Hobbit Feest

Photo by Leo Munten (L.A. Model Photography)

Photo by Leo Munten (L.A. Model Photography)

Last weekend was Hobbit Feest at Kasteel de Berckt in Baarlo, Netherlands. It was a wonderful and cosy experience (probably too cosy from the organisers’ points of view, as there were really not enough visitors). Though it was rather quiet, I loved it there – I met up with loads of Loughborough friends again, and made loads of new ones. Few visitors but loads of new friends – yes, that actually did work that way. I’ve been trying to analyse why exactly everyone at Hobbit Feest – visitors and vendors alike – were such great guys, and I have several theories as to that.

Theory #1: Dutch people are cool. Yes, they are. So very much so. So relaxed, so friendly, so gregarious, so out- and easygoing. I think this has something to do with it, but the Germans I met there were just as nice, so that can’t have been all there is to it.

Theory #2: Tolkien fans are a much nicer bunch than Fantasy fans at large (as seen at Ring*Con). That’s definitely true. Everyone whom I met at Baarlo had read the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings; and those who had not read the Silmarillion were at least duly ashamed of themselves. XD And they loved to discuss their views as much as I do.

Theory#3: I was sketching at my table. You may remember that one of the things I found so weird at Ring*Con was how people didn’t believe I was the artist of the stuff I was selling there. (Something I don’t understand. I think I fit my drawings.) Here, I always had a drawing in front of me, and people who passed by always acknowledged me. All of them smiled and said, “Those are great drawings!” Some then went on, in a friendly way. Most stayed to chat. Many bought prints. I feel like an idiot for not doing that at Ring*Con! So they all really thought I was just sitting there behind a random assortment of prints – no wonder that wasn’t interesting.

Photo by Leo Munten (L.A. Model Photography)

Something really funny that I heard a number of times over the weekend was the absolutely incredible line: “Did you draw these? Or… are they printed?”

That sentence is just hilarious when you think about it. It implies I’ve printed out some nice piccies from the Internet and take them to a convention. It also implies that nobody (at least not, apparently, a youngish looking woman in a Norwegian sweater) is even able to draw like that. and the one one who can is… the Internet? I thought that mindset was rather funny. Interestingly, I’ve heard it before, from my very inartistic parents in law.

Talking about parents, De Limburger newspaper was there on Saturday, and I made it into today’s issue with a small interview and a photo! The text recounts how my mother read the Hobbit to me when I was a child, “leaving out the violent scenes” (not essentially true…) and how “Tolkien inspires”. That he does. To this day. And many another to come.

So, aside from the many great conversations I had over the weekend, I did a workshop which was fun as well, though it bordered on a speed record that I was able to do it within one hour. Especially as I was talking English and German simultaneously.

Below, there’s a bit of comparative anatomy: Horses, humans, hobbits, bats and dragons. (And an answer to the question why hobbits are often depicted with larger than usual feet: when we see a clothed form with bare feet, the feet appear tiny to us because we expect something the size of shoes.)

Photo by Leo Munten (L.A. Model Photography)

I also wallowed in the absolutely unparalleled luxury of having two, two days in which I could sit and draw! On the first day, I set out to do a pencil drawing (probably soon to be watercoloured) of the “Children of the Forest” sketch I made last week.

On the second day, I gave Fëanor the glamour portrait that he has been demanding since… uh, 2004. I’m sorry, Curufinwë. I feel like treating this one with just a bit of colour too.

Later, I also drew a request sketch for Sarina, of Arwen.

All in all, this has been an absolutely gorgeous weekend – I can’t wait for next May, when I’ll be at Tolkien Tag in Geldern! (Not a weird way of playing tag, by the way, but “Tolkien Day” in German).

22 thoughts on “Hobbit Feest

  1. “Did you draw these? Or… are they printed?”

    I think that means “Did you draw those directly on paper, or did you draw+scan+print them?” So in the first case it would be an “original” drawing and in the second case you would be able to make multiple copies of it.

    At least, that is my experience as a Dutch artist at Dutch cons :)

    • No, from the follow up questions it always becomes clear that they really mean “printed” to denote something like “professional” or even “published”. They say that about my originals too, even the ones I’m working on: “Wow, that looks like printed!” As if no human being, only a printer, could produce really *good* art. XD

      • The follow-up questions are really important to get the real meaning of what they mean, then!
        It’s still quite odd – so professional or published art isn’t drawn by someone? There’s probably a computer program into which you can enter something like “Draw me a Maedhros!” and the algorithm outputs lines, resulting in a drawing. Then the programmer would have been really good, though XD

  2. Yeah, I understand what you mean about the Dutch – my sister is studying in the Netherlands, so we often go out to see her, and everyone – complete strangers, even! – are charming. Glad you had more fun with this one.
    I must say I do love your version of Feanor. He looks very… chiselled! I like his haircut as well – personally, I’ve started getting a bit irritated with the really long-haired Feanor’s – I mean, he works in a forge. Having it long just wouldn’t be practical!

  3. wow, beautiful drawings of Feanor and Arwen! ( and of the twins of course! )
    your experience seems really pleasant, also from the way in which you talk about it; makes me crave to try and go to the next tolkien event!
    However, the idea that is not you who’ve drew these drawings is hilarious indeed. Internet is a very gifted artist… so much time dedicated to draw, and it’s still able to change its functionality a bit sometimes. Amazing!
    Elisa :)

  4. The question about the prints may sound funny, but to a large part it’s probably due to the fact that people sadly _do_ grab random stuff from the internet to print and sell it, as little as I can understand this way of acting. Plus, for some weird reason, “Did you draw that?” seems to be the only way people know to start a conversation with an artist, even if said artist is clearly currently busy drawing ;)

  5. Lovely report, Jenny. Sorry I haven’t been up here sooner with comment. I think we all had a paticularly wonderful time, even if the crowds were small! Good food, good friends, good time. See you at “Tolkien Tag,” if not before!

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