For many aspiring artists, becoming a character designer in their field of choice is often the most popular choice. I believe this is because everyone has a favorite character in a television show, book, or movie, and as an artist, you want something that you create to be that beloved. This is especially true of original characters invented by the artist or author. Chances are if you have created a character, you have spent considerable time with that character in your head, and you know exactly how that character should “feel.”
The truly difficult step is communicating those “feelings” to another person. Whether that person is someone that you wish to employ as an artist, or if you are the artist, communicating those “feelings” to your chosen audience. Quite frankly, communicating how that character “feels” is exceptionally difficult, and even if you can succeed in describing it, portraying it through a visual medium is another beast entirely. There are certainly masters in the craft of creating characters, but I personally believe there is a massive margin for improvement on an individual basis because communication can always be improved. Creating someone else’s creative baby is daunting.
So how does one succeed against those odds? Every designer/artist has a predisposition or bias that is communicated in their art. This is often described as “style.” While I would argue that trying to develop a “style” isn’t an effective use of time, I have to concede that when an artist is hired, how they think through visual problems should be considered for your project. A client should know as much as they can about the artist that they want to employ. Consider the following questions: does an artist’s style meet the tone of your story? Would their design choices help influence a reader’s interpretation of the character in a beneficial way? Or would the artist detract from the story?
I can’t necessarily give you the answers to those questions, as they all depend on the project, but as someone pursuing the craft of bringing other people’s ideas to life, I can promise my very best efforts. I can also say that I worked very closely with the client of this project to create characters that they believed were appealing and that fit the style of their project. If you are looking for someone to create people or assets for your next project, feel free to reach out to me and we can talk about your expectations and perhaps we can flesh out that character that you have been hanging out within your head!