Updated: Jun 14
Wow, Superhero Week has come and gone in a flash. Thanks to everyone who followed along with me and thanks to those of you who came and found me on Instagram. You guys are total rocks stars. Today I wanted to take a look at what the process looks like when developing characters for an actual client. Sure it’s fun to draw whatever comes to mind but what happens when you’re doing it for a real live client? Let's take a look at the process.
Step one - Concept sketches.
Step one is always sketches. My client for this project is Chewy.com.I’ve worked with them for many years. When they were starting their company I designed a set of mascot characters for them to help market their services. The main character Mr. Chewy is supported by a cast of secondary of characters that often appear alongside him. Mr Chewy is a lovable dog character who is sort of the guy in charge of the team. He’s had lots of adventures from vacationing on the sunny Florida coast, to sled rides in the frozen north. A few years ago he even ran for President of the United States of America.
assignment we needed for Mr. Chewy to become a superhero (does this guy get around or what?). Anyhow I discussed the project with the creative director and we came up with a few ideas we thought might work. The problem came down to deciding between and action pose or a classic hero pose. To help my client decide I put together a few sketches that show what he might look like in each.
Step two - Tighten up!
The superhero pose turns out to be the winner. With that resolved, it’s time to tighten things up. I like to use Adobe Illustrator when i get to this stage. I find that vector art is really the best for these situations. The flexibility of the program makes it the obvious choice.
Step Three - Time to color.
With the tight sketch approved its time to move onto color. In my head I see Mr. Chewy in red, yellow white, think Flash or Shazam.
My client at Chewy.com however is thinking more of a blue and red combo like Superman. Superman is arguably a more popular and recognizable figure so to help settle our uncertainty I work up both color combinations. When it comes to recognizable super heros we need to be careful not to step on any toes. There are lots of licensing issues involved with them and the last thing we want to do is get tangled up in any sort of copyright infringement issues. To avoid conflict we stay away from color combinations that we know would be considered infringements. To help the artwork pop I keep Chewy mostly in red and yellow and add some blue for accents. I submit my art to my client and they approve! High fives all the way around! Job well done.