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All Past Featured Artists

Featured Artist of the Month

Shembre

With a gallery full of intricate, unique pieces of original canon-centric art, Shembre is one of those artists whose recognition here in the monthly spotlight has been inevitable for a long time. Anyone who has spent any time glancing at her gallery can hardly help but fall in love with the mixture of raw skill and carefree fun on display there, and it's small wonder that she's kept as busy as she is by trades, requests, gifts, and other art for those people who recognize her as one of the TLKFAA's greats.
Wow! I was VERY surprised to see Brian's email in my inbox! I had hoped so much that I would get AotM eventually, but it was that—eventually, and not this month at all—so I thank you guys who voted for me, supported me, and befriended me (you know who you are!!!) during my uploading time on dA and here on this wonderful site (which was created by a very patient guy who has put a lot of work into keeping this fan-site going! Thanks a ton!)

Anyway... *takesbreathwhileheartisstillpounding* Until I stumbled upon TLKFAA (good ol' Google!) I wasn't nearly as serious about art, or writing, as I am now. Once upon a time, most of my images were simple pencil sketches, and I was just beginning to see my style emerge in my drawings, mainly using the VHS boxes and frames from the movies captured by pushing the pause button on the remote. I had no idea there were other artists, let alone thousands, drawing Lion King related art, and going above and beyond what I could have begun to consider at the time. I fell in love with the art of Epona, Akril, Astrocat, Katanimate, Nightshade, Balaa, and TONS of other artists I wouldn't have the room to mention, and was amazed at the medium that was so new to me: digital. I would look at their art and wonder how they created it, and wondering even more if I were capable of such terrific pieces of art myself one day. It also opened a huge, unknown universe to me that... let's just say it... blew my mind.

Probably like most of you, I started with scanned pencil drawings before moving on to mouse-drawn MS Paint images, and after that, I graduated to Open Canvas, GIMP, and Photoshop Elements. I learned to make each program work for me, and as I practiced, practiced, practiced, and practiced SOME MORE, my art overall improved.

If you're not having fun drawing, that's okay—you can try drawing something else that you enjoy, or even enjoy looking at, which is the best part about art! I had fun drawing the canon, the semi-canon, and my own characters, design work, adding backgrounds, and later incorporating concepts and narrations into them (that was the most fun). There were times when I felt down about the anonymity I thought I had in the community, but I strove for what I wanted to see from myself—great pieces of art. There will be critics—teachers and peers who may be silent or unkind—but if you keep your focus and have faith in your abilities, you will reach your goal, whatever it is.

Now, I probably can go on for another hundred or more words, but I'll cut it off here. ^-^

~Shembre
Particularly in her newer work, Shembre has followed an increasingly ambitious artistic path, with beautifully detailed backgrounds and visual flourishes that turn her more whimsical pieces—and there are quite a lot of those—into truly original and engaging concepts. This is surely what has brought her the kind of attention recently as to propel her to the spotlight.

But it's been a long time coming. This artist has been with the TLKFAA since early 2007, and anyone who's in need of a little inspiration for improving their own art need only look at Shembre's first couple of pages of work. Starting at her beginnings with colored pencils and Sharpies, the raw and natural skill inherent in her work was definitely there, but it's a far cry from the impressive digital pieces she's been turning out lately. Putting her earliest and her latest work up side by side is a jaw-dropping experience.

Because these days, there are few who can match Shembre's ability to capture an emotional, character-driven scene. "Tojo's Anger", fourth at left, is a particularly good example of this: even without the necessary backstory, the scene narrates itself, with more than just expressions, but composition and character design itself conveying as much of the critical mood as is necessary for the scene to "read" at an immediate glance.

Of course, canon and canon-derived scene snapshots are hardly the limit of Shembre's creativity. Her gallery is chock-full of other interesting artistic experiments, such as the rainbow-silhouetted Simba at left, or the sparkles in the portrait at right. Silly flights of fancy (such as her recent "Derp" Simba on a zebra background) are exercises in unusual character attitudes, and they're essential to artistic growth in capturing characters that can be as widely varied in their moods as we are. And yet Shembre also reaches high, as with her reinterpretation of Botticelli's "Birth of Venus"—surely an idea nobody else here on TLKFAA has yet tackled, yet she does it with confidence and zeal.

It's drawings like these that make it obvious that Shembre has great things in store for us as her gallery continues to grow in size and complexity. Her DeviantArt gallery is also worth a visit; heavily TLK-themed, but containing some additional material such as photography and writing, it's a glimpse into a wider world that this artist is embracing. There's obviously a lot more coming from Shembre in the future; we'll all be waiting expectantly!


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