Monday, April 29, 2013

How I Include Character 'Appeal'

When creating cartoon characters, I make them as appealing as I can. The goal is to create a character that the audience will enjoy watching or the reader will enjoy seeing. It's one of the ultimate goals of a cartoon creator: develop a character that the audience wants to see. I consider everything about them. Form, composition, design, expression, pose, exaggeration, and line quality. I get rid of details that don't help tell the story. I want the character to be easily read and their actions easy to comprehend.

I question the roundness of the form, the position of the arms and legs. What story am I telling? What is the character's mood? In Jenny's case, this means I imbue her with elements that together add up to create an accessible level of charm and charisma. Jenny has appeal. She is drawn in such a way as to make the viewer believe she is alive and thinking and may act of her own accord in an interesting way. Her pose, her facial expression, her wild hair and huge bow are all part of her likability and appeal. The lines that define her slightly pudgy body and her flared dress purposefully and deliberately add to her charm and attractiveness. Additionally, her expressions are easy to read and make for a better connection with her audience.

Admittedly, 'appeal' is entirely subjective and I will be the first to admit that not all of my cartoons carry the same level of charisma - but that doesn't stop me from trying, and that shouldn't stop you.

more on 'Character Appeal'

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