One of the most fun things about being an illustrator is the ability to draw cartoons. And the most fun thing about cartoons is sketching cartoon characters. All illustrators with a keen interest in cartoons aim to create cartoon characters of their own. While this is not especially difficult, the tricky bit is to create cartoon characters which will appeal to the target audience and carve out a space for themselves in their hearts. If you are an illustrator with this ambition, here’s how to plan for success!
Plan the character
The first step would be to do some basic planning with respect to the cartoon character. Decide on the type of cartoon you want to create – a realistic one or an entirely ‘cartoonish’ one? You could also plan on a more complex project like a graphic novel or comic book. Keep in mind that while these are popular genres in the market, they will require an immense amount of effort and patience to complete.
Plan the personality
After you are clear about the basic outline of your project, focus on giving shape to the personality of your cartoon character. Define your cartoon character well by creating a clear and complete biography before you begin sketching. It is important to have a history and a backstory for the character that the audience can relate to. These details help to get the personality of the character right and also help the audience to bond strongly with the character.
Plan the backstory
Make sure that you piece together all the details about the past, present and future of your cartoon character. Sketch your character in various backgrounds and across the timeline; the look of the character will differ depending upon the time and background. . The body language and verbal language used by the character is very important. It reflects the personality of the cartoon character and that too can change over time. If you get these details right, your cartoon character will have credibility and this is critical for success.
Get the feedback
Once you have made your decisions and finalized these aspects, you can finally put your pen to paper. Make a couple of outlines for your cartoon character and if you are not able to choose from the samples, get feedback from your friends or colleagues. You can ask them for their opinion on the cartoon character you have created and get them to describe the character from the visuals. Ask them what comes to their mind when they see the character and if their description matches the personality and the character history you had in mind, then you can be sure that you have been successful in creating a memorable cartoon character.
The most popular and iconic cartoon characters are the ones which we can relate to. If you need inspiration to think up one, then all you have to do is look around. Observe the people around you and those who pass you by every day. Inspiration can strike anywhere, anytime. So keep your eyes open and get inspired. And last but not the least – don’t forget to have fun!