Character design tips from pro creatives

Carve your niche as a character designer with tips from the industry's most successful artists.

Character design can open up boundless commercial possibilities when twinned with specialist skills in illustration or motion graphics.

Featuring contributions from Muxxi, Tado, Lucas Zanatto and Wong Ping amongst others, 19 character design tips from pro creatives published on Creative Bloq offers plenty of sound advice to get into character design.

Here’s an excerpt for you to enjoy. Read the full feature here.

Invest in your imagination

TADO’s wooden Panda Otaku figures have been sold in limited runs at events like ToyCon, which helped secure a special commission from Sanrio last October (see case study). It makes a strong case for the power of the passion project.

“Making time to do your own stuff is incredibly important, especially from a commercial point of view,” says Katie Tang.

“It’s a great way to learn new tricks and often leads to fresh avenues and opportunities. It might just lead to your dream commission.”


There’s no substitute for practice

“There’s no science or secret behind developing a style,” states Muxxi, an illustrator and character designer from Guatemala, whose ‘magical creatures’ (with names like Boongo, Margui and Zazuka) have been commissioned by Chattyfeet, Blik and Roboto.

I take my sketchbook with me everywhere I go, and incorporate what I see and feel into my creations every day.


Unleash your inner child

“Big eyes, peculiar shapes and colours. I draw everything that crosses my mind,” says Muxxi, whose love of the Japanese Kawaii movement is revealed in her colourful drawings of ‘magical creatures’, commissioned by ChattyFeet socks, decal brand Blik and Venezuelan band Roboto, amongst others. “Everything comes very naturally to me now. I can go as far as I want, be spontaneous and I never know how it’s going to end.”

Go against the norm

Advocating the use of humour and personality as key components in their character development, TADO say that they tend not to reference too many things literally, but instead try to imagine how they’d like it to be, using observations to add to the characters and environments that they inhabit.

Read the tips feature on Creative Bloq here. The full version of this article first appeared inside issue 241 – a character design special – of Computer Arts, the world’s best-selling creative design magazine.


Posted on Aug 14th, 15 by | Twitter: @lisahassell

Founder & director of Inkygoodness, Lisa is a published writer and arts journalist, focusing on creative business, graphic art and illustration and design education. Her words regularly appear in Computer Arts, Creative Bloq, Digital Arts and IdN.

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