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All Past Featured Artists

Featured Artist of the Month


When it comes to lavish, intricately rendered, canon-style art, it hardly gets better than what is created by Ileana, this month's honoree. In the three years she's been with the Archive, her creative output has been methodical and steady, and her relentless pursuit of perfection has brought her to a tremendous standard of quality. Nearly everything in her gallery is gold, and her most recent creations are so detailed and expertly executed as to provide a feast for the eyes of any fan.
Hi everyone!

It's such a great honor to be featured here this month! Thank you very much to all who voted me, to my fans, and commenters! Your support means a lot! Also thanks to Brian for creating and maintaining this wonderful site .

Disney has always been a great inspiration for me, since always. Not only the classic animated films, which were amazing, but also the non-animated or partially animated ones, such as Mary Poppins. That movies were a big part of my childhood and left an important mark on me, making my love for art and imagination grow and grow. They shaped my childhood and still keep inspiring me today.

From all this movies, The lion king was the one that fascinated me the most. Not only because I loved animals, but also because there was something special in it. The opening sequence, the beautiful music, the colors, the characters... It was pure Disney magic! I remember watching the movie so many times that I learnt all the dialogues. I used to watch it a lot, telling my mum to rewind it and play it again everytime it finished.

I still love Disney and the Lion King as much as the first day. Here I am now, studying 3d animation, on my way to hopefully become an artist or 3d animator. It was thanks to Disney, among the rest of my childhood inspirations, that I decided to pursue a future in art.

I started drawing digitally about five years ago. When I started, my drawings were pretty bad: I didn't even know how to properly use the drawing software! But eventually, with practice, I learnt how to. If I had to give an advise, it would be the one you'll surely have already heard. Practice and perseverance. Practice makes perfect. The more you practice, the better you will become. Sometimes we don't feel very optimistic about our art, but if you love what you do, let your imagination fly and and practice, I'm sure you'll improve, as I did.

Thank you very much again!
Ileana has put in a great deal of effort to develop her style and skillset, and that dedication to her craft shows in every piece she creates: with a level of attention to detail that extends far beyond merely the focal character and incorporates everything from the detailed rendering of plants and trees and skies in the background to the mood-setting black frame, there is scarcely anything she has created that does not draw a gasp of amazement as its brilliant colors fill the window.

With a focus on canon characters and situations drawn from both the movies and fanon interpretations, the art Ileana produces naturally adopts a visual style that adheres very closely to Disney's own—except with quite a bit more edge and "bite" to it, to say nothing of the background detail that goes well beyond the lushly rendered but relatively downplayed background paintings of the movies themselves. Ileana's work consistently impresses with its attention to detail in the grasses, trees, rocks, mountains, and skies that make up the setting of every one of her pictures; a careful attention to deep focus lends a cinematic, immersive realism to her creations that convey immediately that they're not mere backdrops, but fully realized three-dimensional environments that the characters truly inhabit.

Ileana's choices of color are among her most admirable and striking talents; every picture's palette is chosen with great care for the mood of the scene and the effect that the right kind of lighting can add to it. This leads to scenes lit by fiery golden sunsets and crisp blue-skied daylight, deep blue nightscapes and apocalyptic wracks of clouds that look like they're on fire, as with the breathtaking bottommost picture at left. The comic at the bottom right is another perfect example to showcase her ability to pick the perfect color scheme to frame a scene that's relaxed yet ominous, enveloping the viewer in its warmth yet hinting at a tension that may release at any moment with some unexpected development that shatters the comforting heat of the majestic sunrise. Color is a hugely important factor in establishing the mood and tone of any fully rendered piece, and Ileana's understanding of this—and ability to capitalize on it—is a major part of what makes her art so beautiful.

But another part, and just as important, is her ability to bring a character to life. Her engaging, canon-derived style blends perfectly with her highly developed backgrounds, their innate and well-understood anatomical structure and physical balance filling their spots in their lavish settings effortlessly and conveying an immediate sense of presence. Ileana's ability to leverage the composition of a piece, to play a foreground and a background character off each other with their interplay of negative space and their use of the depth axis of the setting (supported by the carefully rendered deep focus of the foreground and background elements), makes her characters seem powerful and alive. Their easily read, expressive faces bring out the emotions conveyed by their body language, and the stories they tell hardly need the help of descriptive text to make themselves understood.

Ileana is on a lifelong trajectory that will undoubtedly take her into a career doing what she obviously loves, creating visual art. If what she's shown us here in the past three years is any indication of where her path is leading next, she'll be a force to be reckoned with in the years to come.


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