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Featured Artist of the Month


With a gallery whose contents stretch back to 2002 and earlier, Vekke is one of the artists who's been with the Archive longer than almost anyone. That much time spent working within an artistic discipline like Lion King fan-art inevitably results in a great deal of experimentation and change, both of which are to be found in abundance in this Featured Artist's gallery.
WOW, I was so surprised and excite to get back from my job yesterday and find Brian's email waiting for me in my inbox!! Let me first say what an honour it is to be featured following who is perhaps the greatest AotM of all time: jrockerVampireSimba. :D

It's been 6 lolng years since i've joined this archive and let me tell you, each part was totally A+. I've changed so much during the time I was here and the Archive definitely helped change my outlook on the internet part of the world.

I wish to thank MAI FRENS, especally Tsunami, Aquanite, Estarial, Ayame, Lalena/Annakinz, Serge, Kookamunga, Cat B., Criquetin, Ges... aaaaand so many others! C: ALL of you folks on lilymud n____n You guys made sketcher so much fun with all our shenaningans. I couldn't have done it without each olf you. <8

And I'd also like to thank Brian, for creating this community, and putting up with all the lulzy drama it has generated in a clam manner with patience and a sense of humour C:

As far as advice goes, drawing is all about the practice. but moreover, it is about drawing from life. Cartoons and anime are NOT a source of valid anatomy. TLK anatomy ≠ real lion anatomy; not in the least, and it is good to understand the diff! Learning real anatomy also helps you understand the TLK style better and what parts make up the style. As i started to draw more non-TLK, I got better at TLK style too. Experimenting with other ways of drawing TLK characters can make it more fun and less formulaic. :D

Also, its' good not to take life so seriously. AotM is just an award on a site for a disney movie. TLKFAA is probably the most amazo community I have found on the internet, as well as Lilymud, but remember, at the end of the day the internet is on your computer, and you can always switch it off and walk away n__n Don't be afraid to laugh at yourself; don't take trivial stuff too srsly.

anyway, enough. This ends now.

One only has to look at the description on the very latest picture Vekke has uploaded in her main folder to get a sense for the standard to which she holds herself: "MY ART IS BORING AND REPETITIVE GOD 8("

Clearly, as anyone who's spent more than five minutes watching her uploads over the years knows, this is not the case: Vekke is an artist whose work is never predictable or formulaic. Her gallery is not as extensive as some, but it's all on-topic and all high-quality work; and what's more, it spans the range from animation-art renderings worthy of Disney to raw pencil sketches and back up another axis to superbly realistic, detailed big-cat artwork that highlights the distinctions she emphasizes in her advice to fellow artists. Clearly, life drawing is of great importance in her work, and it's the mark of an artist who's serious about her craft that she will go to such lengths to find appropriate reference.

As important as life-drawn lions are, though, it's simply a joy to look through Vekke's on-model art, particularly well exemplified by the Mufasa on Lilymud shown at left. Vekke is able to bring the Lion King characters to effortless life in a way that few outside the walls of Disney can. That elusive balance of facial proportions, eye and mouth expressions, the patented Disney hand-paw hybrid in all its flexibility, and underlying it all the smooth flowing energy of a confident and naturally balanced pencil drawing—Vekke is able to put it all together. The effect of seeing those familiar shapes brought together in a frame every bit as vibrant and full of life as a still from the original movie, executed with pitch-perfect color and staging, is a mental shock, as though you're seeing a snapshot of a long-forgotten event suddenly springing back to life; the very last exhibition picture on the lower right, of a supernatural reunion between Mufasa and Sarabi, marries Disneyish on-model construction with naturalistic weight and balance in a way that perfectly captures and communicates a heart-wrenching mood. With anything less than full mastery of these complementary skills, the subtleties so key to such an emotional scene slip away.

Perhaps the clearest lesson to take home from a walk through Vekke's gallery is to note the amazing amount of progress since her earliest work. As recently as 2004, her art was struggling to find a confident footing, and back in 2002 you would never have recognized her 2008 art as coming from the same artist. It's inspiring to see how far one can come with the right combination of inspiration and relentless hard work. an artist who's daunted by the prospect of learning everything a professional animator has to learn about on-model construction, expression, digital coloring, and everything else the most accomplished fan-artists can exhibit needs only start with Vekke's earliest work and watch the steady progress toward the lofty heights she's now reached, picture by picture, until the ultimate dream of so many who have loved the Lion King world since the first movie hit theaters—being able to bring new scenes to life as convincingly as though they were drawn by the Disney artists themselves—is within easy reach. "Boring and repetitive", in this case, is in the eye of the artist; the beholder only sees accomplishment and the well-earned rewards of perseverance in a labor of love.

Congratulations to Vekke, and all the best luck in whatever directions her future work takes her!

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