Now Available! “Bringing Your Drawings To Life”

Pose Drawing Sparkbook Webinar by Cedric Hohnstadt

After months of work I’ve finally recorded and uploaded my new webinar, “Bringing Your Drawings To Life”. It was originally conceived as an optional reward for backers of my Kickstarter project (the Pose Drawing Sparkbook) but now it’s available for you to purchase and download as well.

The webinar is 90 minutes jam-packed with just about everything I know about making entertaining drawings. I’ve worked really hard to make it as helpful and informative as I can, including creating lots of sketches to illustrate the concepts.

It’s not a “how to draw” video, it’s about how to think as you draw. It expands on many of the ideas included in the Pose Drawing Sparkbook, such as:

  • Four ways to make your drawings more entertaining
  • How to think like an actor
  • Tips for making your drawings read clearly
  • Ideas for bringing out the personality in your characters
  • Understanding how your characters fit in the larger story
  • Recommended resources for further study

 

Here’s some sample clips:

The video is 90-minutes, HD, and recorded in .m4v format. You can purchase it below or in the Sparkbook store:

Quantity:  

$20.00 USD.
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Upcoming Webinar “Bringing Your Drawings To Life”

When I was raising funds on Kickstarter for the Pose Drawing Sparkbook, one of the rewards I offered my backers was a webinar called “Bringing Your Drawings To Life”. I’ve been working really hard to make this webinar and helpful and jam-packed with info as I can, including creating lots of sketches to illustrate the concepts. I want to cram this thing full with everything I know about making entertaining drawings.

After months of work I’m hoping to finally record and post it in the next few days. It will be available as a video download soon but you can pre-order it on my Store page.

For now here’s a small sampling of sketches from the webinar, along with the principle behind each:

Sketch by Cedric Hohnstadt

Contrast 
Add contrast to your sketches to make them more entertaining. Play around with size, personality, status, etc. Characters that are too similar will become boring fast.

Weight Lifting Sketch by Cedric Hohnstadt

Choose The Best Moment
Sometimes it helps to think of your character’s pose as a mini-scene with a beginning, middle, and end. Choose the moment in that sequence that has the most entertainment value. Sometimes instead of showing the actual action, it’s more interesting to show the moment just before or the moment just after.

Sketch illustrating how setting affects behavior

Setting Affects Behavior
Where your character is will affect how they behave. People act differently when eating at home than when eating at a fine restaurant. Where is your character? How might that suggest a more interesting pose?

Sketch of Crazy Aunt by Cedric Hohnstadt

Show Us Who Your Character Is
Use costume, props, and posing as shortcuts to tell us about your character’s personality.

That’s just a small taste of what’s in the webinar. Pre-order  and I’ll notify you as soon as it’s ready for download.

EDIT: The webinar is now available for purchase and download.

‘Sir Cumference’ Mascot Design

Sir Cumference character design by Cedric Hohnstadt

I sometimes get hired by business owners to create mascots for their companies and products. An appealing mascot has many benefits, several of which I’ve listed here.

Earlier this year I was hired by a blogger who is building a website about chronic pain and weight loss. He wanted a mascot for the blog who could interact with readers in a friendly, conversational tone. The idea was to create a humorous, jovial knight who is in a bit of denial about how seriously overweight he is.

Here’s some of the initial concepts I submitted:
Sir Cumference character concepts by Cedric Hohnstadt

And here’s a few illustrations using the final design (the last one is a badge for an upcoming blog series called “Not Safe For Breakfast”):

Illustrations of Sir Cumference Mascot by Cedric Hohnstadt

The website isn’t live yet, but when it is you can check it out at itmeansfat.com.

The Power Of A Mascot

mascots

As a freelance illustrator I work on a variety of projects, but my specialty is character design. I periodically get calls from ad agencies, design firms, and business owners wishing to hire me to design a mascot to help promote their product or service.

Mascots are powerful, which is why so many companies use them (like the well-known brands pictured above). Having a character or mascot to represent you in front of the public can have several advantages:

1. Mascots get attention – People are constantly bombarded with messages so you need to go the extra mile to stand out. Mascots get noticed. When people see a mascot they are more likely to stop and listen to what he/she/it has to say.

2. Increased brand awareness. A good mascot is memorable. If an appealing character can work its way into the public consciousness it will become an instantly recognizable symbol for a product. When you look at the Geico gecko you immediately think of Geico. You see the Pillsbury dough boy and think of gooey chocolate chip cookies. The company logo is barely an afterthought. The mascot says it all.

3. A friendly image. Mascots are fun! They are entertaining to watch and send a positive message. A likable character can instantly create a positive connection with your potential customers. It’s much harder to do that with only a logo.

4. Mass appeal. A good mascot can appeal to a wide demographic, across many age groups and backgrounds. Mascots appeal to children as well as adults, extending your brand message to a wider audience. A mascot can even transcend languages and cultures.

5. Lucrative licensing opportunities. If a mascot becomes popular it opens the door for all sorts of profitable merchandise (clothing, toys, etc.) that can make you money while at the same time raising awareness of your product. Mars Inc., the makers of M&M’s, recently opened an entire M&M’s retail store in New York City, thanks in large part to the popularity of their cartoon mascots.

If you think a cartoon mascot might be the right choice for you or for a client, download a PDF of my character design portfolio to view samples of various characters and mascots I’ve designed. You can also contact me about a free consultation, or download a free questionnaire. It’s designed to help you think through your brand message and also to give me a clear idea of what your needs are so that I know the best way to help you.

2013 Highlights and Accomplishments

This is a few days late, but I thought it would be a good time to pause and reflect on what an awesome and action-packed year 2013 turned out to be! Here’s a few of the highlights from my studio:

Illustration

Toy Design

  • I continued doing toy design and concept art for multiple Hasbro projects (which unfortunately I’m not allowed to show).
  • I did some packaging art and concept sketches for Crayola, which I also can’t show (yet).
  • I did get permission to show a bit of toy concept work for Toys-R-Us.
  • Some Cut the Rope  and Cars toys I designed for DecoPac, Inc. started appearing on cakes in bakeries all over the country.

Character Design

Misc

 

Whew! I’m exhausted just thinking about it all. This was one of the busiest years I can ever remember for my studio, but also one of the most enjoyable. I feel very blessed. Thanks to all of you who have supported me and shown interest in my work over the years. Here’s hoping 2014 is the best year yet!