"I would draw some of the great tales in fullness, and leave many only placed in the scheme, and sketched. The cycles should be linked to a majestic whole, and yet leave scope for other minds, and hands, wielding paint and music and drama."
Most authors dream of having their stories illustrated.
- Linda Hoyland, fanfiction author
We are a group that unites those who write fanfiction stories for the big and wonderful world of professor Tolkien, and those who draw or paint their visions of it. Our goal is to encourage artists to read and illustrate fanfiction, and collect such stories and illustrations.
We closely collaborate with the fanfiction archives Naice a Nilme and The Silmarillion Writers' Guild and fanfiction contest Teitho
OUR GALLERY FOLDERS:
humorous and crack fanfics
fanfiction illustrations - the picture should have a link to the story or at least its title in the artist's comments. We also accept illustrations for roleplays, the Black Book of Arda and for fan movies (Born of Hope and The Hunt for Gollum)
Between the lines - here we accept pictures which themselves tell a story that is not in the books, or just hinted at, it doesn't have to have a link to a story (It can be an AU, original characters, or illustration of the characters before or after the events in the books/movies, a scene that was not showed but logically had to happen, etc.)
Teitho pictures: Teitho is a monthly fanfiction challenge, which gives you a theme to write about. Here, we challenge you to take the same theme, and draw a picture for it. It doesn't have to feature Aragorn and/or Legolas, like the written entries do. Your best pictures will be featured at the Teitho site as well.
B2MeM: Every year in March, the The Silmarillion Writers' Guild organizes a Back to Middle-earth Month. This folder is for the entries created for it. (You can submit also entries from previous years)
NaN illustrations: Every month, the Naice a Nilme archive helds a poll for the Story of the month. We will post the links to the competing stories in our journal, and you chose the story that inspires you, and draw an illustration for it. The best illustrations will be featured in the Naice a Nilme archive together with the Story of the Month.
About slash and mature content: In both pictures and stories, mature content should be put under a filter, and comply with the dA policy:FAQ #220: What is Mature Content? and FAQ #565: You prohibit the submission of 'pornographic imagery'; what do you consider this to be?. Slash stories should have a warning either in the title or author's comments - authors and readers should be respectful to each other and their preferences.
Please, no Mary Sues in pictures or stories!
SOME OTHER FANFICTION ARCHIVES WHERE YOU CAN LOOK FOR INSPIRATION:
fanfiction.net - Lord of the Rings section and Silmarillion section
Stories of Arda
The Silmarillion Writers' Guild
(note: please keep in mind that English is not Venlian's first language and this interview had to be translated. I hope all is understandable despite of this, though.)
1. Hello! For the beginning, could you tell us something about yourself?
Hi! I’m an artist from Ukraine, I’m fond of drawing, music and literature. I love animals. I have 3 aquariums and a german shepherd dog, I called him Anor.
2. How extensive is your knowledge of Middle-earth? Do you consider yourself Tolkien expert?
I read and looked through enough material about Tolkien's world to say that I understand it. But as the actor V. Livanov who ingeniously played Sherlock Holmes told in his interview – he specially didn't re-read the book before filming to keep freshness of sensing and admiration of Holmes he got since early youth and convey this first impression to the audience. I think he succeeded in it. I don't re-read Tolkien for hundred times too before drawing, I don't look for any little details through Internet, I draw on first impression of scene or character, I try to keep my delight of some character . That’s why I wouldn't put my name among experts and tolkienologists.
3. When did you read Tolkien's books for the first time, and what impression did they leave in you? What was first for you - book or movie? 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?
When the first part of LOTR trilogy came out, I wasn't fond of Tolkien yet and I didn't know who is he, that’s why I didn't go to the cinema. And only when there were already all 3 parts, I decided to watch this movie from the disk, but didn't understand the plot and didn’t like it. When I told my acquaintance about it, she said that it is necessary to read the book first; all is much more cool and clear there. She gave me to read "The Two Towers", - my passion for Tolkien also began with it. I was immensely in love with the book, I terribly wanted to read the others. After time I was lucky to buy all 3 volumes on sale, it was translated by Nemirova A. I think that it is the best translation of LOTR, exactly I must thank this translation that my love for Tolkien became so deep. I hesitated much to read the "Silmarillion" though there were its fans among my acquaintances. The text seemed very confusing and unclear to me. Only much later, also incidentally, I had to study this book and some episodes made great impression on me. As for the movie, I re-watched it after reading the book, and it is a beautiful scenery to the book, but no more than that. The most apt in my opinion is Gandalf, approximately such as I also imagine him. Sam, Eowyn and Theoden and all Rohirrim are good I don’t like Frodo at all, in my opinion he doesn't agree with the book and that uncommon hobbit about whom Tolkien wrote. Aragorn also lacs, with all my love to Vigo Images from Jackson’s LOTR are inevitably imposed on us, but Tolkien’s world is much more deep and more natural and orсs are not so simple as the herd of bisons
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?
I am a professional artist. I studied in an art school, then in the nursery of artists in a painting class, then I graduated from the art and graphic institute. I started drawing in childhood. At the beginning I drew only animals, I started with people already studying in an art school. In my childhood I was inspired by cartoons – the russian animated cartoon "Maugli", "Beauty and the Beast", "The Lion King", etc. I wanted very much to become an animated cartoon artist.
5. How do you choose which scenes and characters to illustrate?
I would tell that my applies to Tolkien share on two parts: these are portraits of characters and a scenes from their life. Most of all I’m interested in several characters from "Silm", first of all it is Feanor and his family. Creating his portrait, or members of his family, I want to convey a certain emotional state, identity, feature. I don't want them to be ordinary cute faces, without relation to Tolkien's world. It is difficult and such task attracts me. On my portraits they are shown as just people, often sexy, and often first of all as soldiers. This combination of sublime beauty of mind and body with necessity to struggle, win and create new cities - is really wonderful. Inexhaustible subject. As for the scenes from life – there are some plans, and I hope that I would be able to get around to them .
6. What art technique is your favourite? Do you rather keep to the art techniques and styles you are familiar with, or do you experiment with new ones as well?
I like to draw digital and traditional, however the spirit of Middle Ages in Tolkien's works as if hints that his world goes best of all with traditional, and I will agree with such opinion. As for the techniques I tried to draw Tolkien's world with watercolor, and pastel, and ink and graphite. Quite perhaps, I will risk also with oil It would be epic
7. Probably the best word to describe your character paintings is "hot". As a modest and religious man, Tolkien avoided this topic, but some of your illustrations are more revealing. Is it your intention to present them as "eye-candy" for the viewers? What is your opinion on sexuality in Middle-earth?
You know, I think that there was sex in Middle-Earth . Feanor had 7 sons, and this already gives us a hint that he had sex with his wife not only on hollidays I don't see elves of "Silm" as just cute handsome men and shirkers, they had to work hard, building the new cities of Middle-Earth – after all they had no slaves, all they did, they did themselves. They had to be at war, sow and plow, build and fight – that’s why in my opinion they are flesh and blood. Thus they are beautiful and strong – and it is really sexy!
8. Do you have some tips and tricks you would like to share with the other artists?
In my art I try to avoid stereotypes. I can advise all artists, to do the same
9. Could you give us a link or thumbnail from your gallery of
- a Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?
- a picture from other fandom or original picture you are most proud of?
- a picture that fits your current mood?
- a picture that was hardest to paint?
- any other picture you would like to share with us and why?
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.
I had to communicate with many artists and it is possible to learn something from everyone. But the most important person for me is my teacher in art school and also some fellow students with whom I studied in the nursery of artists. From DA I can call - the first traditional Tolkien artist I saw on DA, and a thought rushed in my head: hey! And why not to do the same! There are many drawings which inspire on something also from other DA artists. If it concerns my favourite classical artists, they are Vrubel, Kramskoy, Shishkin, Levitan, Serov and many other Russian artists. Also I like impressionists – for fine vivid colours and plus classic like Michelangelo, Rodin, etc.
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?
12. Is there something else you would like to tell to the fans of Tolkien and your art?
Tolkien's world is fascinating and boundless, it inspires me, and I am glad that my drawings and my vision of this world can inspire and be pleasant to you.
Thank you very much for your time and answers!