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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
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                            Bullet; Blue with AbePapakhian fav.me/d6l0qap
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                            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

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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:

:iconsignhermitcrab:SignHermitCrab
With:
A tree in the City
A tree in the City by SignHermitCrab
More from Her Gallery:
Feeling of Autumn by SignHermitCrabWhen darkness falls, Magic appears by SignHermitCrabI Ching 24 - Fu (Returning) by SignHermitCrab
I Ching 27 - Yi (Mouth Corners) by SignHermitCrabWhen darkness falls, Magic appears - 2 by SignHermitCrabThe Bridge by SignHermitCrab


: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 NorthmannAutumn 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

Rohirrim journal skin.

Horse head © 2009 - Grinmir-stock
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!

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

Rohirrim journal skin.

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

Planting trees in 2014

Journal Entry: Sat Jan 11, 2014, 3:38 AM


The "Art for Trees" project continues in 2014 as well:

Art for Trees - project:iconspringtree-1plz::iconspringtree-2plz::iconspringtree-3plz::iconspringtree-4plz::iconspringtree-4pl5:
"When is the best time to plant a tree? Twenty years ago. The second best time? Today."
- Chinese proverb
Trees are important, valuable and necessary to our very existence. It's not too hard to believe that, without trees we humans would not exist on this beautiful planet. Trees are the largest and longest living organisms on earth. To grow tall the tree has become a miracle of engineering and a complex chemical factory. It is able to take water and salts out of the earth and lift them up to the leaves, sometimes over 400 ft above. By means of photosynthesis the leaves combine the water and salts with carbon dioxide from the air to produce the nutrients which feed the tree. In this process, as well as wood, trees create many chemicals, seeds and fruit of great utility to man. Trees also remove carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, from


Besides that, theperian offers you features or even a premium membership for planting trees! Check this journal for details:

A Challenge! With Features and Premium MembershipsHello everyone!
To those who celebrate it, a happy Thanksgiving. I was thinking about it last night, and I would like to give thanks to everyone here - all the wonderful artists, fabulous photographers and aspiring creators who have made these past few years great. But I also wanted to give thanks (and a bit of help) to this amazing world of ours. So, why not combine the two?
So, here's the challenge (and there are potentially nearly a thousand of you reading this, so we could make this something truly spectacular!)
Scientific consensus agrees that climate change is happening, mostly due to carbon. And even if you are among the few who prefer not to look at that, we still need oxygen and, as artists, we use paper all of the time. So, one way or another, we're all quite dependant on trees. (Besides, forest glades are fabulous places to come up with creative ideas.)
On average, we could completely negate our carbon footprint by planting 20 trees per year. Even one would be a fanta


The Favourite Showcase - Nature Feature VII

Journal Entry: Thu Jan 9, 2014, 7:22 AM


For several months I didn't have time to make these features, but now I finally got to doing it!

So without further delay...


This is a feature of the members of the group 

:iconthefavouriteshowcase:,

focusing on Nature Photography


Land, water and sky

The Journey by A-MotiveNocturnal Rainbow by PinhoDu dunkelnder Grund... by t3hr
<da:thumb id="424852121"/>On the way to Pastoruri Glacier by JBordHielos del Torre by iniclof
Sunset Kiss by A-MotiveHerbst In Der Saussbachklamm by Saber1705Lunar Eclipse 2008 by xDx
Balloons over Cappadocia 6 by CitizenFreshfloating light II by indojoEnchanting Woods by anietaralom
Aby fiord by Dark-LioncourtJello by IvanAndreevichFlooded promenade, Osijek by SeiMissTake
lesozima by fogkeHimalayas by PasoLibreSoft Water by Optionator
Golden Beauty by RobertRobledoReflections by BlankestCanvasDigital Infrared - South Dakota by aeroartist
Enchanting Woods by bongaloidFalls by Stefano-ColtelliHazy Shade of Winter by Leucareth
Lasting Impressions by PeterJCoskunGeroldsau Waterfall 1 by MK-NIMagical Phase by FlorentCourty
East Shore Tahoe Evening Scene by sellsworthfall reflections by NWunseenDreams from Underworld - 22 by DaniBabitz
Rising moon by lomaticMilky Way at Vadkert lake by NorbertKocsisAtomic Wave by DMMDesign
.:The Narrows 1:. by RHChengAutumn flowers and Tofana di Rozes by JamesRushforth



Animals

Peacock Blue by MayEbonygruccione by FrancoBorsiWildLife
Personal mountains by NB-PhotoArtDon't You Walk Away From Me by FriendFrog
Big catch by MogrianneThe Eye of the Tiger by Kiara-VestigiumWarning by Vishw
Winterberry by tanikelFlying eagle owl by AlesGolaFlying jewel by plumita1
Lovebirds by AngelaLouweHungry Hunter by CzerticeThe love of babblers by Prabhjot-Singh
Soulis: Taking a Break by soulis0Playing Otters IV by NicoFroehbergSumac is mine by MichelLalonde

Invertebrates

Everglades Grasshopper by papatheoFour Finger Freddy by manaphoto
.:little snail:. by efelineHold on Tight by creativemikeyguess what...? by sisikey




Flowers and macro

Reflections by Kurenai87Tulip by IsalovesphotographyJust look at it... by Markuslajer
The world in a drop by dashakernColors of Fall 1. by jxsnyderLevitate by John-Peter
Dancing in the Rain by alexgphotoSolitude by ChiFeng-dALonesome by AljoschaThielen
Let's do contrast by antoniavsFrozen by Zelma1Pink and Green no. 2 by CarinaMijne



Authors:
:iconaeroartist::iconalesgola::iconalexgphoto::iconaljoschathielen::icona-motive::iconangelalouwe::iconanietaralom::iconantoniavs::iconblankestcanvas::iconbongaloid::iconcarinamijne::iconchifeng-da::iconcitizenfresh::iconcreativemikey::iconczertice::icondanibabitz::icondark-lioncourt::icondashakern::icondmmdesign::iconefeline::iconfriendfrog::iconflorentcourty::iconfogke::iconfrancoborsiwildlife::iconindojo::iconiniclof::iconisalovesphotography::iconivanandreevich::iconjamesrushforth::iconjbord::iconjohn-peter::iconjxsnyder::iconkariliimatainen::iconkiara-vestigium::iconkurenai87::iconleucareth::iconlomatic::iconmanaphoto::iconmarkuslajer::iconmayebony::iconmichellalonde::iconmk-ni::iconmogrianne::iconnb-photoart::iconnicofroehberg::iconnorbertkocsis::iconnwunseen::iconoptionator::iconpapatheo::iconpasolibre::iconpeterjcoskun::iconpinho::iconplumita1::iconprabhjot-singh::iconrhcheng::iconrobertrobledo::iconsaber1705::iconseimisstake::iconsellsworth::iconsisikey::iconsoulis0::iconstefano-coltelli::icont3hr::icontanikel::iconvishw::iconxdx::iconzelma1:

Tolkien's Birthday Toast

Journal Entry: Fri Jan 3, 2014, 7:50 AM


Today (January 3rd) is J.R.R. Tolkien's 122th birthday.
Join us in a toast to this great writer! Today, at 9pm of your local time, raise a glass to him. (It doesn't need to be alcoholic)
:beer:


Happy Birthday, Professor! by kenjina
J.R.R. Tolkien by adambobmartin January the 3rd by lorna-ka
Tolkien Painting by JoelGafford
TH: Happy Birthday, Tolkien. by ShadowIZ



Rohirrim journal skin.

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

Autumn Colors contest winners

Journal Entry: Mon Dec 30, 2013, 7:39 AM


:iconfall1-plz::iconfall2-plz::iconfall3-plz::iconfall4-plz::iconfall5-plz:

This is the feature of winners and participants of the "Autumn Colors" contest held by

:icontrees-with-character:


:trophy::iconautumncolorplz::iconoakleafplz::spotlight-left: First Place :spotlight-right::iconoakleafplz::iconautumncolorplz::trophy:
:iconkayaksailor:kayaksailor
With:
Color climb
Color climb by kayaksailor
More from Her Gallery:
Rainbow Oak by kayaksailorSpots of Autumn by kayaksailorFenceline by kayaksailor
autumn fog by kayaksailordown in the view by kayaksailor


:trophy::iconautumncolorplz::iconoakleafplz::spotlight-left: Second Place :spotlight-right::iconoakleafplz::iconautumncolorplz::trophy:
:iconnoahsud:NoahSud
With:
Waltzing Wood
Waltzing Wood by NoahSud
More from His Gallery:
The Wayfarer in Between by NoahSudPink Spring by NoahSudFlight 6779 by NoahSud
... in light we trust. by NoahSudFade Away by NoahSud


:trophy::iconautumncolorplz::iconoakleafplz::spotlight-left: Third Place :spotlight-right::iconoakleafplz::iconautumncolorplz::trophy:
:iconiviemoon:IvieMoon
With:
Lament of the Leaves
Lament of the Leaves by IvieMoon
More from Her Gallery:
Dryad's Dance by IvieMoonCommon Buckeye by IvieMoonIn the Springtime of the Year by IvieMoon
Staghorn Cholla by IvieMoonLast Remaining Light by IvieMoon



:iconfall1-plz::iconfall2-plz::iconfall3-plz::iconfall4-plz::iconfall5-plz:





:star: :iconautumncolorplz::iconoakleafplz::spotlight-left: Runners Up :spotlight-right::iconoakleafplz::iconautumncolorplz: :star:


:iconfremdartet:freMDartet
With:
The last sunny day in October
The last sunny day in October by freMDartet

:iconrhcheng:RHCheng
With:
.:Zion Maple Leaves:.
.:Zion Maple Leaves:. by RHCheng

:iconhelale:HelaLe
With:
Cold morning
Cold morning by HelaLe



:star: :iconautumncolorplz::iconoakleafplz::spotlight-left: Honorable Mentions :spotlight-right::iconoakleafplz::iconautumncolorplz: :star:

Corridors of Light by BettinaMarsonForest-1 by EmmmBeee
Black Lake, Louisiana by EmileeSelfo by Weissglut


:iconfall1-plz::iconfall2-plz::iconfall3-plz::iconfall4-plz::iconfall5-plz:


The Strangest and Spookiest Tree - contest winners

Journal Entry: Mon Dec 2, 2013, 4:31 AM
:icontrophyplz: This is a feature of the winners of :icontrophyplz:
"The Strangest and Spookiest Tree"
contest held by

:iconunframed-nature:



:trophy: FIRST PLACE :iconwolf-smith: with:
 Miasmar by Wolf-Smith
:iconflowersplz:
More from this Artist:
Arabian by Wolf-Smith Archives of Lead by Wolf-Smith Torch by Wolf-Smith
Mr Cottage by Wolf-Smith Mud Flats by Wolf-Smith Prussian blue by Wolf-Smith
Haze by Wolf-Smith Aurora Catcher by Wolf-Smith Arch by Wolf-Smith
Puddles by Wolf-Smith Watercolor - Ten Thousand Watts by Wolf-Smith Shrine by Wolf-Smith


:trophy: SECOND PLACE :iconartserge: with:
 Quircus Stompus by artserge
:iconflowersplz:
More from this Artist:
Satori by artserge alien dusk by artserge Vae Victus by artserge Ogland by artserge
Soldier of Fortune by artserge Arakis by artserge Hiver mollusc by artserge
Amnesia a machine for pigs: Victorian Town House by artserge Jellies2 by artserge purple hypno skull by artserge


:trophy: THIRD PLACE :iconsolar-encoded: with:
 Face it, Yew are a bit weird... by Solar-Encoded
:iconflowersplz:
More from this Artist:
Sunset 15 by Solar-Encoded Sunset 26 by Solar-Encoded
Stone Circle 1 by Solar-Encoded Nosy Dog by Solar-Encoded
Organic 1 by Solar-Encoded Residual Indifference by Solar-Encoded Sequence by Solar-Encoded
Sunset 8 by Solar-Encoded Organic 2 by Solar-Encoded Sunset 27 by Solar-Encoded


:trophy: FOURTH PLACE :iconoffermoord: with:
 The Wait by offermoord
:iconflowersplz:
More from this Artist:
Radiant Silence by offermoord Hypno cat by offermoord Alkaloid Garden by offermoord Dream stalker by offermoord
The Weeping by offermoord Garden Fauna by offermoord Autumn Heart by offermoord
Hole in the Forest by offermoord Phantom Harvest by offermoord Desert Pandemonium by offermoord





:icontrophyplz: The FOUR RUNNERS-UP! :icontrophyplz:

In No Particular Order...

:trophy: RUNNER-UP :iconpassionandthecamera: with:
 King Of Trees by PassionAndTheCamera
:iconpoppy3plz:
More from this Artist:
Fuchsia by PassionAndTheCamera Hey, what's up?! by PassionAndTheCamera Summer dying fast by PassionAndTheCamera
The End Of Chive by PassionAndTheCamera Touch! by PassionAndTheCamera Enjoying the sun by PassionAndTheCamera



:trophy: RUNNER-UP :iconmittarimato: with:
 The Spookiest Tree by mittarimato
:iconpoppy3plz:
More from this Artist:
Birches by a lake by mittarimatoBirch cottage by mittarimatoLandscape by mittarimato
Autumn rain by mittarimatoShiny diamonds by mittarimatoWoodlands and flat field by mittarimato


:trophy: RUNNER-UP :iconjac888: with:


:iconpoppy3plz:

More from this Artist:
Oh Bubbles! by Jac888CuteGuys by Jac888End of Line? by Jac888
JobSwitchEveryday on reaching the office ask yourself secretly "Why am I here?"
You'll hear some interesting answers in your head --- "Of course! I've to earn a living" --- "Obviously to fulfill my dreams" --- "Well, to see her[him] everyday" et cetera
One day you'll hear  "Sigh ... I've no idea" :| and  that would be the right day to start looking for another job.
SynchDancers by Jac888 Well WisherOne of the best moments in life would be when you realize that someone had been praying for you all along. The moment-of-truth generates an unexplainable feeling within the then connected minds.
Of course it is a happy feeling!



:trophy: RUNNER-UP :iconmirachravaia: with:
 Living Tree by MirachRavaia
:iconpoppy3plz:
More from this Artist:
Suns...plash! II by MirachRavaiaSongs of Power by MirachRavaiaCan you sing with all the colors of the wind? by MirachRavaia
Janka's Elves by MirachRavaiaNightmare by MirachRavaiaIsildur and the fruit of Nimloth by MirachRavaia



:iconpumpkinplz::iconfall1-plz::iconfall2-plz::iconfall3-plz::iconfall4-plz::iconfall5-plz::iconpumpkinplz:


:iconredroseplz: SIX Honourable Mentions :iconredroseplz:

We've had a few other entries, with a high enough score of votes,
to justify sharing a section of Honourable Mentions. They may not be due the prizes,
which are due to the top eight winners, but of course they are featured right HERE, and they will ALSO
be moved to our FEATURED FOLDER, which means eventually they will be :+fav:'d by our POINTS ACCOUNT:
Unframed-Nature-PTS :iconunframed-nature-pts:


In No Particular Order...

:rose: :iconozzkat: with:
 It's Where They Were Hanged. by Ozzkat
:rose:


:rose: :iconyellow-weaver: with:
 Of Trees and Mists by Yellow-Weaver
:rose:


:rose: :iconpainted-leaf: with:
 The Spooky Tree by painted-leaf
:rose:


:rose: :iconmarshalllipp: with:
 Capturing Time by MarshallLipp
:rose:


:rose: :iconanietaralom: with:
 Mighty Guard by anietaralom
:rose:


:rose: :iconsilvertop: with:
The Last Light of Day by SilverTop
:rose:


:la: CONGRATULATIONS to ALL! :la:


Projects in need

Journal Entry: Mon Nov 11, 2013, 2:21 AM

Here are the community projects that are currently looking for help:


:iconinternationalfaq:
InternationalFAQ is a project dedicated to translating questions found in the faq, along with any other important deviantART-related information to the different languages people at dA speak. The group is looking for more translators, as well as proof-readers for existing translations! We require fluent English and target language skills for both tasks.

:icondartschool:
DArtschool is a starting project that offers online art classes avaiable for deviants via livestream or other ways. Each class will have a determined amount of students since teachers would give them assignments to do, and correct them later, like a real art class. The project is currently looking for teachers willing to lead the classes. You can check the free spots and requirements here: fav.me/d6hi8og



Other community projects you can join:

INDIVIDUAL PROJECTS:

:iconastrikos: Praising Life Project

:iconazizriandaoxrak: Pay-It-Forward Project

:iconteaphotography: The Shelter Project

:iconweb5ter: Emote Story Project

:icontifa22: The Great Language Gathering Community

:iconthe-lantiis: The Kindness Quilt

:iconmirachravaia: Art for Trees

:iconsimplysilent: dA Compliments

:iconnameda: Angels without Wings

:iconnichrysalis: Disability Awareness 2013 The Glossary Project

:iconrainylake: Recommend A Friend Project

:iconpetrova: Prints For Panzi


GROUP PROJECTS:
Kindness, positivity and community:
:icondawishingwell: :icongood-intention: :iconwrite2livecancerfree::iconprojectpositivity: :iconburdenedhearts: :iconcometogetherproject: :iconspreading-awareness:

Feedback projects:
:icongimmefeedback: :iconfeedbackfrenzy: :iconprojectcomment:

Educative projects:
:iconarthistoryproject: :iconprojecteducate: :icondartschool: :iconinternationalfaq:


Challenges and activities:
:icondeviant365: :iconanthrochallenge: :icon7nightsofhalloween: :new::iconcalendarproject:


You can read about all ongoing community projects promoted by :iconcrcommunityprojects: here:



PE: Promoting your project

Thu Oct 17, 2013, 7:24 AM


Promoting your project


So you have a community project. You think it is a really good project, but people seem to not care for it. But wait... what if they just don't know about it?

Step 1 - WRITE A JOURNAL ABOUT YOUR PROJECT

You can also use other ways to describe your project - in the comments section of a deviation, in a profile widget or gallery description, but a journal is usually the most effective way to get the word out. Write it in sta.sh, even if it's a group journal (we will get to this later). Explain clearly and concisely the main idea and goals of your project, then elaborate on the details if needed.

Step 2 - POST THE JOURNAL

You can post it not only in your profile, but also in your groups. You need to be an admin of a group to be able to post the journal to it directly (as a journal, not as a deviation). If you are an admin of a group that is relevant to the project, this is how you post the journal:

Tutorial1 by MirachRavaia

Be sure to select the right category. For a community project (or contest), it is Journal Portal -> Deviant Events. If you are not an admin of any relevant groups, you can post the journal at this point. But if you are, click the "Gallery and Groups option":

Tutorial2 by MirachRavaia

Here you can choose which groups you would like to publish the journal in, besides your own profile.

So the journal is posted! Now what?

Step 3 - PROMOTE!

There are several options how to get the word out:

:bulletred: Groups

Maybe you are not admin of the group, but there is one relevant to the project theme. (And optimally you are a member. If not, join it! Group admins would rather fulfill the request of a member than of a random person.) If the group accepts or even has a gallery folder for groups and journals, you can submit the journal to it like a deviation. Use the button on the right side of the journal, and choose the group you want to submit it to:
Tutorial3 by MirachRavaia

You can also send a note to the group, with a polite request to promote your project in their journal. The note should contain all relevant informations about the project, or a link to them.

:bulletred: Friends and watchers

It never hurts to ask, right? There is a lot of people who would gladly promote a worthy cause, and chances are big that you will meet some. You can include the request in the project journal itself, or mention it in your next journals. It is also nice to thank the people who help you promote your project, for example with a feature of their art. (And you can mention the project again in the feature!)

:bulletred: Community volunteers

You can recognize them by a little heart next to their username, and they are here to help you. If your project is focused on a specific gallery or art form, you can ask the CV overlooking this gallery. You will find a list of them here: FAQ #18: Who selects Daily Deviations and how are they chosen? (also handy to suggest a DD). There is a special CV for community projects, curretly it's Astralseed. If you want to contact her about your project, the best way is through the CRCommunityProjects group (see the last point).

:bulletred: Journal portal

There are a few featured journals that appear at the bottom of your message centre, next to the featured poll and deviousness award. (You can minimalize this by clicking the arrow in the upper right corner.) What journals are featured here depends on their popularity - the number of favs and comments. A journal has exactly 48 hours after posting for a chance to get here. You can ask people to help you achieve this by asking them to fav and/or comment on the journal. This is also why it is often swarmed by point give-aways... If you don't manage to get here, nothing is lost! While it's a good means of promotion, it is hard to influence it, so let's rather look at the things you can do.

:bulletred: Forums

You can post a thread about your project in the dA forum. The right place to do it is here: forum.deviantart.com/community… , in the "Projects" subforum. Before posting, be sure to read the rules of this forum.

:bulletred: Actualize the journal

When one of the goals of the project is reached, when it enters a new stage, or just after some time. It will remind people on the project. (Don't do it every other day though, that can get annoying!). How to do it? On the right side of the journal, click the big "Edit with StashWriter" button if you want to change something in the project journal. But this will not notify your watchers about the change yet. When you want to do that, click the smaller "Edit" button that can be found under the "Edit with StashWriter". At the bottom of the page (similar to the submission page), check this option:
Tutorial4 by MirachRavaia

After you press "Update", the journal will appear in the inboxes of your watchers, and also of the watchers of all groups the journal is posted in.

:bulletred: Polls and profile widgets

This is an option exclusive to premium members. You can set a poll with a link to your project, and a few words about it instead of the options, maybe even politely ask your watchers to share it, if they are willing to. Sometimes polls are easier to notice in the message box than journals, and it is a way how to remind on the project after some time even without actualizing the journal. Premium members can also use a custom widget in their profile. You can install such widget, and use it to advertise your project on your profile page.

:bulletred: Signature

Your signature is shown under every your comment. You can also use it for a very short advertising of your project - a few words and a link is enough. Then you just need to comment a lot! ;) (But not spam...)

:bulletred: :iconcrcommunityprojects:
is a group dedicated to promoting and helping to run community projects, led by the current community projects CV and a lot of friendly staff. All you need to know about it is in this journal:

Welcome to Community Projects!Kickstart
Your Project
So,
you
want to run a
Community Project
?
Great! We're here to help you. Let's get started! Here's everything you need to know on how to get your project up and running with us.
What is a
Community Project
?
Glad you asked! A community project is a project or contest that is designed by community members to promote a positive, supportive environment here on deviantART. Community projects build community spirit and help all of us to grow as artists and as individuals. They have specific goals and serve to bring people together. These projects are supportive of artists and of artistic growth and provide a stepping-stone to help people achieve their goals.
Community projects can be large or small. They may span multiple galleries and media, or they may be focused on just one. They could even be focu

Your project will be added to the group's gallery, and also to the monthly review of community projects currently running at dA.







Talks with Tolkien artists: jankolas

Journal Entry: Tue Oct 8, 2013, 4:06 AM


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
                            :bulletblue: with kimberly80 fav.me/d6nt0jo

In this issue of "Talks with Tolkien artists", it is my pleasure to talk with a talented self-taught Slovak artist jankolas - :iconjankolas:.  I chose these pictures as a sample from her gallery for you:


Elven King by jankolas King of Mirkwood by jankolas
Eowyn and Faramir by jankolas
Beleg Cuthalion by jankolas Finrod by jankolas
King and his Queen by jankolas

(Note: This interview was concucted in Slovak and translated by me. If there are mistakes, they are my fault.)

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

Hello! I am an elementary school teacher, sponding most of my free time doing what  I love, art.

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

Tolkien's books have attacted me since I was a child. I remembered admiring the beautiful cover of the Lord of the Rings in the book store. Unfortunately, I got to reading them relatively lately, as 21 years old. After watching the Fellowship of the Ring in the cinema, I ran straight to the book store. I read the whole trilogy in a matter of days. The Hobbit followed, then Silmarillion, and gradually all Tolkien's books I could get. The books together with the movies literally changed my perception of the world instantly.

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

I do not consider myself a big expert on Middle-earth, more like its admirer. The world created my Mr. Tolkien is to huge and wonderfully complicated, that I would not dare to title myself as "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?

I read the Fellowship of the Ring first after watching its movie version, but my perception of the characters in the book was not influenced by the movie. When reading a book, I always create my own mental pictures of the characters and places, of the feeling I got from them. The invidual scenes get their shape in the process of reading, and become future illustrations.

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 is my hobby. It has been my dream to make my living as a professional illustrator, therefore I always strive to improve. I started drawing as a child - I always ran around with a crayon in my hand, and scribbled something in the sketch-book. It continued in school, where I used to draw under the table - Robin Hood, but later other heroes joined him.
I have always beem self-taught. Fascinated by the pictures in fairy-tale books, I first tried to copy them as good as possible. Only later I started to create my own illustrations, missing in my favourite books. By observing the techniques of famous artists and permanent hard work, I was gradually getting better. My first real idol was not a faous singer or actor, but Leonardo da Vinci, and later Allan Lee and John Howe.

6. Many of your paintings have a very detailed border. Where do you find the inspiration for the intricate shapes and details?

I enjoy "playing" with details, which is evident in the frames of my illustrations. I have always admired the illustrations for russian fairy-tales, as well as the beautifully framed drawings and engravings in old books and the works of Alfons Mucha, which influenced my pictures in a high degree. I look for inspiration for the complicated patterns and details mostly in nature and my surroundings, but a great part of them comes from my fantasy.  

7. Where else do you look for inspiration for your painings, not only from contentual, but also artistic side? Do you use references?

I use references, mostly photos, only for sketching the figures. The clothing, background and frame is mostly a result of my imagination. As to the contentual side, I look for inspiration in books and movies, nature and my surroundings, and sometimes also in my dreams.

8. Your technique is quite specific, not taught in any art school, and it's really nice from you that you share the progress shots of your works. How did you develop this technique?

As I have said already, I am self-taught. I learn by the method of trial and error, and mostly observation. I try to combine different artistic techniques and styled, and use various materials and artistic supplies.

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

I experiment and often invent new techniques, but despite that, I try to not make my pictures and illustrations look like modern art at the end.

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

- a Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?


Luthien Tinuviel by jankolas

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

My most popular picture on dA, and because I am a romantic soul, one of my most favourite pictures as well.

Farewell by jankolas

...and of course I can't omit the illustration for one of my favourite book series "The Sword of Truth".

 Lovers by jankolas

- a picture that fits your current mood?

Dragon's bride (green) by jankolas


- a picture that was hardest to paint?

I can't choose one picture that was hardest to pain, each one was a challenge for me, in a way. But "Vanyar" is a complicated illustration that was born very slowly.

Vanyar by jankolas

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.

My greatest support and my first art teacher for me was and is my mother.
Here at dA I met a lot of nice people who support me from the beginning, and I am very thankful for that.

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?

:iconzdenosuchy:
I do not have the courage by ZdenoSuchy Arwen Undomiel by ZdenoSuchy
:iconvvveverka:
Tell me, Thranduil... by vvveverka Midnight Rain by vvveverka Spring of Banshee by vvveverka

13. There are many Tolkien-themed groups at dA. Do you have some favourites which you would recommend watching/joining? What about other art and fantasy groups?

It is very hard to choose just a few. :iconsilmarillion-club: and :icontheelvenrealm: belong to my favourites, besides the others.

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

It is not a shame in this time full of evil and cruelty to flee once in a while, and seek for solace in the world created by Mr. Tolkien. I hope that my pictures manage, at least once in a while, to carry people into a better world, where the good always wins, friendship is a greatest gift, courage and truthfulness are a merit, and the ability to love and dream a vitrue.

Thank you once more for this honor.
Jane.

And I thank you for the wonderful interview!

Rohirrim journal skin.

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

Talks with Tolkien artists: kimberly80

Journal Entry: Mon Sep 30, 2013, 8:00 AM


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

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

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

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

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

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

It was a culture shock for me!

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

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

3. When the movies came out, many of the inner pictures of characters and scenes in the mind of the readers have been replaced by actors and settings from the movie. Did it happen to you as well? Did you try to prevent it?

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

- a picture that was hardest to paint?

Thror by kimberly80



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

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

Thank you for the interview!


Rohirrim journal skin.

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

Lonesome Tree contest winners

Journal Entry: Mon Sep 30, 2013, 5:09 AM
:iconfancyheader1::iconfancyheader2::iconfancyheader3::iconfancyheader4:

This is a feature of the winners of the "Lonesome Tree" contest held by
:icontrees-with-character:


:star: :trophy::icontree2plz::iconspotlightplz: First Place :iconspotlightplz::icontree2plz::trophy::star:
:iconjacqchristiaan:JacqChristiaan
With
Old Landscape

Old Landscape by JacqChristiaan
More from His Gallery:
Blue Autumn by JacqChristiaanTreeII by JacqChristiaanChristmas Tree by JacqChristiaan
Landscape by JacqChristiaanZuiderplas by JacqChristiaan



:star: :trophy::icontree2plz::iconspotlightplz: Second Place :iconspotlightplz::icontree2plz::trophy::star:
:iconerinti:Erinti
With
Silence

Silence by Erinti
More from Her Gallery:
Grand Canyon II by ErintiAwaking by ErintiBlossom by Erinti
The edge of paradise I by ErintiWinter's Tale by Erinti



:star: :trophy::icontree2plz::iconspotlightplz: Third Place :iconspotlightplz::icontree2plz::trophy::star:
:iconolivieraccart:OlivierAccart
With
07:13 | Bread and Wine

07:13 | Bread and Wine by OlivierAccart
More from His Gallery:
07:07 | Sun Salutation by OlivierAccart(My heart was closed and then the skies opened) by OlivierAccartEnding of a destiny by OlivierAccart
In the stream I met my dreams by OlivierAccartAqua Etheral by OlivierAccart

:iconfineevehelp1::iconfineevehelp2::iconfineevehelp3:

:icontwc-border1plz::icontwc-border2plz::icontwc-border3plz::icontwc-border4plz::icontwc-border5plz::icontwc-border6plz::icontwc-border7plz::icontwc-border8plz:

:iconfancyheader1::iconfancyheader2::iconfancyheader3::iconfancyheader4:

:star: :trophy::icontree2plz::iconspotlightplz: Runner Ups :iconspotlightplz::icontree2plz::trophy::star:

:iconacoresjo88:acoresjo88
With
lonely tree panorama
lonely tree panorama by acoresjo88

:icondpressedsoul:DpressedSoul
With
Last Farewell
Last Farewell by DpressedSoul

:iconindojo:indojo
With
dark morning
dark morning by indojo



:star: :trophy::icontree2plz::iconspotlightplz: Honorable Mentions :iconspotlightplz::icontree2plz::trophy::star:

Lonesome together by freMDartet
Happy Sunset by Natan-Estivallet
Solitaire by Astroandre
Perfect Lonesome by JadeAndSapphireArts