This past fall, I had the absolute pleasure of working with Jardin Terrariums to create and design a gnome character to represent her business. The goal was for the gnome to act as a mascot and to help illustrate some instructional steps for her products. The final goal was to have one character designed in four different poses. Each pose goes through how to build your own terrarium!
I thought it would be fun to share a bit of my process while working on this commission. My first step was really focusing on shape and creating a range of characters just using circles and triangles. I wanted the character to be friendly and approachable (using those circles), but still recognizable as a gnome (that triangle hat!). Ideally, keeping it loose to focus on gesture, personality and proportion. The client really liked the short, stouty gnome with the very big hat. As requested, I made a couple of adjustments to the proportions so he had more of a torso and legs to show.
Next- outfits! This step was really fun as I was able to sit and think, what kind of gnome is he? I went down the traditional route, a more whimsical and fairy-like gnome, and played with terrain and occupations as some inspirations. I kept the color palette with more earthy tones to really keep the focus on plants and nature. The final design was the first initial outfit with a change in hat color to being a rusty red.
Lastly, we finalized the poses to work for her instructional sheets. She wanted the gnome to be able to go through the process of assembling a terrarium using her DIY kits: from choosing the right jar, to assembly of the dirt and sand, and finally, finishing with a beautiful terrarium that is yours! I also wanted to add a more generic, welcoming pose to be universal for her business. A friendly face to welcome new customers!
Overall, a very enjoyable commission to work on. I love designing characters and the worlds they live in, so this commission felt more like a personal project than it did work!