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Character design


Character design involves creating the visual look of human and non-human characters for use in a variety of settings, such as sports mascots or for animated shows and video games. Care must be taken that the visual design matches the tone of the project and the personality of the character. 

This page shows some of my process for creating characters for Nora the Piano Cat.

Initial brief

After discussing the needs of the project, the client sent me some visual references to communicate what they were hoping for in terms of tone. They chose fun, colorful, simple imagery, so I used that as a base for my designs.


I drew dozens of sketch ideas and then chose my favorites to present to the client. They returned with feedback for me so I could continue refining the designs. Working with the client to refine the character takes the initial sketches into a more sophisticated form. 


Now that the basic shape and personality of the visuals have been decided, I do some rounds where I add color, tweak outfits, hair, and other things that might enhance the base we've created. This goes through another set of revisions with the client until we narrow down to a final version. 


This client wanted the animations to have an almost watercolored look. I did some more studies to come up with a way to show texture with the characters. Other clients might want a smooth look, or a more realistic one. It all depends on the needs of the project.


If the character is going to be anything but a single static image, turnarounds or model sheets are needed. This shows the character from multiple angles, so other artists can illustrate or animate the character while staying "on model" for consistency. Some designs may also necessitate exploration of the character's facial and body expressions in an expression sheet. These further tie down the base personality of the character.


This is the point where the "final product" that the character was designed for is made. This step may or may not involve me, depending on the project. Some projects are large enough to need a team of people, such as video game development, or an animated series, and they can use the design sheets to accurately bring the character to life in its final form.


I'm delighted to do character designs for a variety of things, especially if they involve education or imagination... or both!

  • I will not do NSFW characters, nor characters for NSFW projects.

  • I am unable at this time to provide 3D models, so my work is in 2D; you may have someone else 3D model the character I design for you.

  • I am unable at this time to provide animation services, but I can make short sequential comics or images where the character is unmoving for use on social media or for gaining interest in your Kickstarter, among other things.

  • If you have any other questions, feel free to ask at 

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