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Featured Artist of the Month


With a sunny attitude and an inexhaustible drive to improve, Kahllynn has taken the spotlight this month as our Featured Artist. In the near-decade she's been with the Archive, she has broadened the scope of her art tremendously, experimenting with styles and subjects that challenge her, and yet she's never lost sight of how far she's come. looking at the quality of what she produces nowadays, she absolutely deserves to be proud.
It's almost with shame as I sit here and write these paragraphs, as I am feeling so unworthy after the long list of such beautiful and talented artists before me! I will very humbly try to put my feelings of TLK into words to try and describe my artistic journey!

I began drawing when TLK first came out in 1994, like so many of you! I didn't begin to make my online persona, Kahllynn, until I found this wonderful site in 2004/2005. Again, like so many of you, TLKFAA became a place where I could vent art, I could explore the wonderful world of TLK, and most precious of all, I could meet and make so many wonderful friends right from those first days of me joining, many of whom I still speak with today!

Perhaps my favourite thing to do is to explore possible plotholes of our favourite movies and create possibilities that are still canon, to try and explain the differences. My friends know me well enough that in my own headcanon, Scar and Sarabi are siblings, and Vitani is Scar and Nala's daughter. Not to mention my love of Kiara/Vitani, and the possibility of Kopa also being around. Too much to mention!

Above all though, my love for this wonderful website exists because we are lucky enough to have Brian to run and dedicate so much time and effort into making this place run as well as it does. Thank you so much Brian!

If I could give any advice to any artists, it would be to enjoy where you're at with your art. Even just today I tried to draw a lovely background, but failed, and scrolled through some wonderful artists, looking at their backgrounds and wishing that I could be as good, too. But I think a really lovely feeling comes from being able to look at a piece of art that I've created and to feel proud of it, even though my backgrounds are very mediocre (blue sky and grass, anyone? Haha). I feel proud that I can draw my own characters nicely, I feel proud of the journey I have taken to get here, and mostly, I feel so proud that I am part of this lovely community who exists simply to pay homage to a beautiful film, and to support and befriend all the wonderful people who call this place home :)
Of all the great qualities that are apparent in Kahllynn's work, perhaps the one that stands out most strongly is her immersion in the canon subject matter, to the point of ferreting out the little nooks and crannies of the story that leave room for creative interpretation. Many of us have always loved the world of The Lion King for its cohesiveness, for the way it paints a complete and internally consistent picture of a universe ruled by laws and traditions familiar to us yet exotic in their animal nature; vague in their details of history and relationships and yet highly precise in establishing individual characters' motivations and desires. This is the basis of so much of the fan-fiction and art that makes up the fan community's creative output. Yet it's the shadows and the blurry shapes around the edges of this cohesive story, the small inconsistencies and the little mysteries, that intrigue Kahllynn and inspire her to continue working to resolve them in her own way, perhaps more enthusiastically than many others in our community.

So it is that her subject matter tends to revolve around the movies' canon, either directly or through her own interpretations, rather than her own or others' creations (though of course she does do her fair share of art trades and requests, and she's got plenty of original characters—they just tend to be created to fit specifically into the universe we all know). This lends an air of approachability to her work, and makes her one of the artists most friendly to new or casual fans just dipping into the world of Lion King fan-art for the first time. It's always reassuring to see fan-work of familiar faces like Mufasa or Simba. Especially when it's executed in as appealing and canon-like a style as Kahllynn's, which she has been tirelessly developing for all these years, and shows no sign yet of slowing down.

Working mostly in digital art with a tablet, Kahllynn has mastered a number of key techniques that help bring her art to life in a vibrant and lifelike way while still retaining the animated appeal that is so inherent to the films' style. But she's always experimenting, too. Every so often she will put on display the results of her attempts to work in a more overtly cartoony style, or to sketch in rough, loose pencil lines in order to capture a mood or an expression quickly and spontaneously rather than to produce a perfect portrait of some character. She understands that while being able to work on-model is a great and laudable skill and one worth pursuing, it's equally important—and a key tool in every pro animator's toolbox—to be able to work fast and energetically, with more focus on effectiveness than on correctness. It's wonderful to see these impulses in action, as they result in some of the great art we see here.

Kahllynn continues to push herself, with a seemingly insatiable appetite for creating more Lion King art and forever improving at it. Nearly every day she uploads something new. Her dedication to her art is astonishing, and we can be sure that if her passion for The Lion King and its universe is still this strong after nearly 20 years, then she will continue to be as much a part of its ongoing life as it is of hers.


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