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Featured Artist of the Month

/Atan

/Atan is one of those artists who for all we know is a professional Disney animator by day, and an incognito fan-artist by night; her style, expressive and well-developed, is the sort of stuff that would make any well-paid animator proud. It's with great esteem that I present her work here as the voters' choice for April's Featured Artist.
I nearly fell off my chair when I saw the e-mail about the Featured Artist.

But what shall I say about my art? I began drawing when I was old enough to hold a pencil, or so I was told by my mum. After watching TLK for the first time when I was 6, I became a fan of this movie. Not only because of the animation or the story, also because of a lot of memories I will always see in relation to film.

By this time I started drawing TLK characters but I really got frustrated by the poor results and stopped drawing until SP was presented.

Since then I am learning more with every picture. My cat Cora has always been an inspiration for me, through her I learned how to draw the feline anatomy.

Thanks to all who voted for me :)
Hundreds of pictures, all of them lavish and rich, make up /Atan's online gallery. But what separates her work from that of so many other fan-artists is that it not ony presents a strong and unique style in its own right, it also manages to capture the same kind of visual richness and impact that TLK itself had upon so many of us when we first saw it, whether in theaters or on the small screen. It's not just a world of lions and hyenas and wildebeests; it's also a world of golden light bursting through clouds, of deep misty jungles, of dark still nights and sudden gusts of mysterious wind over the water. /Atan remembers all that in her work, and more.

The very oldest pictures are the simplest, but even then they keep to the TLK theme, and capture the familiar characters as we know them, further deepening their own stories in the world of TLK. And as time goes on and the artist's skill increases, we can see experimentation into further media, an expansion of the use of color, a branching out into scenes of great emotion or humor-- and it's all done largely within the TLK universe, using "canon" characters. Ranging from static portraits to interactive scenes, /Atan's work represents as much of a further exploration of the TLK world as any of Disney's own productions do.

What makes this so rewarding, though, is that /Atan's artistic style so closely matches Disney's own. Looking at her picture of the adolescent Simba splashing through the pool at the foot of a waterfal, or her visualization of a new TLK movie poster, one might easily mistake it for original Disney work. While /Atan certainly isn't one to shy away from an art trade or portrait for a fellow artist, it's clear what her first love is-- and the Archive is the richer for it.

Anyone who wants to get a better understanding of how to replicate Disney's TLK art style would to well to study /Atan's work; but still more valuable is her dedication to the characters we all know and love; it's clearly for them that /Atan does what she does, but we can all count ourselves among the lucky beneficiaries.


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