Pushing Character Designs
Vanishing Ink, my next personal book project, continues growing in the back of my mind. At CTNX this year, I asked many of my favorite designers in the animation industry to draw over my character designs.
Before I start, I must add (since my professional focus is animation) that I showed my animation demo reel to the various studios at the expo and their response was AWESOME: it sounds like I’ll be animating in a studio again soon. And now, Here are the characters I started with:
To my surprise, when I asked Tom Bancroft, Isaac Orloff, Liana Hee and others for a drawover, their first reaction was something like “But why? These are great!” And then, upon close inspection, they had some GREAT feedback for me.
My friend and Illustrator Nasan Hardcastle did a very detailed draw over finessing aspects of my protagonist. He noted that the character with glasses was his favorite, but suggested I simplify the furniture surround him so the eye doesn’t get sucked away from the face with all that detail.
It is so informative to watch a brilliant artist sketch over your work. I can’t speak highly enough of these artists and the amazing conversation I had with them AND OTHERS at CTNX. Though I didn’t make every change in their sketches, I could see what they were trying to fix in my drawings and made changes to support the characters’ personalities.
With all those notes in mind, I refined my designs. But before I wrote this post, former Disney character designer (and BRILLIANT art teacher) Chris Oatley gave me some mind blowing facial design tips that took my characters to a whole new level. He made some further suggestions I will address as I continue to develop this exciting book: