At some point in your life you must have come across the Lord of the Rings movies or even the books. You’ve either read the books in high school, or sat with your family to watch the movies, or you’ve been the luckiest to have caught them in the cinemas when they were first released – I envy you if you did by the way I wish I did catch them back then. I still remember being enthralled by the world, back when Dubai One channel aired the trilogy for the first time and that was that; I became a fan.
Meeting Tolkien fans have become one of the highlights of life because they are that many and as it turns out the world is huge and it’s not only about Lord of The Rings, there is the Hobbit and a book called The Silmarillion.
One of Egypt’s biggest and most loyal fan is the young artist: Salma Saleh. Her passion for the world J. R. R. Tolkien created is endless, ask her anything about it and she’ll have an answer ready to fire back. She brings out this passion in her everyday life, in every word that comes out of her mouth, in every look in her eyes and in every creation she makes, with every brush stroke she puts on any canvas a whole world bursts.
For her first junior project, her class was asked to make 5 illustrations inspired by a book of their choice and they had to scan the illustrations, add them to the book and print out the final result.
“Illustrating a book has always been a dream of mine, my eyes sparkled as soon as I heard what the project was and knew I wanted to illustrate The Silmarillion.” – said Salma when asked about the art.
The Silmarillion is the history of the world where The Hobbit and Lord of The Rings manifest. Salma designed the illustrations concept to focus on the historic events that took place in Tolkien’s fantasy world, capturing the characters and the magic that they breathe.
“Covering a series of little events in each illustration was one of my primary concerns; I illustrated the start, process and result per piece as if they’re time layers on top of each other. I painted flowy strokes of colors, mainly gold, in hopes to achieve the magical and majestic feel of this fantasy world, like the traces of the mystical and magical events are floating in the air.” – Salma explained passionately.
As big as the world is, Salma did indeed capture iconic chapters of its history in five iconic pieces of art – titled for the chapters in the book – each radiates magic, colors and mystery. Every pieces is unique, bold and real; looking at her work it feels like every color stroke would jump out and come to life. Here, I’ll leave you for a few minutes to marvel at her work.
Illustrating a book is Salma’s dream and she confidently and skillfully took the first steps towards making that dream come true. Artists bring life to a blank piece of canvas, they put their heart, soul and mind in their work and looking the final result is like crossing a doorway to their essence of life. Every artist should never give up on their dreams because working hard does pay off astonishingly and amazingly in the end.