The Secret Ingredient to Your Overnight Success

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So, I’ve been working on a book idea of late and it’s going to be a lot of work. One of the things with writing a book is you have to get people to buy it.

But before you get people to  buy it, you need a book store and/or website to stock it. But before you get a bookstore to stock it, you need a publishing company to publish it. Oh, but before you get a publishing company to publish it, you need an agent to pitch it to the publishing company. And finally, before you get an agent to pitch it to publishing companies, you need to research and connect with an agent. But before you connect with an agent, you need to write a really good book proposal about your book idea.

All of this got me thinking about what it takes to launch a successful creative project, be it a kids TV show or a book, or any other creative project. We often see the product launch of someone who “just came on the scene” and we think, “Dang. How come I didn’t do that?” We all have these creative ideas. Why don’t we act on them? Here’s why. It’s hard work. That’s right. Your secret ingredient to overnight success looks a lot like blood, sweat, and tears. Work.

The word passion means suffering. What do you care so much about you’re willing to suffer to see it birthed? What creative idea has enough clarity and potential that it’s worth spending countless hours on?

Pixar’s overnight success was 20 years in the making. I think that’s the norm. A long journey with lots of perseverance and a lot of pain that leads to moments of breakthrough…that leads to more suffering…er…passion to keep on going. I’m not being negative, just honest. It will never be easy. We need to get out of cushy mode and do the hard thing. There’s a phrase the Navy Seals use that is relevant if we really want to do something that matters. “Yesterday was the last easy day.”

So, what’s the upside? The upside is you get to experience the journey and do something that matters. If you are a Christian, this is where you discover your calling and your various assignments. It’s where you work on things bigger than you for purposes bigger than worldly success. It’s where true satisfaction occurs in the midst of hard work.

I have a friend who’s been working on a screen play for a feature film for over a decade. God keeps taking him back to this one project. It’s not usual for him to stick with one creative idea for so long but He keeps going back. After over a decade, he’s finally seeing some traction and it’s happening one step at a time.

So, the next time you see someone successful and a little bit of envy starts to rise up, remind yourself that their overnight success only took twenty years to happen. Find your passion, suffer for it, enjoy the journey, and keep working hard.

Introducing…The Non-Prophet

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He’s a Renaissance man. The ultimate throwback. He’s a 501(c)(3) that seems to have been born in 501 B.C. He prefers the clothing, speech, food, facial grooming (or lack thereof), and customs of an archetypical Old Testament prophet, living in 21st century America.

His eccentricities do not stop there; however, the Non-Prophet is also chronologically challenged. Oft forgetting what era he lives in, he boldly proclaims wrongly timed Biblical prophecy to anyone he meets. His prophetic insights are ill-timed as he hails from rooftops things that have already occurred. If you encounter him, he may also state a prophecy about your current situation, however his poorly timed words miss the mark and land outside the bounds of any real usefulness.

There is one last thing you must know about the Non-Prophet. He is not wise with his money and doesn’t see that a freelancing Non-Prophet with no business acumen or marketable skills may struggle to make ends meet. He epitomizes the phrase,”a day late and a dollar short.” He’ll boldly proclaim obvious events to you, then ask to borrow five bucks before he moves on to his next non-prophetic assignment.


Keep an eye out for upcoming comic strips featuring “The Non-Prophet”. My prayer is that he will serve as a tool to help people learn about Bible prophecy, apologetics, and theology in a fresh, fun, and relevant way.

— Todd Hampson

Character Design Course Review

DArriegaOne thing all artists need is continuing education. It doesn’t matter if you have an established career and have been working for years. Artists (and leaders) must continue growing in their craft and in other ways that stretch them.

I recently completed a Schoolism character design course from Pixar’s Daniel Arriaga and loved it. Arriega has worked on such films as Monsters Inc, Monsters University, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Wall-E, Up, and Toy Story 3. He also worked on projects at Disney including Wreck-It-Ralph and (as art director) on Prep and Landing: Naughty vs. Nice.

The course covered topics like: shape language, silhouette, rhythm, design and composition, gesture and mood, exaggeration, character moments, and expressions and I really enjoyed his perspective on each of the topics.

Most lessons started with a famous artist highlight featuring the work of various illustrators, comic strip artists, character designers, or visual development artists who displayed mastery of the specific area Arriaga was going to cover in that particular lesson.

Next, he would show how that principle was applied in character design for feature film by showing specific behind the scenes examples from Pixar. I really enjoyed this aspect. Many of the examples he showed I had never seen (and I have just about every “Art of” Pixar book ever published).

Finally, Arriaga would demonstrate the principle and talk about the process. Watching an experienced master character designer draw characters while talking about his thinking process is invaluable.

I won’t give away much more than that (so as to not step on Schoolism’s proprietary toes) but I highly recommend this class to any serious character designer. This was an amazing class and is available as a “go at your own pace” course, or as a specific date range course (check dates/availability) where Arriaga actually critiques your work after each lesson. The second version is obviously limited and only offered a couple of times per year (and more expensive, but justifiably so).

I should also mention, that I am not affiliated with Schoolism in anyway. I don’t get any affiliate commission to recommend them. I simply took the course, really enjoyed it, and want to recommend it to any serious character designer. I’m definitely going to take more courses there myself.

Elements of Art: Shape


shape2Early in my animation career, I heard visual development artists and art directors mention shape language. Somewhat baffled and intrigued by this term, I started looking into it. I had learned about artistic voice, color scripts, and other strange right-brained terms, but was not familiar with shape language.

Shape language basically refers to how the shapes in a piece of art (character design, background, object, etc.) intentionally tell you something about the story, character, mood, or tone (or all of the above).

In previous posts, I listed the elements and principles of art, then unpacked the first element of art, line. This brings us to the second element of art. Shape. Understanding shape will help you in all aspects of the visual arts. A good understanding of shape will help you break large complex objects (even animals or the human form) into it’s simpler shape components.

Understanding shape will help take the intimidation factor out of drawing and will give you direction in what shape choices you make when creating a character, prop, background, or other type of artwork.

LINES BECOME SHAPES
Shapes are basically made up of closed contour lines. They are two dimensional and do not have depth (or Z-space for my CG friends).

POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE
Shapes can be positive or negative. Positive shapes show the contour or silhouette of an object. Negative space is the space around an object. We often think of positive space, but good artists are just as cognizant and intentional with negative space as they are with positive space.

TYPES OF SHAPES
Shapes can be geometric (triangle, square, circle, etc.) or they can be organic. Organic shapes are freeform. They have no rules and are random. Organic shapes reflect nature. Most objects including characters, props, and landscape elements can be broken down into organic and geometric shapes.

SHAPE LANGUAGE
Once a basic understanding and use of shapes is integrated into your work, you can begin to understand and define more complex uses of shape such as the concept of shape language I mentioned above.

One of the clearest and most well defined use of shape language I use to describe or talk about shape language can be found in the animated film The Rise of the Guardians by DreamWorks. Each of the 6 main characters has a clearly defined shape language which carries emotional, story, character trait, and inter relational weight.

RECOMMENDED BOOK
The book The Art of DreamWorks Rise of the Guardians by Ramin Zahed does a fantastic job of unpacking each character’s shape language, the reasoning behind it, and how it impacted the film. For a great primer on shape language, I highly recommend this book.

UP NEXT!
In the next post, we’ll look at the third element of art. Stay tuned and thanks for reading!

Key Advice From 12 Industry Leaders

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In addition to 20 chapters of practical content, there are also 12 interviews with some key creative industry leaders in my new book “Calling All Artists”. One question I asked each  of the interviewees was this;

“If you had one overarching piece of advice for an artist trying to find their way, what would it be?”

I don’t have the space here to include their full answers, but I wanted to grab one or two lines from each to provide an overview. Even in these short statements, there is a wealth of knowledge and experience. These are in reverse alphabetical order (I thought that would be fair since they are in alphabetical order in the book :).

Note: If you would like to see a list of credits, click the contributor’s name.


The word Animation means the state of being full of life or vigor; liveliness. What could be more fulfilling and joy-filled than being part of a process that creates animation? So have fun!
Marcelo Vignali — Production Designer, Sony Pictures Animation

Try to always have fun and enjoy creating art. Try to turn even a small project into a great oportunity to learn and advance.
Narina Sokolova — TV animation background artist, Disney Television

This is not a career where you can be lazy. It requires determination to push you through your goals you must set, it requires passion, because you have to love what you are doing or you will give up to soon.
Stephen Silver — character designer, drawing teacher, entrepreneur, author

When does time stop and the world become quiet? That’s the discipline for you.
Ashley Postlewaite — Co-founder/Executive Producer, Renegade Animation

Study story structure. Write!
Michael Maurer — film and TV writer

I would say, be humble, be good at what you do.
Heather Martinez — director, writer, story board artist

My advice to writers would be to read scripts and watch cartoons.
Shea Fontana — Children’s TV writer, development and distribution consultant

Do it everyday. You’re competing with people who take art seriously. If you’re not serious, go sell insurance. It will be a lot easier.
Phil Cookefilmmaker, media consultant, and author of One Big Thing: Discovering What You Were Born to Do

Build relationships by being humble, willing, and then once you get the job over deliver.
Kathleen Cooke — Co-Founder Cooke Pictures

Always bring you’re “A” game. Be the absolute best you can be in all that you do. It’s hard work, but again, it’s worth it.
Cassie Byram — actress, singer, song-writer, and Executive Creative Producer, Oodles World Inc.

You must have a tremendous amount of passion and drive to be in the business. You must also have an outstanding work ethic.
Amick Byram — feature film and theater actor and singer

To go out and do it. Don’t feel like you have to research, research, research.
Tom Bancroft — former Disney Supervising Animator, Director, Studio Owner, Character Designer, Author


There are 10-14 questions in each interview and some great back-and-forth discussion. To read the full interviews along with the rest of the book, click here to go directly to the Amazon page.

Official Book Launch: Calling All Artists

forpostSee details and purchase options here.
(or go directly to Amazon)

Well it’s finally here. Six months in the making (although I could argue decades) with many late nights and early mornings, encouragement from my wife, kids, and great friends, I’m proud to announce the official release of my first book: Calling All Artists. (See printed manuscript from last week at left.)

After compiling and editing 210+ pages (39,790+ words), setting the master manuscript up with all of the correct styles needed for e-readers, uploading to Amazon it’s finally ready for purchase.

It’s available for Kindles (and Kindle app on iPhone/iPad and other devices) at Amazon.com.


ENDORSEMENTS

I was extremely humbled by these generous endorsements from some very kind industry veterans. Some also have some amazing interviews in the book along with several other TV, Feature Film, Broadway, Music, and Video Production veterans!


An immensely practical guide for the creative in all of us. Todd Hampson’s work has blessed me and thousands of others – his writing about the nuts and bolts of being a working creative will bless many more. Highly recommended!

Phil Vischer — Creator of VeggieTales and What’s in the Bible?


When someone with Todd Hampson’s credentials and experience talks about creativity, I listen.  In fact, his new book, “Calling All Artists” was the kick in the pants I needed to move forward on my next project.  If you live a creative life (and all of us should), then I recommend the book.  You won’t regret it.

Phil Cooke — filmmaker, media consultant, and author of One Big Thing: Discovering What You Were Born to Do


Having been an adjunct professor in the cinema and media departments of two major universities, I know firsthand the positive impact this book will have on students.  Whether graduating from college or deciding what to do with your life, this book answers hard questions,  provides insightful information, and gives you life changing tips on how to make better choices and start a creative career in the 21st century.

Kathleen Cooke — kathleencooke.com, Co-Founder Cooke Pictures, cookepictures.com


Todd Hampson’s “Calling All Artists” e-book is a GREAT tool for anyone just getting into animation or even those that have been in it a while and want to reinvent themselves and/or reignite their passions.  As artists, we are not very good at looking internally or into the future, so planning our careers is a mysterious journey.  Todd really gets you to organize your thoughts and aline them with your talents!  That is THE path to success for any artist!  Additionally, his optimistic viewpoint toward the industry, and his excitement about it, is a breath of fresh air we all need to hear!

Tom Bancroft — former Disney Supervising Animator, Director, Studio Owner, Character Designer, Author


Todd Hampson listens and delivers! I have personally had the privilege of working with Todd and his company Timbuktoons developing an animated series for kids. He and his wonderful team were able to grant my every wish, and then some. The information he shares in this book will absolutely help artists on their creative journey.

Cassie Byram — actress, singer, song-writer, and Executive Creative Producer, Oodles World Inc.


Needless to say, I’m really excited about this book, most of all because I think it is going to help thousands of artists discover their creative calling and how to thrive in a creative career. I’m planning a few promotional events to help get the word out about the book but I couldn’t wait to share the news. Please tell your friends and share this link (http://ow.ly/zG06i) on social media to help get the word out!

 

 

Are You Part of the S5 Audience? A Must Read for Any Creative!

s5graphicMy goal as a Creative Career Coach is to help creatives find their calling and plan their education and careers based on their core marketable strengths, while living a fulfilling life and making the world a better place. S5 Represents the 5 key seasons a person in the creative industry needs to intersect with a mentor or Creative Career Coach.

High school and college career counselors are a great resource, but they have to be more concerned with a students credits, applications, grades, and requirements than they do helping creative students find their calling and core marketable strengths. Some colleges have great job placement and internship partner programs, but many do not. Once in a specific career, there are very few resources around to help people transition into the creative field from other fields, or to help struggling creatives find their way again.

Here’s a description of each of the S5 categories. Pinpoint which one you belong to and leave a comment below to let me know what resources you need to thrive as an artist!

1. SENIORS (High School)
Choosing a creative career track begins with the college or post-highschool training a senior picks. My goal is to get great resources into the hands of high-school seniors, school career counselors, and high-school art teachers.

2. SOPHOMORES (College)
College Sophomores have a critical window of opportunity to declare a major, switch majors, or even switch schools. Many sophomores realize they are in the wrong track, but are afraid to pivot because they have 2 years invested. Nothing could be worse than going 2 more years down the wrong creative track when they sense a change is really needed. I want to get advice, information, and resources into the hands, heads, and hearts of college sophomores to empower them to make sure they are being educated according to their core strengths, passions, and calling.

3. STARTING OUT
I know first hand that college training, though crucial to gaining employment, is only half of the education they need. Beginning a creative career and working “hands on” in the industry is the other half of the educational equation. I want to help prepare creatives for real world work, track down internships, help them develop relational skills and work habits to set them apart from the crowd, and find ways to get a foot in the door of their dream job! This is also a critical time to decide if graduate school is a good option.

4. STARTING OVER
After 13 years in a graphic design and illustration career, I found myself discontent and, through a process, wound up quitting my job to start an animation company. I’ve seen many people take the courageous step to transition into a creative field that better fits their passions and core strengths, or even transition from an unrelated career to one in the creative arts.

For example, one of our TimbuktoonCloud Team Members flew helicopters for the military for 12 years, then decided to pursue her dream of working in the animation industry! Another great friend and long time Timbuktoons Team Member actually went to Seminary and planned on working in a church, until he felt called BACK into the creative arts where he has thrived for over 12 years doing tons of meaningful work for churches, great companies, and great non-profits. Starting over can be scary and overwhelming and I want to help creatives who are making, or thinking of making, that transition.

5. STRUGGLING
Creatives are usually multi-talented. Creatives usually jump from one creative passion to another. Creatives often doubt their capability and have a hard time seeing their best creative strengths. Almost every creative I know gets to a point of frustration and confusion sometime in their career. They get stuck and need some help. I want to help this group of creatives get clear on their calling and core marketable strengths, and I want to help them develop a concrete game plan to help them thrive again.

I’ll have some great resources for my S5 audience in the near future, so if you know anyone who fits one of these categories, PLEASE encourage them to check out the blog and sign up for my e-news. If you are like me, you wish you had a creative mentor or coach intersect your life at one of these critical seasons of life.

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Let me know what you think. You can leave a comment below. If you leave a comment, do me a favor and list your creative arts field, and whether you are a student or a professional.

5 Character Branding Tips for Your Children’s Ministry

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We’ve all seen the power and appeal of an iconic character, and we all know the importance of effective branding for the world of specialty coffee and niche computers, but what does all of this have to do with my children’s ministry department? Well, more than you may think. Whether intentional or not, your ministry has a brand which can either help, or hurt your ministry’s mission. First, let’s define what a brand is.

Look up brand in the dictionary or on the internet and you’ll get several different versions. Traditionally, a brand is thought of simply as a type of product, or a logo (aka “brand mark”). It has commercial or pop-culture connotations. But a brand is much more than that. Those are pieces of a brand. Seth Godin, famous marketing expert (just google “Seth”, and his blog will be first on the list) defines a brand as, “the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”

You’re not selling a product or service. You are creating an experience…a touch point based, relationship driven experience. For what’s it’s worth, here’s my “Children’s Ministry Brand” definition: A children’s ministry brand is the totality of the story, vision, mission, promises, and goals of a specific local church expressed experientially thru the children’s ministry department.

A brand is much more than a logo. It’s the totality of what you stand for. It’s the essence of your mission. A brand has many visual touch points (like logos and collateral) that help convey your brand, but it is really experienced by all 5 senses. It’s about the total experience. How people are greeted, how easy the check-in process is, how safe the environment feels, how fun the visuals look, how connected your ministry feels to the rest of the church. The list goes on. But is branding Biblical? Obviously the term “brand” is not in scripture, but all of it’s components sure are.

Remove your modern day brand connotations for a moment. Now use your imagination to go back to the time of the book of Exodus. In chapter 31 we see where God called and appointed a man named Bezalel to be the chief artisan of the Tabernacle. Everything about how the tabernacle was made including the materials, colors, types of wood and precious metals, production of statues, priestly utensils, layout of the structure, and many other details were specifically dictated by God and performed thru Bezalel and other artisans.

That’s branding! Even things like, incense, the smell of burnt offerings, the details of the priestly garments, all were part of the tabernacle’s experiential “brand”. Knowing how the 5 senses impact humans, God wanted the Israelites to build a structure that accurately conveyed God’s character, mission, purpose, values, and promises. At the risk of sounding irreverent…that’s a brand!

If God went to that much trouble to impact those who came in contact with Him thru the old testament system, shouldn’t we go through that much trouble to leverage our ministry brand to facilitate the great commission? Our ministry environments should be well thought out touch points that support the mission of our church. Many churches do a great job at this and have taken the time to be intentional about how their brand impacts children and parents. But many have not. It’s well worth the time and effort to peel back the layers, think thru, plan, and execute an intentional brand for your children’s ministry.

Now…what about the character part? How do you “brand with character”? It’s no secret that in the realm of children’s merchandising, once an iconic character is established (think Disney, Pixar, or popular TV cartoon characters), companies line up to license the character(s) for use in their products. For example, Sponge Bob Square Pants is an $8 billion licensing franchise. He shows up on everything from clothes, to toys, to band-aids and macaroni and cheese.

I’m not suggesting that we attempt to license a children’s ministry character, but I’m pointing out the underlying fact that children connect with characters enough to drive a multi-billion dollar industry. What if children’s ministry leaders developed characters that helped support the brand (i.e. vision, mission and goals) of their church, while facilitating spiritual formation in the children that come in contact with their ministry?

Well developed cartoon characters have a long shelf life and multiple applications from outreach events, environment graphics and t-shirts, to motion media and curriculum. Well developed KidMin characters can positively change the trajectory of your ministry.

If this peaks your interest at all, I want to share 5 character branding tips for your children’s ministry. These are chronological steps with one step feeding critical information into the next step.

1. Perform a “Brand Audit”
This is a discovery process. It is a detailed analysis of your current brand and typically includes: internal and external surveys, a collateral audit, a language audit, and time spent with core leaders and stake holders to discover the vision and history of the ministry.

2. Develop a “Brand Guide”
Using the results from the Brand Audit, a 10-25 page Brand Guide is developed to establish key entry points to your brand. Brand Guides typically include: brand story, vision, mission, brand mark (logo), personality, color palette, typography, photography, and other key brand components.

3. Develop Brand Characters
Using the Brand Guide, you can develop characters that support and facilitate the brand. It is key to focus on concept and personality first, and visuals second. The development of characters for a brand typically includes: research and brainstorming, gathering reference material, concept art, settling on a direction, written descriptions of the character personalities and backstory, designing the characters, turnarounds (how each character looks from all angles), pose and expression sheets (to show the characters personality and range of emotion), final color art, character packs and exported art for print and other usage.

4. Plan an Internal Brand Launch
This is very important. To effectively roll out a new or updated brand, you must launch first to your team of staff and volunteers. Many of them should be involved in the entire process, but this is your in-house event to unveil the final product, talk to them about how to effectively communicate the brand, cast vision, and share the purpose behind the new brand. It also prepares your team to communicate the brand to the parents and children in your ministry.

5. Plan an External Brand Launch
This is the moment you’ve been waiting for. This is where you get to unleash the wow factor. You can launch the brand at strategic events such as a back-to school night, promotion Sunday, ministry orientation, or during a key holiday event like Christmas or Easter.

You might be saying. “Ok. This sounds awesome, but I don’t have the time or resources to pull it off. What am I supposed to do?” Well, there’s no doubt it will take some intentional planning, vision casting, and some effort, but don’t let that stop you. I have a saying that I use to motivate myself and others: “Anything is better than nothing.” Whether forming healthy eating, work out, or Bible study habits,…or intentionally branding your children’s ministry, “anything is better than nothing”. If this proposition seems overwhelming and out of reach, here are a few suggestions which may help:

Look first in your church body. You may have volunteers in your church with the exact skills and experience needed. Or, they may have key connections to companies or people who can help. God has a way of putting the right people in the right church body. I’m currently volunteering to help the children’s ministry at my church rebrand all of their environments with custom wall murals and branded characters. Find artists, or creative business owners in your church and ask them to help. You might be surprised at what you find.

Talk to other ministries that have gone thru rebranding or branding with characters and ask them about the experience and what resources they used. Study ministries you admire to see how they handled branding, and ask them for an informational interview. You would be surprised how willing people are to share information.

Plan for a rebranding phase as part of next year’s budget or as part of a new building campaign. There are logical times to walk thru a rebranding and/or character development process. Leverage those opportunities and plan effectively for the next decade and beyond. It will generate momentum and create a buzz about your ministry, attracting more people to your church to hear the message of Christ!

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What are your thoughts on “branding with character”? You can leave a comment below.

5 Character Design Tips

A few years ago I helped teach a workshop on using story principles and at one of the keynote sessions I found myself in the VIP section (for which I feel corny even saying) sitting next to Veggie Tales Creator Phil Vischer and watching veteran Disney animator Glen Keane give a talk about how he designed and animated Beast from Beauty and the Beast. It was a surreal animation geek-fest moment for me, and a rewarding experience I’ll always remember. For me, one of the key take-aways from Glen’s talk was the importance of identifying with the character.

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There are some great books on character design that I’ve personally read and recommend. Check out the resources page to see them. I’ve also gleaned various principles in art school, workshops, and sketch clubs. If you’re a character designer, you know that it’s a craft you never stop learning. Below, I’ve detailed 5 tips to great character design.

1. Know the character.
You can’t pick a direction until you understand the characters personality, backstory and key motivations. What do they want? What drives them? What are their strengths and weaknesses?

2. Use reference material.
Literally going to Africa (like concept artists did during development for The Lion King) is ideal for sketching Afican animals because you can study the real thing first hand. Most artists aren’t afforded that opportunity, so pulling reference from the web, books or other sources is the next best thing. Years ago I toured Big Idea (back in the Lombard, Illinois hay-day) and they used giant foam boards with all kinds of reference photos pinned on them. More recently, I toured Sony Pictures Animation in Culver City, CA, and there they develop large photoshop reference compilations, print them out with an oversize printer and mount them on large foam boards so they can be easily moved to an artist’s office, or set up for display in the pitch and review room.

3. Define the character type.
Is she a villain, hero, sidekick? Is he a main character or a supporting character? All of these considerations influence shape language, size comparison, posing, details, and other character design attributes.

4. Pick a shape language.
Shape language is a term used to describe the key shapes used to define the character’s form. This choice will be influenced by the previous tip as certain character types lend themselves to a certain shape language. The clearest recent example that comes to mind is DreamWork’s “Rise of the Guardians”. The “art of” book for this great movie does a fantastic job showing how each character has a specific shape language. This is the most overt description of shape language I’ve seen in any “art of” books. Usually it’s a bit more subtle, but it works so well for this film.

5. Push the character.
What I mean is…don’t settle for your first good design. Keep coming back to the character and see how far you can take the design. Tom Moore, creator/director of Secret of Kells detailed in their production blog about how he went thru several versions of key character designs and felt he was finished until a friend challenged him to push the designs further to develop a unique look for the film.

If its a cute character, what is the essence of cuteness? Simplify the character to its core…then do the opposite. The art direction and vision of the production (or comic book, or web short, or illustration) will determine the style and influence the design, but the main point here is to capture the characters baseline attributes.

If you want to read more posts about character design, I reviewed a CTNx workshop featuring famous character designer Carlos Grangel. You can view parts 1 and 2. I also reviewed another workshop featuring 6 famous sculptors in 2012, but the content is still extremely relevant.

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What other tips or resources have you found helpful as a character designer? You can post a comment below.