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Featured Artist of the Month

Tigrin

Not many artists can claim to have reached such high aspirations, while retaining such an unabashed love for art of all kinds, as Tigrin does. From the earliest character sketches in 2000 to today's richly colored, detailed work, it's been a fascinating journey for us to tag along on.

... I think I'm in a bit of shock. You can believe I've always wondered what it would be like to receive such an honor, but it was just sort of wishful thinking...! I really can't put my happiness into words... this means so much to me. I've worked so hard on my art these past couple years, especially the past couple months I've been a part of this wonderful community, and I'm just beginning to feel I've gotten somewhere, that I'm someone special as an artist. That's something to give a person an opportunity to feel that.

I suppose everything begins (and hopefully doesn't end) with The Lion King. I think I first saw it when I was about 7 years old... I'm 15 now. I've always been a huge "2D" animation fan, and The Lion King was one of those masterpieces that change your life. I still have all sorts of happy memories from it, and like other movies I've seen in my life (namely the recent [rather unappreciated] wonder of Treasure Planet!), it has brought me much happiness and color in a normally humdrum life. I'm not even sure how I first found the archive... it seems like ages ago now! I just remember being so awed by the incredible talent here, and how much I admired some of the artists here I idolized as a beginning artist... I've had little phases where I tried to imitate them in a way, but it wasn't until last May that I really started to become interested in adapting hints of Disney to my style, which was such a part of my life... so I started drawing TLK again and rekindled those memories, and I suppose the rest is history now! I guess at first I was like everyone else... I wanted to draw perfect TLK style like the artists I idolized. I think I lost that motivation; both the TLK style and other artists' work have been major influences and inspirations for my art, but I have never made it a motivation to draw perfect TLK, or be one of those people... I see more of an importance of expressing yourself in your own way, and I'm proud of how I've developed as an artist simply in that right.

I've loved art and animation ever since I was very little... I used to draw cartoons and write little stories about my characters even in first grade. Art and creativity has always been a passion for me, but I don't think I realized my passion for animation until I saw Titan A.E. in 2000, a rather unappreciated work of art... I think from there I realized the direction I wanted to go in my life, and realized a dream of working on the traditional animation field myself someday. In the same summer of 2000 I created Tigrin, who's since become the symbol of myself and very special to me, and set out on my lifelong journey as an artist... and it's been sweat and blood from there trying to improve myself from probably a 6-year-old's level in drawing to where I am now - literally. But I don't think that's ever been a trouble for me, because art has always been who I am... I don't see it as a chore, something I do for attention or just to put things on paper, but a way of expression... I never consciously draw the same thing twice, there's emotion and meaning to every single piece, and I spend time and thought on every single thing I draw - even if it's a really simple sketch. To me art is not a drawing on paper... the character I'm drawing has heart and soul, has life, and I hope that others see that the most in my art. Life, art, music, emotion inspires me - probably why I draw crossovers so much! I'm so inspired by them.

... I think I'm rambling... I'd just like to say thank you! If it wasn't for every single one of you I would never have succeeded to where I am as an artist... this archive has truly been a miracle and a blessing to all who can be a part of it. Extra special thanks go out to Brian, of course - where would we be without him? And also to all my friends and family who have always been there for me to support me (Toasty, this means you!) - thank you everyone for giving me this gift as a part of my life! I hope to always continue to draw and share my talents with the world, as well as grow as an artist, as I always have. Maybe one day I'll see you all at the movies. ;)

What more can I say that Tigrin hasn't already said? There's a story here underlying all the art, not just each individual picture. It's the story of someone who fell in love with animation art all over again upon seeing The Lion King, and I'm sure most of the artists here on this site can relate to that phenomenon.

But not many artists have achieved what Tigrin has: a full-fledged art career spanning hundreds of images and extending out into other sites catering to other interests. Lots of Lion King fan-artists are inspired to become animators; it's easy to see Tigrin being one of them.

Drawing inspiration from creative sources such as Harry Potter and Disney films and anime, Tigrin creates art that's rich in crossover material, and therefore rich in possibilities. While she has an immense number of her own characters with portraits in her gallery, her treatment of existing characters in a new and innovative form-- such as Jim Hawkins as an anthropomorph, or Harry Potter as a lion-- are the essense of fan-art. Far from being the imitative tributes that many artists start with at the beginning of their careers, Tigrin's work brings significant new creation to the table with each new piece.

With media ranging from scanned sketches to Photoshop-colored pieces to Oekaki art, Tigrin has proven to be one of the more versatile and adventuresome artists on the Archive. She's mastered the tricks involved in instilling personality and character into a piece no matter what medium she's using, whether a pen or a mouse or acrylic paints or a tablet. And it's not just the characters themselves that exude life and vitality; it's also the deep, swirling, lavish background art that makes every picture seem just a little bit bigger and deeper than it really is, stretching back into a larger world, beckoning through the screen at the viewer.

Tigrin's use of color, too, shows an understanding of the medium that goes beyond simple experimentation. With an instinctive insight into what warm golds and oranges can do to a character's expression and personality, just as can cool blues and browns, the viewer understands the mood of a given picture immediately, before even reading the characters' body language and expressions. It's a complete package of artistic language, conveyed over and over to those who eagerly await the next upload.

I have no doubt that we'll one day be seeing Tigrin's name in the credits at the end of some major animated movie. Until then, we can enjoy her art just as much.


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