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Featured Artist of the Month


Kash and the TLKFAA go back a long way. Indeed, with an account that dates back to 2006 with over 1400 pictures, she's one of the artists who has contributed the most to what has made this site and this community such a special place over the years. It high time she earned some recognition for all that creative work and what an example she has set for the rest of the online Lion King fandom.
AOTM wow.. I dunno what to say you guys. I mean, wow. I was nose deep in Adobe Illustrator when I got this message.

Let's see, I suppose a speech is in order right? Right!

So let's begin with how I found this awesome place. I'll admit I didn't come here first hand. I lurked on deviantART to begin with way back when. Most notable artist that I stalked was Balaa. It wasn't till she had advertised she was on TLKFAA that I followed her here, stalking for several more years before joining up in 2006.

I've met a lot of pawesome friends since then. And made a bit of a nuisance of myself at some times. We all make mistakes we're not proud of in the end. To err is to be human right?

I would like to address some things that I have noticed a lot of new artists ask about before I go. Tablets don't make you a better artist. You make yourself a better artist with what tools you have at your disposal. There are plenty of talented artists on this fine site that have nothing but a mouse and a scanner to work with. And their art is super amazing, Like Edward_Elrid32, Maquenda, and Supernova. These artists only need the tools at their ready disposal such as Sketcher, or MSPaint.

There is no need to trace screenshots or other artists either. Hard work and perseverance is what makes you exceed your expectations in art. Not fancy tracing. It's as I say; An artist's style is like a fingerprint, each one is unique. And when it comes to drawing, it's a matter of having fun. Let music or colors inspire your art. When it comes to a fan artist, there's more than meet's the eye.
Kash has spent the past six years working hard at developing a signature, stylized look and feel for her art, which can be seen in many of the examples here. Her most recent work sports a clean, smooth outline quality and appealing solid coloring that complements the Flash texture seen in many modern-day animated properties that have learned to take full advantage of the capabilities of vector technology. Her adaptation of that style to her Lion King characters is appealing and natural, yet entirely unique to her—just as she says, even though the techniques of the style owe a lot to the visual texture currently in commercial vogue, nobody would peg her art as being anything other than her own.

It's the mark of a really gifted artist that he or she is able to work not only perfectly on-model, but also to adapt existing characters in a predefined milieu into a new and unique setting where they retain their recognizability, their appeal, their core essence. Kash is one of the artists who clearly has this ability; her gallery's recent pages are full of studies of the familiar Lion King characters (and ones derived from their universe), reinterpreted in a smooth, appealing vectorized way—it brings to mind thoughts of what The Lion King might look like if it were animated brand-new today, using the tools that forward-thinking studios are harnessing to create fluid movement and intricate facial acting, even on a budget that would have crippled a studio working in traditional 2D techniques.

This isn't, however, to say that Kash doesn't spend any time in the world of traditional art. A quick perusal of her gallery shows numerous pencil sketches and blue-lined animation drawings rendered in physical media, which she uses as the basis for her fluid vector designs just like many of the industry's guiding lights do. Plenty of artists, after all, are most comfortable with a pencil in their hands, even if their art's final destiny is to be transformed into vectors. It just goes to show, as Kash herself testifies, that a digital tablet is not a cure-all to artistic success, nor is it inherently a better tool for the job than a pencil and a pad of paper. Lots of artists have become comfortable enough drawing directly into digital data that it's second nature; but there will always be a contingent that swears by the tried-and-true tools that will always work, no matter where you are or what computing equipment is at your disposal.

Six years is a long time, and Kash has used that time wisely and productively—well over a thousand pictures uploaded here is no small accomplishment. What is especially remarkable is that her body of work has shown such steady, self-evidently introspective progress over that time. Anyone interested in seeing what a really successful trajectory toward greatness might look like would do well to give Kash's gallery a look, as have so many of her friends and fans here on the Archive.

Congratulations, Kash, and here's to many more years of pushing the envelope!

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