Friday, May 6, 2011

Building Character(s)

Some character design sketches for a picture book concept I've been working on with a graphic designer friend. First we have Lily, an observant, thoughtful, innocent little girl who has a rough day on the playground and wanders off into the woods.

Next we have Mr. Green who, believe it or not, is an embodiment of the color green and in charge of all things green! (The trouble is that he'd rather be any other color). We drew some inspiration from flat retro cartoon figures including Pixar's brilliant short film Night & Day, and the mustachioed fellow from the Pink Panther cartoons. But still, I'm having a really hard time pinning this guy down...

The truth is I've never done character design on this scale before, and I'm wondering: how do you know you've arrived? Is it like love at first sight - you just recognize the right one when it appears on the page?? Or is it a more analytical decision-making process of trying out shapes and parts to see what feels right? Help me out! How do you design characters? Leave a comment, and don't forget to vote for your favorites - they just might end up in a picture book!