest
Autumn Forest by RedRowanDesigns

:iconoutsidelogic:outsidelogic
With:
Ponderosa Triptych
Ponderosa Triptych by outsidelogic


:icontree3plz::iconcheerplz::star: Honorable Mentions :star::iconcheerplz::icontree3plz:

Forest by Sissyke Juniper Vista by IvieMoon The Tree of Growth by ausrejurke Autumn Dreams by Clu-art


You may view all entries here!
:iconcyansparklesplz:Traditional Trees Contest Folder:iconcyansparklesplz:


Talks with Tolkien artists: kaijukid

Journal Entry: Fri Jun 20, 2014, 2:54 AM


The wedding is over, dissertation is written, and Talks with Tolkien artists are back! :) Today I would like to introduce you an artist who illustarted the WHOLE Tale of Beren and Lúthien - not in 10, not in 20 pictures, but full 61 of them! At first he wanted to decline the interview because there are many more talented Tolkien artists, but I think you'll agree with me that a dedication and effort like this should be recognized regardless of the talent level. And so I present you :iconkaijukid: - kaijukid and his Lay of Luthien:

The Lay of Luthien Storybook, page 1 by kaijukid The Lay of Luthien Storybook, page 19 by kaijukid

The Lay of Luthien Storybook, page 21 by kaijukid The Lay of Luthien Storybook, page 52 by kaijukid
The Lay of Luthien Storybook, page 59 by kaijukid The Lay of Luthien Storybook, page 61 by kaijukid

1. When did you read Tolkien's books for the first time, and what impression did they leave in you?

---What amazed the young mind I had when I first read them was the sheer bigness of it all....the world was huge, the characters were grand, the drama was immense. It was clear from a young age these weren't just fairy tales but a deep, well made world, and it drew me in for keeps.

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


---If categories were divided in neat threes of Noob, Average and Expert I would definitely consider myself average. I'm not one who relies only on the movies and media adaptations to inform me on the universe, I remember a lot of the names, significance to things and a lot of the history, but I still couldn't tell you off the top of my head what the name of the earliest elf king was, or the name of every castle. Just enough to enjoy it a bit deeper than face value.

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?

---Ironically my mental pictures of most of the characters defaults not to the movies when I read the books but rather to the looks and styles I saw in my head listening to the BBC radio dramatizations, which I listened to quite often. The movies typically tend to stay apart in my head as their own separate thing.

4. Now, could you tell us something about you and art? When and how did you start doing it, and who or what influenced your style?

---I've dabbled in art as long as I can remember, initially trying to just draw cartoon heroes and eventually fan comics of same. Comic artists, manga artists and animation styles were always my favorites, rather than striving for a realism style. Bob Eggleton was one of my biggest heroes, a fantasy and sci fi painter with a gorgeous style. Rumiko Takahashi and Masakazu Katsura influenced the more cartoony/animated style along with studio Ghibli movies. I just cherry-picked whatever I liked best out of each.

5. You illustrated the ENTIRE tale of Beren and Lúthien, in 61 pictures. What motivated you to do it? Was there a moment when you almost gave up, but didn't?

---The motivation for the adaptation was mainly twofold; first was just that I absolutely adored the story, I consider it not only a beautiful story within the Tolkien universe but one of the most perfect "fairytales" ever written. It's a shame to me that more people aren't familiar with the story or that it also hasn't benefited from greater exposure with adaptations outside of the histories, because I feel people would adore it. The second motivator was that I wanted to make it in a storybook style for younger readers, especially for my nieces, nephews and maybe someday my own children, and use it as a tool to introduce them to the lesser known stories in the Silmarillion and other non LOTR/Hobbit books. Honestly it never occurred to me to not finish it, because when I get to a point that I know I'm going to start a project I've pretty much settled in that it's going to get done. Once page one of Luthien was finished, it was an inevitability as far as I was concerned.

6. 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 definitely dabble, but I'm certainly comfortable with the pen and tablet, doing characters in a sort of animated/cartoon style. The better the technology I can eventually get a hold of the more I want to see what new styles I can play with.

7. Do you have some tips and tricks you would like to share with the other artists, especially when it comes to persistance and determination?


---Mainly just don't let pride get in the way. Everyone carries a style, and a skill level, and it's always better to produce than be intimidated not to do so out of fear of looking bad by comparison. Don't worry about a little tutoring if you can finding someone you respect who knows their stuff, or just playing with your programs or tools until something feels comfortable, even if it will eventually make way for something better.

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

- a Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?
The Lay of Luthien Storybook, page 47 by kaijukid
- a picture from other fandom or original picture you are most proud of?
Let Them Fight by kaijukid
- a picture that fits your current mood?

We'll just say "romantic" :P (Lick)
So Easy to Love by kaijukid
- a picture that was hardest to paint?
Mothra Leo vs.  Final Gigan by kaijukid
- any other picture you would like to share with us and why?
The Strawman and the Blackbird, front cover by kaijukid
This is my current project which means a great deal to me, a graphic novel about a brave girl on a farm. Projects like these typically take several years to finish, but every day and page is worth it. I always hope that will inspire anyone frustrated with their own work to keep going, because the long haul is worthwhile.

9. 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 dad was always a solid rock of support, and my older brother's pencil shaded superhero pictures were awe inspiring to a kid wanting to enjoy art. I am also blessed to have a wife not only supportive of my art, but as a fantastic artist herself has helped me to grow.

10. 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 stylish monster movie artist :iconearthbaragon:
Ultraman Complete 58 Kaijus by earthbaragon MST3K: Giant Crab: Attack of the Crab Monsters by earthbaragon Godzilla and Eleking - The Thunder From Down Under by earthbaragon

Thank you for your time and answers!

Previous talks:Bullet; Blue with Gold-Seven fav.me/d6aprnx
                            Bullet; Blue with steamey fav.me/d6bx1lc
                            Bullet; Blue with ekukanova fav.me/d6dzooz
                            Bullet; Blue with Tulikoura fav.me/d6gqc7f
                            Bullet; Blue with AbePapakhian fav.me/d6l0qap
                            Bullet; Blue with kimberly80 fav.me/d6nt0jo
                            Bullet; Blue with jankolas fav.me/d6o41tp
                            Bullet; Blue with jgilronan fav.me/d720ty2
                            Bullet; Blue with ebe-kastein fav.me/d7432vw
                            Bullet; Blue with MatsumotoSensei fav.me/d76jc7r
                            Bullet; Blue with TurnerMohan fav.me/d78r8wr
                            Bullet; Blue with ullakko fav.me/d79rfcc
                            Bullet; Blue with batwinged-squirrel fav.me/d7aoebk
                            Bullet; Blue with wolfanita  fav.me/d7awlf3
                            Bullet; Blue with marisoly  fav.me/d7awlg4


Rohirrim journal skin.

Horse head © 2009 - Grinmir-stock
Texture by kizistock
Knotwork by gbrgraphix

Wedding announcement

Journal Entry: Tue May 20, 2014, 8:14 AM


Maybe you've already noticed it in the description of the picture I used for my wedding invitation
Telperion and Laurelin by MirachRavaia
and maybe not, so I'm making it official to my dA friends as well: I'm getting married on May 31st to my best friend and soul-mate.

This is also an apology for my inactivity here lately, because besides the wedding preparations, I also have to finish my disseratation, and so I don't have time to reply to comments and post journals here. But I :heart: you, and you are all virtually invited to my wedding, if you remember me on that day and give me and my future husband a toast :).
:iconbigheartplz:


Talks with Tolkien artists: marisoly

Journal Entry: Thu Apr 3, 2014, 1:37 AM


She can see the unseen, and her Tolkien illustrations are truly unique, with their own beauty standards and symbolics. Today I bring you an interview with a spanish artist Maria Lombide Ezpeleta, or :iconmarisoly: - marisoly

 Este by marisoly Earendil by marisoly
Eru - Ar Pharazon by marisoly White council by marisoly
Aqualonde by marisoly Luthien by marisoly


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

Im nobody, coming from nowhere and going towards nothing…

I have always felt that, it´s my weakness and strength.


2. When did you read Tolkien's books for the first time, and what impression did they leave in you?

They were read to me in loud, before I could read myself. I was impressed by Meeting Gildor Inglorion, Glorfindel at the Bridge and Elwe meets Melian. These scenes still bring tears into my eyes.


3. How extensive is your knowledge of Middle-earth?

Oh…how extensive can it be…?  Compared to experts, I probably know nothing;  I have read the Tolkien books, some articles and also some Middle Earth legends.

Do you consider yourself Tolkien nerd?

Newer asked myself that question.


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?

No, but some actors and scenes are better than what I have in my mind

Did you try to prevent it?

No.


5. Now, could you tell us something about you and art?
Are you a professional artist, or is art just your hobby?

I think I need to paint more than I need food

When did you start doing it, and who or what influenced your style?

I started before I could walk, but I was not allowed to do “strange” drawings, so I didn’t until I was big enough to defend myself… I paint what comes to me, and also what I have seen and what I remember.

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

I don´t. They choose me.


7. What art technique is your favourite?

I use coloured pencils for comfort, but I like oil painting and some other techniques too.

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

Sometimes I do experiment.


8. Your art is unique and has its own standards of beauty.
Your Elves have exotic, almost alien features and skin color, the characters are often depicted in unusual or distorted positions, you use elements that are modern, or characteristic for egyptian and eastern mythologies. Can you tell us something about the evolution of this complex style? 

I try to do it as they appear to me – but there is a lot  that can´t be interpreted in images. They think, feel , perceive and act  differently to humans´. When I look at some ancient art,  images come to me, feel familiar, I know about them…  


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

Oh, maybe to enjoy what you paint,  and if you dislike some parts of a pic, then turn it into something that you do like.


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

- a Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?

I never feel proud, but I like elven, therefore I like most of their pictures This, for instance:

 The burning by marisoly


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

I love to do pics of Sololah:

 Forgive me Sololah by marisoly


- a picture that fits your current mood?

917 Dragon pap - We're love by marisoly


- a picture that was hardest to paint?

Middle Earth Serpent… emotionally

 Middle Earth Serpent by marisoly


- any other picture you would like to share with us and why?

Sprite with ring… but he has a long story…

 

I was working on another pic with this fairy in it. After work I was writing a letter when my right hand ring started to fade off and vanish. I could still feel the ring touching it, but after half a minute or so it was gone. I woke up several times that night and saw the fairy at my bed, showing me the ring like in this pic. Next day I kept on working and thought 'Well if the Fairy wants my ring I´ll draw it on him' I started to draw and after a while we heard something explode in the kitchen. My sister went out there and said: A bowl jumped up from the dish shell.  I kept on drawing. After a while my sister came back.- The Fairy has returned your ring. It was inside the bowl

10. You don't administrate your deviantart gallery yourself. Do you still read the comments on your pictures?

Oh, I would read them if I could. But… or I cant get into Deviantart, or it mucks up and I can´t see the pics or where to answer or computer blocks and I have to restart.

Maybe someone here knows a solution…?

(technical details: she has Windows 7, and tried Mozilla and IE, the problem only happens with dA)

If people like your art, where is the best place to tell you?

Main page  has place to comment or maybe gallery can be made to accept comments… Elfwood takes comments… and if there is a way to make Deviant art to work…?


11. What key people in your life, (on or off of dA) have been inspirations to you, or has supported you, as an artist?

All artists inspire me in one way or another

You can also tell us why, if you want.

The beauty or/and feeling of their art


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

A painting of  the others” is just a poor attempt to catch the uncatchable, they move, sound and act differently and they have more senses, other senses…

Thank you for your time and answers, it was really an interesting talk!



Previous talks:Bullet; Blue with Gold-Seven fav.me/d6aprnx
                            Bullet; Blue with steamey fav.me/d6bx1lc
                            Bullet; Blue with ekukanova fav.me/d6dzooz
                            Bullet; Blue with Tulikoura fav.me/d6gqc7f
                            Bullet; Blue with AbePapakhian fav.me/d6l0qap
                            Bullet; Blue with kimberly80 fav.me/d6nt0jo
                            Bullet; Blue with jankolas fav.me/d6o41tp
                            Bullet; Blue with jgilronan fav.me/d720ty2
                            Bullet; Blue with ebe-kastein fav.me/d7432vw
                            Bullet; Blue with MatsumotoSensei fav.me/d76jc7r
                            Bullet; Blue with TurnerMohan fav.me/d78r8wr
                            Bullet; Blue with ullakko fav.me/d79rfcc
                            Bullet; Blue with batwinged-squirrel fav.me/d7aoebk
                            :bulletblue: with wolfanita  fav.me/d7awlf3



Rohirrim journal skin.

Horse head © 2009 - Grinmir-stock
Texture by kizistock
Knotwork by gbrgraphix

Talks with Tolkien artists: wolfanita

Journal Entry: Tue Mar 25, 2014, 8:44 AM


It would be a cheerless world if we took everything seriously. If you love something, you should be able to laugh at it as well, and that is also true to our fandom. :iconwolfanita: - wolfanita's gallery can supply you with your daily dose of Hobbit/ LotR / Silmarillion humour, and I invited her to tell us something more about herself and her inspiration in this interview.

The Hobbit: Telepathy by wolfanitaLotR: Thankless Job by wolfanita
The Hobbit: Fetch! by wolfanitaSilmarillion: Wrong Turn by wolfanita
The Hobbit: Precious Memories by wolfanitaLotR: Rise and Shine by wolfanita


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


Hello, my real name is Anita, I live in Berlin (the German one) and I think there’s nothing more spectacular to tell about me. :) (Smile)

2. When did you read Tolkien's books for the first time, and what impression did they leave in you?

When I was a little child, my brother read The Hobbit, that was my first contact with a book from Tolkien, but the cover was so horrible, with a cross-eyed Smaug and a pale dancing Bilbo wearing a top hat, that I thought a Hobbit was something creepy like a hobgoblin or so and didn’t want to read it.
Much later in 2001 I thought I should really read the LotR book before the movie was released. I was nineteen or twenty and I remember that my first impression after a few pages was: Dang, I should have read the Hobbit first!
Shortly after watching the first movie I finally overcame my childhood trauma and read the Hobbit as well. The Silmarillion and the Unfinished Tales followed the same year, I think.
I reread all of them at least one time since (Hobbit and LotR much more often) cause I think Tolkien’s books need to be reread to be really appreciated. Cause after reading them the first time, none of the books had left a big positive impression. I indeed thought especially the Silmarillion was horrible to read. I recently reread it and it was like a whole new book for me.

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

I wouldn’t call myself an expert, but I’m not clueless either. I have no real memory for places or dates but I’m good at names and, well, personal stuff, though I still tend to confuse all those elves starting with "Fin-". ;) (Wink)

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. You also use movie versions of the characters in your comics. Is it because of this, or because they are more recognizeable to the wide audience?

I admit it is almost impossible not to have the movies' faces in mind when I read LotR today; they quite burned in after I watched the movies so many times. I also really love the movies’ designs of the costumes, races and equipment.
But indeed I draw the characters like they look in the movies because I’m actually meaning the movies, not the book. If I would mock a scene from the book, I wouldn’t draw the characters like they look in the movie, if you understand what I mean.

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?


I’d say I’m a self-taught professional who’s not earning much money (yet). Drawing and writing is definitely too important for me to be called a hobby. I always drew and I always made up stories, I can’t remember a time I didn’t.
I taught myself how to draw with the Disney movies. My Disney ‘primal experience’ was The Little Mermaid, I was quite obsessed like may little girls then.
But I guess it really went ‘click’ when I watched Hercules. I loved the weird style and humour and the myths; which resulted in my first comic and my rediscovered enthusiasm for inventing stories (I had quite lost that for a while). And I noticed that people really liked my humour.
A bit later I was also heavily influenced by the Scrooge McDuck comics by Don Rosa. As far as I know he is widely unknown in the US, so let me tell you that he drew hilarious little details in his pictures (what I adopted somehow…).

6. You are a writer, as well. Could you tell us something about your books, "The Witchhunter Chronicles"? Are you working on some new book right now?

The books are fantasy, but with races more based on mythology plus my special kind of humour, so I am mocking clichés a lot.
The books are written in German, but German publishers don’t seem to want them (yet), or if the lectors wanted it, the publishing house didn’t, so if any English translators with some spare time are reading this, contact me (no, honestly, please do), so I can offer it to the English speaking publishers (or at least an excerpt).
Since all this try-to-publish business is so frustrating, I’m stuck now for some time just before the finale of the third Witchhunter book, so I decided it might help if I write something else before; the book version of one of the comics I drew ten years ago.
It’s called “Sword and Feather”, and the story is settled in the same world as the Witchhunters, but many years later. There is much more humour and less dark elements in it.
I hope I’ll have more success with this book and since it’s also written in a different style, maybe I will even be able to translate at least a passage for the DA members so they can proof for themselves if it is good or not.

7. Your tagline says "unable to make serious art". Is humor an integral part of your life and view of the fandom?

I’m a very sensitive, pensive person (you can imagine my schooldays) and without the ability of laughing though everything is just horrible, I would've been lost long ago.
Black humour is often misunderstood. For me real humour always results from something sad to make it bearable.
But cynical, stupid humour, like the German “Schadenfreude”, is something completely different which I indeed loathe.
When I draw fan art, I guess it’s the same principle like lovers teasing each other; mocking to show affection. But I try to keep a certain amount of respect though (as you also should when you’re teasing your sweetheart). And fans without any humour easily become fan-atics, don’t they?

8. How do you find inspiration for the comics? Is it during reading books or watching movies, or later, when thinking about them? (Are you even able to read/watch without thinking about possible funny scenes?)


I honestly tell you, I have no idea where that stuff comes from. It just goes boing! and the idea is in my head, at any time. I can do some aimed thinking to get ideas, too, but most of the time they come unasked and when they like.
Yes, I can; actually there are many things I really like and read/watched a lot of times but no gag ever appeared in my mind.

9. Do you have some drawing or writing tips and tricks you would like to share with other artists?


Hm, I’m not sure if it will be a help for anybody, but my personal writing technique is to imagine the scene before my mind’s eye and describe then what I see in words that sound how the things I see look like. ;) (Wink)
Drawing: Don’t try to draw like other people, find your own style, draw how and what you like to draw, not how others think you should be drawing, those are your pictures, not theirs (unless they paid you for it, but I guess you get the general idea).
Try to tell a story in every picture, then you will know how it has to look.

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


- a Tolkien related picture you are most proud of?

Can't tell you why, but I'm really happy with this one:
The Hobbit: Hostile by wolfanita

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

It's the best (and one of the last) oil paintings I made:
Green by wolfanita

- a picture that fits your current mood?

Don't ask...:
LotR: Gondor Humour by wolfanita

- a picture that was hardest to paint?


It was hell:
The Hobbit: Wrong Tune by wolfanita

- any other picture you would like to share with us and why?

My making-of in addition to the drawing tips question:
The Hobbit: Making Of by wolfanita

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.


It might sound a bit ingrate, but I never had the feeling that my creativity or inspiration was ever bound to people, including myself. It’s just there, support or not, even if nobody would like what I made with it - though maybe then it would drive me mad and I would cut off an ear or so…Wink/Razz

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?

Most people whose pictures I really like already have enough attention, I think (maybe they'd think otherwise, who knows). But look at my favourites; all of those deserve attention in my opinion, if you want to say it that way.

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


I am still surprised that my art caused so many positive reactions; that anybody except me actually laughs about it or likes the style it’s drawn in.
Compliment to the Tolkien fans especially, I would not have thought that so many of you had so much sense of humour. ;) (Wink)
No, seriously:
To draw really makes me happy, and when I then get comments like that one of my pictures made you happy, too, what can I say, that’s great. :) (Smile)

Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions!


Previous talks:Bullet; Blue with Gold-Seven fav.me/d6aprnx
                            Bullet; Blue with steamey fav.me/d6bx1lc
                            Bullet; Blue with ekukanova fav.me/d6dzooz
                            Bullet; Blue with Tulikoura fav.me/d6gqc7f
                            Bullet; Blue with AbePapakhian fav.me/d6l0qap
                            Bullet; Blue with kimberly80 fav.me/d6nt0jo
                            Bullet; Blue with jankolas fav.me/d6o41tp
                            Bullet; Blue with jgilronan fav.me/d720ty2
                            Bullet; Blue with ebe-kastein fav.me/d7432vw
                            Bullet; Blue with MatsumotoSensei fav.me/d76jc7r
                            Bullet; Blue with TurnerMohan fav.me/d78r8wr
                            Bullet; Blue with ullakko fav.me/d79rfcc
                            Bullet; Blue with batwinged-squirrel fav.me/d7aoebk

Rohirrim journal skin.

Horse head © 2009 - Grinmir-stock
Texture by kizistock
Knotwork by gbrgraphix

Talks with Tolkien artists: batwinged-squirrel

Journal Entry: Tue Mar 18, 2014, 8:14 AM


I have alraedy interviewed several great artists from the Tolkien fandom - both digital and traditional, with various styles and approaches. But until now, I have not interviewed a writer yet. And so today, I'm amending this, and bringing you a talk with :iconbatwinged-squirrel:-batwinged-squirrel, a poet who certainly wouldn't get lost in Elrond's Hall of Fire. I know that reading requires more effort than looking at pictures, but I assure you, it's worth to click on any of the following thumbnails (unless literature and poetry is not your cup of tea at all... in that case, feel no pressure). I will make an exception and keep one of the thumbnails that's already mentioned below in the answer to question 10,  as "Beren and Lúthien" is in my opinion an amazing creation, and worth reading whole in its impressive length.

Beren and LuthienIn Doriath an elven-king
Took to himself a Maia queen:
Strange was that love, not spoken of
Ere then; its like was never seen.
Queen Melian a magic ring
Wove 'round their land, to shield it well
From orcish spies and prying eyes
And all who would its secrets tell.
As love had bound, so passion shaped,
And life there grew in Melian:
The elven-child grew strong and wild,
Her parents named her Lúthien.
Lúthien walked where snow yet draped
The woods, and when she'd dance and sing,
Ice warmed and broke, the river spoke,
And winter's chill gave way to spring.
When many years had come and gone
She danced as ever 'neath the trees.
Her sapphire gown blew out around,
And raven hair streamed in the breeze.
Her song brought spring with that pale dawn;
When from the air the chill had passed,
As deft and light as blossoms white
Her feet skimmed fleetly o'er the grass.
Not far from where she danced alone
Beren roamed lost within the wood.
He heard her song and followed long,
And finding her
  Elwing's LullabySleep in peace, my gentle children:
Though there seems no end to night,
Every day which falls in shadow
In its time will dawn in light.
See the Moon dressed all in silver,
Chasing stars across the sky.
He will keep your fears away
And leave sweet dreams for you and I.
Now the stars above are shining,
Calling you to peaceful rest.
By the shores the sea is singing,
Telling stories of the West.
When the chains of Night are broken
And the Light at last is free,
Then the world shall know the blessings
Waiting far beyond the sea.
Dream of hope, my stars, my darlings,
'Till the morning comes anew.
I will stay beside your beds
And keep a vigil over you.

Gil-Galad EreinionAn elven-king there was of old
The son of valiant Fingon.
And many are the stories told
Of Gil-galad Ereinion.
He bore the rings of Air and Flame
Made by smiths of Eregion.
When Turgon perished he became
King Gil-galad Ereinion.
He fostered two young Peredhil
And kept them shielded from Sauron.
But darkness plagued the kingdom still
Of Gil-galad Ereinion.
The Dark Lord waged a bitter war
Creating shadow with no dawn.
And Mandos calmly waited for
King Gil-galad Ereinion.
A Last Alliance, Elves and Men
To Mordor side-by-side were drawn.
Elrond became the herald then
Of Gil-galad Ereinion.
The King came out with shining spear
And led the charge against Sauron.
His call rang out for all to hear
King Gil-galad Ereinion.
As arrows sliced the clouded sky
And Men and Elves were set upon
There in the dark was heard the cry
Of Gil-galad Ereinion.
He suffered blows from Sauron's mace
And, deathly wounded, battled on.
But in that cold and ashen place
Died Gil-galad Ereinion.
  Weaver of TimeMandos sees
Tapestries
Every one a new day
Webs of time
Craft sublime
Woven all by Vairë.
Birth to death
Every breath
Down throughout the ages
Take a look –
Like a book
She writes history's pages.
Peace and pain
Sun and rain
Dark and Light together
What we see
Things to be
Ever and forever.
On her loom
Hope and doom
Loss and vict'ry blending
Weaving e'er
Ceasing ne'er
So is Time unending.

Bittersweet FarewellI wander through Lothlorien, the place I knew as home
The trees are fading as I watch; from gold they dim to grey.
I weep in bittersweet farewell to lands I called my own
For by the Sea there waits a ship, to bear me west away.
The golden sun shall show her face no more in wooded halls
Nor shall the moon turn silver all the branches reaching high.
My power now is fading as the rain of sorrow falls
I turn and leave, for shadows grim are darkening the sky.
O Lórien! No more shall light within your borders dwell;
The songs have fled, their echoes falling soft as silver rain.
I strain to hear the laughter of the kin I loved so well
But joy is gone, and never shall it enter here again.
I journey to the Gulf of Lhun, beneath the sunset's flame
In Mithlond, where the river Lhun gives passage to the Sea.
There in the dusk I stand and hear the waters call my name;
I'll gladly drink this honeyed cup the Valar poured for me.
The Age of Men is dawning as the elves prepare to leave
We board the shi
I Dreamt a DreamI dreamt a dream of Valinor
the Blessed Realm of Eldamar
where stars gleam on the ivory shore
and Elven-folk dwell with Valar.
In dreams I crossed the silver sea
and rode the waves all topped with foam.
A joyful chorus greeted me:
fair voices calling, "Welcome home!"
In visions fair I then beheld
the seas of Ulmo, great and wide;
I walked through forests never felled
with fair Yavanna at my side.
I wandered deep in caverns dim
where jewels gleamed pale in rocky bed.
In Aulë's forge I stood by him
and watched the embers blazing red.
O'er emerald hills there came the sound
of laughter and of dancing feet;
and leapt they o'er the grassy ground
Tulkas and Nessa, swift and fleet.
The sudden sound of hooves afar
came thund'ring o'er the verdant lawn.
Soon hither on his steed, Nahar
rode Oromë, the Huntsman strong.
And then again I roving went
where Vána's gardens flourished fair;
gold blossoms gave a honeyed scent
and birdsong shivered in the air.
But then of mirth I took my leave
and wander



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


I'm batwinged-squirrel, but you can call me Squirrel. I'm known mainly as Ireth elsewhere on the internet. I've been a Tolkien enthusiast for about fourteen years now, and a writer for a lot longer than that. I started writing poetry and short stories when I was six, and never really stopped.

2. When did you read Tolkien's books for the first time, and what impression did they leave in you?

I read The Hobbit as a kid, but I didn't get into Lord of the Rings until after the movies came out. I bought Fellowship of the Ring and loved it, and a friend of mine got me the whole trilogy as a Christmas gift. I devoured it pretty quickly, and then the Silmarillion not long after. Even though I saw the movies first, and while I do love them, I'm still very much a "book purist".

I've always been amazed at the amount of detail Tolkien put into his world, considering it started out solely as a place to use his fictional languages. I've heard some people call his writing flowery and purple, but I think it's wonderful for immersing the reader in his world. It's that level and depth of detail that's always stuck out to me, along with the themes of love and friendship.

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

I know quite a bit about Middle-earth, and others have called me the "resident Tolkien expert" on some writing forums I frequent, but I wouldn't boast about knowing everything. There are a lot of books I haven't read, like the History of Middle-Earth and Laws and Customs of the Eldar. I haven't yet gotten through Unfinished Tales either. But I've read The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings and the Silmarillion many times over. I've even tried teaching myself Sindarin and Quenya, mainly for poetry purposes.

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?

Not really. Since I saw the movies before I read the books, those images were in my head from the beginning. The books haven't really changed that. I think Jackson and WETA did a really good job of interpreting them, though. (Mostly, anyway. The bird poo on Radagast's hair in The Hobbit was a bit much.)

5. Now, could you tell us something about you and writing? Are you a professional writer, or is it just your hobby? When did you start doing it, and who or what influenced your style?

I've written poetry and prose alike from a very young age (including a LOT of fanfic like what's in my gallery on dA), but I didn't start getting serious about trying to get published until I was in my teens. My first stories, from about 6-7 years old, were fanfics based on a dog named Wishbone, from the kids' series of the same name; I collaborated on them with my older sister (known here as Riowolf and SherlockianHound ). I haven't been published yet, but I'm inching closer to finishing a YA novel and hopefully getting there soon. I also have two other novels in varying states of progress.

My style is influenced/inspired by a lot of different things. My YA novel was heavily inspired by O.R. Melling's The Chronicles of Faerie, from which I took the basic premise of the first book, turned it inside out and ran away with it. Of my others, one is an epic fantasy that has its roots in a LOTR-based RPG, and meshes Celtic and Norse mythology. The third is a historical fantasy centered around vampires in 14th century Scotland. (There's an old blurb for it somewhere in my gallery, and a poem or two loosely based on it.) I have my mother to thank for the vampire story; she gave me a name and a nationality for the main character, and it blossomed from there.

7. As a writer, how do you feel about the position of fanfiction in current literature?

As a writer of fanfiction myself, I might be a bit biased. I've taken a lot of enjoyment from it, and put a lot of effort into my stories, some more than others. Threads of Fate took me thirteen months to complete. I don't feel that effort was "wasted" just because I can't legally publish it for money. Same goes for my other stories and my poetry. I had a lot of fun writing it, and I'm glad people have such an interest in reading it. I think that's the most important part, the mutual enjoyment. If people want to write but are daunted by the idea of creating an entirely new world, I say let them work with a world they already know and love.


8. Do you think that writers and fanfiction writers and poets get enough attention on deviantart? If not, could the situation be improved?

I don't know about "enough attention", but it seems to me they do get less attention than visual artists. I'd like to see more literature being recognized.

9. Do you have some writing tips and tricks you would like to share with others?

I find it helps to get into a comfortable zone before trying to write. Usually for me, that means some music that fits the mood of the scene I'm trying to write, a nice hot mug of tea, and no distractions. Writing on a schedule is also helpful, as is setting daily, weekly or even monthly goals. Engaging in writing groups helps with accountability if you slip, and encourages you to keep going.

10. Could you give us a link or thumbnail from your gallery of
- a Tolkien themed piece you are most proud of?



- a piece from other fandom or original story/poem you are most proud of?



- any other story or poem you would like to share with us and why?


This is just something silly I came up with one day, after listening to far too many Disney songs, and reading blogger Mark Oshiro's complaint about there being no talking horses in Tolkien's canon.

11. What key people in your life, (on or off of dA) have been inspirations to you, or has supported you, as a writer? You can also tell us why, if you want.

My mom has always been supportive of my writing, even to the point of offering ideas for new stories. Korli-Kitty and I talk regularly about our respective original pieces, and it's my roleplaying with her that formed the basis for one of my original novels – the aforesaid Celtic/Norse myth blend.

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?

My friend Gussu does amazing art, both Tolkien-based and original:
The Four Winds by GussuThranduil by Gussu

Elenai's gallery is full of serious pieces...
Idril by Elenai
...and humorous ones:
Comic: Glaurung's birth by Elenai

And andi-scribbles' digital drawings, both fanart and original, are awesome:
Arwen Undomiel by andi-scribbles The Fairy Queen's Gift by andi-scribbles

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

Firstly, thank you to everyone who enjoys my writing! I know I haven't posted anything new in a while, but I hope you keep rereading my work, and maybe find new artists to follow by looking through my favorites.

Thanks again to MirachRavaia for conducting this interview. I'm honored to be part of it.

Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions!


Previous talks:Bullet; Blue with Gold-Seven fav.me/d6aprnx
                            Bullet; Blue with steamey fav.me/d6bx1lc
                            Bullet; Blue with ekukanova fav.me/d6dzooz
                            Bullet; Blue with Tulikoura fav.me/d6gqc7f
                            Bullet; Blue with AbePapakhian fav.me/d6l0qap
                            Bullet; Blue with kimberly80 fav.me/d6nt0jo
                            Bullet; Blue with jankolas fav.me/d6o41tp
                            Bullet; Blue with jgilronan fav.me/d720ty2
                            Bullet; Blue with ebe-kastein fav.me/d7432vw
                            Bullet; Blue with MatsumotoSensei fav.me/d76jc7r
                            Bullet; Blue with TurnerMohan fav.me/d78r8wr
                            Bullet; Blue with ullakko fav.me/d79rfcc

Rohirrim journal skin.

Horse head © 2009 - Grinmir-stock
Texture by kizistock
Knotwork by gbrgraphix

Talks with Tolkien artists: ullakko

Journal Entry: Tue Mar 11, 2014, 3:43 AM


I'm happy to bring you another issue of the Talks with Tolkien artists, this time with a talented finnish illustrator :iconullakko: - ullakko . For the beginning, enjoy a few pieces from her gallery:

Elvish Feast in Mirkwood by ullakkoLothlorien by ullakko

Bag End Garden by ullakkoGlorfindel by ullakko
Dead Marshes by ullakkoTom Bombadil by ullakko


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


Hi there! I am Ulla Thynell, a 30-something illustrator living in Helsinki (Finland) with my spouse and our little daughter. I've always been passionate about imagination and stories, both the written and visual variety.

2. When did you read Tolkien's books for the first time, and what impression did they leave in you?

I read The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings first in the mid-90's when I was aroud 12 years old. I was an omnivorous bookworm as a kid, so it was just a matter of time before stumbling upon Tolkien. I was very impressed with Middle-earth - the realm of hobbits, wizards, elves, enchanted forests, invented languages… and I soon became fan the fantasy genre, mainly because of Tolkien's books. For me fantasy represents an ultimate form of nostalgic escapism. It's the place to go to when things in the actual world seem unbearably complicated or mundane.

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

I've read LotR and The Hobbit a few times (and Silmarillion once) but I'm really not very good at remembering the details of the lore with all the names, family lines, etc. When I make illustrations, I usually double-check the relevant canon facts to get them right or close enough in the image. It's nice to have so many Tolkien-themed knowledge banks in the internet nowadays, so you don't have to skim through all the books just to check if a small physical detail is mentioned somewhere. The overall reading experience and interesting visual rendition is what counts to me most, but I do like to get details spot on whenever possible.

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?

Fortunately I do still have my own versions in my head. I don't find it particularly difficult to separate the reading and cinematic experiences - they seem somehow very different to me (not just with Tolkien's, but with other books/movies as well). But well, obviously the movies must have had some kind of effect on my illustrations, subconsciously at least. I've noticed this when trying to come up with, say, costume designs and random artefacts, stuff like that. But I still try and make my own interpretations as much as I can. I don't really see the point in re-drawing the exact same thing as in a movie: when I wish to see those characters and settings again, I'd much rather just re-watch the movie than look up for drawings based on it.

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 has always been an essential part of my life (along with reading and writing) and I used to draw and paint regularly just for the fun of it. One year I suddenly decided that being creative is want I seriously want to do with my life and what I'm passionate about. I realised I didn't have enough free time after work and being a mom, so I wanted to try and make it into a career. I began building up a portfolio, quit my previous job and started searching for illustration jobs.

I was lucky enough to get my first book illustration job soon afterwards in 2012, and since then I've had the chance of working with different kinds of children's books: nonfiction, activity sheets, fantasy and fairytales. Quickly after starting working with books I knew I also want to be involved in graphic design, so it's also now my second semester studying that at Helsinki Metropolia UAS.

A great deal of artists and things have influenced my style over the years. Probably the most prominent stylistic influence recently has been my love for vintage illustration, especially the so called "Golden Age of illustration", artists such as Bauer, Rackham or Dulac.

If I had to name my all-time favorite and most inspiring book illustration, it would be Astrid Lindgren's "Most Beloved Sister", illustrated by Hans Arnold. I remember the book and Arnold's drawings very vividly from my own early childhood, and I still love this book to bits, today.

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

I usually get ideas while reading a book: a scene strikes me as particularly visual. For example: I suddenly get a mental image of the atmosphere, a colour, or an interesting visual contrast - light versus dark, sinister versus light, big versus small, etc. I take some notes of these thoughts and then continue reading and let the idea(s) brew in the back of my mind for a few days, before starting to draw.

But occasionally I experience something else interesting in life, like a peculiar weather or scenery in nature, which then reminds me of a certain scene in a book, and then I get inspired to draw that way. And other times I simply want to try something different from my previous work, and pick a scene more randomly. I especially like to draw scenes and characters which we haven't seen in the movies, or which I imagined differently.

It's not always up to me to decide, though. Some characters and subjects just seem harder to draw than others, dispite a vivid image in my head. Go figure!

7. 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?

Traditional mixed media, with watercolour and different pens. I've always enjoyed experimenting with techniques and styles though. Sometimes one medium suits better for a certain subject than some other. B&W ink drawing with lots of linework creates quite a different atmosphere than a colourful, fluid aquarelle. And whenever I feel like I'm starting to repeat myself too much, it's good to switch to a different medium.

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

Well, I do have three tips. Here they are:

DON'T PANIC.
If you receive tough criticism or suddenly realise all the flaws in your work at once: don't panic. Everybody gets those moments and hardly ever will creative work be completely anxiety-free. Try to use criticism the proper way: as a fuel for testing your old views and habits and figuring out how to improve, if needed.

DON'T SETTLE.
Challenge yourself. Decide that each one of your new pieces will be amazing and epic (in its own way) - though don't get too depressed about the fact that the outcome rarely meets the wild expectations. Evaluate your current skills, and then set the standard a couple notches further than that.

DON'T GIVE UP.
There shall always be artist's blocks, discouraging comments, rejections and disappointments. When you feel like giving up, just take a little break, then gently look back afterwards and learn from your mistakes. Finally decide to move on towards new ideas and projects with fresh excitement and ambition. If you're able to do this, repeatedly, then you'll do just fine.


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

- a Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?

Leaving Hobbiton by ullakko

- a picture from other fandom or original picture you are most proud of?
Finding by ullakko

- a picture that fits your current mood?
Mirkwood by ullakko

- a picture that was hardest to paint (draw)?
Yavanna by ullakko
To be honest, I think majority of my work is hard for me to paint. Even (perhaps especially) those that I enjoy creating. I chose the Yavanna piece in the end - not because the subject matter or technique was the most complicated, but because back then this was the first drawing in a long time where I went outside my old comfort zone and decided I want to start learning new things about illustration with an open mind, even when it feels desperately difficult. Yavanna was also my first Tolkien piece ever, so for me it was an unmapped area to try and conquer. Scary!

- any other picture you would like to share with us and why?
Kissa Kiiskinen sankarina ja muita satuja by ullakko
I'm sharing this because it's my newest illustration project, a lovely Finnish children's fairy tale book called "Kissa Kiiskinen sankarina ja muita satuja" which was published just this week and is now available for purchase (via me, for example). Wink. (:

10. 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 spouse Risto-Jussi has been most supportive over the past couple years, constantly maintaining faith in my career and tolerating my endless, quite pathetic phases of low self esteem and frustration. He is also my trusted artistic advisor, whenever I need a truthful opinion on my current works in progress.

11. 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/links to pictures/ from their gallery?
The Old Forest by ManadhielWinter Repose by Seyorrol
Our House by golden-quinceEomer by s-u-w-iJack and the fern flower by bubug

Moon song by POISON-FREECentral Park by LiskFengCircus-Elephant that got lost way by Ebineyland

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

I'm delighted and suprised by the positive attention, comments and notions that my Middle-earth themed art has received online. Interpreting Tolkien's world is such a challenge, and I'm so glad that there are people who enjoy seeing my works. Things like that make sharing the works definitely worthwhile. Thank you!

<3
Ulla

Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions!


Previous talks:Bullet; Blue with Gold-Seven fav.me/d6aprnx
                            Bullet; Blue with steamey fav.me/d6bx1lc
                            Bullet; Blue with ekukanova fav.me/d6dzooz
                            Bullet; Blue with Tulikoura fav.me/d6gqc7f
                            Bullet; Blue with AbePapakhian fav.me/d6l0qap
                            Bullet; Blue with kimberly80 fav.me/d6nt0jo
                            Bullet; Blue with jankolas fav.me/d6o41tp
                            Bullet; Blue with jgilronan fav.me/d720ty2
                            Bullet; Blue with ebe-kastein fav.me/d7432vw
                            Bullet; Blue with MatsumotoSensei fav.me/d76jc7r
                            Bullet; Blue with TurnerMohan fav.me/d78r8wr

Rohirrim journal skin.

Horse head © 2009 - Grinmir-stock
Texture by kizistock
Knotwork by gbrgraphix

March 2014: Back to Middle-earth Month

Journal Entry: Tue Mar 4, 2014, 5:32 AM
Skin by TMNT-Raph-fan





See? Even my gallery tells me to do it!
For those who don't know what I'm talking about yet, here is a journal explaining it all:

Back to Middle-earth Month 2014 - prompt claims!Four Seasons of Middle-earth
This year's Back to Middle-earth Month event will involve putting together a compilation of writing and art related to the theme "Four Seasons of Middle-earth." Each day during the month of March, we will post a selection of stories, poetry, and artwork created in response to prompts related to this year's theme.
Important note: This event is supported and organized by several Tolkien-related groups and archives, but is centered around the b2mem LiveJournal community to synchronize all of them. The group Arda-Inspired on deviantArt provides a place where dA members can share their creations for this event, but the primary place where these should be posted is this LJ community.
Once you have read the guidelines, you can visit this post to view the prompts and claim your prompt.


And here it the place where it's all happening: The b2mem Livejournal community

The challenge responses are already being posted, so here are a few links to help you orientate yourself better in it:

Guidelines for the review challenge

- because you can also take part in this as a reviewer, and get cool stamps, banners and icons for it!

Guidelines for non-compilation writing and art

- you didn't claim a prompt or don't want your art to be in the final compilation, but still find some prompts inspiring? This is the right place for you! You can create and post something for any prompt in the list.

All challenge responses will be posted at the b2mem site, but after it't posted there, you can also post it at dA. Like every year, :iconarda-inspired: collects these entries in a special folder: arda-inspired.deviantart.com/g…

To better follow the art posted on the b2mem site, here are the quick links to it:

Compilation challenge responses

Non-compilation challenge responses

Happy Back to Middle-earth Month!



Talks with Tolkien artists: TurnerMohan

Journal Entry: Mon Mar 3, 2014, 9:03 AM


In this issue of "Talks with Tolkien artists", I have the pleasure to share the art and answers of :iconturnermohan: - TurnerMohan:

The Herald of Manwe by TurnerMohan Carcharoth by TurnerMohan
The Long Winter by TurnerMohan Helm Hammerhand by TurnerMohan
Children of the Noldor by TurnerMohan Luthien dances before Morgoth by TurnerMohan

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

Sure. My name's Turner, I live in New York and I'm currently working as a book illustrator. I've also worked as a street-portrait artist, an assistant for a period-recreation armor maker, travel writer, carnie and occasional film-extra. I love learning about human history and mythology, and have a particular passion for medieval and pre-medieval european and mediterranean cultures. I would really like to travel more. I'm also a huge fan of parentheses.

2. When did you read Tolkien's books for the first time, and what impression did they leave in you?


I first read The Hobbit when I was about nine or ten years old, picked up The Lord of the Rings a few years later, and discovered The Silmarillion and Tolkien's other posthumous works a few years after that. I'd been a fan of all things medieval/fantasy long before then, but nobody did it better or more completely than Tolkien; when reading his books, you feel almost as if you're looking into a world of heroic legend and archetype that once existed, broken, confused fragments of which can be found in the "real-life" ancient mythologies we have inherited. I can't think of any other author that does that, at least not for me, and certainly none who have had nearly such an influence on me, in my art or otherwise.

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

Expert? Sure, why not? Tolkien's not an academic discipline, you don't have to be a PHD in anything to have lived and breathed Middle-Earth. the way I see it, if you've given over hours and hours of your life to reading and thinking and daydreaming about this fictional world like so many fans (and almost all fan-artists) have done, own it a little. I probably couldn't win some world-wide Tolkien-fan trivia contest, or tell you exactly what the professor said to so-and-so in a letter from ninteen-fortysomething, but I know what Dor-Lomin feels like in winter time, and Lorien in spring. Own it fans!

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?

Yes it happened, really more so with the settings than the actors. I think of the 'Lord of the Rings' films the greatest single body of "Tolkien art" out there. Jackson & Co gathered so much remarkable talent to make those movies, brought in artists of all fields, not the least of which my two favorite Tolkien illustrators, Alan Lee and John Howe. Everyone involved brought their A-game, and the results were, in many cases, better than what I had pictured while reading. So yes, while the films don't always match my vision, they've definitely had a big impact on how I picture Middle-earth.

The actors were all good aswell of course, and some were great (I'm pretty hard pressed not to see Sean Astin, Ian Holm or more recently Martin Freeman in my head while reading) but mainly the visuals were the star of those movies for me, and the part that has stayed with me the longest.

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?


Yes I'm a professional; I work as a book illustrator, and I also do commissions for hire; mostly medieval-fantasy/pseudo-tolkien type stuff. I've been drawing since I was a little kid, probably four or five. As for influences, the list goes on and on; Rodin, Frank Frazetta, Frank Miller, Arthur Rackham, N.C. Wyeth, William Blake, Norman Rockwell, Giambologna, Michelangelo, John Bauer, and the Hildebrandt brothers just to name a few. In terms of who I've learned the most from, and who has had the biggest influence on my style, Alan Lee and John Howe for sure. Their mutual emphasis on giving fantasy art a strong foundation in realistic, historical architecture/costumery/armament is what drew me to their work in the first place, and it's something I try to stick to in all my work

6. The comments under your pictures reveal much thought behind each of the characters and scenes you draw. How long do you spend by studying and thinking about what you want to draw, before you actually start drawing?


Yeah, I definitely like hearing myself talk :P (Lick)

Quite a long time, in answer to your question, but usually not in preparation for any specific drawing; I spend a lot of time thinking about Tolkien's world in general, and have a lot of opinions about it, especially in terms of how it looks, and when I do a drawing, though some of the specifics can change or get more refined over the course of the drawing, the general idea I started with is usually one I've had kicking around in my head for a long time.

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


Like I say above, when I draw something, it's usually been on my mind for a while. I'll go into phases where it'll be all dwarves, or all numenor, or all Silmarillion-related scenes. since I began posting regularly on Deviant, I've had many conversations and back-and-forths with people which have helped to steer my interest toward one subject or another; I find the more I think about something in Tolkien's world, be it a place, a character, or a story, the more focused and better my ideas about how to depict it become. Sometimes it'll take more than one drawing to feel I've gotten it right, and then sometimes I'll see a thing two different ways, and I like to keep it open that way; I don't think of any of my drawings as being how that character or place 'has to' look per se, they're just suggestions really, even to me, a way of getting down on paper how the thing 'could' look. Most of my Tolkien-art is more concept art than finished illustration (actually, the earlier stuff in my Tolkien portfolio here, between '06 and '07, was done as an "audition" for a job with Weta as a concept artist, back when a "Hobbit" movie was still being discussed) and when drawing Tolkien-related things, I'd rather make a drawing that inspires scenes and ideas in the viewer's mind than make a finished piece of art. it seems somehow less limiting that way, more open to interpretation, which is how I feel when picturing the scenes and characters in his books.

8. What art technique is your favorite? Do you rather keep to the art techniques and styles you are familiar with, or do you experiment with new ones as well?

Well pencil's certainly the medium I'm most comfortable with, but I've been trying for about the last year to get into watercolor, partially inspired by the beautiful work I see posted here on Deviant, and also because, though I love pencil, I've found that I'm seeing scenes increasingly in color these days.

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


Aerin by TurnerMohan

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


Chapter 3 sample by TurnerMohan
This was done as a chapter page for a fantasy RPG guidebook that never got published, more's the pity.

- a picture that fits your current mood?

Legolas by TurnerMohan
I'm feeling elvish today.

- a picture that was hardest to paint?


Three is Company by TurnerMohan

- some other picture you would like to share with us?

here's a picture of Feanor looking pissed off!
Feanor by TurnerMohan
and here's one of Helm Hammerhand being a badass
Men are freer outside by TurnerMohan


10. 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 Mom and Dad were always very supportive of my being an artist, and my Dad especially had a big hand in investing in me a love of history and mythology, which plays a big part in my work. Beyond them, most of my inspiration has come from the artists I'm a fan of.

11. 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/links to pictures/ from their gallery?

Leaving out the people you've already interviewed (many of whom I'm a huge fan of) there isn't enough praise I could heap upon Meneldil-elda :iconmeneldil-elda: his Turin, Celebrimbor, and Feanor are among the most intimate, pensive, and brilliant pieces of Tolkien art out there.
Turin Turambar by meneldil-elda Kelebrimbor by meneldil-elda Feanaro by meneldil-elda

Also Unita-N does great stuff, especially if you're into ancient mythology :iconunita-n:
nazgul by Unita-N watch air by Unita-N Loki child: Chains by Unita-N

I also recommend checking out Artigas :iconartigas:
Glorfindel, Coloured version by Artigas Steampunk by Artigas The mighty ride of a paladin by Artigas

and Oznerol-1516 :iconoznerol-1516: who do a lot of great concept art.

Sail to the West, Golden King! by Oznerol-1516 The evil runs deep in Numenor by Oznerol-1516 Ar Pharazon by Oznerol-1516

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


Thanks guys, for your support and your feedback! I'm always glad to know I can add something to a fellow fan's inner vision. And than you for this interview.

Next up: Tom Bombadil!

Previous talks:Bullet; Blue with Gold-Seven fav.me/d6aprnx
                            Bullet; Blue with steamey fav.me/d6bx1lc
                            Bullet; Blue with ekukanova fav.me/d6dzooz
                            Bullet; Blue with Tulikoura fav.me/d6gqc7f
                            Bullet; Blue with AbePapakhian fav.me/d6l0qap
                            Bullet; Blue with kimberly80 fav.me/d6nt0jo
                            Bullet; Blue with jankolas fav.me/d6o41tp
                            Bullet; Blue with jgilronan fav.me/d720ty2
                            Bullet; Blue with ebe-kastein fav.me/d7432vw
                            Bullet; Blue with MatsumotoSensei fav.me/d76jc7r

Rohirrim journal skin.

Horse head © 2009 - Grinmir-stock
Texture by kizistock
Knotwork by gbrgraphix

Trees in the City contest winners

Journal Entry: Mon Feb 24, 2014, 8:11 AM
Here are the winners of the
TREES IN THE CITY
contest held by our affiliate group

:icontrees-with-character:

:star: :trophy::iconyellowsparklesplz::iconspotlightplz:First Place:iconspotlightplz::iconyellowsparklesplz::trophy: :star:

:icondpressedsoul:DpressedSoul
With:
Windows in the Sky
Windows in the Sky by DpressedSoul
More from His Gallery:
Defeated by DpressedSoulRetrouver la quietude passee by DpressedSoulThe Stranger by DpressedSoul
Leaving Eden by DpressedSoulStrangulation by DpressedSoulAutre Temps by DpressedSoul



:star: :trophy::iconyellowsparklesplz::iconspotlightplz:Second Place:iconspotlightplz::iconyellowsparklesplz::trophy: :star:

:iconannewipf:annewipf
With:
A tree in the City
A tree in the City by annewipf
More from Her Gallery:
Feeling of Autumn by annewipfWhen darkness falls, Magic appears by annewipfI Ching 24 - Fu (Returning) by annewipf
I Ching 27 - Yi (Mouth Corners) by annewipfWhen darkness falls, Magic appears - 2 by annewipfThe Bridge by annewipf


:star: :trophy::iconyellowsparklesplz::iconspotlightplz:Third Place:iconspotlightplz::iconyellowsparklesplz::trophy: :star:

:icontorobala:torobala
With:
The Cathedral
The Cathedral by torobala
More from His Gallery:
house by the river I by torobalafrom the light by torobalawinter by the lake by torobala
spirit of the morning by torobalaroad to nowhere II by torobalaalone in the fog by torobala


:star: :iconyellowsparklesplz::spotlight-left:Runners Up:spotlight-right::iconyellowsparklesplz: :star:


:iconlazac-2:Lazac-2
With:
Survivor of Urbanism by Lazac-2


:iconshlomitmessica:ShlomitMessica
With:
Old tree in an old building by ShlomitMessica


:icondimensionseven:DimensionSeven
With:
Castles of Dreams - XII.c by DimensionSeven



:star: :iconyellowsparklesplz:Honorable Mentions:iconyellowsparklesplz: :star:

Chapel Walkway by Allen59despair by Northm4Autumn in the city by dashakern

You may view all entries here!
:iconyellowsparklesplz: [link]  :iconyellowsparklesplz:


Talks with Tolkien artists: MatsumotoSensei

Journal Entry: Mon Feb 17, 2014, 1:41 AM


In this issue of "Talks with Tolkien artists", I had the pleasure to talk with :iconmatsumotosensei: - MatsumotoSensei, who is not only a creator of wonderful vector illustrations of the Silmarillion, but also a skilled cosplayer. You can see her costumes of Elven lords in the gallery of her cosplay group :iconcinq-pathetique:

Long live the King! by MatsumotoSensei Ingwe and Indis by MatsumotoSensei
riding in the forest by cinq-pathetique
Luthien by MatsumotoSensei under the stars by MatsumotoSensei
Curufin by cinq-pathetique


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


- Hello! I live in Moscow, Russia. I'm graphic designer, and almost all my freetime is spent on drawing or making costumes.
I like to sew and to make hats, I'm fan of japanese street fashion, I often make photoshoots and sometimes I ride a horse wearing fancy dresses :) (Smile)
And of course I draw a lot, mostly The Silmarillion illustrations and almost always these are Elves.

2. When did you read Tolkien's books for the first time, and what impression did they leave in you?

- That was funny story, The Hobbit book came into my hands almost by accident. I was in the 1st grade then. I was absolutely in awe and it's hard to express how happy I was when I learned about the continuation of my favourite story few years later.
Reading of LOTR turned me into devoted fan, it was my favourite book for years. LOTR inspired my interest in mythology and medieval literature, motivated me to seek out and read other Tolkien's works and other books about them.
And finally thanks to The Silmarillion I started to draw after a long time break - so many characters I would like to portray, so many subjects for art.

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

- Fairly extensive, I think, but I'm not a nerd at all. I still have many books to read and very much to learn about Tolkien's world.

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?

- No, absolutely not. I've read books long before movies came out, so I had my own clear idea how the characters should look (in most cases it doesn't match their movie representation).
I admit though my view on The Hobbit characters is slightly influenced by illustrations from The Hobbit book edition I've read in my childhood :) (Smile)

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?

- Some years ago I graduated from an art institute and I'm currently working as a freelance designer. I always wanted to work as book illustrator but had no opportunity, so i don't dare to call myself professional artist.
Honestly I didn't even draw that much as now before I reread The Silmarillion year ago.
My biggest inspirations for art always were medieval religious art, art nouveau style, antique book illustrations from end of the 19th - beginning of the 20th centuries and such artists as Aubrey Beardsley, Harry Clarke, Kay Nielsen, Erte.

6. Besides creating art, you are also a cosplayer. How did you get to this "career", and where do you find inspiration for the costumes of Silmarillion characters?

- Oh, I've been cosplayer for almost 10 years and I mostly cosplayed visual kei, because visual kei bands always had the most difficult to make and impressive looking costumes.
Now i feel the need to express my own vision and to realize my own ideas, so I start to sew original costumes.
The Silmarillion became great inspiration for that, because what even can be as beautiful, complex and interesting to create as elven clothes.
We have not much information about elven costumes so there is great room for imagination. I am personally very inspired by motives and details of historical fashion and modern haute couture.
Just now I`m working on several elven dresses and also High King of Noldor outfit so hopefully I'll be able to show them soon.

7. Most of your pictures are vector graphics. Do you rather keep to the art techniques and styles you are familiar with, or do you experiment with new ones as well?

- I'm pretty conservative :) (Smile) I prefer to do what I do best. Also vector graphics is perfect for playing with lines, and for me line is the most important and interesting part of art.
I like traditional techniques as well, especially ink and oil, but unfortunately I have no time to improve my skills.

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


- a Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?

I like idea of this picture -
CCC by MatsumotoSensei

- a cosplay you are most proud of?

Arika of Ali Project -
Ali Project Troubadour PV - princess 1 by cinq-pathetique

- a picture that fits your current mood?

Hunters by MatsumotoSensei

- a picture that was hardest to paint?

Nightmares by MatsumotoSensei

- a cosplay that was hardest to make?


Curufin`s costume because of too much hand embroidery -
Atarinke by cinq-pathetique


9. 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.


- I always sincerely thankful to my very best friend for supporting any my ideas.

10. 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?

- I don`t come to dA often, so It`s hard to choose someone, but I always watch updates of Tolkien-themed groups with interest. There are many works I have a pleasure to look at.

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

- I hope for a long time Tolkien`s books will be such inspiration for many artists as they are for me, and we will have the opportunity to see many and many more creative, beautiful and completely different works of art.

Thank you very much for interview and thanks to everyone who stopped by and took their time to read it!


Previous talks: Bullet; Blue with Gold-Seven fav.me/d6aprnx
                            Bullet; Blue with steamey fav.me/d6bx1lc
                            Bullet; Blue with ekukanova fav.me/d6dzooz
                            Bullet; Blue with Tulikoura fav.me/d6gqc7f
                            Bullet; Blue with AbePapakhian fav.me/d6l0qap
                            Bullet; Blue with kimberly80 fav.me/d6nt0jo
                            Bullet; Blue with jankolas fav.me/d6o41tp
                            Bullet; Blue with jgilronan fav.me/d720ty2
                            Bullet; Blue with ebe-kastein fav.me/d7432vw

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Texture by kizistock
Knotwork by gbrgraphix

Talks with Tolkien artists: ebe-kastein

Journal Entry: Wed Jan 29, 2014, 1:41 AM


For this issue of "Talks with Tolkien artists" I had the pleasure to interview Ebe Kastein ebe-kastein, whose work I admired long before she joined deviantArt. I'm bringing you her art and answers to enjoy:

Luthien and Morgoth by ebe-kastein
Huan's Promise by ebe-kastein
Aragorn and Eldarion by ebe-kastein Luthien Hemlock by ebe-kastein
Lorien Brothers by ebe-kastein Frodo V by ebe-kastein


1. Hello! For the beginning, could you tell us something about yourself?
 
Hello to you, too! :-)
 
As to myself, I have studied art for 12 years and have worked as a professional artist for about 11 years. At the university I majored in English language and literature, which lead me straight to the translation work. I have worked for various translation bureaus and several publishing houses. Translating filled my world already during my studies, and again in the last year, because I lost one steady art client after another within a short span of time to the recession. People either lost their jobs, their companies suddenly ceased to exist, or they lived in terror of having their salaries reduced, which means that they could no longer afford commissioning art on regular basis. Since nothing compares to creating art for me, the change mentioned above was a sad one. I still get occasional commissions, but these days I mainly paint for my own pleasure.
 
Speaking of languages, in addition to English I have also studied German, Finnish, Spanish, Russian and Latin. And since I am a native Estonian, my mother tongue is Estonian.
 
Reading is another activity that I have enjoyed for as long as I can remember myself. My interests vary from all aspects of anthropology (I would love to be able to study facial reconstruction under the instruction of the best specialists in the world!), psychology and psychiatry to mythology, early history and fantasy literature.
 
If I had to name some of my favourite artists, I love numerous paintings done by the Pre-Raphaelites. I deeply admire the gift of John Everett Millais, but also enjoy the works of Gustave Moreau, Edward Burne-Jones and others belonging to the same movement.
 
2. When did you read Tolkien’s books for the first time, and what impression did they leave in you?
 
I clearly remember reading The Hobbit at the age of nine, and loving it very much. Even though I was not able to consciously notice it at the time, his work (along with his Ring trilogy and The Silmarillion that I read as an adult) inspired in me the same sense of wonder that I had first experienced as a small girl, when my mother read to me Irish and Scottish fairy tales. It was much later when I learned that Tolkien had borrowed a lot from the Celtic and Northern mythologies. The way he brought to life the same mysterious beauty that the Celts associated with the Elves and Elf Home touched my heart, and I will surely remain a devoted elf fancier until the end of my life. ;-) As impossible as it may be to depict beings of sublime beauty, I stubbornly keep trying.
 
3. How extensive is your knowledge of Middle-earth? Do you consider yourself Tolkien nerd?
 
I’d say my knowledge of Tolkien’s world is fairly good but far from perfect. For perfection you would need photographic memory, which I don’t possess, and there are still some books published after Professor’s death waiting on my shelf to be read.
 
About the expression ‘nerd’, I don’t accept it and would never use it for categorizing anyone because of its derogative ring. Having some intellectual interests is a most natural thing, and I consider the total lack of them to be an embarrassing flaw in a person.
 
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?
 
Just like many others have pointed out, Tolkien tended to have problems with creating well-rounded, unique characters. They often are rather sketchy, and Tolkien as a writer is far stronger at telling stories and verbally ‘painting’ vast landscapes than making all of his characters come alive. The same struck me when I read his Ring trilogy; for example, all the Hobbits but Sam, who stood out because of his ‘lower class’ use of language and his absolute kindness and loyalty, melted into a faceless bunch for me until I saw the movies. The same is true about Legolas. Tolkien says so little about him that I found it difficult to get a proper grip of his character, his nature.
 
To sum it up, I happily accepted the wonderful findings of Peter Jackson that filled certain gaps for me. The well-chosen actors made Frodo, Pippin and Merry take shape for me, and greatly improved in my eyes the book version of Gandalf (in the books he struck me as a testy, rather unpleasant old man, but Sir Ian’s wonderful interpretation of Gandalf’s role made me love him). On the other hand, the movie versions of Arwen, Elrond and several others completely clashed with the mental image I had formed of those characters, and I will always imagine them differently from the way they appear in the movies. I gratefully received all that was in harmony with my perception of the characters, and I have never had any problems with PJ’s gorgeous settings. At the same time I hold on to the way I see some characters who look and ‘feel’ wrong to me in the movies. For example, even though Cate Blanchett is sufficiently talented and queenly to play any female ruler, I could never accept the callous tone she used with Frodo. That alone made it impossible for me to regard her as ‘my Galadriel’.
 
‘My Legolas’ will always look different from the one played by Orlando Bloom, but I appreciate the way Orlando gave life to the character who remained very obscure in the books. So, that means that I have put my personal version of the trilogy together of the bits of my own imagination and those parts of the movie interpretations that I liked.
 
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?
 
See my answer to the first question. :-) I am a professional artist, knew at the age of 6 that I would become one, started taking art lessons when I was 6 years old, and have been painting ever since I could hold a brush. As to the last part of the question, I have surely been subconsciously influenced by all, whose art has moved me.
 
6. You have been painting Tolkien’s characters for a long time, but you only recently joined deviantArt. How is your experience with the site so far?
 
I very much love deviantArt and find its atmosphere wonderful. Even though my internet time is limited, all my experiences with deviantArt have been brilliant. It seems that those interested in it are amazingly friendly and supportive people. At least so far I have never seen any offensive comments under my own works, or those of the others. Hopefully such kind and encouraging attitude towards the works of the other people will never change on this site.
 
7. Where do you look for models of the characters that did not appear in the movies? Are they friends, family, or even yourself?
 
Those who sell magazines have every reason to be glad of having me around. ;-) Each month I browse countless mags to find either good body models, or if I’m especially lucky, I might come across a new and suitable face model as well. Finding the right human prototype for my characters often takes years, and it’s most frustrating that in most cases the models’ names are not printed.
 
I have not yet used any friends of mine as models of Tolkien’s characters – with the exception of painting some lovely clients / pen pals of mine as ellith, normally in the arms of their most beloved characters. Some of those dear people have suggested that I should use myself as a model, but I have not yet done so.
 
On a few occasions my beautiful niece has posed for me as a body model.
 
8. Could you tell us more about the techniques you use? Do you rather keep to the art techniques and styles you are familiar with, or do you experiment with new ones as well?
 
About the first part, I prefer a mixed technique. On my monochromatic works I normally use pencil, black ink and some white gouache; maybe also some water colour, depending on the piece. On my fully coloured paintings I use water colours with pencil, black ink and possibly a bit of white gouache, too.
 
I have occasionally noticed myself using some fresh technique, but have no interest in spending any of my precious time just on experimenting. The ideas in me want to get out, and while allowing them to do so my hands tend to choose whatever seems like the best technique for depicting a particular scene or character.
 
As to my style, I think it is an inherent part of me, and the thought of consciously trying to change it seems like a forced path not worth following.
 
9. Could you give us a link or thumbnail of a picture from your gallery of

- a Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?

Arwen by ebe-kastein
– I think it is artistically one of my strongest works, and perhaps I should point out this one.

- a picture from other fandom or original picture you are most proud of?
Merlin Looking Down by ebe-kastein
– It’s very hard to single out such a work, but this one happens to be one of the portraits that I truly like.

- a picture that fits your current mood?
Rien by ebe-kastein

- a picture that was hardest to paint?

Aang by ebe-kastein
 – I’m not sure if any work has ever been technically very difficult for me, but sometimes I have had to paint while ill, and those paintings have not been among my best. I remember that I was severely depressed and physically ill while painting this picture of Aang, and doing it demanded an extra effort. It is probably also the darkest painting I have ever produced, which fits the mood I had at the time.  
 
I’d like to add that I’m not exactly ‘proud’ of my own works; the word doesn’t sound correct to my ear, because there is always room for improvement. There are some, of course, which are closer to my heart than others.
 
10. What key people in your life, (on or off of dA) have been inspirations to you, or have supported you, as an artist? You can also tell us why, if you want.
 
All of those who have commissioned art works from me have encouraged me to create something that I would otherwise never have painted. For that I am truly grateful to them!
 
If I had to name a few people who have supported me as an artist a lot either by being good and encouraging friends or otherwise, I’d like to name Enednoviel, Dana and Cindy. I will always think very fondly of several others as well, but perhaps they would dislike it if I listed all of them.
 
11. 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?
 
I’m afraid that at the moment I cannot reply to this question simply because I have not had enough time to look around on this lovely site. So far I have come across several very gifted people, whose works I have enjoyed and praised in the comments that I have left for them, but thankfully they have also received many positive comments from the others that they truly deserve.
 
12. Is there something else you would like to tell to the fans of Tolkien and your art?
 
I am most grateful for every kind and encouraging word that people interested in my art have left at DA, or sent to me in an e-mail. All positive feedback is very precious to me.
 
Some years ago a net acquaintance of mine asked, when I will move on to creating ‘original art’ instead of ‘fan art’. Since I see Tolkien’s works as a source of endless inspiration, I intend to keep creating paintings inspired by his world for as long as I am able to. In my opinion, there is no difference between the so-called ‘fan art’ based on Tolkien and the ‘original art’ that often draws ideas from other mythologies. Tolkien is undoubtedly a classic and his mythology deserves respect. His universe is so rich and full of wonders that it should not be considered any less valuable than, say, Greek mythology that many Old Masters have been inspired by.
I find all art pieces original, and am not quite sure if there truly exists such a phenomenon as ‘fan art’. Seriously, should I be carried away by Greek or any other widely known mythology, in what sense would I be closer to creating ‘original art’ as opposed to ‘fan art’?
Every artist is influenced by something, and in one way or another most artists could be called ‘illustrators’ (I heard from someone that that is also regarded as a less than respectable label in the art world). After all, every true artist is excited about one subject or another, and living without the ability to get truly carried away by anything equals death to me.  I would not like to experience such sad existence, and cheer for all who create and love the art that is based on Tolkien’s works.

Thank you for the interview!


Previous talks: Bullet; Blue with Gold-Seven fav.me/d6aprnx
                            Bullet; Blue with steamey fav.me/d6bx1lc
                            Bullet; Blue with ekukanova fav.me/d6dzooz
                            Bullet; Blue with Tulikoura fav.me/d6gqc7f
                            Bullet; Blue with AbePapakhian fav.me/d6l0qap
                            Bullet; Blue with kimberly80 fav.me/d6nt0jo
                            Bullet; Blue with jankolas fav.me/d6o41tp
                            Bullet; Blue with jgilronan fav.me/d720ty2


Rohirrim journal skin.

Horse head © 2009 - Grinmir-stock
Texture by kizistock
Knotwork by gbrgraphix

Back to Middle-earth Month 2014 - prompt claims!

Journal Entry: Mon Jan 13, 2014, 10:50 AM
Skin by TMNT-Raph-fan




Four Seasons of Middle-earth

This year's Back to Middle-earth Month event will involve putting together a compilation of writing and art related to the theme "Four Seasons of Middle-earth." Each day during the month of March, we will post a selection of stories, poetry, and artwork created in response to prompts related to this year's theme.

Important note: This event is supported and organized by several Tolkien-related groups and archives, but is centered around the b2mem LiveJournal community to synchronize all of them. The group Arda-Inspired on deviantArt provides a place where dA members can share their creations for this event, but the primary place where these should be posted is this LJ community.


Once you have read the guidelines, you can visit this post to view the prompts and claim your prompt.


Guidelines and Expectations

  1. If you sign up for a prompt, you will be expected to produce a piece of writing or art for that prompt on or before a predetermined due date.
  2. As always, how you choose to respond to the prompt is entirely up to you. We welcome outside-the-box approaches to our prompts and intend them to inspire not limit your creation! Responses must have a significant basis in Tolkien's writings and should be created for this challenge. Beyond that, all forms, genres, time periods, characters, pairings, ratings, and interpretations are welcome. Movie!verse, crossover, and alternate universe (AU) pieces are fine. For art, all media are welcome.
  3. Some prompts include quotes from Tolkien's texts. You do not have to write about the book, people, time period, or event in the quote.
  4. There are no limits on word count, so stories may be as short or as long as you'd like. Works-in-progress are fine as long as what you've completed and posted for the compilation can stand on its own.
  5. Approximate due dates are included on the prompt list. Due dates may change slightly as the final posting schedule takes shape. We will contact you if your due date changes, and we will try very hard not to make the due date earlier than the original date.
  6. On or before the due date, post your story or your art to this community using the posting format below. We will send you a reminder email about a week before the due date. Once you've posted your piece, a moderator will review your post and unlock your story or art on the correct date.
  7. At the end of the event, we will be putting together an e-book of the entire compilation that will be free to download. You are not required to have your piece included in this book. We will contact you for permission to publish your piece, and the decision to be included or not is entirely up to you.
  8. Your story, poem, or art belongs to you. You are free to edit it or delete it from the community at any time. Once the piece has been released on this community, you are free to post it to other sites as well. Please do not post your piece on other sites before it is unlocked here.
  9. If you are unable to complete your piece or need an extension, please contact us as soon as possible. We have structured the schedule to allow maximum flexibility for our participants. Our moderators also have busy work, family, and school lives and understand how things come up unexpectedly, and you will not be penalized if you need an extension or cannot complete your assignment. Please just let us know as soon as possible so that we can rearrange the schedule or reassign the prompt as needed.
  10. Do you best to present your work professionally. Proofread and spellcheck. If you need a beta reader or some other assistance, please email us at b2mem.mod@gmail.com, and we will find someone to help you. (If you'd like to serve as a beta-reader or assist this year's authors or artists in any way, sign-up here.) We welcome writers and artists of all ability levels, and whether this is your first piece or your fiftieth, you are welcome to participate! Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need help with your piece.

Posting Your Piece

You can begin posting your stories and art at any time. The community is currently set to moderated, so once a story has been posted, a moderator will have to approve it before it appears on the community. You need to have a LiveJournal account but do not have to be a member of b2mem to post to the community. Click here to sign up for a free LiveJournal account. Click here to post to the B2MeM community.

Format for Writing

Please use the format below for all writing posted to the community.

For the title of your post, use the format "Story Title" by Author.

Copy and paste the form below into the body of the post.

Title:
Author Name:
Prompt:
Summary:
Rating: (use either the SWG's General/Teens/Adult system or MPTT's G/PG/PG-13/R/NC-17 system)
Warnings:
Beta: (optional)
Author's Notes: (optional)

Place your piece behind an LJ-cut. (Email us at b2mem.mod@gmail.com if you need help with formatting your post or posting to LJ.)

Format for Art

Please use the format below for all art posted to the community.

For the title of your post, use the format "Art Title" by Artist.

Copy and paste the form below into the body of the post.

Title:
Artist Name:
Prompt:
Description:
Rating: (use either the SWG's General/Teens/Adult system or MPTT's G/PG/PG-13/R/NC-17 system)
Warnings:
Artist's Notes: (optional)

Place your piece behind an LJ-cut. (Email us at b2mem.mod@gmail.com if you need help with formatting your post or posting to LJ.)

If you have collaborated as part of an author-artist team, the two of you can decide how you want to present your work. You are welcome to present the writing and art together, or to present them separately. If presenting writing and art together, include headers for both the writing and art.



Frequently Asked Questions


I am not comfortable committing to a prompt ahead of time, but I'd still like to create something for B2MeM. Will there be any options for me to participate this year?

Absolutely! Past B2MeM events that required participants to sign up ahead of time have allowed writers and artists who weren't able to sign up to nonetheless create and share writing and art based on that year's prompts. For example, you might choose to utilize the prompt for the day's featured piece, or you might grab a prompt from the master list that inspires you.

Any writing or art created for B2MeM is always welcome on the b2mem community. However, because posts are moderated this year due to the compilation, then your piece will not appear right away. At least one day will be reserved each week for unlocking and sharing pieces that were not created for the compilation, and your posts will be unlocked then. No compilation pieces will be unlocked on this day.

To post to the b2mem community, use the posting format above to post to the community. Your piece will be unlocked by a moderator on the next day reserved for non-compilation pieces. You are welcome to post your piece to other sites before it is unlocked here.

There will also be a comment challenge to go with this year's B2MeM. More information on this will be available soon.

I just read a B2MeM story that I really love, and I would like to remix the story for B2MeM. Is it okay for me to do that?

A remix of a B2MeM story would be acceptable for the community; however, you need to contact the author first for permission to remix her or his story. We will not unlock any remixes that have been made without permission from the original author.

I posted my story to the community, and it has not been revealed yet. But I just found a typo and some other things I need to correct! Is it possible to edit my story before it is posted?

It is not possible to edit the post you have already made; however, you can re-post your story with the corrections, and we will unlock the most up-to-date version on your reveal date. To make sure that the correct version is posted, please email us at b2mem.mod@gmail.com to let us know that you have added a revised version so that we can delete the old version from the queue.

One your story or art has been revealed, you will be able to edit it.

My piece is due soon, and I'm having a hard time finishing. What are my options?

If you have doubts about whether you'll finish a piece on time, please contact us as soon as possible. We have planned the schedule to be flexible, and we can offer extensions. Likewise, if you don't think you'll be able to complete your assignment, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can make sure that we either find a replacement or adjust the posting schedule accordingly.

You will not be in trouble if you need an extension or if you cannot complete an assignment. We understand that life happens and that you'd rather be writing fanfic than attending to the emergencies that sometimes get thrown your way! However, please do not claim an assignment if you think it is unlikely you will be able to finish it.

If you are stuck in a piece for whatever reason, please contact us. Whether you need a beta reader, language help, someone to cheer you on, a person to bounce ideas off of, or something else entirely, we have a list of volunteers willing to help and will put you in touch with someone who can help you get your writing or art going again.

What kind of art is acceptable for B2MeM?

Anything! Traditional art, such as drawing and painting, and digital art is of course welcome, but we encourage participants to think outside the box! Crafts, sculpture, costume, video, music, and other media are all acceptable formats. If you need help deciding how best to share your project, email us at b2mem.mod@gmail.com.

My prompt has a quote from The Hobbit in it. Does that mean that my story has to be about that scene?

Many of our prompts include quotes that we found interesting or inspiring. You are not limited to writing about the character or scene depicted in the quote, nor does your piece have to be based on the book the quote comes from.

What about novellas, novels, and works-in-progress?

There are no restrictions on word count for this challenge. You can write as little or as much as you'd like. Likewise, longer unfinished pieces (works in progress) are fine as long as what you will have ready by your due date can stand on its own at the time it is revealed. Anything shared as part of the compilation should be able to be read as a completed story, even if you have plans to continue adding to it.

Is all clear now? If yes, then
claim your prompt here! b2mem.livejournal.com/247842.h…


Talks with Tolkien artists: jgilronan

Journal Entry: Mon Jan 13, 2014, 4:12 AM


Allow me to introduce you a wonderful professional artist and Tolkien illustrator who joined deviantArt just recently, Joe Gilronan :iconjgilronan: - jgilronan.

Minas Tirith  War approaches. by jgilronan A Long Expected Party(Waiting For The Post) by jgilronan
Journey To The Undying Lands by jgilronan The Great River by jgilronan
Rivendell Wisdom Of The Elves by jgilronan The Party Tree. Bilbo's eleventy-first Birthday. by jgilronan


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

I am a full time professional artist and create work exclusively influenced by the writings of J.R.R Tolkien. I am originally from Chester, England but have lived in sunny Southern Spain for the last 6 years. I have exhibited and sold work world wide and work primarily in oils, acrylic and clay.

2. When did you read Tolkien's books for the first time, and what impression did they leave in you?

I suppose it all started from a very early age when I first heard a reading of the Hobbit on a British children's TV show called Jackanory. I just loved the whole world that he had created, this in turn led me to The Lord of the Rings/Silmarillion. Ever since a part of me has inhabited this world and art has allowed me to continue this magical journey.

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


Huge, not a week goes by without having to dip into (reference) one of the books, they never leave my side whilst painting; they are the main driving force behind all of my works. Tolkien's writings have been a part of my life for so long that they have inevitably had a huge impact on how I see and live my life. There is a lot of wisdom to be gleaned from the writings and in some ways the books have become an unofficial guide as to how I live my life; so yes, I suppose I am a 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?

Although the books will always be the major source of inspiration behind my work, the films cannot be dismissed out of hand. After finishing a painting, I realize that certain characters and settings sometimes strongly resemble the film versions. Tolkien’s Middle-earth and the Peter Jackson/Ralp Bakshi films have become such an integral part of one another, that at times it is very difficult to separate one from the other.

5. Now, could you tell us something about you and art? We know you are a professional artists, so what influenced this decision in your life? Who or what influenced your style?

It probably all started from a love of early fantasy films, films like King Kong, Jason and The Argonauts, The Wizard of Oz, the list is endless.

Trying to capture these fantastical worlds on paper is what first led me to want to create. Then Tolkien came along and that was it, I just knew that I had to try and commit his writings to canvas.

6. You only recently joined deviantArt. How is your experience with the site so far?

Fantastic, its such a warm, friendly and supportive site and best of all there are lots of groups with some amazing artists dedicated to Tolkien/fantasy inspired art work.

7. Where do you find inspiration for the Middle-earth sceneries you paint? Is it just your fantasy, or real locations as well?


I pretty much allow Tolkien’s writings to reveal themselves in the landscape and nature around me. I currently live amongst mountains, hill top castles and sprawling olive groves; it takes very little to imagine elves dwelling amongst the mist shrouded trees, dwarf strongholds in the mountains or proud knights populating the castles.

8. Most of your pictures are painted with oil or acrylics. Do you rather keep to the art techniques and styles you are familiar with, or do you experiment with new ones as well?

I constantly experiment and use lots of different mediums and feel it is very important to try out different ideas and techniques; it helps to keep things fresh. At the moment I am playing around with earth mixed with modelling clay in order to produce some very texturized pieces.

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

- a Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?
Gandalf's Return Fireworks In The Shire. by jgilronan
This is difficult as each painting has its merits and flaws, however this piece is set during the opening chapters of TLOTR and for me is the best part of the book; so I have a soft spot for this one.


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

upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia…

Anything by J. M. W. Turner who is my all time favourite artist.

- a picture that was hardest to paint?

Mordor ( Land Of Shadow ) by jgilronan


Mordor was a challenge as I deliberately avoided using black, which is the first colour that comes to mind when interpreting the land of shadow.

10. 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.

Without a doubt my Father who made a name for himself as a leading British landscape painter. As a child I was constantly in and out of his studio and without even knowing taking my first art lessons by watching him paint.

11. 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?

There are to many to mention and I feel it would be unfair to choose just one; I am a particular fan of lots of the digital artists, which is a art form I used to brush off before joining Deviant Art.

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

2014 promises to be a very exciting year with many exhibitions planned and the release of my first book "From The Shire To The Sea"

Thank you for the interview!

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Rohirrim journal skin.

Horse head © 2009 - Grinmir-stock
Texture by kizistock
Knotwork by gbrgraphix