When I found out that I could take a character design class this semester, I was beyond excited. Now that I’m a few weeks into the class, I can say with confidence that I’m learning so much and having a seriously great time- I’m being challenged artistically, but not in a way that seriously frustrates me.
Over the course of the past few weeks in this class, I have been working on a short comic that includes multiple angles of the same character. After producing a comic that I wasn’t too happy with for my General Illustration class, I can say that I’m actually quite happy with how this comic turned out. I think the issue is generally with me feeling lost without having a specific art style. While that can be fun and help my work to have a variety of images and concepts to add to my portfolio, it does get a little difficult when it comes down to an assignment like this. Therefore, I ended up going for a style that I tend to draw in the most, and that helped me majorly.
The first step to this assignment was to create a turnaround of the character from the shoulder up, showing six angles of the face. I had a general idea of what I wanted to do after a few failed sketches, and the character that I created was a sea monster-esque creature that loves to shop. I really wanted to play on the stereotype of a bubbly, overly excited personality because I don’t typically create characters like that, and I thought it would be fun. Initially, her features were really jagged, and so in order to make her more friendly, I opted to smooth out the swirls in her hair as well as her general facial features. However, I still wanted to give her pointed teeth to add an element of danger. I created her on Procreate because I think I would have genuinely cried if I wasn’t able to utilize the amazing copy and paste function that it has (Dramatic? Yes. Would I have actually cried? Also yes).
After I completed the turn around for that class, the next step was to actually create the comic. Keeping in mind the criteria of needing one full body and six angles of the face, I sketched something quick in my notes app before my Art in the Modern Era class the next day, but didn’t think I’d actually go with it. But then enough days went by that I couldn’t think of anything else and just decided to do it. I felt bad going with this idea because although I was showing her personality, it was such a shallow depiction of her character. But then I had to tell myself that it’s okay for everything to not be serious or profound all the time. This concept I sketched also allowed me to show who she was as a character without having to flesh out her backstory, which I have yet to decide (backstories are the hardest part of a character for me).
By this point, I hadn’t really thought of what kind of outfit I wanted her in- I had a vague idea, but it was vague enough that I wanted to sketch it out before I started finalizing the comic. Therefore, I drew a full body picture of her so that I could get a sense of what her outfit looks like. I ended up screenshotting the comic then transporting it to Procreate. I merged the two screenshots onto one layer, and then created a neater sketch, before going back in for the line art. I’m typically mortified by any dialogue that I produce, but I can say that as basic as this dialogue is, for once I was able to give a character their own voice, instead of a noticeable part of mine. Overall, I’m really pleased with how this short comic came out, and I really want to flesh out this character and do more with her!