Like most of us, Audre Schutte, aka Charamath, grew up watching Disney films. But her relationship with the studio isn't limited to just that. As time went by, the studio has been constantly finding ways to re-enter her life in one way or another. Be it through college or a friend. However, Audre hasn't been just inhaling Disney. She's also exhaled it through an illustration series dedicated entirely to Yzma. That's right, an entire series just for the power-hungry sorceress from The Emperor's New Groove.
My Kronk Will Go On
"I never really gravitated towards to the princess-centered Disney movies," Charamath told Bored Panda. "If I was given the choice, I'd always watch the more animal-themed movies, such as the old Don Bluth films or The Last Unicorn. When The Emperor’s New Groove came out, it was a bold step in a different direction for Disney and I was immediately intrigued. Here was the main character being an insufferable jerk (bonus points for being a llama most of the time), and the villain (Yzma) was not only hilarious, but relatable. You can't really blame her for wanting to rule. Kuzco was awful at it. Not that she was any better, but you could understand her reasons. Combined with her being a secret-lair owning scientist and voiced by the incomparable Eartha Kitt- it was no small wonder that she became an immediate favorite of mine."
However, the series isn't something you would have expected from Charamath who is first and foremost a creature designer. "I absolutely love creating monsters," she said. "But jobs in that are very hard to come by. So after graduation, I found myself without a paying job offer and was trying to figure out what to do. It was then that I started teaching myself traditional watercolor painting in order to branch into illustration. A friend suggested that I build that into something I could take to conventions. She told me to put my sense of humor into my illustrations."
Everything started with one The Little Mermaid parody. "I created it as a joke for said friend. Then I posted it on my (now defunct) Tumblr account and suddenly it exploded. I was a little confused as to why, at first. I'd been posting my monster art for a year at least with nothing near that level of engagement. I realized that it was because people love The Emperor’s New Groove and Disney largely ignores that movie’s existence. It's one of their 'black sheep' like Atlantis or The Black Cauldron. I thought that was a shame because Yzma is a wonderful character who deserves so much more. So, slowly but surely, I gave her more. 30 other 'mores!'"
"It was definitely not planned and far from my usual content. Whenever I thought of a fun new world for Yzma to take over I’d sneak her in between my original work. I did that for nearly 3 years. I know many people wish I’d continue them, but this series was never intended to be a full-time project for me. My true love and focus always has been and will continue to be my creature art. But I feel like creating 30 paintings for the series is no paltry sum of Yzma love I put out into the world!"
"I titled the series Yzma is Best Princess for a few reasons," Charamath said. "One is an obvious jab at the all-powerful main princess line. The second is because I didn’t feel like Yzma would ever be satisfied with just Disney takeovers. She’d want it all. Which is why I painted her in a variety of non-Disney parodies as well. It’s been [some time] since I finished the series, but I'm still amazed to see how many people it brings joy to. It's the main reason for why I painted it - to put smiles on people's faces."
Currently, Charamath isn't planning to revive the series. "These days I am firmly devoted to my creature designs and illustrations," she said. "It took a bit to be able to devote myself entirely to them, but I'm really happy with what I'm doing now."