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Featured Artist of the Month


Banzai is truly one of the greats. There aren't many artists who are so dedicated to their work, so conscientiously committed to the pursuit of Lion King fan-art in its most refined and profound form, raising the hobby to the level of its own genuine discipline. It doesn't get a lot better than this.
Wow, this is really a surprise! And October's my favorite month, too!

I've been drawing since I was five or so, trying to mimic my mother's talent for drawing horses. My focus was wolves up until the Lion King came out—I saw the movie 13 times in theaters, if you'll believe it. I drew it everywhere I could—in fact, the first drawings I did of Lion King were probably on those little green offertory cards in the pews at church.

I just love the Lion King, and wish I was talented enough to be able to portray through my art all the emotions I feel when I draw my pictures. I'll admit that I'm a bit off-topic, submitting a lot of wolf pictures, but that too was greatly influenced by TLK—the way personality was represented in the characters of that movie shaped the way I put personality into my wolves—the eyebrows, the mouth movements, etc. I doubt that I would have such a passion for drawing my wolf characters if I had not studied TLK so much.

When I first joined here, J.C. was AotM, and I thought, "Boy, that'd be great if I could get it one of these months," and I really didn't think it would ever happen—and I still can't believe that I've actually managed to achieve it. And since that day, I've met so many people and developed so many friendships with people on the Archive that I wouldn't have thought possible when I first joined—and therein, I think, lies one of the greatest achievements of Brian's inspiration—that through the Archive, thousands of lifelong friendships have been made. For that, Brian, we cannot thank you with words alone.

I want to thank you all for your friendship and encouragement throughout the years I've been here. :-)


She may not think she's on-topic enough, but a look through her gallery will certainly speak reams otherwise-- Banzai has put a great deal of effort into creating more genuine Lion King artwork than most other artists on the Archive. Clearly demanding of excellence from herself, she has developed a TLK style that's both on-model and uniqely her own-- not an easy task for any artist, even the professionals at Disney.

Taking the simplified, cartoony figures of even the feature film and adding the kind of visual effects, situational humor, and personality context that's necessary for effective fan artwork is no small feat, and yet Banzai has proven herself more than up to the task. Her gallery is full of beautifully on-model portraits of Simba, Scar, Kovu, Timon, and others; more than that, though, they've been enhanced with the computer coloring effects that really finish off a piece of fan-art. And yet she has shown herself proficient regardless of the level of effect enhancement: whether it's a simplified, flat portrait against a cartoonish background, or a deeply rendered and computer-finished mood piece, there's never a fault to be found.

And though she may feel as though her wolves aren't welcome on the Archive, the trouble is that they just look too cool not to have here! Banzai's sense of physical design for them-- as well as for her lions and other animals-- is a unique balance that's a couple of notches up from the cartooniness of TLK, but still far down the scale from true realism, so the expressiveness of their faces and body language is never lost. They all look like they're straight from the Lion King universe, regardless of species... and the more of this kind of art gets uploaded, the merrier-- especially if it's as proficient and fun as what Banzai contributes so regularly.

Here's hoping Banzai remains a part of this Archive for a long time-- it's art like hers that makes this fandom so very worthwhile.

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