I'm also really interested to start exploring character design and animation! I've stayed away from drawing people/human figures in the past because it's SO difficult to get proportions right and facial features in the right place but I've recently started doodling some people in my spare time, and found myself enjoying it quite a lot so hopefully this brief will teach me a lot about creating characters and help me discover new ways of drawing people/human figures.
I decided to do a little bit of research to get a bit of an overview at how characters can be portrayed, I already had a few people in mind to have a look at but have enjoyed discovering new illustrators and there approaches to working with character.
I've been following Kristyna's work for a while, having a few of her prints and comics at home I've always loved the way she portrays her characters, they can be quite comical sometimes and have a playful energy about them. More recently I've been seeing Kristyna post these weird little shaped characters that she does in her sketchbook for fun. I really love how she's letting the shapes dictate how she creates her characters, having to figure out how to fit facial features, expressions and other things into these weird lava lamp kind of shapes. I think this is a really fun, creative way to approach character design, rather than just going with something that looks immediately like a person, Kristyna has taken random shapes and fit her characters around them. Also the page with the cat characters is pretty cute.
I got bought Philippa Rice's book 'Soppy' as a gift for my birthday, I'd seen her illustrations for the book floating around the internet somewhere but was desperate to get my hands on an actual copy. The characters in the book are so cute and relatable, I absolutely love how she's kept to a simple colour palette and how the facial features of her characters are minimalistic but still manage to convey so many emotions and facial expressions.
I really loved Hellen Jo's girl gangs that we were shown in the briefing. I like how her style of illustration is quite realistic, meaning you can give a bit more detail to things like hair, clothes and general overall appearance. I liked the colours she's was working with and pretty much just loved the idea of some bad-ass girl gang illustrations.
I had a quick search on Pinterest for some examples of character through anthropomorphism. I stumbled upon Elise Gravel's work and fell in love with this cute little hedgehogs she'd illustrated. She's used simple lines and shapes to create some lovely illustrations that convey emotions really well. I especially like the grumpy/angry looking hedgehogs.