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Featured Artist of the Month


How did this artist escape the spotlight for so long? Astrocat, this month's winner, is a member of an exclusive club—artists who have realized their dreams of becoming professional animators on their way to a career creating animated productions (hopefully) like The Lion King itself. A quick perusal of Astrocat's art is proof enough that she's got a bright future ahead of her.
Meep? Meeeeeee? *Runs round in a mad circle* Nihao maomao! Thank you for this honour! Now you are forced to read to my waffle mwhahahahaaaaaaa!

First I must talk about the film that started it all! I first saw The Lion King in the cinema when I was looking for direction to my life and it me realise how great animation can be. I loved the quality of the character animation, the bright colours, rich backgrounds, fun music, detailed SFX and above all the fantastic characters. I've always loved all felines since I was a few years old and this was a film where the main characters are felines and all beautifully developed, not just shunted to the side as a token villain.

10 years later and I have graduated from my animation degree and am working my way into the character design area but I still remember the moment when I saw TLK and thought, I want to do that!

Now about art! For anyone who's feeling down about their art at the moment, art like many things is a long long journey. It's sometimes hard to see each small step, to feel your not getting closer to your destination and want to give up without looking behind to see how far you've come. Try to support and encourage those who have just started or are faltering and to receive that support back when you struggle. But most importantly know that's it's a personal journey, not a race, one you must do at your own speed and in your own way. Your uniqueness is what will make your art special.

And a little something about this place! I'm so glad that my good friend Suma introduced me to this wonderful archive. Here is a place where I have made so many wonderful friends and received amazing kindness and encouragement.

Finally thank you! Thank you to Suma for first setting me up here. Thank you to all my friends I have made here for being such great friends *hugs* Thank you to every single person who has helped in times of need, cheered me on and kept me going. Thank you to everyone who has voted for me, left me a comment or drawn me a picture. And most importantly, thank you to Brain for this superb place where I have spent many happy years! :)

So keep on having fun with your drawing!
Astrocat has been with the Archive for over three years now, and in that time she's really built up a sterling reputation for quality work, both for her own characters and in the requests and commissions that she has done. She's become so good, in fact, that she's able to turn her skills to paying commission work; her designs are so lavish and detailed that a customer can be sure to get his money's worth every time. Because she's a trained professional animator now, with her own showcase website for soliciting professional clients, her services are sure to be in high demand.

If there's one thing that really stands out about Astrocat's work, it's the detail of the anatomy in each of her characters. With lavish musculature and (more importantly) the sense of balance and structure that comes only from extensive study of the physical nature of big cats and other African animals, the characters in her gallery often have that exuberant "superhero" construction to their bodies—a sure sign that the artist really loves her work. Her characters have a presence to them, a weight, that really conveys all the rounded surfaces and sharp corners that real lions have, indeed a good deal better than such things are illustrated by the movies themselves.

The silver signature icon in the lower corner of any piece by Astrocat means that whether it's a sketch or a fully computer-colored image, it's sure to be an intricate and beautifully composed scene, with everything down to individual features, fur strands, cloth folds, and accessories rendered in outstanding detail. Astrocat is as comfortable bringing to life breathtaking cloudscapes with grand heroic scenes as she is with the calm and distant subtleties of birds, butterflies, trees, and grasses. Even without background art behind her character portraits, the art is intense enough to stun the viewer; but with a full background, a picture really shows off Astrocat's sense for composition, particularly her ability to frame a picture by cutting off the extremities to better fill the field of view with a portrait that focuses on the mood of the character rather than just the physical details. It's this perception of character that really brings the best Lion King fan-art to life, and hers is some of the best you'll find.

Who knows where Astrocat's animation career will take her? We can at least be sure that if we ever see an animated film with her name in the credits, it'll be a real feast for the eyes!

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