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Featured Artist of the Month


The approach used by this month's Featured Artist, GypsyRae, to her art is a refreshingly direct and natural one: a focus on the adaptation of human emotions and characterizations to the Disney style. Without a lot of excessive fantasy or ornamentation, GypsyRae's art—highly accomplished and uncompromising in its quality—shows strong and well-understood fundamentals which set the stage for everything else she does.
OH WOW! Really? Me? Thank you all so much! This is a huge honor! *hugs archive* well geez, where do I begin?

Well first I'd like to thank all the people who have ever commented on my stuff, EVER. Every little bit of encouragement was a huge help in the long run. And the people who critiqued me (I may not have liked it XD but) it was a huge help. And all my fans and EVERYONE! Really thanks so much.

Ok so I guess I should start with the begging?

Well I was born the same year lion king was. 1994. And when I was younger (and still even now) every sing day, I used to come home, turn on the T.V. and watch The Lion King. And I was inspired. I was always doodling when I was younger, but never lions or tigers or anything serious. I only started to draw seriously 3 or 4 years ago! But I really got into it when I found this site. I was so enthralled by those amazing artists. Man they were (and are) so amazing! And that when I saw the artist of the month. And I thought "one day, that will be me" but wow! I didn't think it would be so soon! Being so inspired by all these artists, I joined. If you go back and look at my "crap" folder, you will see I was a long way from my goal XD but well I can't believe it, but here I am now!? No seriously, I can't believe it. Thank you all so much.

I only have a bit of advice that most may know, don't force art! Let it come to you (I know it sounds cliché but, really) every time I made myself draw... I had a brain fart and got art block XD so just let it come. Listen to music watch colors change around you! All that hippy stuff. And seriously, don't get completive or feel like your art has to better than anyone else's. (I know none of you are) because when I became jealous, I always downed my own art, and that never got me anywhere. And guys PLEASE don't copy other pics. *sigh* it's not easy for me to say, but back in my earlier days... I turned to that vile way of life. Trust me it DOES NOT HELP. It just makes you a worse artist...

And I'd personally like to thank Mr. Brian Tieman. Without you, there would be no Tlkfaa. So thank you Brian! This place is amazing and it's so nice. And just, THANKYOU! : 3 sorry I can't help but to freak out this is just a huge honor... *tears up*

Oh my gosh, I've just had so much fun here. Not that I'm leaving! I'm gonna be here like, forever ahah. Wow, all my friends and fans... really everytime I come on here i feel so happy. and being an artist, I am a little weird XD and so here, I feel I belong... all the jokes and laughs I've had (like the yo mama fight, Tygriss ;D) and the friends I've made, It's just awesome here. Wow its getting cheesy so I should shut up before you all die XD ahah so thanks again...

Love, GypsyRae
GypsyRae's point about the use of other artists' work to underpin your own is well-taken and timely. Many artists find it very useful to reference existing art, whether from Disney or other fan-artists, in order to create good-looking art without a lot of practice. But as she so rightly says, all it does is cheat the person who does it of the experience of learning the techniques and anatomical understanding that the artist of the original work already has. Without going through that tedious and often painful process, you'll never gain those firm fundamentals yourself, or be able to create your own original art entirely from within yourself that's just as good as what you originally admired from the professionals.

But GypsyRae has learned that lesson, as is obvious from her gallery's impressive contents. Not only has she been able to develop a library of her own knowledge of character construction and anatomy from which to draw in making her own new pictures, she's also layered it with a generous helping of her own subtle and unique style, one that lends a distinct but unmistakable "humanity" to all of her characters, whether they're lions, meerkats, hyenas, or anything else in the Lion King universe. The way her characters' faces are constructed isn't quite the "Disney style", nor is it quite the prevalent style used by many artists here on the TLKFAA and on sites such as DeviantArt. It's her own distinctive blend of them with elements of her own creation mixed in, with large expressive eyes and slightly narrowed muzzles with wide mouths that seem borrowed from her human character style—to great effect in displaying the emotions and dialogue she publishes through her characters. Long legs and balance distributed through the feet lend her four-legged characters a "humanlike" sense of proportion, an idea that they are intelligently capable of expressing themselves the way we do through hand movements and body language—even though GypsyRae's characters seldom if ever communicate in this way, the way she constructs them gives them the impression that they could, which is an immediately appealing feature.

When it comes to appealing features, GypsyRae's work offers plenty more. Her sense of color lends neatly to any scene she develops, whether a somber night touched with blues and purples or a warm jungle scene in reds and greens; and her natural desire to improve and accomplish more manifests itself in ambitious special-effect coloring work like in the fourth picture at left. As she expands into sequential art and comics, her sense of layout and composition is getting a workout as well; it's yet another direction in which any artist in this field can and eventually likely will travel, and GypsyRae is setting off that way with high energy and drive.

Her DeviantArt page has plenty more in store for fans new and old, particularly her human characters (some of which make cameo appearances in her art here on the TLKFAA). It's going to be fascinating to watch GypsyRae's progress in the future as she draws inspiration from so many varied sources, and especially to see the degree that Lion King fan-art plays a role in keeping her inspired to achieve the great success for which she seems destined.


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