What’s the key secret behind a successful character concept?
Answer Tony replies
Creating characters involves using visual storytelling and design skills. Yet if I had to choose what aspect was the most essential, I’d say it’s thumbnailing. Getting out as many ideas as you can before committing to anything will help you avoid generic designs, and give you a better insight into what you’re looking for.
For this article I’m designing the personal bodyguard of some sort of techno highfantasy universe queen. While there are some aesthetics I already know I want (such as blue to reflect a calm demeanour), using a thick brush to quickly draw out lots of small silhouettes makes me realise I want strong triangles: such symmetry works well for a feeling of control. Furthermore, her armour will need something to imply she’s not a regular soldier.
I notice that designs with strange and dramatic shapes feel like rank insignia. Having those Galactus-style ears behind the head says to the viewer, “This person is someone of importance in some kind of within her military’s structure.”
A lot of what I felt was working about this design, was only discovered through making so many thumbnails.