Friday, March 4, 2011

Life of a Designer: Where Can Inspiration Come From?

I've been getting emails and questions on deviantArt about how I come up with all the crazy characters you see here on the blog. My post on Lobster Jones got a great response and inspired readers to create their own characters (which fills me with joy), but the question I'd like to answer is... Where do you get the inspiration to design characters?

The answer, quite simply, is you look within. Who knows you better than you? Examine your strengths your weaknesses and even your insecurities. Nothing is off limits. For example, these four characters you see here are part of a story I've been developing for awhile now. Each of them is a side of my personality and here's how.

Thadeus (top left corner) was inspired by younger self. I always felt like I didn't fit in and that people didn't understand me. I felt like going to place where others could relate to me. Where my weirder traits came in handy. Luckily, I grew up but every now and then I still feel a little out of place in certain situations, but like Thadeus, we get by with our sense of humor and sarcasm.

Manchester (top left corner) is the leader; the guy that you count on to be there no matter the circumstances. My friends and family are very dear to me and like Manchester, we take our duties very seriously. Plus, my head is just as big as his. :)

Prudence on the other hand (bottom left corner) is a wild card. If she's in the right mood she can either be the fun center-of-attention or the worst trouble maker you're going to meet. She just doesn't want to grow up, there's just no fun in it.

And that leaves Ampersand, the ghost who is a little too cautious at times. His wackiness is only rivaled by his loyalty, but he's a pal for life.

So there you have it. A little window into what makes me me and how that gets infused into some of these characters. The real fun is when you find the bad guy inside and design some interesting and nasty villains. Hope you enjoyed!

Happy illustrating,

Dennis (aka tanoshiboy)

Do you ever look at yourself and find inspiration only to use it for a project or something unrelated to this post? We'd love to hear it!