BY day, Jay Johnstone is the managing director of Newcastle-based marketing agency, Hunter Johnstone. But, after his children have gone to bed, he picks up his paintbrush and creates ornate pictures of characters from the fantastic world of JRR Tolkien.
Just a few years ago, the online team at onering.net displayed some of Johnstone’s work on their website, and now the graphic designer has been asked to exhibit for the first time as a guest of the Tolkien Society’s conference Return of the Ring at Loughborough University.
The Hobbit movie, due to be released in cinemas this December, has led to a great deal of interest in Johnstone’s work, and the German-born artist is waiting in anticipation to see if his paintings will take off in a big way.
“This exhibition could either be a huge success and a life-changing move, or a big disaster,” he said.
“The comforting thing is, I’m not doing it for the money. I already run a successful agency that employs 12 people with a £1m annual turnover, so this has been, and always will be, a private and personal passion.