Meet fellow Patreons: Matěj Čadil

Another edition of Meet fellow Patreons and this time Czech artist Matěj Čadil was so kind as to answer the Fëanorian Five. 😄

1. Could you introduce yourself in three lines?

I live with my wife and three children in Prague (the most beautiful city in the world). I am a self-taught artist, but I make my living mostly as a graphic designer. Ever since my dad first read the books to me when I was around 8–10 years old (even the Silmarillion) I have been a Tolkienist. I made a Czech Tolkien website (exactly 20 years ago) and started drawing Tolkien-inspired pictures first to illustrate the website.

2. What are you doing right now?

I have just finished drawing a new picture inspired by the Ambarkanta and I am now working on a new illustration based on Sam’s Song in the Orc-Tower (“In western lands beneath the Sun”). I really like the idea and I hope I will be able to execute it well.

3. How did you come to Patreon?

I am not sure how I first heard about it. But some years ago, when several artists whom I knew from deviantArt started their Patreon (most notably the wonderful Jenny Dolfen), it encouraged me to try it myself. Still, my hesitancy meant that it took years from starting my creator account to really publicly launching it in 2019 and after that it took me again some time to actually start being active there – really only in the summer of 2021 when a few new patrons joined me so that I finally got more than a handful. But this is probably a thing that goes both ways: The more patrons I have, the more I am motivated to do special things just for them, but the more patron-exclusive content and benefits I offer, the more people are motivated to become my patrons. 🙂

4. What are your plans/projects for the future, Patreon and otherwise?

Oh, so many things! If only I had time to do them all. But here are at least a few ideas that have been taking shape: My bookmark “The Road Goes Ever On” is very popular, so I want to create a larger set of bookmarks (and offer them as a reward to my patrons). I would also love to make a calendar with my illustrations (I was thinking about making it already this year, but I wasn’t able to make it in time, so hopefully next year). Also recently several people have asked me whether I plan to make an art book of my illustrations, so I take that as a sign that there might be interest in such a thing. It would also be nice to make a little exhibition of my art again after some years, but we’ll see how it goes. And of course I have several new pictures either in process or planned – I share that in more detail with my patrons (and also let them have a say in what I draw next).

5. Would you recommend fellow artists to come to Patreon?

I would say it is certainly worth trying, but you shouldn’t expect miracles without putting lots of effort into both bringing people to it and providing attractive bonus stuff for your patrons. Also I have found that becoming patrons of other creators can help you make connections and bring people over to your own Patreon page. But as I said, it was only this year that I really started putting more effort in my Patreon, so I do not have that much experience.

Optional: What does Tolkien mean to you?

Where to begin with that? I have been reading Tolkien since my childhood and with each new reading I always discover something new. He is a source of great wisdom, speaking to things from high metaphysics to the most ordinary situations of human lives. He is a great narrator, philologist, artist, and above all is the maker of an unparalleled secondary world that I have been exploring for so many years and still I think I know only a little part of.

Marcel Aubron-Bülles

A Tolkien fan for thirty years (and more to come...) Founding chairman of the German Tolkien Society, Co-Founder of Ring*Con, Co-Founder of the ITF, host, presenter and fantasy expert