Thursday, February 28, 2013

Character Development: Using What Worked in the Past

For a long time, I've needed to develop a witch character for my upcoming eBook, "Bladimir Blarfarg and the Worm Wire Glasses". Making a good cartoon witch character isn't easy, especially when its a story for children.

The character of Witch Nazel needs to be a kind, helpful and happy witch. She is a crucial character to the story so she can't be too ugly because children would hate her. She shouldn't be too cute and pretty - that would make her more of a fairy then witch.  And since I always want to write humorous stories that make children laugh, she MUST be funny. Knowing these features I needed for the character, I still struggled to put it all together and get the right look.
One of my many Witch sketches: This one was too thin and lanky to use.
I noticed I was making my witch sketches too thin and tall. Thinking how Witch Nazel would interact with Bladimir, (who's a short stocky monster), I realized the layout needed to be more compact. Most picture book eBooks are read horizontally then vertically. So I needed short, stocky and funny . . . that's when I remembered an old favorite character of mine: Chef Gordon Baloo.
The transformation of creating Witch Nazel from key features of an old favorite, Chef Gordon Baloo.

Chef Gordon Baloo was a character I created long ago. I have always loved the look of this character and have made cartoons, animation clips and one of my old website's used him as a company mascot. So the answer was easy, take Chef Baloo's best features and dress him up as a witch.

Witch Nazel was born . . .