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Featured Artist of the Month

Stephy

Stephy has been a part of the Archive since before its last major redesign in 2006. That much time pursuing one artistic passion can lead anyone down some pretty interesting roads; and in her case, it has brought her from relative obscurity to the point where her leonine art is among some of the most recognized and well-respected in the whole TLKFAA, as well as her artistic explorations tending out into many other directions elsewhere. Her recognition has been a long time coming, and well deserves a month in the spotlight.

*heart stops*.....is this real? *pinch*......... IT IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I can not believe this! Thank you guys sooo much for this! And in my birthday month too! Best. Present. Ever! Okay so I've never been a speech person, and I'm not creative with words, so I'll just do my best. XD

Thank you guys for all you've done by supporting and encouraging me! I've made great friends here and am SUPER grateful!

I've loved drawing all my life, ever since my mother would sit down and draw pictures for me out of my story books. It interested me, so I decided I would do it too. I can't remember how I stumbled across this site, I might have been looking up Disney pictures or something. I did come across a picture from an artist who eventually became my first favorite: BluNikori. I remember seeing her art and following some links back to where her gallery was and I ended up here. After looking at various artists, I concluded that I had to join. I wanted sooo badly to be like the other great artists on here instead of having a blob and calling it a lion, so I practiced, and practiced, and practiced. I took the TLK movies and drew from them by seeing a pose I liked, pausing, and drawing. I eventually found my own way and style and shaped it into how I wanted it.

6 years later here I am. I'm actually happy at where I'm at, not saying that I'm not going to try to improve more. I love finding new styles to use and new ways to create things. I guess what I could tell you in advice is practice, practice, practice! Also, explore! Take a character and dive into their lives and figure out what makes them tick! That's what I like to do. :D

Thank you again so much!

~Stephy
With an expressive, cheeky, teeth-baring panache, Stephy's style for capturing Lion King characters and scenes is all her own—with unmistakable elements of canon Disney mixed in, certainly, it's ultimately her own creation. And that's what makes her art so distinctive and so popular with her fans: it gives her characters a certain specific flavor, a flair and an edginess that suits those characters' personalities in a way that other styles—even the canon style—just can't quite fit.

Part of it is the earthy color tones that Stephy chooses for her characters' designs. Part of it is the expertly captured expressions, full of toothy grins and half-lidded eyes and knowing smirks. And certainly part of it is her attention to detail, covering not just the intricate elements of a character figure but, in the case of fully rendered scenes with background art, compositional elements such as props and multilayered backdrops with appropriately varying levels of finish and precision. All these aspects, plus a pervasive sense of "maturity" and seriousness that underlies all her pieces, serve as the signature of her style.

But layered on top of all that is a definite sense of humor and mischief that can be found in a great number of her character portraits and even her canon scenes. Many of the best artists here at the TLKFAA are in it for the humor as much as anything else, but with Stephy it is perhaps one of the more nuanced takes on that element of art; rarely is there an outright joke or gag, but instead her pieces feature characters whose very physical bearing and attitudes relative to others in the scene are executed in a way that accentuates a feeling of fun. Much of Stephy's pieces demonstrate the aforementioned "seriousness" as their defining characteristic, but behind it the subtle, character-based humor of situational irony and intriguing juxtapositions give her pieces a well-studied internal tension between seriousness and playfulness, always kept neatly in balance by her well-practiced pen.

As extensive as her TLKFAA gallery is, comprising over 700 pictures from her more than six years here at the Archive, a little digging into Stephy's range of artistic interests brings you to her DeviantArt page, where she shows off her wide variety of other disciplines. Her distinctive style carries over to all kinds of characters, from koalas to llamas to humans, always bringing with it the same tense balance of reserved seriousness and mischievous humor. This even appears in the animations you'll find from time to time in her body of work; exhibiting a keen eye for movement and weight, her animated characters convey both gravitas and whimsy—certainly no simple feat.

Stephy's artistic journey has taken her a long way, but it's nowhere near over yet. Let's congratulate her on her achievements so far and—whether or not she thinks she's reached a level of mastery that's to her satisfaction—hope to see plenty more in the future!


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