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Featured Artist of the Month


Lia-Lioness is a name that's been seen a whole lot lately on the front page of the Archive—taking the place by storm, one might say. She's been a part of the TLKFAA since 2011, but it's only in the last few months that she's really started to burst onto the scene with a burgeoning outgrowth of creativity and artistic development. Though this is by no means the only site on which she maintains an art account, it's certainly the one that has benefited the most from her contributions recently. Let's take a look at some of what she's got to offer!

Me, AoTM? Seriously? :D *struggles to contain excitement* I... I honestly didn't expect this. I never thought I would become AoTM. Never. When I found out what AoTM was, I never thought I would become one, and I didn't want to. I never felt like I, or my art, was worthy. When I saw the email from Brian, I just stared at it, shocked, smiling, tears forming in my eyes. It means so much to me that people have voted for me. I wouldn't vote for me. I am very surprised people voted for me, but I am so grateful to everyone who did and everyone who has supported me. Thank you all so much! :'D <3

I am terrible at making speeches (always have been, always will be), so I'll try to keep this as short as I think it needs to be. ;3

The Lion King is (and always has been) a big part of my life. Listening to the soundtrack fills me with such joy, and it is a great inspiration for me. If I feel down or am struggling to be inspired for my art, I listen to my favourite songs. That always helps me and it puts me in a better mood. Sure, I have some bad days, everyone does. I try to focus on the positive things in my life instead of any negative things. It's so much nicer feeling happy than feeling sad, right? :)

During my time here, I admit I have compared my art to other people's art. I have desperately tried to improve my art to a level at which I am satisfied with. I can say now that I am satisfied with my art. ^-^ It may not be perfect, but nobody's art is never truly perfectly flawless. I think every artist has felt that their art isn't as good as another person's. But to me, each person's art is unique, and that is what makes it special. Nobody can draw quite the same as you. Remember that you are important and your art does matter. Don't give up. Don't you dare give up. Everybody has potential if they just keep at it. Don't give up if you feel like you didn't do something to the highest standard. Hakuna Matata, you can always try it again. And again, and again, until you are happy with it. :3

I just wanna thank everyone again. Thank you to all my friends and fans. Thank you for supporting me and believing in me. <3 Thank you so much. <3 And thank you Brian, for creating this wonderful site which has helped me with improving my art a lot... and talk to people who share the same thoughts as I do; a love of The Lion King. Just... thank you everyone! C': <3
It's nice and rather refreshing to hear Lia-Lioness speak with satisfaction of her own work.

Many artists espouse the sentiment that to be an artist in the first place is, inherently, to never be satisfied. Art is in many ways an attempt to express the inexpressible, and no piece of artwork can ever convey with complete accuracy the vision that is in the artist's head. A great many creators go through their careers executing piece after marvelous piece, and yet never feeling true satisfaction—every piece always falling just a little bit short of the artist's intent, just enough to cause a twinge of disappointment, even while the fans applaud.

But Lia-Lioness has found a healthy balance. She's able to make peace with the imperfections in her own work, not letting them keep her from finding satisfaction and fulfillment in the act of creating, while at the same time not letting herself stop striving to improve. It's that balance that will stand her in good stead as she moves through her career, whether it be a casual one or professional.

Beginning with such humble media as pixel art on her Nintendo DS, Lia-Lioness has grown through many phases of digital art, and many experiments with different forms of digital creation, culminating most recently in some of the pieces seen here accompanying this column. She's spent a great deal of time in Sketcher, working with the same tools as many other artists here use (and with their help and encouragement), as well as working with other applications that allow much more sophisticated creative avenues. Her work primarily focuses on her own characters and scenes, though she does plenty of requests and trades with her friends in this community—and her canon character art, found in folders in her gallery that cover time periods stretching before and after the events of The Lion King movies, is richly colored and evocative in its emotional resonance. You can tell at a glance how much Lia-Lioness enjoys this leonine universe and the inspiration it offers, no matter how much time has passed since it first appeared in theaters.

It's her enthusiasm for the subject matter that makes her gallery special, more even than the excellent and rapidly improving technique. Lia-Lioness is filling this site as well as DeviantArt and several others with her work, and she's only picking up speed as she goes—truly the mark of someone who's still falling in love with the material. That's what's really remarkable about this fandom: once it hooks someone, it doesn't matter how old they are or under what circumstances they first encountered the movies. They're bound to be caught up in the same fervor that inspired the creation of the fandom and the first Lion King fan-art so many years ago. Like some kind of real-world Circle of Life, the generations continue on, and there's every reason to believe they'll do so for as long as there are new fans to comprise them.

Congratulations to Lia-Lioness, and good luck for the future!

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