LIVESTREAM: Character Design Basics for Comic Artists

Are you an aspiring comic artist struggling with basic character design? Do you even know what the basics ARE?

Well, strap in and join me on this live stream! I’ll walk you through what I’ve learned in 8+ years of drawing comics. Plus, I’ll show you some of my favorite character designs in media.

“But I don’t have time to watch an entire archived live stream!” Well, I DO encourage you to set the time aside to watch this. But here are some important bullet points to keep in mind:

  • The Silhouette Test – this is a tried and true method, and is even used by Disney’s animation team. Basically, does the silhouette of your character stand out in a lineup?
  • Symbols – what symbology is present in your world? How does that affect the character? Do they wear colors or symbols that resonate with them?
  • Contrast – If you’re designing multiple characters, how can you make them stand out from each other? Can you have different or complimentary colors to each character? What if one character styles their hair up, but the other lays it down? etc.
  • Similarity – If you’re designing a team, how can you indicate that – but still have them stand apart from each other? What elements do they have in common? WHY are they in common?
  • Simplify – when you draw comics, keep the design SIMPLE. You will be drawing these characters repeatedly. Don’t make it complicated or you will hate yourself.
  • And finally… Be Open-Minded and Be Curious!

I hope this helps you on your creative journey. Thank you for watching and reading!

You. Are. Awesome.

LIVESTREAM: Character Art Stream

Join me in this archived live stream as I draw character art for a new project. In this art stream, I’m drawing for The Character Compendium.

The Character Compendium is a new personal project of mine. It will compile as many character designs as I can fit into one book. With this book, I aim to simplify life for game masters and dungeon masters. Just open the book to any page, take a character, and BOOM! Instant NPC for the players to interact with.

Heck, any of these characters could also be a good jumping-off point for players to make their own characters.

This is a similar concept if you’re familiar with some of my previous Inktober sketchbooks, like Gods & Spirits or Witches. (Both books are available through my Ko-Fi shop, by the way.)

As this project grows, I want to add more content specific to role-playing games for each character. Specifically, I want to add basic stat blocks. All in due time, though!

I hope you enjoy this live stream. Thank you for watching and reading!

You. Are. Awesome.

Coming This Week…The Sticker of the Month Club!

A selection of stickers for the Sticker of the Month club.

Thank you to the fans on the latest livestream for helping to come up with this idea. Coming soon, (like, if all goes well, this should launch on July 2), the Sticker of the Month Club!

See, after that livestream, I had the thought, “Stickers were super popular at the Mini Pop-Up Event. Why not a Sticker of the Month Club?”

I did the math, and once I did, I thought, “HOLY BANANA PANTS, WHY DIDN’T THIS HAPPEN SOONER?”

Here’s what I want to do:

Each month, subscribers get a sticker in their mailboxes, along with a personalized thank-you note.

The cost? $10 a month for subscribers. That $10 will cover the sticker AND shipping/handling. (This price point is for USA patrons. There will be a separate tier for internationals). Subscribers also get access to my Tiny Dinos Discord server and shout-outs in the credits for KickStarter projects.

For fans who already give $10+ per month through Ko-Fi... Well good news! I can add you automatically to the Sticker of the Month Club if you’re interested! No need to go to a separate site to pledge.

My goals with the Sticker of the Month Club are:

  • to offer something cool and different to subscribers,
  • to engage with folks in a unique way,
  • to have new offerings at convention and author appearances,
  • to have another source of income so I don’t have to do (so many?) DoorDash shifts.

Now, let me answer some other questions:

Some folks had originally pitched a “T-shirt of the month club,” because another artist had some success with it. I want to address that real quick by saying: First, everyone and their brother does a T-shirt business. They’re oversaturated. To the point that a business educator told me once, “Don’t go into T-shirts.” I’d like to do something that stands out instead.

Also, T-shirts are not as environmentally sound as folks think they are. It takes a LOT of resources to make T-shirts, and despite the best efforts of lots of folks, most of them end up in landfills.

Not to mention, I live in a small apartment. I don’t have room to store extra shirts. And to folks who say, “Well, you could get a print-on-demand service to do it,” I’d rather not this time, for reasons I’ll get into in a second.

If you’re wondering, “Are you going to do the art AND the logistics?” Yes. I’ll make the art and mail these out to subscribers. I already have a printer for these stickers, because I’ve printed with them before and REALLY liked their quality and pricing. I also already track inventory for my convention appearances, so I’m comfortable with that step already. (Not to mention that I’m used to tracking customers – things that sound creepy, but aren’t – because of KickStarter reward fulfillment).

Plus, if I print extra stickers each month, I can post the remainder for sale on Ko-Fi and take them with me to conventions.

Should this idea EXPLODE, I’ll revisit this arrangement. But I’m comfortable with this idea. Right now, I don’t expect this Sticker of the Month Club to overtake The Legend of Jamie Roberts in popularity. I have the bandwidth to do both (especially since I don’t work at NeverEnding).

Excited? I hope so!

I’m announcing the official launch of the Sticker of the Month Club on my email newsletter when it’s ready, so if you want on board, go sign up to get the news first.

Like I said before, if you already give $10+ per month through Ko-Fi, I can add you to the Sticker of the Month Club automatically. Hit me up at kelcidcrawford@gmail.com if you want to sign up.

Broke? Share this news with your sticker-loving friends!

Got more questions? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you for reading.

You. Are. Awesome.

Falling A Twee Bit Behind on Some Things…

here's a picture of an art piece in progress. The 11 inch by 17 inch paper has a monster depicted whose body is mostly made of leaves. Next to the canvas is a tin full of colored pencils.

I want to talk a bit about how to set goals to be…more realistic. Because I have fallen a twee bit behind on a few things.

First, I wanna’ talk about this piece, pictured at the top.

Right now, the title is (tentatively), “Cryptid of Leaves.” I started this piece all the way back in 2019. So…it’s been A WHILE. I worked on it, then set it aside, because those leaves ALONE took effort to draw. And then I thought, “Let’s color this with colored pencil! That’ll get the look I want to achieve!”

And past me thought I could have this done in a month. On top of everything else I have going on. Which…(insert laughter here).

I have only worked on this in my free time, when I have the urge to do it. So I’m shifting the goal for this piece: I want it finished by…the end of October.

Why so late? Because I still have KickStarter rewards to fulfill and other books to put together. Speaking of which…

Second, I want to talk about the PDF for The Legend of Jamie Roberts, volume 1.

For KickStarter backers, I had said, “Oh this should be delivered to you by the end of May!”

It’s June 1st now. The PDF still needs put together. Oops.

To be fair, May was a big transition month. I quit working at NeverEnding (long story), and shifted back to freelancing full-time. Still, getting my freelance sea-legs back can only explain so much. All I can ask is please, continue to be patient. The PDF should still get done by the end of June. I’ll go more in depth about the process in a KickStarter update tomorrow.

Third, The Legend of Jamie Roberts.

So…I’m out of buffer. The month of May had some unexpected events that prevented me from keeping up with my usual production schedule. That means right now, I’m making the next updates as the story is going. That’s not a place I like to be in.

Does this mean that The Legend will get a temporary hiatus? I don’t know. But I’m tempted to have a short, two-week break from regular updates just so I can build the buffer back.

…Maybe I’ll just do that. Expect a more solid decision tomorrow, with The Legend’s usual Wednesday update.

I’ll end this here before this post gets too long. Thank you for stopping in! And thank you for your support.

You. Are. Awesome.

No New Streams for Two Weeks

thomas and jamie, the main characters of The Legend of Jamie Roberts, are asleep in their tent.

That’s right – there will be NO new streams for the next two weeks.

I am, as experts would say, VERY tired.

After back-to-back-to-back KickStarter campaigns – one of which I did two streams a week for – I need a break.

Other Project Updates

The Legend of Jamie Roberts will still update once a week on Wednesdays. Plus the email newsletter will still send out once a week on Fridays.

I had new designs for BreeBree Bootique on hiatus for April (because of the KickStarter madness). New designs will be coming next week.

Other than that? Don’t expect too much of a peep from me, except for KickStarter updates. I’m still making things to fulfill rewards.

So When Will Streams Come Back?

No solid dates yet. But I’m thinking…sometime around May 22nd maybe? I have a big announcement to make around that weekend.

….And that’s all I’ve got for now! Thanks for reading, and for your understanding.

You. Are. Awesome.