2) Questions about my art: Subject Matter
How did you discover the works of J. R. R. Tolkien?
My mother read the Hobbit to me when I was in primary school, and then we went on to the Lord of the Rings. She was a huge Tolkien fan at the time, too. It took me ages to finally tackle the Silmarillion, however – when I finally did, at seventeen, it hit me like a blast. I quickly went on to read anything by and about Tolkien that I could get my hands on.
What on earth is this whole Hannibal business?
Hannibal has fascinated me for twenty-five years – since I was thirteen, to be precise. Thus, my obsession for Hannibal even precedes my obsession with the Silmarillion. Through a bad sixties movie and a fantastic young adult novel, I came across this Carthaginian commander and needed to find out more. I bought every book I could find, and got everything from the library that I couldn’t buy. By the time I was fifteen, I was reading the ancient sources (Livy, Polybios, even in Latin if I could get them, which was difficult for a student in those days), as well as highly scientific publications on things like the crossing of the Alps and the question of the war guilt – and with everything that fascinated me, I drew excessively. Visually, the story was just as fascinating as it was dramatically. I’ve always had a soft spot for the great and tragic losers of history, and it doesn’t get much greater and more tragic than Hannibal.
And yes, this fascination made me one extremely weird teenager. I even drew a lifesized Hannibal that I put up on my wardrobe (since the BRAVO absolutely refused to make a lifesized cutout from anyone but Michael Jackson and Madonna; really, imagine the gall. Hannibal was way cooler than them.)
What are those Rhyddion Chronicles anyway?
The Rhyddion Chronicles are a novel project that I’ve been working on since 2001, writing and rewriting. They’re currently on hold. It’s a Historical Fantasy novel set in an alternate 13th century Wales (called Rhyddion) struggling with the expansion of a powerful neighbour (Saexony, which is obviously based on England). The protagonist, Aedan (previously Aidan) is a bastard of a noble house of Rhyddion, who finds himself in the middle of the war, while being targeted by the Church for his (very minor) magical powers. I’ve been fascinated with the history of Wales – particularly Llywelyn the Last – for nearly twenty years (another tragic loser of history).
I’ve read this book by […]. It’s really good. I know you’d love it. And I’m sure you’ve feel inspired to draw. I’d love to see your interpretation of […].
Please read that sentence carefully, and try to imagine how very pushy that sounds. And read the answer to the next question.
When are you going to draw your next Harry Potter/Tolkien/Song of Ice and Fire/Drizzt/[insert fandom here] pic?
Obviously, I can’t say. I draw things that fascinate me at any given time. I draw because I have to. Inspiration doesn’t strike by request. As Ovid said: fert animus – my spirit drives me. I don’t have much of a say in it, and if I don’t, how can anyone else?
There are subject matters that I have returned to again and again in my life – like Tolkien and Harry Potter and Hannibal – and there are a few that I’ve probably left for good. I can just say: It’s possible that I’ll draw more stuff about them sometime in the future, but I totally can’t say for certain.
If you seriously want me to draw something for you, you can always commission me!
Legolas/Fingolfin has blonde hair/Feanor has long hair/Gimli has red hair/Dwarf women have no beards/Hannibal was ugly/Sirius is a different breed of dog/insert other fandom-specific bit of nerdiness here
Please don’t. Please, please don’t. Draw them yourself if you want to; what’s keeping you?