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All Past Featured Artists

Featured Artist of the Month

Lil Cheetah

Anyone who has spent any time browsing through the line-art at the Coloring Cave will recognize the name of Lil Cheetah, this month's Featured Artist, whose friendly and engaging artistic flair has made her coloring pictures some of the most popular on the site. But that's only the beginning of her talents and contributions to the Lion King fan-art community.
Never before or since has a movie been so drawing-inspirational to me as The Lion King. The first picture from the movie I did was cub Simba's head. I just drew it over and over again, trying to get it right and getting so frustrated! But as I continued to practice, I found myself always doodling lions, nothing else. Even in school. In time, I went from doodles on paper to doodles on computer, using the traditional art program MSPaint, where I used a mouse to create endless "masterpieces" of characters and scenes from my favourite film. It surprised me to find that I wasn't alone in my LK enthusiasm when I came across this site, sometime in 2003 (maybe earlier :o). Anyway, I forgot about the site but decided to join for some reason or another in 2005. It's a shame I didn't upload all of my pics here straight away, but I just didn't know how because uploading pictures onto the Internet seemed so complicated to me! I eventually lost all the pictures in a system crash. :(

After joining here, all those artists who had faved me or sent an encouraging comment inspired me so much to draw more and more LK artwork. In time, I learnt how to use the scanner to upload hand-drawn lineart for computer colouring, I got myself a tablet and got Project Dogwaffle Professional, the art software which I use today. I really love it here—drawing TLK is my favourite hobby! And isn't what this site is made for, for people to upload their stuff for fun? It has become much too serious lately. It makes me feel sad when people complain that their art "sucks", and in some cases, they are leaving because of that reason. In my opinion, there is no such thing as "sucky" art (unless it's mine :P jk) all art is unique to the artist who drew it. Just draw in whatever style is comfortable for you, and whether you decide to take critique and have lessons to improve, or to just go nuts with drawing whatever and however the heck you feel like is entirely up to you! If you continue to draw enough, you'll find that you often unintentionally develop new styles as you go along, which becomes unique to you and which other artists will recognize as art which you created :D

I strongly believe in uploading canon artwork here at TLKFAA. After all, the clue is in the name of the site! Thankyou Brian, for creating this wonderful Lion King haven and thanks to all of you who voted for me to be your featured artist!

Toodles for now!

Lil x
Since the beginning, in 2005, Lil Cheetah's art has always had a certain spark of mischievous fun and approachability to it. Under her original name, Whisper, she created a multitude of art trades with others in the community she admired; but her profile rose in the ranks on the strength of her eye for entertaining comic situations and a keen affinity for canon subject matter.

Indeed, that's the direction her art has taken in the months and years since then: ever more canon art, ever more exploration of the Lion King universe itself and its original characters, and ever more involvement with digital media and all it can offer an artist who's willing to experiment. This is where so many of Lil Cheetah's popular line-art pictures have come from: a growing familiarity and comfort with digital art and the techniques it requires in order to achieve satisfying results. Small wonder she likes sharing her ready-to-color line-art with the rest of the community.

It's all the better for the rest of us, then, that her art is just so good! Particularly her most recent work, involving challenging poses and expressions (the second one at left is a perfect example, showing a rarely mastered head-on shot that captures a skillful blend of cartoonish Disney design and realistic leonine facial features) exemplifies the mastery she's able to show. When put to work in the service of illustrating the canon situations Lil Cheetah explicitly favors, the result is a richly rendered world taken straight from the movies, giving depth and character to the well-known cast, showing them in fresh new light every time.

Lil Cheetah's work has tended toward the easily digitally colored bitmap-paint style favored by artists who have made programs like MS Paint (and Project Dogwaffle, her program of choice) sing and dance, performing far beyond their humble original conceptions. While many artists prefer the smooth lines and tablet-friendly image creation tools of high-end software like Photoshop, Lil Cheetah deftly shows that even free and uncomplicated software can be made to serve the interests of demanding artists and their discriminating fans. If it is a virtue to work within the bounds of your tools and not to overload yourself (and your pocketbook) with expensive, upmarket packages you won't necessarily ever use to their fullest potential, as I tend to believe, Lil Cheetah is surely an exemplar of that ideal—showing that not only don't you need Photoshop in order to make great digital art, sometimes the stylistic directions encouraged by simpler software can make your art all the more appealing—especially to artists who are looking for line-art to easily color.

Congratulations to Lil Cheetah, and thank you for sharing your work with us!


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