@CharDesignClub Challenge & Super Resource Page

The Wonderful World of Character Design Talks: Super Resource & Challenge Page

>> Edit Nov 2018: All the formatting for this blog post is broken since transferring from Blogspot; apologies.
The tumblr for @CharDesignClub Challenge Submissions are here. If you find what I do here valuable and helpful,
please pass it on, share it & let other people know about this page!
I hope it helps you, even if a bit!

More importantly, let’s learn together ^o^


NZGDC17: Let’s get serious: the Wonderful World of Character Design Talk Part 1
GCAP17 Let’s get serious: the Wonderful World of Character Design Talk Part 2
Oh no. I refuse to watch myself and I want to hide in a hole!! Aah!!
But hey my almost train-wreck Character Design talk is finally out for everyone! ^o^; Kind helpful feedback welcome! :’) And everyone is welcome to join into the @CharDesignClub Challenge (:
This is my Character Design heart & passion. Pay it forward.
Please share the itch.io link! ❤
Not that I actually expect it, but Paypal donations to my gmail welcome 😉

It’ll probably go towards art books, art materials, spending money or even towards making stickers to give out. It’s too hard to price this booklet anyway! Plus I want to make this as accessible as possible and I’ll leave it up to you whether you want to donate or not.I am genuinely happy if you just found it useful.
And super grateful if you decide to share the itch.io link around. ❤

And melt into a puddle of heart felt feelings if anyone actually decides to donate anything. In the .0000001% chance it happens, I’ll just end up reacting in emojis because I’m out of words haha
21st November 2017 Ramble:
The slides & bonus content are done!! Hooray!! 
I want to curl up into a ball and never look at this pdf again! :’) 
I proofread them thoroughly 3-4 times [each time taking a handful of days] and countless times more on top whenever I had to take notes, cut out content, rehearse for my talks or proofread from the start all over again. 
I’m…so…tired. So tired. I want to move on.
But I’m so happy I am getting this out there finally. I feel relieved.
Finally I can focus on making & learning art again for myself, draw fanart & doodle 27 left of 30 cats [yes still doing #MeowBurpDoodle studies] without worry for next year! Maybe I have some art to post but mostly I’ll be hibernating from posting *regular* art and from doing commissions until whenever I’m ready next year (: That’s why I’ve been quiet with posts.
My heart aches and longs to actually take it easy and eventually create for myself on a regular basis. And maybe collaborate on cool projects that interest or mean a lot to me. 
That’s my goal next year: keep learning and post regularly. The usual 😉 
But I need a break to feel creatively energised again 🙁
I have decided to not continue my MeowFinders/Character Design Challenge attempt as something came up and I have things I need to dedicate my creative time on. I had to reprioritise and I do not want to overwork myself and juggle with too many things. But I will definitely provide my time and feedback on your submissions during early next year! The slides and content are out now so you have no excuses – deadline stays as 31st January 2018 [more details at this Challenge/Resource page] so do your best and post your progress! 
Lastly for any further #CharDesignClub shenanigans, resources, showcasing your submissions & updates follow the dedicated twitter @CharDesignClub! (:
I’ll stop posting about it on my personal/art social media channels so you don’t have to follow me directly! 
If you’re still hanging around, I appreciate and thank you ❤
Share my hard work around…please? :’)
Okay virtual support & hugs are also welcome.
YES it’s done!!

Character Design Club Challenge[s]

Peeps of NZGDC17 & GCAP17 & everyone welcome!!

23rd Sept NOTE on the NZGDC extension:
I felt that I would get no one participating and there will be more content after GCAP anyway. So to make it fair, I’ve extended the deadline for NZGDC, GCAP & all interested peeps to the one date. ;D Streamline it to one date and if no one does anything then ah well! 
I will also add an additional bonus challenge after GCAP hehe!
Plenty of time for people and myself to get learning!
The LAST extension for 31st January 2018:
I figured I needed more time to organise my slides [by mid/late November 2017] and maybe the GCAP recording will be out too. Regardless, I think late December/January would be a quiet time for most of us and personally I’ll be able to join in properly too! We will all have ~3 months to make something wonderful and learn together. ^o^
Sure this is definitely targeted at concept/character design artists but I encourage anyone to do this too! It’s scary but do it anyway!!
The focus is creativity & learning! ^o^
Please don’t rush and take your time! I won’t be posting up submissions at the submissions blog until after the due date to further emphasise and support that this is NOT a race to get the submissions out there first.
This is meant to be difficult and challenging – it’s up to you to adjust the challenge appropriately for yourself! Make sure you’re pushing your boundaries and learning new things! Don’t stick to your comfort zone! (:
By submitting your artwork, you agree that you are posting your own intellectual property and work [not someone else’s work]. The blog does not claim any ownership of your submission! You completely own your own work and ideas! The tumblr is just a collection work from artists keen to learn and practice character design. (:
Please allow time for things to process as I will be queuing and spacing out posts…I don’t know if people are even going to jump on board! It’s just little me managing the tumblr!
0) Hey introduce yourself
  • What you enjoy? And what you do?
  • Are you a NZGDC17 or GCAP17 attendee? Or someone I know? Or are you from the internet? So I know who’s actually joining in!
  • What you are good at and how are you pushing your comfort zone? What art styles do you enjoy/want to focus on? Hey you’re probably better than me 😉
  • What are you looking to improve and how are you tackling that here?
1) Include a paragraph [small text file in the zip file] on your thought process, discoveries and struggles with your Character design journey. 
  • What hypothetical/current game project is your character from?
    • What is the target audience?
    • Why & how are you considering this?
  • What can they do/abilities? What are the functional requirements for animation/in-game needs?
  • Their personality, heart & role? Who is your character? Their story, if there is a need?
  • Planned Art Style? Why and how did you end up with this art style at the end? What inspired you and why?
    • Level of Realism/Stylisation?
    • Shape, Colour, Design Choices?
  • Answer applicable questions from the Great, Effective, Deep Character Design Venn Diagram
  • What is your planned process? What did you end up doing? Why?
  • What are you currently happy with in terms of your growth?
  • How did you adjust this challenge so that it would be useful for you?
  • What are you going to focus on next to improve on these designs? Will you continue with this little project?
  • Share your lessons so far that you’ve learned!
2) Character Design a set of 3 characters for your favourite kind of hypothetical game! Explore & figure out a suitable art style for them.
Pick from the following archetypes/roles:
  • Player/Main Character
  • Main Character’s equal counterpart/Rival/Antagonist/Great “Evil”
  • Main Character’s Sidekick/Best Friend/Supporting Lead
  • Romantic Love Interest/Companion
  • Pet
  • Mentor/Guide/Parental Figure/Family
  • Boss Character
  • Wildcard NPC
  • Party Member
  • Quest Giver/Informant/Merchant NPC
  • Ally Minions
  • Enemy Minions
  • and more
3) Submit maximum 10 images [tumblr limit] that showcase your Character Design journey in a zip file [labeled with your name]!
I will have to manually submit your work & links into a blog post :0
The following is a page numbered guide:
  1. Moodboard/research/market research with description of the characters’ essence and function in the game project
  2. Several small thumbnails for each character [make lots of pages but be selective & put together two pages to submit]
  3. Same as previous page
  4. Design and art style experimentation & concept iterations for Character 1
  5. Design and art style experimentation & concept iterations for Character 2
  6. Design and art style experimentation & concept iterations for Character 3
  7. Expression and Pose Sheet for Character 1
  8. Expression and Pose Sheet for Character 2
  9. Expression and Pose Sheet for Character 3
  10. Final designs & posed character cast line up
4) Links to your website, social media, tumblr, etc so people know where to find you! 😀
And so I can tag you appropriately for your work!
Social Media) Tagging @CharDesignClub twitter, post your WIP work on your own websites, blog and social media!!
Regardless I’ll get your submission via tumblr in the end! I check social media sparingly so my responses will be delayed anyway 😉
After the above deadline, 
  • I will schedule out submissions on the tumblr! Feel free to link to your dedicated post when it gets published!
  • I will find a way [as an afterword on your dedicated blog post or Youtube video of everyone’s submissions whichever’s more practical] where I will ramble my thoughts about your work and progress! 😀
Thanks so much for participating!
See Appendix 1: Prompts for Ideas! if you’re stuck for ideas and need a starting point but it’s recommended that you brainstorm further on your own – more fun that way!! (:
And if no one is doing this challenge well I tried!
I’ll do it alone using my own deadline anyway! 😉

Struggling? Cannot finish?

Hey it’s okay!! It just means you have room to grow and you’d still learn something from it!! Don’t burn out because of this! :<
Just post what you have so far and share your experiences!

Do make the most of your strengths and push it!
Go intense within your own Art Style!

It all comes down to what you want to practice!
Sketches are fine. You are focused on drawing & designing and with clarity and purpose, not fully rendered marketing illustrations!

I’m feeling everyone will kick my butt with outstanding work with this challenge but I strive to kick that voice of insecurity to the side!! Let’s remind ourselves that this is not about the awesomeness of others or trying to impress other people, but you are doing it for your personal growth and progress as an artist and creative. (:

Let’s have fun. Let’s keep learning.
Let’s keep going!! ^o^

Feedback/Discussion on Submissions: a few weeks after the submissions deadline is over!

Here are the character design submissions themselves:[N/A since I don’t have any yet; it could be just me 😉 ]
Inspirational Character Designers &/or Artists: for me! 
[wip as I got more to add when there’s time]!

NOTE: What’s more important for you is to find your own inspirations, research and find designs that appeal to you! Your tastes are probably different to mine (:

I have so much I want to learn from them [so many tutorials/courses!]
But I have my whole life ahead of me…there’s always time to learn and grow! 😉

In no particular order; don’t be lazy – Google them! 😉

  • Claire Keane
    • I love her work on Tangled and her versatility in every project she does! She does wonderful children’s books now <3
  • Chris Oatley
    •  I don’t know him in person but he’s super genuine & generous
  • Rad Sechrist
    • sweet artist & wonderful teacher – toony things can be wonderful!
  • Stephen Silver
    • generous character designer and genuine teacher
    • got incredible Character Design courses and books! Especially his book on his process “The Silver Way”.
  • Tom Bancroft
    • does a lot of character design books!
  • Nico Marlet 
    • for his charming character Designs especially for Kung Fu Panda & How to Train your Dragon
  • Justin Rodrigues
    • love his shapes and sense of design in his characters
  • Nate Wragg
    • for his shape based colourful designs!
  • Jeffrey “Chamba” Cruz
    • just amazed at what how he stylises things with so much volume, colour and anatomy is top notch :0
  • Cory Loftis
    • He is incredible with his expressive character designs & artistry 😀
    • Wreck it Ralph, Frozen and Zootopia are animated films he’s worked for :0
  • Brittney Lee
    • Wonderful use of colours, shapes and fun illustrations
    • gloriously beautiful paper cut art
  • Pascal Campion 
    • Inspiring & Colourful illustrated Personal Story Moments
  • Glen Keane
    • incredible & brilliant artist who designed/animated Ariel [The Little Mermaid], Paperman Characters, his work for Tarzan, Tangled and many more
  • Loish/Lois van Baarle
    • I love her incredibly superb work, she keeps evolving into wonderful heights <3
  • Ryan Lang 
    • super incredible concept artist for animated movies & film
  • Jin Kim
    • his amazing character design work on The Princess and the Frog, Tangled, Frozen, Big Hero 6, Moana
  • Victoria Ying
    • her concept art, illustrations, style, colours <3
  • Tracy J. Butler
    • for her incredible & expressive work for Lackadaisy and generosity
  • Chris Sasaki
    • for his Character Design Masterclass & expressive wonderful art
    • his tenacity despite rejections too!
  • Ari Gibson
  • Shaun Bryant
    • love his character designs and work!!
  • Paul Richards
  • Teddy Newton
    • his Character designs on The Incredibles & Ratatouille!
  • Chris Sanders
    • notably for his storytelling & work for Mulan, Lilo and Stitch, The Croods
  • Gigi D.G.
    • for her charming, wonderful, cute and colourful work on Cucumber Quest
  • Anthony Holden
    • for showing how making comics about your life is cool & the wonderful toony style he has 😀
  • Robert “Lunatique” Chang
    • for teaching me in general about digital painting; he helped me realise that I really don’t enjoy doing super realistic paintings but there is incredible value to be had from studying and painting from life to add believability to your artwork 😀
  • Bobby Chiu
    • for making projects happen, that being an outcast is okay; for his streams and his advice to kick that small voice out of the way. Still I’m not great at talking to people I don’t know well D:
  • Claire Hummel
    • For her historical Disney princess series, Bioshock: Infinite and writing & resources on historical costume design
    • For her Art Direction & Artistic Awesomeness at Campo Santo ^o^
  • Ian McCaig
    • amazing concept art and work for Star Wars and how he has a genuine and wonderful generous soul
  • Simon Stålenhag
    • movie quality & amazing illustrations of a retrofuturistic world of machines!!
  • Mari Shimazaki
    • her beautiful & stylish Bayonetta & Bayonetta 2 concept art <3
  • Jesse Aclin
    • wonderful character designs [shapes & sweet proportions] for Kubo and the Two Strings, The Book of Life!
  • Wouter Tulp
    • Stylish & expressive character designs and amazing control of detail & rendering!
    • love his sense of volumetric, stylised and expressive forms and character design!!
  • Isaac Orloff
    • for his environment and architectural designs are full of character, colours and superb shapes!
  • Mike Yamada
    • how he stylises cats & vehicles and all the cute, colourful, well constructed, believable designs!! 😀 He teaches, designs, leads, illustrates for games, children’s books and animated features. Animated film work: Big Hero 6, The Croods, Kung Fu Panda 2, How to Train your Dragon
  • Eric Guillon
    • for his stylish character design work on the Despicable Me series; notably Gru’s dog, Lucy Wilde and the Minions [whether you are annoyed by them or not, they are super well designed!]
  • Robert Ryan Cory
    • for his character design work for SpongeBob SquarePants & Gravity Falls Season 2
  • Armand Serrano
    • for his incredible, believable designs, art, storytelling, world building and versatility – super masterful work
  • John Nevarez
    • terribly kind and lovely artist when I went to his workshop!!
    • work packed with a fierce foundation of artistry and storytelling ^o^
  • Marc Davis
    • Designing and animating Snow White, Bambi, Thumper, Flower, etc,
    • almost all the main Cinderella characters
    • work for The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, Alice & eyeglasses creature,
    • Tinkerbell and Mrs Darling of Peter Pan
    • Sleeping Beauty [Aurora, Maleficent, Diablo the Raven, Prince Phillip, King Stefan, and Queen Leah]
    • Cruella de Vil and Anita from 101 Dalmatians
    • and many characters of the Disney theme park rides too!
  • Milt Kahl
    • one of the great legends of animation and design
    • Especially The Jungle Book’s Mowgli, Baloo, Bagheera, Shere Khan, King Louie, monkeys, Kaa, the Vultures
    • Many characters of Robin Hood, Tigger of Winnie the Pooh, The Sword in the Stone [Merlin & Madam Mim!!], One Hundred and One Dalmations, Sleeping Beauty, Lady and the Tramp, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, Bambi, Pinocchio
  • Shiyoon Kim
    • incredible design and animation of characters from Tangled, Wreck It Ralph, Frozen, Big Hero 6, Zootopia
  • Borja Montoro
    • for Tui Montonui, Matai Wasa and Sina character poses & expressions on Moana based on an approved design – “Art Packeting” to prepare it for modelling, rigging and animating with believable & consistently designed poses and expression sheets with personality and acting
    • He did this for Zootopia and many other characters too;
  • Kei Acedera
    • for her cute and wonderfully intricate designs and illustrations <3
  • Kekai Kotaki
    • ultra incredible and detailed and magical art, armoured knights and dynamic illustrations
  • Norman Rockwell
    • for his legendary tenacity, process, expressive illustrations and character
  • Carlos Grangel
    • Character development for Road to El Dorado, Madagascar, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Corpse Bride
  • Nikolas Ilic
    • Glorious shape design and personality in his characters
  • Meg Park
    • Just happiness in her appealing character designs!
  • Arnold Tsang
    • Blizzard Concept Artist & Assistant Art Director – drew the Character designs for Overwatch
    • If you’re doing art you are excited and care about, who needs personal art on the side
    • Going without posting on social media is possible if you’re established in the industry
    • when everyone seems better than you, go with what you care about and good at to hone down on instead
  • Anthony Jones
    • Great artist who kicks your butt to just do it and be healthy too
  • more to come as I remember them

Appendix I: Prompts for ideas [sourced from internet lists]!
[see talks/slides/your own research & brainstorm further!]

NOTE: A lot of these prompts are sourced from the internet so there’s definitely repeated topics below. Excuse the bad formatting 😛

Game Mechanics/ Acting/ showcasing Ability/ Poses to show Personality

  • defending
  • talking
  • sympathy
  • dying/game over
  • dodging
  • crouching
  • idling/boredom/relaxed
  • sitting
  • jumping
  • attacking
  • sleeping
  • falling
  • add your own actions/expressions – countless possibilities!
  • “cool” selling marketing pose that nails the character’s personality

More WIP Extra Resource Links: all the learning!

Special Thanks: for people who helped & encouraged me along the way!

  • NZGDA team
    • for inviting me to NZGDC17 with flights subsidy and…it’s the reason this whole thing even started!! I never considered giving a talk, let alone two!!
  • GDAA team
    • for accepting me for some reason; HOW?! :’)
  • my brother
    • my great soundboard since he plays more games than I do!
  • Lauren Clinnick
    • for helping me sound more awesome than I am in my talk pitch, proofreading & signal boosting
    • for helping me with Passport Applications & her generous presence alone <3
  • Kalonica Quigley
    • my wonderful travel buddy & fellow speaker for her own talks too!
  • Liam Esler
    • for encouraging me that I can do it and just knowing that I’ll be supported for my talk <3 Thanks for the moral support!
  • Kristy Prause
    • for the encouragement boost & listening to me ramble about my vague NZGDC “lesson plan” 😉
  • Ben Britten
    • his encouragement & kind advice and that failing doing a talk is okay…! :’) Apparently I will live…?? Thank you!
  • Charlie O. – for the kind sweet emails (:
  • those who answered my Character Questionnaire/Questions
    • 9 kind peeps who were able to help expand my own perspective!
    • Thanks kindly Lauren, Scott & Gerald for responding ^o^
    • Not sharing other names [for the itself questionnaire was anonymous anyway] as I wanted honest answers more than making it a public thing
    • it’s a subjective thing after all so it’s not results I can share as a “credible piece of research” haha
    • the results, although not that many, definitely helped in making sure I was on track too! To stay focused on with what I wanted to talk about with character design
    • I realise how little influence I have since I struggled to get people to respond…until the deadline was over haha. Sure I was sad at having tumbleweeds for a while. But I am humbled though that I’m a nobody I guess – I’m just a normal person 😉
  • Mighty Peeps!
    • for their best wishes & letting me use Mighty stuff my talks and letting me take some annual leave to prepare for my talks haha
    • some of them actually attended my talk to support me!! Wah!! <3
  • Sally-anne Kellaway 
    • for being my GCAP talk mentor!! <3 Thank you for coming to my talk & the wonderful moral support!
  • Timothy Best 
    • for his kind support, for attending my talk & for suggesting that I should do a pdf booklet! (:
  • Scott Bartlett
    • for being a supportive & kind art buddy!! He attended! ^o^
  • Scott Beca 
    • for being a great work buddy & listening to me ramble about my speaking worries! He was also speaking too for something else haha
  • the Loveshack team
    • for coming to my NZGDC talk to support me [Claire!] & I think a few went to my GCAP one…? But I don’t know :0
  • And a few more I mention in the pdf