I apologise for the third post in a row without any pictures. I’ve taken loads, and hilarious ones, but you’ll have to wait for those until I’m back in Germany.
Today started with my drawing workshop, which was great fun. In between teaching the basics of human, Elven, Dwarven, and Dragon anatomy, there was much fun to be had with chicken dragons, Warcraft Elves with holes in their hoods and the dangers of foreshortening.
Afterwards, I got to do a few nice little miniature sketches in watercolour, of Fingon and Rosie Cotton. I started one of Maedhros (surprise!) and had done one of Treebeard yesterday. There was loads of interesting talk with all sorts of people, and I am by now seriously out of prints. A single Oath of Fëanor is left, as is Maedhros in Angband (stupid of me to bring that along. Who wants a suffering Maedhros on their wall?). I did sell an original sketch and a framed print, something else that I’m just not used to. I know that, after the last two days, I should have known that this wasn’t the Artist Alley at the Spiel Essen, but still. I feel as I’m inside a beautiful parallel universe that I wish I could stay in.
One of today’s definite highlights was Charles Ross with his One Man Lord of the Ring show. I have NOT laughed this hard in years. Seriously. Charles Ross acts the entire Lord of the Rings movie trilogy in just over an hour. Just him, no props, no other actors. He does all the sound effects and the film music. He manages to tread that fine line between very serious moments that declare his love and respect for the subject matter, and then does the most hilarious parody, most of it in parts that I (and most other Tolkien fans) consider out of place in the movies. For example, Denethor’s table manners and cherry tomato squelching become a running gag, and my favourite dialogue was this:
[Frodo] I will take the ring to Mordor. Although… I do not know the way.
[Aragorn] Then you have my sword.
[Legolas] And my hair.
[Gimli] And my beard. Because I broke me bloody axe.
After that, it was time for another highlight: The art panel, with Ted Nasmith, Anke Eißmann, Ruth Lacon, and me. Ted is one of the most absolutely charming people you’re ever likely to meet. After the panel, he visited me at the table I was sharing with Anke, and he and I ended up talking for nearly an hour about Silmarillion’s missing moments. It’s such a wonderful experience to connect to people on something that has held such an important place in my heart, but has had such few outlets over the years! We were thrown out of the building at six p. m. so we were interrupted, but we’re going to carry on with this tomorrow.
I’ve talked to Ruth Lacon about her Tolkien art book, which she published a few years ago without official sanctioning, and she said that usually, work “inspired by” is a grey area legally that is not that much of a problem. Anke and I also talked about a possible joint production, possibly with Catherine Chmiel, as a sort of balance to all the male-dominated official Tolkien art out there. I’m going to ask Ted about it tomorrow as well; maybe he can offer some more insight on the matter.
But something I have learnt from this experience is to do more Tolkien conventions and fewer Artist Alleys, begging your pardon, Spiel Essen. I mean, if you have a choice of having, on one hand, people connecting to everything you do, coming to you because they’re seriously fans of your work, paying good money for prints and little drawings, and on the other hand, people walking past your desk, haggling over poster prices and just pocketing your postcards because they think they must be free anyway – I mean – seriously?