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Featured Artist of the Month


I've been waiting for what seems like years—probably because it has been years—for the day when I'd be writing this introduction for this month's honoree, Roarie. Because she joined the site way back in 2006, back when it underwent its first major redesign (the one which has lasted until the present day, unbelievably), and ever since then her skills have been developing and growing right along with the site's own history. Lately her art has been full of some really amazing sketches and character design work, and so it's fitting that we give her work a well-deserved closer look!

Yooooou guuuuuys, I never imagined going into Sketcher to find out that I am AotM for April. Especially on April Fool's Day; obviously it's a joke right?? Nope, there it was, the legendary email from Brian. I feel like the Chosen One. Where is all this light coming from, and the heavenly music?...

ANYWAYS, let me begin with how much I am GRATEFUL for this achievement. Words cannot express how thankful and honored I am. I remember way back when seeing Sami on the front page and the inspiration that she brought to me being a young artist entering the Archive. By being on the front page myself, I hope I bring the same inspiration and encouragement for the new artists joining the site during the month of April.

The advice I have to give to new or young artists of the Archive is that they need to realize that everyone has to start somewhere, and that you have to practice, practice, and practice. I cannot stress enough how much I drew every day for practice to get to where I am now. During these last nine years, I have learned so much from my peers and accepted valuable critiques; it aided my work so much, and not just within the Archive. During my time here I was accepted into my local art college and currently working towards my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drawing. To be recognized at the place where it all began, I am truly honored. Earning this honor does not mean I am finished, I still have lots of room to grow and improve within my artwork, as the journey is never-ending. There is still so much to learn!

Thank you to everyone who voted for me, thank you to my lovely friends, and thank you to everyone else who supported me helped me evolve throughout the years. I will never be able to thank any of you enough. Your support will always be appreciated. Thank you so much guys.

And lastly, thank you Brian. For creating this site, for granting me auto approval, for everything. You will never be thanked enough for all the hard work you put towards this place, and I hope to be able to continue to lift a little weight off your shoulders with uploads. It is the very least I can do! You rock Brian!

Thank you all so much once again, I have to stop because I'm starting to get really emotional! Thank you! See you around the Archive!

From the Archive's most adorable onomonopeia,


This past month has seen some upheaval in the Archive's infrastructure as we have moved to a new server, which caused an unfortunate technical chain of events that led to Sketcher being taken offline for nearly a month. This was a real tragedy in several ways, but not least of which is that it meant we weren't getting new art from Roarie, one of the artists here who gets the most and best use out of Sketcher as an artistic tool.

This Sketcher downtime, in a case of bad luck and timing, came at the tail end of a long year of Roarie's absence from the TLKFAA entirely. And yet now that Sketcher is back up and running, and now that Roarie is back in the mood to create Lion King art, it feels like everything's finally getting back to normal.

Which is great, because I love the stuff she's been producing lately, in Sketcher and out of it. Her rough character sketches display an ease and a familiarity with the leonine subject matter we all share—the kind of natural flow and rhythm that feel like an artist has finally "clicked" with her material. The anatomy all feels right, the body language works wonders, and above all every piece feels like the artist was having fun—which, after all, is the whole reason any of us keep coming back to this fictional world, isn't it?

What's especially interesting about Roarie is going back through the years, throughout the timeline of her posting history. She's selected pictures from across the whole spectrum of time to showcase along with this article; you can tell where her skills started, back in 2006, and how rapidly and regularly they've grown since then, culminating in the last couple of years in a sudden hockey-stick-like upswing in quality and ambition, breaking away from the previous "safe" media of pencils and simple paint programs to more adventuresome ones like animation. She's now using full digital coloring to a much greater degree, lending a new sense of depth to her work. And while even in her old pieces the humor and characterizations showed through even when the art itself might have been technically lacking, nowadays her ability to execute a great-looking piece of art with three-dimensional realism and balance exists on a whole new level, and that same excellent characterization is supported by a much greater repertoire of knowledge and skill. The result is some of the most engaging art we've ever seen around here, well worth the watch, and certainly well worth the perusal into history to fully appreciate how far she's come.

I was super-relieved to get Sketcher back up and running in time to be ready for Roarie's renewed interest in this site and in creating new pictures for us to appreciate. But I'm even more relieved to see that she's experiencing that renaissance to begin with, that she's still clearly having so much fun with this subject matter and with this universe. There's naturally a lot more ground to cover, and it's all the more exciting seeing what Roarie can do now with her newly honed skill set. I for one will be watching her future uploads with plenty of interest, because it's art like hers that makes everything about this site continue to be so worthwhile, to me and to the community as a whole.

Thanks, Roarie, for being an inspiration as well as a great contributor to the TLKFAA!

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