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All Past Featured Artists

Featured Artist of the Month

Akril

A long-time mainstay of fanart.lionking.org, Akril is both one of the most prolific contributors (with well over 200 pictures to her name) and one of the most creative and fun artists for fans to follow. Her characters exude a goofy sense of humor which can get a laugh as easily as they can portray a personality. It is small wonder that so many visitors to fanart.lionking.org enjoy her art enough to make her this month's Featured Artist.
I started dabbling in the TLK style when the movie first came out in 1994. After a few years, I lost interest until I discovered Simba's Pride and lionking.org fanart archive, both of which inspired me to start drawing again. I created my own characters, and it wasn't long before I had established my own archive in January 2000.

I started out with the mouse and Microsoft Paint, eventually moving up to scanned-in drawings and Paint Shop Pro. I examined many of the greater artists' styles and slowly fine-tuned my drawings to their present (near) perfection. The backgrounds of my drawings are mostly original, made with the very useful graphics program, Bryce 3D. They add a lot of depth in my art.

My main character, Vidole, originated as a little doodle and eventually became a living, breathing, sassy lioness, the first TLK character to have extra toes (a normal mutation in house cats, by the way). She is, in a way, like me, but with more of a mischeivous streak and a very outgoing personality. Sure, she may not be very original, but it you look at the big picture, every character created by the fandom is unique in its own way.

Drawing with such a closeness to the Disney artists' style took months of practice, trial and error, and a whole lot of requests. I thank all of you who voted for me (only once, I hope), and I hope to still keep on shaping these creatures from the Disney movies that we all know and love.
As the maintainer of the Archive, I personally have to smile when I see a new upload by Akril, because I know that it will either be hilarious (as a couple of the featured pictures here illustrate), confidently executed, indicative of a LOT of work, or some combination of the three. Her style is usually a very "computer-drawn" one with thick, sharply defined lines, but this does not impede the realism of the characters she draws, which is an impressive feat.

One area where Akril shines is in her ability to do hugely complex pictures featuring literally dozens of characters. It can only mean a vast amount of diligent work has gone into each one of these group shots, and not many artists have the dedication it takes to complete one, let alone a whole ongoing series of them.

Another distinctive aspect of Akril's work is that she consistently pushes the boundaries of what fan-art is. Rather than simply sticking to character portraits (which she also does very well), she frequently comes up with very original conceptual pieces-- her "Ten Commandments of the Fan-Art Archive", for instance, or Star Trek parodies, or commemorative art for events like the end of the two-month downtime of lionking.org during summer 2000 (I still shiver--eegh), or simply a dialogue gag to add extra spice to a character illustration.

The bright, sharp colors of her style are an ideal match for the silly, often wry humor of most of her work. And yet it's equally interesting to watch her skills progress over the course of her membership at fanart.lionking.org; some of her later works feature beautiful Bryce-rendered backgrounds which work oddly well with her mouse-drawn technique, since she carefully matches the outlines with the color areas they surround, as well as applying very subtle and effective shading to the surfaces. It's a unique style, one that works awfully well.

Akril has made a lot of progress and uploaded a lot of very entertaining work over the past year. It's going to be interesting seeing where she takes us in the next one!


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