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All Past Featured Artists

Featured Artist of the Month

Dille

Dille hasn't been with the site long—just a few months—and she only has 63 pictures uploaded so far. But from the very first picture in her gallery, it was clear that she would be a force to be reckoned with. It was only a matter of time before her turn at Artist of the Month would come.
You'll rarely find a fourteen-year-old who looks extremely excited before they shove off for school, but there was certainly one at my house today. You can hardly imagine how ecstatic I was, I mean seriously, me getting AotM? I can tell you, I've never been more happy or surprised to get such an email, as I didn't think that this honor would be coming for a long time yet, (considering how I seem to be rubbing elbows with extremely talented artists on all sides, seriously, you guys rock. I never thought I'd be a member a community inhabited by animators and budding artists of your caliber.) I spent all of Physics class trying to think of what I should say as a thank you, but this is all I could come up with, (my teacher kept on interrupting my thoughts with something about how one would go about figuring out the velocity of a falling brick or something, as if I were one to throw bricks, hah!) My only regret is that I didn't join this community sooner, as it seems to have had a good impact on my art. Before I joined, I was in a bit of a rut. I was having trouble with anatomy that bothered me every time I tried to draw something, and I felt at a loss for inspiration. I don't really recall how I came across this site, but I do remember wanting to join right away. Before long, I was inspired again, and wanting to try new things. I actually draw a cheetah for the first time, and wasn't ashamed to have to look at it either. ^_^;

Drawing has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, it's even been said by one of my fellow lilymudders that I was born with a pencil in my hand. I was always dazzled by the flashy characters in the old Disney movies. I never cared about the plot of the movie, when my parents asked me wether I liked it or not, I judged it on my level of amazement from the characters. As cheesy and cliche as it may sound, the Lion King was actually the one that really got me drawing. I remember watching it every day, trying to learn and understand how to make the characters so real and alive. It seems I never quite got the hang of it untill now, but I'm still learning.

You've all been an inspiration to me, and have all had some influence on my art in one way or another. By watching all of you I've learned to do a variety of things, like paws, teeth, backgrounds, and I'm even learning to make my own watermark. I'd like to thank all of you, but that might take a little too long. So, I'll start with the basics. If any of my school chums knew of this site, (which they don't, they think I'm a tad odd for drawing all of these things in TLK style anyways,) I'd like to thank them personally. I love them all dearly, but it gets frustrating to have to repeatedly explain the concept of the Wacom Tablet or try to prove that flamingos do indeed fly, and point out the differences between a chinchilla and a tiger. (True stories.) But I love them all the more for their little quirks. It's nice to be able to retreat to a place where most of the people already have a knowledge of art, and seem to think a fairly similar way. So, once again, a big ol' thanks to all of you, and an extra big kudos to Brian, for helping it all come true.
The pictures to the right and left are great examples of Dille's fully rendered and digitally colored art; but to really see what makes her work special, you have to go to her gallery and look at the uncolored pencil drawings. The tight linework is in the class of a professional animator's cleanup art, with as much care evident in each uniform, skillful line as you'll see in any of the best finished and colored work from any artist here.

It's these kinds of pictures that really convey the depth of Dille's skill and the degree to which she's developed the artistic tools necessary for a career in animation, as even a cursory glance will tell you is a distinct possibility for her future. The pencilled lines in each such drawing define solid, round faces, three-dimensional body forms, and well-balanced gestures that leap off the screen even when they're not action poses. You can tell that Dille knows what she's doing when she constructs a paw holding a pencil, a dizzy or impish facial expression, or a snapshot from a well-thought-out run cycle.

This isn't to say that her finished and colored work isn't good, of course. Dille's gallery contains plenty of examples of excellent digital color work, making great use of bright colors and subdued earth and vegetation tones where appropriate to the scene, as well as interesting framing jobs on the character portraits for which she's already in quite high demand. But those colored backgrounds are there primarily to support and enliven her characters, and her gallery is still dominated by the well-rendered pencil drawings that are in their own way even more exhilarating to see, for a fan of traditional animation art.

Some may say that the animation industry is moving in the wrong direction, with too much emphasis on 3D computer animation and too little time spent in training new artists to draw and create in the time-honored medium of pencil and paper. With artists like Dille, putting out art of this caliber while still in high school, if the animation industry fails it certainly won't be for lack of talented people. We can only hope that when Dille and others like her are ready to enter the industry, it can prove itself worthy of them.


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