Fri. Jun 14th, 2024

Designing your own character can be a thrilling and rewarding experience. Whether you’re creating a character for a role-playing game, a comic book, or a video game, the process of bringing your imagination to life can be an exciting journey. In this guide, we’ll take you through the steps of designing your own character, from concept to creation. We’ll cover everything from creating a backstory to designing your character’s appearance, and everything in between. So, whether you’re a seasoned creator or just starting out, this guide has something for everyone. Get ready to unleash your creativity and bring your character to life!

Step 1: Brainstorm and Conceptualize

Gathering Inspiration

Researching popular characters is a crucial step in the process of designing your own character. This allows you to gain a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t, and can provide inspiration for your own character design. To begin, you should research a wide range of characters from various mediums, such as movies, TV shows, comics, and video games. Take note of the design elements that stand out to you, such as clothing, accessories, and hairstyles.

Once you have gathered a few examples of characters that you find interesting, it’s time to analyze their design elements. Consider what makes each character unique and how their design contributes to their overall appearance. Look for patterns and trends in the design elements of the characters you have researched, and think about how you can incorporate these elements into your own character design.

It’s also important to identify what you like and what you want to achieve with your character design. Think about the personality and backstory of your character, and how their design can reflect these traits. Consider the setting and context in which your character will appear, and how their design can fit within that world. By identifying what you like and what you want to achieve, you can begin to develop a clear vision for your character design.

Creating a Concept

Sketch out your ideas

One of the first steps in creating a character is to sketch out your ideas. This can be done through simple sketches or even just jotting down notes. It is important to have a visual representation of your character to help guide the design process. This can also help you see how different elements of the character design work together.

Consider the character’s purpose and personality

Another important aspect of creating a character is considering their purpose and personality. This can help guide the design process and ensure that the character is believable and relatable. For example, if the character is a superhero, their personality and purpose may be to protect the city from evil. This can influence the design of the character’s costume and accessories.

Develop a backstory to help define the character’s appearance

A backstory can also help define the character’s appearance. This can include things like their occupation, background, and personal experiences. For example, a character who is a former soldier may have a more rugged and battle-worn appearance. A character who is a scientist may have a more technological appearance. A backstory can also help create a more complete and well-rounded character.

Step 2: Choose a Visual Style

Key takeaway: Designing your own character involves several steps, including brainstorming and conceptualizing, choosing a visual style, designing the character’s features, iterating and refining the design, and bringing the character to life through expressing their personality and storytelling through design. To create a unique and memorable character, it is important to gather inspiration, choose a specific art style, and design the character’s features, clothing, and accessories. It is also important to seek feedback and critique from others, finalize the design, and market and promote the character effectively. By following these steps and continually expanding your skillset, you can create a unique and captivating character that will leave a lasting impression on your audience.

Deciding on a Aesthetic

When designing your own character, one of the first steps is to decide on a specific art style that will guide the visual design of your character. This can include a wide range of styles, such as anime, comic book, or realistic. The art style you choose will not only affect the look of your character, but also the overall tone and feel of the story.

Here are some steps to help you decide on a specific art style for your character:

  1. Research examples of characters in the style you are considering. This will give you an idea of what the style looks like in practice and how it can be used to create a character.
  2. Consider how the style will affect the design of your character. For example, if you choose a realistic style, your character will likely look more grounded and naturalistic, while a comic book style may give your character a more exaggerated and stylized look.
  3. Think about the tone and feel of the story you want to tell. Different art styles can convey different emotions and moods, so choosing a style that fits with the tone of your story is important.

By carefully considering these factors, you can make an informed decision about the art style that will best suit your character and the story you want to tell.

Creating a Color Scheme

Choosing the right colors for your character is an essential part of creating a visually appealing and memorable design. The colors you choose should not only fit the character’s personality but also the story and the world they inhabit.

When creating a color scheme, consider the following:

  • Color psychology: Colors can evoke different emotions and feelings in people. For example, red may represent passion and energy, while blue may represent calmness and tranquility. Consider the emotions and feelings you want your character to convey and choose colors that complement those emotions.
  • Consistency: Choose a color palette that is consistent with the character’s design and the story. For example, if your character is a superhero, you may want to choose a color scheme that is associated with superheroes, such as red and blue.
  • Contrast: Choose colors that provide contrast and create a visually appealing design. For example, if you choose a light-colored background, choose darker colors for the character’s clothing to make them stand out.

To create a color scheme, start by choosing a base color for the character’s clothing or skin. Then, choose complementary colors that will provide contrast and balance to the design. Experiment with different color combinations until you find one that works best for your character and the story.

Remember, the color scheme you choose will play a significant role in how your character is perceived by the audience. Take the time to choose colors that fit the character’s personality, the story, and the world they inhabit.

Step 3: Design the Character’s Features

Facial Features

Designing the facial features of your character is an essential part of creating a unique and memorable character. Here are some tips to help you design your character’s facial features:

Determine the character’s age, gender, and ethnicity

The age, gender, and ethnicity of your character can greatly impact the design of their facial features. For example, a young child may have a rounder face with larger eyes, while an older person may have more defined facial features and wrinkles. Gender can also play a role in the design of facial features, with males typically having broader jaws and stronger facial features, and females having more delicate features. Ethnicity can also influence the shape and structure of a character’s face, with different cultures having unique facial features and characteristics.

Sketch out different facial expressions

In order to create a well-rounded character, it’s important to sketch out different facial expressions for your character. This will help you to understand how your character’s face moves and how different emotions can be conveyed through their facial expressions. Try sketching your character with a neutral expression, as well as with expressions such as happiness, sadness, anger, and surprise.

Decide on a unique facial structure

In order to make your character stand out, it’s important to decide on a unique facial structure. This could be a unique shape to the character’s face, such as a prominent chin or a high forehead, or it could be the character’s eye shape or the shape of their nose. Consider what makes your character unique and how their facial features can reflect this.

Remember, the design of your character’s facial features is an important part of creating a unique and memorable character. By following these tips, you can ensure that your character’s facial features are well-designed and help to bring your character to life.

Body Features

Designing the body features of your character is an essential aspect of creating a unique and memorable character. The character’s body type, profession or lifestyle, and any unique physical attributes will all contribute to their overall appearance and personality.

Body Type

The character’s body type is an important aspect of their design. It can convey important information about the character’s personality and lifestyle. For example, a muscular body type may suggest that the character is physically fit and athletic, while a slender body type may suggest that the character is more intellectual and refined.

When designing the body type of your character, consider the following factors:

  • Height and weight: These physical attributes can give a general idea of the character’s overall size and build.
  • Proportions: The character’s proportions can affect how they appear to others and how they move. For example, a character with long limbs may appear more graceful and agile, while a character with a stocky build may appear more sturdy and powerful.
  • Body shape: The character’s body shape can also convey important information about their personality and lifestyle. For example, a character with a pear-shaped body may suggest that they are more nurturing and emotional, while a character with an hourglass shape may suggest that they are more sensual and alluring.

Profession or Lifestyle

The character’s profession or lifestyle can also influence their body type. For example, a character who is a professional athlete may have a muscular and toned body, while a character who is a writer may have a more sedentary lifestyle and a less physically fit body type.

Consider the following factors when designing the character’s profession or lifestyle:

  • Physical demands: The physical demands of the character’s profession or lifestyle can affect their body type. For example, a character who is a construction worker may have a more muscular and rugged body type, while a character who is a pianist may have a more slender and refined body type.
  • Daily activities: The character’s daily activities can also influence their body type. For example, a character who is a dancer may have a more toned and flexible body, while a character who is a chef may have a more rounded and plump body type.

Unique Physical Attributes

In addition to the character’s body type, you may also want to consider any unique physical attributes that can make your character stand out. These can include things like scars, tattoos, birthmarks, or other distinctive features.

When designing unique physical attributes for your character, consider the following factors:

  • Meaning: The unique physical attribute can have a specific meaning or significance to the character. For example, a scar on the character’s face may represent a past trauma or adventure.
  • Placement: The placement of the unique physical attribute can also convey important information about the character. For example, a tattoo on the character’s arm may suggest that they are rebellious or nonconformist.
  • Function: The unique physical attribute may also serve a specific function in the character’s life. For example, a character with enhanced strength may be able to perform physically demanding tasks that others cannot.

Clothing and Accessories

When designing your own character, it’s important to pay attention to their clothing and accessories. These elements can help to define the character’s personality and story, and can also serve as a visual shorthand for the audience to understand the character’s background and motivations.

When choosing clothing for your character, it’s important to consider their occupation, social status, and personal style. For example, a wealthy businessman might wear a suit and tie, while a homeless person might wear ragged clothes. The clothing should also fit the character’s personality and the story you want to tell. A confident, outgoing character might wear bright, bold clothing, while a more reserved character might wear more muted colors.

In addition to clothing, accessories can also be a great way to add depth and complexity to your character. Symbolic accessories, such as a cross necklace or a Star of David pendant, can help to convey the character’s beliefs and values. Functional accessories, such as a backpack or a pair of sunglasses, can help to show the character’s occupation or lifestyle.

When designing your character’s wardrobe, it’s important to create a balance between consistency and variety. You want the character to have a distinct style, but you also want to be able to mix and match different pieces to create new looks for different scenes. Consider creating a mood board or sketchbook to help you visualize different outfit combinations and to keep track of the character’s wardrobe over time.

In conclusion, the clothing and accessories that your character wears can play a significant role in defining their personality and story. When designing your own character, take the time to carefully consider the clothing and accessories that will help to bring your character to life and make them unique and memorable.

Step 4: Iterate and Refine

Feedback and Critique

When designing your own character, it’s important to seek feedback and critique from others. This can help you identify areas of your design that may need improvement and make revisions that will strengthen your character’s overall design. Here are some tips for gathering feedback and critiques:

  1. Share your design with others: Share your character design with friends, family, or fellow creatives. You can share sketches, concept art, or even completed designs. Ask for their thoughts on your character’s design, and be open to constructive criticism.
  2. Consider suggestions for improvement: Take the feedback you receive seriously, and consider making changes to your character design based on the suggestions you receive. Be open to trying new things and exploring different design ideas.
  3. Revise your design based on feedback: Once you’ve gathered feedback and made notes on what you’d like to change, revise your character design accordingly. This may involve tweaking small details or making major overhauls to your design.

It’s important to remember that feedback and critique are essential parts of the design process. They can help you refine your character design and make it stronger, more interesting, and more compelling. By seeking out feedback and critiques, you can ensure that your character design is the best it can be.

Finalizing the Design

Once you have created multiple sketches and chosen the best one, it’s time to finalize the design. Here are some important elements to consider when finalizing your character design:

Make sure all elements of the character design work together

It’s important that all the elements of your character design work together to create a cohesive and believable character. This includes the character’s physical appearance, personality, backstory, and role in the story. Make sure that each element supports and enhances the others.

Consider the character’s pose and expression

The pose and expression of your character can communicate a lot about their personality and mood. Choose a pose and expression that accurately reflects the character’s emotions and actions. You can also experiment with different poses and expressions to see which ones work best for your character.

Polish the final design with small details

Once you have all the elements of your character design working together, it’s time to polish the final design with small details. This can include adding textures, shading, and other details to make the character more lifelike and interesting. You can also experiment with different color schemes and materials to find the one that best fits your character.

In conclusion, finalizing your character design is an important step in creating a believable and engaging character. By making sure all the elements work together, choosing the right pose and expression, and polishing the final design with small details, you can create a character that will capture the hearts and minds of your audience.

Step 5: Bring Your Character to Life

Expressing the Character’s Personality

Choose a Unique Name for Your Character

Choosing a unique name for your character is the first step in expressing their personality. A character’s name can reveal a lot about them, such as their background, culture, or social status. It’s important to choose a name that fits the character’s personality and reflects their role in the story. Consider the following tips when choosing a name for your character:

  • Research different names and their meanings to find one that suits your character’s personality and background.
  • Consider the cultural context of the name and how it might affect the character’s identity.
  • Avoid using common names or names that are too similar to other well-known characters.

Develop a Distinct Voice and Mannerisms

A character’s voice and mannerisms are essential in expressing their personality. These traits can reveal a lot about the character’s background, social status, and emotional state. Here are some tips for developing a distinct voice and mannerisms for your character:

  • Choose a tone of voice that reflects the character’s personality and background. For example, a character from a wealthy background might speak in a more formal tone than a character from a working-class background.
  • Consider the character’s age, gender, and cultural background when developing their voice and mannerisms.
  • Use specific details to describe the character’s voice and mannerisms, such as the way they speak, their gestures, and their facial expressions.

Show the Character’s Emotions Through Their Design

A character’s design can reveal a lot about their emotions and personality. Consider the following tips for showing the character’s emotions through their design:

  • Use color to express the character’s emotions. For example, red might represent anger, while blue might represent sadness.
  • Use facial expressions to show the character’s emotions. For example, a character might have a furrowed brow to show anger or a smile to show happiness.
  • Consider the character’s body language and posture to express their emotions. For example, a character might slouch to show depression or stand tall to show confidence.

By following these tips, you can effectively express your character’s personality and emotions through their name, voice, mannerisms, and design. This will help bring your character to life and make them more relatable to readers.

Storytelling through Design

Designing a character is not just about creating a visually appealing appearance, but also about telling a story through the design elements. To bring your character to life, consider the following tips for storytelling through design:

  • Consider the character’s backstory and motivations: A character’s appearance can reveal important details about their past and motivations. For example, a character who has lived through a traumatic event may have visible scars or a guarded expression. Consider the character’s history and what events may have shaped them into who they are today.
  • Use design elements to tell the character’s story: Clothing, accessories, and other design elements can provide insight into the character’s personality and background. For example, a character who values practicality may wear functional clothing and carry a utilitarian backpack, while a character who values fashion may wear designer clothing and carry a luxury handbag. Consider how each design element can add to the character’s story.
  • Make sure the design reflects the character’s arc: A character’s appearance should change and evolve as they go through different experiences and challenges. For example, a character who starts out wearing ragged clothing and a dirty bandana may gradually upgrade to nicer clothes and a more polished appearance as they achieve their goals. Consider how the character’s design will change over the course of the story.

Marketing and Promotion

As an artist, you know that creating a character is only the first step in bringing them to life. To truly bring your character to life, you need to market and promote them effectively. Here are some tips to help you do just that:

  • Showcase your character on social media: Social media is a great way to reach a wider audience and promote your character. You can share your character’s design process, sketches, and concept art on platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. This will give your audience a behind-the-scenes look at how your character came to life and will help them connect with your creation on a deeper level.
  • Share the character’s design process and inspiration: Sharing the design process and inspiration behind your character can help your audience understand the thought and effort that went into creating them. You can create a blog post or a video that shows the evolution of your character’s design, from the initial sketches to the final product. This will give your audience a sense of the hard work and dedication that went into bringing your character to life.
  • Create promotional materials, such as posters or merchandise: Promotional materials are a great way to get your character’s name out there and create a buzz around them. You can create posters, t-shirts, or other merchandise featuring your character that fans can purchase and wear or display. This will help to build a community around your character and make them feel more real and tangible to your audience.

By following these tips, you can effectively market and promote your character, bringing them to life in the eyes of your audience and helping them become a beloved part of the pop culture landscape.

Step 6: Apply Your Design Skills

Practicing Character Design

Draw and Redraw Your Character from Different Angles

One of the key aspects of character design is the ability to create a consistent and believable character. To achieve this, it is important to practice drawing your character from different angles. This will help you to understand the structure of your character and how it moves. By drawing your character in various poses, you can also experiment with different facial expressions and body language, which will add depth and personality to your character.

Experiment with Different Styles and Techniques

Another important aspect of character design is experimentation. It is important to try out different styles and techniques to find what works best for you and your character. You can experiment with different brush sizes, colors, and shading techniques to create a unique look for your character. Additionally, you can try out different drawing software or traditional mediums to find the one that you are most comfortable with.

Study Anatomy and Body Language to Improve Your Skills

In order to create realistic and believable characters, it is important to have a strong understanding of anatomy and body language. This will help you to create characters that move and behave in a natural way. You can study the human form and anatomy to improve your drawing skills and understand how the body works. Additionally, you can study body language and facial expressions to add depth and personality to your characters.

Overall, practicing character design is a crucial step in creating a successful and unique character. By drawing and redrawing your character from different angles, experimenting with different styles and techniques, and studying anatomy and body language, you can improve your skills and create a character that is both believable and unique.

Expanding Your Skillset

Expanding your skillset is crucial in the world of character design. By continually learning and improving your abilities, you can stay ahead of the curve and create unique, captivating characters. Here are some ways to expand your skillset:

  1. Learn new software and tools for character design: Keeping up with the latest technology is essential in any creative field. Research and experiment with different software and tools that can help you streamline your workflow and enhance your designs. Some popular software for character design include Adobe Photoshop, Procreate, and Clip Studio Paint.
  2. Study the work of other character designers: Look to the work of successful character designers for inspiration and guidance. Analyze their designs, techniques, and approaches to understand what makes them successful. You can find examples of great character design in movies, TV shows, video games, and comic books.
  3. Attend workshops and conferences to improve your skills: Joining the character design community and attending events like workshops and conferences can be an excellent way to learn from professionals and network with other designers. These events often feature presentations, panels, and workshops covering various aspects of character design, giving you the opportunity to learn from the best in the industry.

By continually expanding your skillset, you can ensure that you remain competitive and innovative in the world of character design. Whether it’s learning new software, studying the work of others, or attending events, there are always opportunities to improve and grow as a character designer.

Networking and Collaboration

  • Join online communities for character designers
    • Participating in online communities dedicated to character design can be an excellent way to learn from others and gain inspiration. Websites like DeviantArt and ArtStation are popular platforms for artists to showcase their work and connect with other designers. By joining these communities, you can share your own designs, get feedback, and discover new techniques and styles.
  • Collaborate with other artists on projects
    • Collaborating with other artists can help you develop your skills and learn new techniques. You can work together on a shared project, such as designing a video game character or creating a comic book series. This not only allows you to practice your design skills but also to learn from the strengths of other artists and incorporate their ideas into your work.
  • Attend events and meet other designers to learn and grow together
    • Attending events and conferences focused on character design can provide you with valuable opportunities to network with other designers and learn from industry professionals. These events often feature workshops, panels, and portfolio reviews, which can help you improve your skills and gain insight into the industry. Additionally, meeting other designers in person can help you build relationships and create a supportive community of fellow artists.


1. What are the basic elements of character design?

The basic elements of character design include the physical appearance, personality traits, backstory, and motivations. Physical appearance includes details such as the character’s height, weight, body type, facial features, and clothing. Personality traits are the character’s unique characteristics, such as their temperament, behavior, and attitude. Backstory refers to the character’s past experiences and events that have shaped them into who they are today. Motivations are the reasons behind the character’s actions and decisions.

2. How do I create a unique character name?

Creating a unique character name involves considering the character’s background, personality, and cultural influences. You can also use naming generators or take inspiration from literature, mythology, or popular culture. It’s important to choose a name that reflects the character’s personality and background, and is easy to pronounce and remember.

3. How do I create a character’s physical appearance?

Creating a character’s physical appearance involves deciding on their height, weight, body type, facial features, and clothing. Consider the character’s gender, age, and occupation, as well as their cultural background and personal style. You can use reference images or inspiration from popular culture to guide your design.

4. How do I develop my character’s personality?

Developing a character’s personality involves considering their traits, motivations, and backstory. You can also use writing prompts or role-playing exercises to explore the character’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Consider how the character would react to different situations and how their personality would influence their actions and decisions.

5. How do I create a character’s backstory?

Creating a character’s backstory involves imagining their past experiences and events that have shaped them into who they are today. Consider their family, education, relationships, and significant life events. Use these details to create a timeline of the character’s life and identify key moments that have influenced their personality and motivations.

6. How do I make my character relatable to readers?

Making a character relatable to readers involves creating a character with whom readers can identify. Consider the character’s motivations, desires, and conflicts, and make sure they are universal and relatable. Show the character’s emotions and reactions in a way that readers can understand and empathize with. Also, consider the character’s relationships with other characters and how those relationships evolve over time.

CHARACTER DESIGN – Step by Step Tutorial | Drawinglikeasir

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