"..it's my imagination on the outside…"- Louise

Character Design 101 exercise – from my NESCBWI workshop

Here's the idea – You make a grid. Without any thought- no planning – just let your hand go…. make some shapes. Free form, regular- crazy… whatever.

THEN – again, don't think, just look. Who do you see in the shapes? Draw. Draw fast. No thinking. No worry. No mistakes here.

I am happy to see so many awesome folks use this exercise this week. I am going to post their efforts next week.

Thanks to Jennifer Morris for taking something away from my workshop and turning it into an “Illustrator's Character Game”.

  1. Oh I love these!! My faves Rhino, Turtle and Octopus — well actually they are all adorable!! Have fun on your adventure! Give Han a big smootch for me!

  2. Your characters came out great! I love them all :) This is a great warm up; I’m so glad that you and Jennifer decided to share it. When I use to teach art,I would get the students to play the squiggle game on the first day. One person makes a squiggle with their eyes closed then hands it off to someone else and lets them turn it into a character. Not my idea of course, but it was a fun way to loosen everyone up. Even if they thought that they couldn’t draw, they could make something from the squiggle. It’s not as intimidating as a blank page ;)

  3. Love this exercise! I’ve formed a plan and it includes making myself have fun with this every week!
    Wish I could’ve been at your workshop, I heard the cookies were great too!
    Linked back to ya from here: http://lyndaslines.blogspot.com/2012/08/doodleaday-august-17-faces.html
    Best wishes for continued success.

  4. OMG – these are fabulous! But this is why I can’t draw! Totally didn’t see anything in those shapes except the one you turned into a bird beak – that one looked like a carrot to me :)

  5. When I was a kid, a kids show host on tv would have kids send him a squiggle, and he would turn it into a great drawing. I was mesmerized and I started doing it myself.

    Read your post on PiBoIdMo–I’ll remember it when the demons of self-doubt creep in. I saw your art at the NJSCBWI conf (2011?) and knew it was the cream of the crop.

  6. This is fantastic! What an ingenious way to jump into illustrating. I’ve always wanted to learn how to illustrate, but I never knew how to start–this totally solves my problem. It immediately starts ideas flowing!
    Thanks so much for sharing!

  7. Love the idea. Thanks for sharing it with us. :-)

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