Brief's key points:
- Collect as many examples as possible of different characters
- Decide upon a character you would like to create.
- Draw your character from the front, from the side and from the back.
- Draw your character over and over again. Get into role and adopt their mood, expression and personality.
- Then try another, different, character. Make sure you come up with someone completely different, not just the same person in different clothes.
The creative process
To begin with this exercise I collected as many different characters as I could in the form of a Pinterest board. I quickly realized that it was a good idea to look into movies or tv shows where characters are well defined and perhaps a bit easier to identify than people in from everyday life. I collected women, men, young and old. Also some characters like dancers, pirates or secret agents. After the visual research I started by warming up with some quick gesture sketches using the website line-of-action.com/ .
For my first character I was inspired by Jay Gatsby, main character of the novel and movie The Great Gatsby. I love this story and think the character is wonderful, so I really enjoyed the process.
I started by creating a grid in which I draw a person with regular proportions so then I could distort it to evoke the terms that I chose where relevant for the character. I made him slim, tall, with long neck and long legs. In my opinion he looked sleek and smart.
For my second character I wanted to choose a very different person so I thought about a little girl. I looked at some references from the movie Matilda, which I also really liked and took inspiration from there to create my character. In this case instead of using a grid system, I based my illustrations around geometric shapes, including and oval shape, square and triangular shape. I finally decided to use the oval shape.
In a second page I illustrated my character doing some different activities and some close-ups of the face trying to convey different emotions.
I'm Astrid Badell-Suhr, designer and illustrator, specialist in communication