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All Past Featured Artists

Featured Artist of the Month

Li-Li (Amb21)

This month's Featured Artist is someone whose journey from obscurity to Archive-wide recognition has taken just a year. Li-Li (Amb21) began with a store of raw, unshaped talent, and has persevered since then with a relentless drive toward excellence. The result, as can be seen in these featured pictures (or in any of the rest of her gallery), can only be described as a triumph—and an inspiration to anyone else just starting out where she was a year ago.
Wow, I'm still in major shock from this. To be honest, I wasn't really ever expecting to get AOTM, especially considering I'm still relatively new to the archive. So this is a great honor for me!

First off, I'd like to thank God for giving me the talent to draw. Without Him, I'd be pretty much nothing.

I'd also like to thank all my fans, friends (O.O I see you, Seline!) the kind people who voted, and Brian Tiemann for keeping up the site so well! You guys are awesome!

So, I guess a little about me is in order...The Lion King has always been a part of my childhood. I watched it every chance I could. I was captivated by the well-written storyline, the epic music, the vivid, memorable characters...every frame was and still is a work of art. Art itself has always been a part of me as well. I love writing stories as well, and I draw (no pun intended) most of my inspiration from my dad, who is more or less a closet artist--in drawing, painting and writing--and has quietly and faithfully spurred me on to become a better person.


1. Well, when I first came here almost a year ago and saw all these jaw-dropping, crazy-good artists like Lil Cheetah, Shembre, Lauralu, Dante, Kourukon, and Guiness_da_lion, Prizzle, Toraz (to name a few...the list goes on and on, and I could spend hours just writing down names, lol), it was awe-inspiring, not to mention more than a little overwhelming. Though I was very discouraged by looking at where I was compared to them, I refused to give up. If you are just starting out, and are discouraged by the awesomeness of other artists, don't be! It's all about knowing who you are as a person and being okay with that. Keep your focus and set goals for yourself, and don't back down from them even if you think that you will never get there.

2. Practice is key. Draw as much and as often as you can and use real life reference, not only real lions but your life too! As stupid as it sounds, I get many of my poses and fix anatomy mistakes by watching my cat. XD

3. Take as much advice and tips as you can from other artists. Most of the techniques I use are not my own. Drago and DJ Coulz for example...they have a couple of awesome tutorials on lineart, coloring and anatomy. Be as honest as you can, keep a tough skin, and don't be afraid to ask questions. If you're really serious about art and willing to learn, people respect that. Doesn't hurt to just be uncommonly courteous as well, just for the sake of being courteous! Like with anything, what you give to others is what you'll get back.

4. The final thing I'd like to say is I only use GIMP, and a mouse for my pictures...because I'm a poor college student (lol, jk). My point is, I've noticed that a lot of the times people here think that it's the program that you have which defines how good of an artist you are, but really, it's how well you know your program. If you really know how to manipulate the tools you have available, you can make an awesome picture that you can be proud of.

Anyway, I'm done rambling...I love you guys and I hope you will keep drawing! ^v^

To properly appreciate Li-Li (Amb21)'s achievement, one has to visit her "2008" folder, which contains her earliest uploads: pencil drawings displaying an as-yet untrained hand, but a creative mind full of ideas and gags that demand to be put down on paper. (That's how so many of us got started with this stuff, isn't it—wanting to be able to share a visual joke that derives from our enjoyment of the movie.) Scar eating a computer mouse, WALL-E and Sonic crossovers... it's that kind of sidelong view of the canon Disney universe that turns so many aspiring artists into prolific and successful creative forces. It's certainly one that Li-Li (Amb21) has in spades.

Her success derives in large part from the popularity of Sketcher on this site—and the collaborative environment it fosters, allowing her to absorb stylistic features and techniques from her fellow artists in real time. Moving from isolated pencil drawings into a world where art is created in full color and with instant feedback before it's even completed is a huge quantum leap, and Li-Li (Amb21)'s rapid progress over the past year has proved to be a powerful endorsement of Sketcher's benefits to the uniquely dedicated artist community we have here at this site.

Where Li-Li (Amb21)'s art has really begun to shine, though, is in recent months—with her expansion into fully digitally colored, multi-character set pieces with complete backgrounds and canon or canon-derived scenarios. Thanks to inspiration from recent site-wide contests and challenges, she has accelerated her already fast-advancing artistic development and produced some really stunning pieces, many of which are shown at the right and left here—but there's plenty more in her gallery, a perusal of which is highly recommended. She's able to capture not just the physical anatomy of familiar characters—a deceptively challenging and subtle thing, as most artists can attest—but also the inner personality and bearing, which make a character recognizable even when its form is changed through one of those gag drawings that Li-Li (Amb21) has still not abandoned. (And after all, why would she? They're what make this stuff so fun.)

We wish Li-Li (Amb21) all the best of luck in her future development—which, if she keeps up this breakneck pace, will have her a household name in no time. Congratulations!

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