I made this lion with an ink wash and a couple of art pens. Before we get too far, it’s an adaptation of a piece of concept art from The Lion King, but still it looks pretty cool (mine wound up looking meaner than the original—I’m thinking therapy party!).
The original artist working on the Disney film used an orangish colored pencil instead of an ink wash, but the principle of an abstract mane with a more defined face is the same.
The thing that I like about the design is that it doesn’t so much recreate a lion but instead suggests a lion. A mane is an important part of identifying a creature as a lion, but it is the intensity—that face and the deep and focused stare—that is so compelling. When we see a lion we take in the whole creature very quickly and then just as quickly dismiss certain features and focus on what matters. The artist who drew the original understood that he or she needed focus.
FoxxFur, who created the Musical Souvenir, said she left crowd noise out of her audio recreation of the Disney World landscape because, when we experience our surroundings, we naturally filter out things like random noise and understood environmental sound. She said we are really only conscious of crowd noise when someone unnaturally puts these sounds into a recording and we can’t mentally mute them. I guess when we experience our world we take in what we need in order to understand our surroundings and then quickly forget about all of it so we can focus on what really matters.
The great artists and creators in our world seem to understand this very deeply. The rest of us, one by one, click over from thinking about it to actually doing it. Maybe you’ll be next, but probably not since I plan to get there first.