A Little Tolkien Book

At school we are all busy putting together our portfolios to apply for co op placements this summer and one of my teachers keeps talking about ‘making art you want to get hired to do’. Well I would love to be hired to illustrate a kids book one day and man would I ever love to work on a Tolkien adaptation!

Who knows if that will ever happen! So I decided to attempt it on my own and plan out a fake ‘golden book style’ Hobbit, inspired by the Unexpected Journey movie. These were all painted with acryla gouache on watercolour paper and the book cover was edited with some photoshop.

I have a few more illustrations for this ‘Little Tokien book’ project on the go but homework is piling up so it might be a few weeks before I can dedicate some time to get the rest done. I’m not really sure if this is anything I can use in my looming portfolio but it was so much fun to do! There is really something nice about taking a little break now and again to rejuvenate your creativity with a personal project!

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28 comments on “A Little Tolkien Book

  1. YAAAAAAY, rosie! this is WONDERFUL and me AND golden would buy it in a blink! you’ll be a force to be reckoned with when you graduate – the very best of luck! :-)

  2. Hi Roesmary! I came across these illustrations on the Drawn blog – they’re totally charming and you’ve nailed the middle ground between LoTR art and mid-century children’s illustration perfectly. It reminded me right away of this article posted on io9 last month:

    http://io9.com/5968792/the-middle-earth-illustrators-jrr-tolkien-lovedand-the-ones-he-abhorred

    If you scroll down, you’ll see that, strangely enough, Golden Books *did* put out a version of “The Hobbit” in 1967. Robert J. Lee illustrated scenes from the chapter “An Unexpected Party”, included in Golden’s “Children’s Treasury of Literature”. But, to be honest, I like your version better.

  3. These are great! The colors are so bright, I love them. Found your blog via the recent Drawn blog post. I agree that it’s important to do work you love to attract the kind of work you would like to be doing.

  4. This is adorable! I’d love to see it in print; I’d want my own copy and one for the school where I work.

    (PS is that a typo in the heading and then in the text, or is it meant to be Tokien?)

  5. Hello my friend,
    Your idea and drawings look lovely but before you progress, please be sure not to stick to the movie’s visuals, as beautiful as you find them, as you may even be sued for copyright infringement. I am NOT a lawyer, but the similarities are too big.
    And +1 on kickstarter.
    And +1 on digital publication, not paper bound. Most kids or parents have a tablet nowadays…
    I would buy a copy and maybe even volunteer to translate into Hebrew. :)

  6. Great idea! Many pieces of influential literature from across the genre spectrum have been introduced to children in this same way, why not this one? If you can navigate the morass of permissions, copyright laws, royalties, etc, then you’ve got a stronger stomach than I. Please let me know if you decide to take this project onto Kickstarter (or something similar), as I would happily contribute what I can.

  7. Such a book is LOOONG overdue! As a professional artist, I’d say the concept and the execution are stellar! And, contrary to what at least one commenter said, it’s fine to remain true to the story and illustrate it the way you want. Copyright would only apply to the text, and as for any Trademark issues, that alone would be where any real legal problems would arise, since the movie studios have undoubtedly got trademark rights to the characters at the moment and for the foreseeable. If you and Golden Books got together on this, GB would be the ones to handle that aspect. As a respectful fan work it makes all of us who grew up with the book WISH such a children’s book really, really existed! Well done!

  8. I would buy this. It’s beautiful. You’ll have no time finding children’s books to illustrate, as there is a plethora of writers out there looking for an artist. So, choose your projects carefully. You will have many offers.

  9. Another +1 on the Kickstarter idea!

    To me, it’s most appropriate – maybe even a little poetic – that this be published as a dead-tree book, not an e-book.

  10. These pics are fantastic! I would never have guessed this wasn’t a finished/published golden book. PLEASE kickstart!

  11. DELIGHTFUL! Wow, you’ve done a beautiful job creating these first pages. Definitely a +1 on Kickstarter. Not sure where the current copyright stands, but it’s certainly worth showing the Tolkien estate and seeing if you could get permission. (Frankly, I didn’t think it was a movie adaptation necessarily. The bits you have could just as easily come from the descriptions in the book, not to mention Tolkien’s own illustrations.)

  12. I would buy this RIGHT NOW if I could get my hands on it! Please do a kickstarter! I would happily contribute!

  13. +1 kickstart! what do we need, sign a petition for golden books?
    This is my money. Take it. take it takeittakeittakeit.

  14. Awesome work! I love your take on the characters (especially Bilbo) from the film and your ability to make them belong in the realm of a Golden Book. Very good work, I’m eager to see your future works.

  15. I was so sad when I realised that this book is not for sale. You have to print it, I need this book! Haha! As a child my dad read the LotR-books for me and as a teen I read the hobbit. My kids are 3 and 5 years old and even tho I might be able to read the actual books for them this would be so perfect as a first meeting with the wonderful world of Tolkien.

  16. I would love to buy this book for my little girl. Is there more known about being able to publish it? I would buy it in a second!! Heck, i would buy a few because i know a few fans who would love this. I hope you can reply!

    Greetings and happy holidays,
    Teresa

  17. I write children’s books, and I would love your illustrations in my books! I would also love a copy of this book for my kids! Please get it published!!! You are so talented!

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