Style Exploration for Disney Figurines

A toy licensing company asked me to help them explore ideas for a line of Disney figurines. They wanted the characters to be recognizable but at the same time stylistically unique, almost as if the characters all belonged in the same world. It sounded like a fun challenge.

I started by noodling around just to see what might work and what wouldn’t. First I tried to see what I could/couldn’t do with Mickey Mouse, followed by Ralph and Vanellope from Wreck-It-Ralph:

After some client feedback we eventually settled on a “look”. Next I began exploring possible poses for the figurines. They asked that the characters appear to interact with each other visually, but with poses that would also work as stand-alone figurines:

Eventually I worked up sketches and turnarounds for twelve characters. I can’t show them all but here’s what we wound up doing with Dash and Violet from The Incredibles:

Unfortunately the plug was pulled before the project could make it across the finish line. But it was fun while it lasted. (Images are posted with client permission.)

Cow Mascot for Mountainside Farms

Earlier this year I was contacted by Mountainside Farms, a regional east coast dairy company, to help them design a new mascot for their packaging. They had been using a cow character designed by another illustrator but decided it was time for a new look. They asked me to design a cow who’s face could be plugged into the existing packaging layout.

Cow Mascot-Rough Character Concepts

I started by doing a bunch of rough sketches experimenting with various shapes and poses. Some were stronger than others but that’s part of the process.

I knew that the general public would likely only see the cow’s face but it felt more natural to design the full body. If, in the future, the client ever decided they wanted to use a full body pose for anything I didn’t want to be put in the situation of having to Frankenstein a new body onto the head. I think you get a stronger and more pleasing result when the body and head are designed together.

I also tried Photoshopping various heads onto the existing packaging. I also experimented with variations on different background shapes, cowbell or no cowbell, etc.

After some back and forth with a few refinements, here’s how the final design turned out:

Mountainside Farms New Mascot

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Looking for a mascot for your brand or business? I can help! Read about The Power of a Mascot or fill out this questionnaire to help me understand your needs.

Inktober Sale on Pose Drawing Sparkbook, Expanded Edition

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We’re in the final stretch of Inktober!

Doing a drawing a day for an entire month is a big challenge. It’s easy to run out of steam after a couple of weeks. To help encourage you to finish out the month, I’ve marked down the Pose Drawing Sparkbook, Expanded Edition (ebook). It’s now 50% off (was $15.00, now only $7.50) from now until the end of October 2015. The Sparkbook includes hundreds of drawing prompts as well as six mini-chapters of tips and info designed to inspire you to put more life and personality into your drawings.

I hope this helps you finish Inktober with a bang!

Sketchbook Update: Colt Sniper, P.I.

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Another silly detective sketch for the Character Design Challenge group on Facebook. This guy had his own cheesy cop show in the 1970’s.

#characterdesign #sketch #detective #drawing

More Art for Goldfish Swim School

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A few years ago Goldfish Swim Schools hired me to create a mascot named Bubbles (see a few of the concept sketches here). They liked him so much that they’ve hired me to illustrate Bubbles on stickers and tattoos,  window clings, and coloring pages. They even made him into a plush doll.
Recently the client gave permission for me to post some more Bubbles art. Above are a few holiday themed costumes. I also created several more “coloring book”-style pages, a few of which are shown below.

If you’ve got company or brand that could use a mascot, drop me a line. I’d love to chat about how I can help you out. You might also want to read my blog post, The Power Of A Mascot

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Sketchbook Update: Old Mafia Hit Man

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I decided to join in on the Character Design Challenge over on Facebook. This month’s theme is “Gangster”. I thought it would be fun to imagine an old hit man who still wears out of fashion turn-of-the-century clothes. The costume was inspired by this photo: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/390405861423365659/

You can join the Character Design Challenge here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/CharacterDesignChallenge/