Jemima Catlin

From Tolkien Gateway
Jemima Catlin
Biographical information
Born27 October 1986[1]
EducationArts University at Bournemouth
LocationDorchester, UK
WebsiteJemima Catlin

Jemima Catlin (b. 27 October 1986) is a British artist who illustrated the 2013 edition of The Hobbit and the subsequent Tolkien Calendar 2014.

Early life[edit]

Catlin first encountered The Hobbit when she was 12, as her grandfather was a Tolkien fan and collector. She studied a Diploma in Art and Design at Weymouth College and continued studying Visual Communication at the Arts University at Bournemouth before graduating with a degree in Illustration in June 2010.[2] She lives in Dorchester, England with her husband.[3]

The Hobbit[edit]

Jemima Catlin's illustrated version of The Hobbit

As part of her final project in her degree, Catlin chose to illustrate Roverandom. After sending the images to David Brawn at HarperCollins, he invited her to their offices in London; although Christopher Tolkien did not feel that Catlin's style suited Roverandom, Christopher and his wife Baillie were sufficiently enamoured of her work to commission her to illustrate The Hobbit a year later.[3]

This edition needed to appeal to children, but The Hobbit is loved by all ages so I tried to illustrate it in a way that both audiences would enjoy it. My main influence were Tolkien’s own drawings, I really loved his illustrations and wanted to stay true to how he wanted the characters/landscapes to look. I adore Alan Lee’s work, his style is so detailed and photo-realistic, but so different from my own that I didn’t find it influenced me. I love the films and have seen The Lord of The Rings trilogy numerous times. My depiction of The Hobbit was just how I saw it in my imagination and it happened to be quite different to Peter Jackson’s vision. Tolkien had done lots of illustrations for The Hobbit and these were my inspiration – I really wanted to bring The Hobbit back to its original roots.
—Jemima Catlin on comparison with Alan Lee[4]

The completed version of The Hobbit took over two years to illustrate, included 150 illustrations and was released on 12 September 2013 (the same day as Tolkien Calendar 2014).[5] Two weeks later Catlin exhibited her artwork at The Tolkien Society's Oxonmoot 2013 event. She describes herself as "proud" of her achievement, whilst still expressing a desire to illustrate either Roverandom or The Lord of the Rings.[6]

Artistic style[edit]

Catlin's artistic style has been compared to Tove Jansson (illustrator of The Moomins and a Swedish edition of The Hobbit), E.H. Shepard (Winnie-the-Pooh) as well as the anime style of Studio Ghibli.[2] Catlin herself states that she was only influenced by Tolkien's own drawings whilst deliberately avoiding the films.[3]

Bibliography (as illustrator)[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. "Jemima Catlin on Twitter" dated 25 October 2013, Twitter (accessed 24 October 2015)
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Interview: Jemima Catlin, Illustrator of “The Hobbit”" dated 5 September 2013, Foes of Reality (accessed 24 October 2015)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Interview with Jemima Catlin about the new illustrated edition of The Hobbit" dated 6 October 2013, Tolkien Library (accessed 24 October 2015)
  4. "Interview with Jemima Catlin" dated 22 January 2014, Edinburgh Book Review (accessed 24 October 2015)
  5. "Bringing Us There and Back Again: An Interview with Jemima Catlin" dated 9 September 2013, Middle-earth News (accessed 24 October 2015)
  6. "Jemima Catlin and The Hobbit" dated 17 February 2015, Legendarium Media (accessed 24 October 2015)
Illustrators of The Hobbit
Internal art J.R.R. Tolkien (1937-present) · Eric Fraser (The Folio Society: 1979, 1992-present) · Michael Hague (1984-1992) · David T. Wenzel (graphic novel: 1989-present) · Alan Lee (1997-present) · David Wyatt (1998-2001, 2012-2013) · John Howe (pop-up: 1999) · Jemima Catlin (2013-present)
Cover art only J.R.R. Tolkien (1937-present) · Pauline Baynes (1961) · Roger Garland (1987-1989) · John Howe (1991-present) · Ted Nasmith (1989-1991) · Barbara Remington (1965 US)
Illustrators of official Tolkien calendars
Emily Austin (2023) · Pauline Baynes (1973, 1974) · Cor Blok (2011, 2012) · Jemima Catlin (2014) · Jenny Dolfen (2023) · Inger Edelfeldt (1985) · Mary Fairburn (2015) · Roger Garland (1984, 1987, 1988, 1989) · Spiros Gelekas (2023) · Justin Gerard (2023) · Donato Giancola (2023) · Michael Hague (1986) · The Brothers Hildebrandt (1976 US, 1977 US, 1978 US) · John Howe (1987, 1988, 1991, 1995, 1997, 2001, 2013, 2021) · Tove Jansson (2016) · Michael Kaluta (1994) · Tim Kirk (1975) · Alan Lee (1987, 1993, 1999, 2007, 2008, 2013, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021) · Ted Nasmith (1987, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2009, 2010, 2021, 2022) · Kip Rasmussen (2023) · Darrell Sweet (1982) · J.R.R. Tolkien (1973, 1974, 1976 UK, 1977 UK, 1978 UK, 1979, 2005, 2006, 2017)