I sat in a cafe last night with my boyfriend, sketching out character designs. A big thing I'm working on is stepping away from my manga comfort zone, and coming up with characters that are unique and identifiable, not just "pretty". I want characters that are "appealing", but not just "cute". My only problem is, after years of drawing this:
it's really hard to vary up jawlines, noses, etc without losing sight of whether what you're drawing is "unique" and "appealing" or just plain ugly. I'm also finding it hard breaking free of old habits: I find myself still playing relatively safe, not really deviating from the usual. So my boyfriend gave me an exercise to help me out: drawing amorphous blobs and placing faces on them as if they were 3D. I'm still having a hard time making my faces less flat, but the result was exciting:
There's something so liberating about just experimenting on paper. It's refreshing to be able to draw just to see how crazy you can get instead of caring about impressing anyone else. I'm rediscovering drawing, and it feels great.