Please help me de­sign and paint a to­tally orig­i­nal-look­ing video game bad guy! Mar­guerite Blooth, Bel­gium

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Tony replies

A com­mon ques­tion! And con­sid­er­ing that I’ve de­cided to de­sign this par­tic­u­lar de­struc­tor in the form of a bath toy, it’ll have to be blow­ing some­thing up or the whole piece will be too adorable. It’s in our na­ture to trust cute things, but some rub­ber ducks just want to watch the world burn.

On the upside, ref­er­ence won’t be too big of a deal. If you can find a toy store, they prob­a­bly have one. Aside from the duck, it’s re­ally just a mat­ter of find­ing the right en­vi­ron­ment for the chaos.

Com­pos­ing the el­e­ments should re­flect what you’re try­ing to say about the monster. If the mes­sage is, “He’s big, he’s pow­er­ful and he’s go­ing to de­stroy us all,” then fo­cus on how you can specif­i­cally con­vey those three things.

To get the sense of ‘ big’ across, we show our duck tow­er­ing above the build­ings. For ‘pow­er­ful’, a fo­cal point should be his abil­ity to blow things up. As far as ‘ he’s go­ing to de­stroy us all’ – well, in this in­stance we can just put the two pre­vi­ous parts to­gether and let the magic hap­pen.

Come up with a list of three key el­e­ments for your bad­die be­fore start­ing. My guy is big, pow­er­ful, and a nat­u­ral-born de­struc­tor!

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