Farewell, Friends

Adieu, adieu, to you, and you, and you! My daft experiment draws to a close. This is the wrap-up post; the one where I reminisce on the last few months out of a genuine sense of sentiment, and not because I’m explicitly answering a list of predetermined questions.

Improvements

Let’s start, for no particular reason, with what I would improve about my site. Most superficially, I wonder how much better my posts would’ve looked if I’d gone into this with more than, like, five total hours of web design experience. I would’ve loved to work out a proper home page that makes it really easy to access all of my posts. It also would’ve been cool if the header image for each post didn’t take up 99% of the screen.

I also have some issues with my voice. Re-reading my posts can be a painful experience. They tend to come off as too much after I publish them. I have so much fun during the writing process that I have a hard time distancing myself from the product. Sometimes I think it’d be better if I kept it strictly professional. I’m my own worst critic, though, so it’s hard to separate unfounded embarrassment from legitimate qualms. That could be a sign that I should consider some kind of editor in the future. Would you believe that I started this post with a haiku before I came to my senses and deleted it? There’s a demon inside of me.

Promotion

As much as I enjoyed coming up with stupid puns to promote my posts on Twitter, I definitely should’ve taken more control over my hashtags. I don’t think I ever used tags outside of “FDOM” and “TXST”. If I’m being honest, it’s because I was nervous thinking of casting my line into the market. There was an opportunity, for instance, that I could’ve tagged Sonic the Hedgehog when the movie was in the zeitgeist, but I chickened out because I had no idea what manner of Internet cryptid would be summoned to my page. I should know by now that anxiety comes with the territory.

Best Experience

I think my best experience during this project was being able to experiment with my online presence. I understand a little more now how I want to present myself and what kind of content I enjoy making.

These takeaways can benefit me in the future because I know what sits right with me and what doesn’t, in terms of design, voice, promotion, and content. I really might consider an editor if I decide to get really serious about this, not to mention some kind of public relations measure.

Stats

And now for my embarrassing site statistics.

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  • My most popular week, happily enough, was last week, with a mind-boggling total of four views, three visitors, and one like—the only WordPress like I received all semester. Talk about ending it on a high note.
  • My most popular page happens to be my archive page, at three views, which is a little anticlimactic. I’m assuming it’s “popular” only because it’s the default landing page. It’s not even my home page, which is a much more efficient way to navigate my posts—that has one view, like the other 75% of my pages.
  • I was surprised and a little confused to find that China accounts for three of my twelve total site views. I don’t really know what to make of that info, but I can officially say I’ve gone GLOBAL.
  • I didn’t turn on Twitter analytics, so I’m going off of superficial data when I say this, but my school Twitter accrued a total of three likes across three different posts. Like I said: I could’ve put more effort into promotion. I can’t say I’m surprised, considering I have zero followers.

And there it is. I had a lot of fun acting a fool for a couple months. I have no idea whether this site or any of its offshoots will survive the end of the semester, but I would like to have a window into this time of my life, even if most of it is dominated by quarantine. One last time, this is JJ, amateur webmaster and imbecile extraordinaire, signing off.

Challenge 3: Mimi

The semester draws to a close, my friends, and the penultimate post is already upon us. I can’t say for sure whether it’s felt like a long time or no time at all. My grasp on relativity is beginning to flag. I still remember being years away from thirteen. Since when am I twenty-two? Did you know that your biological peak is in your mid-twenties? Do you ever think about how 2010 was a decade ago? Do you ever think about the time you let slip between your increasingly wrinkly fingers? Do you ever think about how gnats live for a day?

In case this is your first time, Character Challenges are posts wherein I choose three random objects and one random descriptor and try to design a character around them. Here are our magical words for today!

NOUNS: beef, box, towel

Ew.

DESCRIPTOR: informal

If I didn’t know any better, I’d say the universe was gettin’ wise with me. Well, time’s a-ticking!

I start off by jotting down a few ideas. Something about today’s selection gives me a little trouble, maybe because this is the most unappealing combination of random words I could have hoped to stumble upon, but I manage to settle on a cute idea.

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Here’s what I get when I put all the nouns in place. It’s some sort of noodle goblin blow-drying her ramen hair, which, on second thought, is probably a no-no in the practice of noodle goblin beauty. Many lazy hack artists like myself will tell you that mirror shots are a pain in the tuchus, since it essentially means drawing two characters, but I’m happy with how it turned out. The strange angle ended up giving the character a little more form. Admittedly, the box is totally separate from the focal point, but I’m liking the composition.

I figure the adjective “informal” is implied somewhat by the fact that we’ve intruded upon this woman during a rather informal moment, but employing some environmental storytelling can’t hurt.

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This character’s surroundings are just as much a part of her design as her body is. As it stands, I wouldn’t say we know much more about her than that she’s messy, like most people are, and that she’s a fiend for noodles, which I guess raises some more strange questions regarding the logic of noodle goblin society. Still, I like a cluttered, candid room more than a neat one, because I think it lends that much more believably to the design. If you’re wondering why everything is color-coded, it’s so I can draw on top of existing elements without losing the line in the chaos.

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Frankly, this is where I get carried away. I figure I can load the scene with a bunch of bathroom sundries and still have the patience to render it all in a clean, graphic style. A few botched attempts cost me a lot of time, and eventually I have to cut corners and call it quits. Lessons to take away from this challenge are as follows:

– Reevaluate my workflow

– Reevaluate my life choices

– My hubris is my downfall

Anyway, now that I’ve unceremoniously buggered the final Character Challenge of the semester, I can finally name this character. I’ll go with Mimi—a play on the Indonesian word for noodles, mie. I used to love noodles, but I think it’s required that, as a college student, you learn to hate them. Instant noodles, at least; I’ll still demolish a bowl of pho.

Breakdown 2: SpongeBob Squarepants

I want you to close your eyes and take a mental voyage. Transcend this reality and imagine yourself in a parallel continuum where the Monopoly man has a monocle; where it’s Berenstein Bears, not Berenstain Bears; where Nelson Mandela died in prison; and where SpongeBob isn’t a square.

It’s not right, is it? That’s what I think, at least. Sure, SpongeBob could be a cylinder, and for all we know, it’d make no difference, but his status as an icon aside, there are qualities that seem to marry him to the shape of a square: he’s dorky, he’s awkward, he’s unbelievably corny—he really is, dated as the slang may be, a square.

Many aspects of character design are subjective, but that doesn’t save me from talking out of my ass. Design is a series of decisions influenced by tenets of psychology, mathematics, and culture. A character’s appearance isn’t totally up to interpretation. The only people who know exactly what went into a design are the designers, and to my surprise and chagrin, there’s not a ton of documentation on SpongeBob’s visual development.

With that said, what better source is there than SpongeBob’s late creator and god, Stephen Hillenburg? Of the various bootlegged sound bites I sorted through, the most in-depth peek I could find at Hillenburg’s thought process is in this video, where he describes deciding on the perfect sea creature to represent “an innocent—sort of like a Jerry Lewis under the sea.” While sketching sea sponges, Hillenburg thought of a common sink sponge—the square kind—and “immediately locked on to the idea of this undersea nerd.” You’ll notice similar language in this excerpt, in which Hillenburg explains wanting to make a show about a character who’s “innocent, well-meaning, and kind of an oddball.”

It’s an interesting take, because, thinking purely in terms of shape, a square doesn’t typically connote qualities like innocence, youth, and spontaneity. In his book, Creative Character Design, Bryan Tillman, who has both lectured and worked in game art, attributes to the square qualities like conformity, masculinity, and order. Hmm. That doesn’t sound like SpongeBob at all.

So what gives? I think SpongeBob demonstrates just how complex and flexible the character design schema is. It goes without saying that a character isn’t as simple as his or her shape. Color is one of several factors that affect the message a design communicates. One study conducted at the University of Georgia found that yellow—which, need I remind you, is the color of SpongeBob’s…skin?—is “generally seen to be lively and energetic”; that it’s effective in evoking positive emotions. So it follows that the official “SpongeBob Yellow,” joint brainchild of Nickelodeon and Pantone, a commercial printing company, is defined in disproportionately elegant prose as “a luminous golden hue that reflects the energy of the sun, radiating joy and happiness, and sparking imagination.” Well, damn.

“SpongeBob Yellow” applies an energetic twist to the most static shape: a juxtaposition that bleeds into the supporting elements of the titular fry cook’s design. Robert Ryan Cory, a character designer on SpongeBob Squarepants for almost 10 years, published a handful of lecture slides (language warning) detailing the mechanics of visual algorithms in concept art. Cory presents SpongeBob as a compromise between geometric and organic design, which, for a character, can contribute to an “awkward/funny/naïve” mien. Most of SpongeBob’s components are symmetrical and boil down to basic shapes: from his eyes, to his teeth, to his eyelashes, to his fit. Binding them to the form of a wavy box covered in an uneven amount of uneven craters, however, introduces a welcome amount of disorder that makes up a pineapple-dweller who’s perfectly off-kilter.

All this to show that SpongeBob is more than his square pants. A character borne of a union between the world’s most boring shape and the ocean’s most boring organism remains an icon of the unorthodox, and of boundless imagination. I’m starting to sound like Pantone here. At the end of the day, whatever connotations I ascribe to SpongeBob are just that: ascribed, imposed from without. I can chalk it up to mathetmati-mical, psychologi-mical, hoity toity mumbo-jumbo, but I can’t speak for the designer, and I can’t speak for you. Maybe you look at SpongeBob and you’re overcome with mortal terror. Maybe he reminds you of your dad. I don’t know. That’s the beauty and the crux of design: it can do almost anything for almost anyone.

Challenge 2: Captain Curly

Character Challenge #2. You know the drill: three random objects, one random descriptor. I take ‘em and draw an ugly character. What? Pandemic? You think I go outside? Spin the wheel, Barb.

OBJECTS: grid paper, sailboat, conditioner

I thought it said “toilet paper.” I was one synapse from hulking out.

ADJECTIVE: unequaled

Ah, nice and abstract. I think I got something for this. Let’s groove.

So, sailboat. For one reason or another, I just don’t want to anthropomorphize a sailboat. I’m experiencing a deep, primordial aversion to the concept. Banishing that image to some irretrievable mental vault, I instead picture those cute little paper boats that are super easy to make. Maybe that’s an obvious direction to go given the components “grid paper” and “sailboat,” but whatever.

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Some call this a hat, but for our purposes, it’s a boat. I am the webmaster.

Moving right along, I start work on the “conditioner” element. The esteemed captain of this presumably cursed vessel takes the form of a bottle of soap. I’m giddy about turning the dispenser into a sailor’s cap, but at the same time, it’s a little disconcerting—a nozzle sticking out of someone’s forehead, I mean. This is how our captain intimidates unruly crewmates.

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The only element left is the adjective, “unequaled.” At first I’m content just slapping some medals on the captain’s chest, but applying more than 30 seconds of thought affords me some more creative solutions. I give the character the time-worn visage of an experienced and passionate sea dog. He’s peering knowingly into the horizon, arms akimbo, tangy maritime breeze in his soapy “hair.” He’s a geezer, but being made of conditioner, a volumnous ‘do is quite the given.

Now that’s a peerless sailor. I finish up the rest of the boat. I’m bored by long, sweeping lines and featureless geometry, so I throw in a few touches here and there. Breaking up the silhouette with the pinwheel disrupts the monotony and creates a kind of “X” shape with the sail that intersects at the captain’s head, subtly bringing attention to the focus of the composition. If you think that makes me sound smart or remotely talented, know that I did it totally by accident.

I’ll be honest: I’m not super jazzed about coloring this one. Maybe it’s been a long week, or maybe I’m just ready to move on to the next idea. This is one of my most importunate cruxes as an amateur artist. Losing steam is natural, but I’d like to be able to realize an idea to its fullest potential as often as I can. For now, I go with a bunch of uninspired, purely functional colors to separate the captain from the sailboat.

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Ta-da? Look, not every swing is a home run. I’ll reevaluate my process and try to stay motivated for the next one. I’ll call this guy Captain Curly, ‘cause he’s a bottle of conditioner. Let’s call it quits already, damn.

There’s another Character Breakdown in the pipeline. I’ll be diving down, down, down to the bottom of the sea to study silhouettes, and how shapes influence a character’s perceived personality. Stay clean, stay inside, and stay golden, champions. Bada-bing.

Looks Like Duck Season

Oops. This isn’t Challenge #2! You just can’t trust me. Still, if you’d lend me just a moment of your time…

Recently, I stumbled across The Paperwalker Journal, a blog belonging to character designer Florian Satzinger, who’s worked with the likes of Disney and Warner Bros. His art is eye-catching for many reasons, but one of his quirks is particularly outstanding: this man is a duck fiend. Donald Duck, Daffy Duck, duck-tape—never have I encountered an artist more dedicated to the proliferation of duck-related media.

Mr. Satzinger’s peculiar affinity makes for an interesting case in character design. He’s able to render visually distinct characters down to the facial structure despite the fact that a majority of them are anthropomorphic ducks. While it’s more than obvious that artists have historically had little trouble making iconic characters of walking, talking animals, a challenge still exists: how do you personify an animal without sacrificing its identity? How do you give a beak the same range of expressions that a human mouth has?

This isn’t just about Florian’s designs, though: it’s about his blog. The Paperwalker Journal is peppered with adorable original sketches and fascinating takes on other creatives, past and present. Everything is snappy and digestible since Satzinger’s posts are light on copy and heavy on visuals. Maybe I should rip a leaf from his book and lay off the indulgent wordsmithing, but—and I’m waxing candid for a sec—I have a word count to hit. Not there yet!

I think what I like most about The Paperwalker Journal is Florian’s willingness to expound on his influences. He wears his inspirations and passions on his sleeve, and he dedicates entire posts to celebrating artists or works he admires. It gives his blog a sense of connectedness, like he’s documenting the journey he’s taking alongside droves of other creators. Satzinger demonstrates both through his drawings and through his words how important it is to indulge in the work of others.

So give this artist’s blog a look-see if you’re in the market for professionals that actually know what they’re doing. I know I didn’t make a single duck pun, and that’s because I think there’s enough pain in this world as it is.

Breakdown 1: Sonic the Hedgehog

We meet again. Did you like last week’s Challenge post? Just lie to me.

Today’s a little different; it’s time for our first character Breakdown! Breakdowns are posts wherein I analyze an existing character design and try to discern what makes it work…or…not work.

I thought I’d start this category off with a bang—begin with a design that’s distilled and marketable, maybe even iconic. Our first guest is somebody near and dear to my heart. He’s fast, he’s blue, he’s the designated spokescreature of Olive Garden, Zillow, and Puma alike—America’s sweetheart, Sonic the Hedgehog!

I guess I should bring people up to speed on this guy (Lord my God, forgive the pun). Chances are you’re at least marginally familiar with him, but in case you’re out of the loop, Sonic is the titular mascot of a series of video games produced by SEGA. The definitive titles are platformers about going really fast and subsequently careening into unforeseeable death.

I’m sure you know where this post is going. Just last month, Sonic graced us with his first feature-length spectacle in over a decade. When the first promotional images breached federal containment, the moviegoing public went apeshit trying to make heads and tails of the blue blur’s new…makeover.

The genetic abomination you see before you is Sonic, all the same. Maybe it’s dawned on you by now that the subject of today’s Breakdown is mass appeal, specifically in the context of the uncanny valley.

If you’ve ever felt deeply upset locking eyes with a mannequin or antique dress-up doll, you’ve probably experienced the effects of the uncanny valley. An article by Valentin Schwind, Katrin Wolf, and Niels Henze defines it as a concept that “describes the non-linear relationship between human likeness and affinity.” If a character is made up of both realistic and unrealistic human elements—in just the right proportion—they’ll look inconsistent and creepy.  

The year is 2018. Enter Movie Sonic—from stage left: the Devil’s direction. Suddenly, the Doomsday Clock is five seconds to midnight. Applying the principles of the uncanny valley, which one of Sonic’s qualities stand out as unnerving? The subtly toned man-legs, reduced to the proportions of an anthropomorphic hedgehog and covered in fluorescent-blue, computer-generated fur? How about the moist, beady eyeballs, encircled by set of fleshy, pink eyelids, which themselves are bedecked in delicate baby lashes? Or maybe it’s the unapologetically human maw, announced by lips of a visceral hue and gnashers of a nightmarish anatomy.

All of them. All of them are uncanny. These traits comprise a cryptid that’s capable of breaking not only the sound barrier, but our collective spirits. This is not Sonic; this is an affront to God.

But hark! One Twitter movement, a few months, and—unfortunately—a lot of layoffs later, mankind’s desperate prayers were answered: Movie Sonic had been redesigned. This outcome provides us with a choice educational opportunity. Invoking yet again the combined brainpower of Schwind, Wolf, and Henze, let’s pick out exactly what Movie Sonic 2.0 does right.

Here’s an easy one: the new Sonic looks more like a cartoon. In their research, Schwind and co. assert that a character exhibiting “unequal levels of realism” contributes to “increasing feelings of uncertainty in the observer.” It’s hard to “assign a category” to a character like Movie Sonic 1.0 because, as a humanoid figure, he looks simultaneously too real and not real enough. The redesign, however, falls squarely in the “cartoon” class, with proportions that, while unrealistic, are more harmonious in the context of a three-foot-tall, bipedal hedgehog. Tiny goblin paws? No—big, silly gloves. Disconcerting and vaguely human musculature? Uh-uh—Fleischer-era noodle limbs

An appealing overall shape is all well and good, but it’s the minutiae that do the heavy lifting when it comes to adapting Sonic for the human realm. A closeup reveals that Movie Sonic 2.0 has forgone the chapped lips, glossy tear ducts, and unshapely teeth that so blighted his previous iteration. Schwind and co. note that fewer, but not zero, facial details are seen as desirable in virtual character design. While being able to distinguish the individual hairs on Sonic’s body isn’t a universally appreciated privilege, a perfectly smooth, totally faithful recreation of the gaming world’s Sonic would’ve looked conspicuous—well, more conspicuous than an organism like Sonic does by default. The visual effects team at the now-defunct Moving Picture Company struck an elusive compromise between realistic detail and artistic freedom.

So a massive salute is in order for Tyson Hesse, who headed Sonic’s much-needed reconstructive surgery, and the poor folks in the VFX department, who practically gave their lives and jobs to save us. Without porting Sonic straight from the games and into the movie, these artists have taken an irredeemably uncanny character design and come up with an interpretation that registers both as a cartoon and a physically plausible entity. There is hope yet for this star-crossed continuum.

Next time, it’s back to designing a character. Hopefully, I don’t eat my words and summon a creature more twisted and faithless than Movie Sonic 1.0. Until then, sweet dreams!

Challenge 1: Calixtus the Drunk

Now that we’re through with the formalities, let me make something clear: it’s ten PM, my desk is covered in trash, and my eyes are wrought with an inexplicable and somewhat concerning stinging sensation. Yeah, baby—it’s time to draw.

I’ll run the rules by you right quick. I’m gonna generate three random objects and one random descriptor, and I’ll design a character based on whatever I get. That’s it. The intention is for that character to clearly convey, through visual design alone, the qualities that I’ve assigned to it.

¿Comprende? Let’s spin the ol’ wheel, then! Luck, be a lady.

OBJECTS: mirror, shoes, sandpaper

Okay! There’s something nefarious about this specific combination, but I can work with this!

ADJECTIVE: alcoholic

Part of me was pulling for this.

So there are our words. Time to embarrass myself!

Invariably, the first step in designing anything, let alone a character, is visualizing it in your mind’s eye. Mirror, shoes, sandpaper—these words invoke a certain connotation. It’s tempting to run with the first thing that comes to mind, but artists like Mark Crilley advocate a thoughtful approach to concocting the initial design. Keep reiterating on the idea. Experiment. Give your noodle time to warm up. Odds are you’ll one-up yourself.

I’m inspired by the idea, morbid as it is, of combining an alligator with a boot, so I decide to make that the main motif. I’m not cool with actual alligator boots, by the by. Alligators are just doin’ their thing.

Anyway, when it’s time to sketch, I start with the basic shape I want our character to take—kinda like an outline to help me place the features. Sculpting characters around basic shapes—squares, triangles, and circles —can help subtly imply their personalities. I go for a bottom-heavy ciruloid thing to imbue our new friend with a lumbering, non-threatening mien. I plop his little face right in the middle. Maybe he’s a bit of a PINHEAD.

I think about how to implement the three objects. I want to meld them with the character; that’s why I thought of making the alligator into the shoe. Luckily, the shape of his head lends itself nicely to the form of a cowboy boot. It makes him look like some kind of king, so I figure I’ll just roll with it, pop a furry cape on him to seal the deal.

While I’m at it, I want to exhibit the key adjective, “alcoholic,” in the alligator’s expression. It involves his posture just as much as it does his face. He’s slumped and droopy-eyed, ensconced perhaps a little too thoroughly in his inebriation as he wipes nast off on his cloak and reveals a crooked grin. It seems obligatory to stick a big ol’ bottle of the Devil’s Ale in his bootleg.

Already, our beer-chuggin’ boy is coming together. It’s good to be able to discern a character’s disposition just by looking at him. His facial expression, posture, and even his clothes can all work to tell a wordless story. Ideally, the alligator’s drunkenness would be communicated even without the presence of a giant bottle, but I couldn’t resist. The guy’s a monster for ethanol.

Sandpaper” is a difficult element to place, but following a random psychedelic fit, I have the idea to give the alligator a cloak made of the stuff. A cloak is an object of opulence and comfort, but I turned it into just the opposite. That’s kinda cool, right? The layers, though? Let me be proud of myself. It’s an increasingly rare sensation.

And now the “mirror” element. I thought I’d turn all of the king’s scales into a pattern of reflective plates, like on a disco ball, but A) that’s hard, and B) I’m lazy. On top of that, I feel like I’m not experienced enough to cover this character in reflective surfaces without sacrificing visual clarity. He might end up looking like a disaster. I’ll settle for a few patches of mirrored scales. This is a battle for another day.

Once the lineart is finished, it’s time to color. Coloring is a part of the process that, depending on my mood, is either super cathartic or super tedious. Sometimes it’s fun and wacky, like putting together a cute outfit; other times, it’s futile and soul-rending, like trying to color match at Home Depot.

Like shapes, hues can imbue a character with a specific set of implicit qualities: cool blues for somber moods, warm yellows for happy times, the works. That’s why it’s useful to think about which colors to use on your character. I’d be lying if I said the chief motivation in this case wasn’t just “ALLIGATOR = GWEEN,” but I did want to color with purpose in some regards.

The red cloak, specifically, was a sticking point for me. I considered the traditional route—royal blue—but red just gelled better with the warmth of the yellowish-green and bright orange. It also afforded the character a bolder, gaudier aura. Blue’s really regal, but red is a bit more visceral, isn’t it?

And there he is! One of the funnest parts of making a character is naming it. I try to give my characters a name that actually alludes to one of their qualities. After a cursory but very scholarly search on behindthename.com, I’ve decided on the name “Calixtus,” from the Latin for “wine cup.” It was also the name of three popes. I hope their ghosts won’t come and slap the indulgences outta me.

With all said and done, coming up with this character wasn’t as simple as I may have made it out to be. I’m pretty bad at translating mental images into actual images, so it helped to break things down into shapes and give myself a road map. Let me show you what happens when you don’t have a plan.

Ew. Here’s my initial sketch. He ended up looking too true-to-life, and some of the elements didn’t mesh. It’s probably because I just started laying lines down without thinking about the overall product, or maybe because I was leaning way too hard on my reference images. There’s not much imagination here. He looks…uncanny, doesn’t he? Like there’s legitimate desecration taking place. Let us anoint ourselves, then, and cast this tragic homunculus to the Chalk Zone. Dorime.

This post was much lengthier than I intended for it to be, but there was so much I wanted to say. It’s probably because this is like an introductory, catch-all sort of post; I’m just skimming over broad topics of character design that I’ll tackle more thoroughly and individually in the future. Next time, I’ll break down an existing character design that has rocketed to relevance in recent weeks. Deuces.

Time to Play Frankenstein

What’s up? It’s me, JJ: amateur webmaster and social imbecile extraordinaire. Welcome to my character design blog!

 I spent a lot of time watching cartoons as a kid. In the gaping cerebral crater where my people skills should have been grew a cursory knowledge of visual storytelling. I figured I could do worse than publicizing something I enjoy doing in my spare time anyway. With concern to my audience, this blog is like a calling card to all aficionados of my ilk: artsy-fartsy-types with a passion for character design.

As far as what’s on offer, I’ll make two kinds of posts: Challenges, which have me designing a character from scratch based on four random words, and Breakdowns, wherein I’ll analyze existing and culturally relevant designs—from the appealing to the abhorrent.

I’m trying to explore what makes an effective character, visually—what exactly I can do to cobble together a design that conveys its intended purpose. By both creating and deconstructing a character design, I’m aiming to demonstrate the myriad tenets that are involved in the artistic process. There’s also the hope that I evolve as an artist along the way! This is as much as a learning experience for me as it might be for you.

I do plan to link to relevant and credible creators whenever I’m discussing a certain aspect of character design, and maybe to neat tools for making digital art. The goal is making this as accessible as possible for anyone even toying with the idea of giving art a shot. I am by no means a teacher (which is why I’ll reference more learned artists), but maybe my fledgling perspective can resonate with you and inspire you to give this masochistic hobby a college try.

Anyway, that’s all for today. We’re diving right in next time. Welcome to my demented menagerie of doofy imaginary friends.

P.S. – Here are links to my personal art, if you want a look at my style before we get started:

SIKE AHAA