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Featured Artist of the Month

AnnieHyena

We've got a little something different this month: two artists to honor. And for very different reasons, as anyone who has seen either one's art can testify.

First we turn our attention to an artist who has earned her recognition through well over 3,000 pictures uploaded in the last three years—a truly staggering number. But volume alone is hardly the reason that AnnieHyena deserves recognition. It's also that those three thousand pictures are some really top-quality work.
Wow, I can't believe it! I never thought I'd get this...I'm rather speachless!

I first saw TLK with my mother at the cinema when I was five years old. As soon as that sun rose up from the earth, I knew I wanted to be an artist! Even at such a young age I couldn't belive how they could make drawings come to life!

After years of practising I finally got my own PC and after browsing the net I came across TLKFAA, I couldn't beleive so many other people liked TKL...and the pictures they drew? Wow! After lurking for a week or two I finally desided to join and I think it was one of the best desissions of my life. I've met a whle bunch of lovely people and improved a vast amount!

I'd like to thank everyone who's incouraged me, put me down, traded with me and been there for me, but most of all I'd like to thank everyone who voted, Brian who made this possible and of course the makers and animators of TLK.

Thank you!
It's hard to know where to begin when looking through a gallery as massive as AnnieHyena's; but as good a place as any would seem to be the prominent "Lion King Fanart" folder, which collects more purely on-topic pictures in just one folder than most artists have in their entire galleries. And this is hardly a case of "quantity over quality", either; a few moments of browsing will turn up pictures of astonishing power, detail, color balance, and emotion, such as her depiction of a realistic Scar snarling "We're not going anywhere!", and a portrait of Simba's head that's both flawlessly on-model and pleasingly massaged to a level of texture and emotion that raises it above the flat standard of raw animation art.

AnnieHyena works chiefly in pencil sketches that are scanned and then digitally colored without inks, a technique that I personally find very beautiful and effective; it preserves the spontaneity of the pencil lines without dulling them the way inks often do, and it lends a feeling of soft, informal enjoyment to the finished product, particularly when a palette of muted earth tones and natural browns and greens are used, as is so often the case with AnnieHyena's work.

Still, this is one artist whose prolific nature is also evident in her adventuresome forays into a variety of other media. She has posted pixel art (e.g. from MS Paint), real-media art (without any digital manipulation), plenty of pure-digital creations with a fully realized degree of digital inking and coloring with backgrounds and framing devices, and—as seems inevitable with an artist this ambitious—animation. Furthermore, AnnieHyena is largely unique in that her visual "style" is almost impossible to identify at a glance, because she has so frequently experimented with it. She has an on-model Disney style, a personal animation style that diverges from Disney's, a realistic style that combines Disney-esque coloring and personality with detail and construction straight out of a nature film—and quite a lot more. Even within her animation-style approaches, she is always experimenting, trying out new approaches, new ways to construct familiar characters. Who knows if she will ever find the perfect one? Because art is always a journey and never a destination, I find it highly unlikely.

There's only so much that words can do to describe a gallery of such size and diversity as AnnieHyena's. Anyone who has not already discovered her work due to her perennial presence on the "Most Prolific Artists" listing (where she maintains a commanding lead) ought to give her gallery a look; there's more there than anyone can see in a sitting, and if the past is any indication, there's plenty more coming in the future for anyone who is ready for her boundless artistic energy.

[h3]Honorable Mention: jrockerVampireSimba[/h3] [img]/Artists/jrockerVampireSimba/ONCEFUTUREKING.s.jpg[/img]
[img]/Artists/jrockerVampireSimba/FolllowTheLeader.s.jpg[/img]
[img]/Artists/jrockerVampireSimba/ChatteringHangnails.s.jpg[/img]
[img]/Artists/jrockerVampireSimba/BeefJerky.s.jpg[/img]
TLKFAA members expressed their interest in honoring another artist this month as well—one whose unconventional approach challenges the boundaries we've set for the world of Lion King fan-art over the last fourteen years.

jrockerVampireSimba is a mysterious character, one I've never been able to pin down as being a "sock puppet" of another well-known artist, a prankster from outside the community, or someone with as genuinely twisted a sense of humor as his art seems to indicate—or even a conspiracy of several tricksters all combining these features between them. I've spent almost two years watching this artist's increasingly oddball contributions and trying to figure out what the story is; but in the end, perhaps it doesn't matter. What does matter is that jrockerVampireSimba has posted a full page of pictures that rank as the most unabashedly creative and unusual you'll ever see here on the Archive.

Reminiscent of artistic flights of fancy undertaken by the staff of SomethingAwful.com, jrockerVampireSimba's pictures start with elements of well-known Lion King scenes or characters and then promptly zing off into the weeds. Lion-snakes, Pumbaa as a War of the Worlds alien tripod, roller skates, high heels, anatomy that defies all attempts at logic, and always a non-sequitur text description are the hallmarks of this gallery's utterly unique contents, if such things as "hallmarks" can even be said to exist. Indeed, after a few minutes of perusal, it becomes clear that this art is unmistakably the work of an accomplished artist who is deliberately putting on a show of a different kind for us all.

jrockerVampireSimba received a large number of votes this month, and perhaps inevitably; but rather than deny the spotlight of Artist of the Month to a hard-working, diligent fan-artist like AnnieHyena in favor of an "artist" who is in all likelihood someone who's been well known in the Archive for years and just hiding behind a particularly bizarre mask, I thought it best to honor those legitimate honest votes for jrockerVampireSimba's unbridled and subversive creativity with a portion of that spotlight—enough to recognize the genuine amount of artistic effort that has gone into what amounts to a piece of challenging and zany and altogether original performance art.

Kudos to jrockerVampireSimba, whoever you are: nice job. And to AnnieHyena, whose hard work and seriousness in pursuit of sincere Lion King fan-art that extends and pays tribute to the original movies that inspire us all, congratulations!


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