Sorry February’s posts were slow. March’s post will probably be slow aswell. 😦
I’ve been caught up in real life getting ready for college in the fall and stuff. Once I’ve applied and junk then I will probably have more time to do the blog.
Also: March’s Features have been canceled, since I haven’t gotten ANYONE to ask for one. Hopefully I’ll get some people to ask for some for next the next month.
When being an artist, one thing you might notice many artists doing is creating their own characters. We call this ‘original characters’ or ‘OC’s for short. What do you use them for? Well, they use them for things like trademarks, role playing, their own stories, ect.
I am going into this profession soon and I would like to share some of my current knowledge with you.
So here we go: ‘How to Create a Unique Original Character’.
You want a character that you can call your own? Well I might just be the right person to help you out.
First things first, their universe; where and when does your character live? Most people will take their ideas from an already existing idea, like a cartoon they’ve watched. But what if you have no guidelines to follow? You’ll have to make up your own (and that makes it more fun!) Knowing this will help with making the outlook of your character. Does he/she live in feudal or present Japan? Or medieval London? Or just a forest that has demons and wizards and all sorts of fictional characters? You decide.
Now, take a note on how old your character will be, and what race it will be as well. Typically, teenagers are the usual because people want to have their character the same age as them. And the most common race is humans, nekos(Jap: cat demons), or elves.
Second, this is my favorite part, what do they look like? If you aren’t very artistic, there are two ways you can do this: either find a picture online you want to use as a ’light reference’ (make sure you put the artist’s name, no stealing here!) or write out their physical features like someone would describe while looking at your character(you can always have an artist draw it for you later.) If you have some artistic skills, then go and draw that picture you artist, you! Remember this, when designing the character think of how they act, and about their past story, that way the design has a practical function and when someone sees them for the first time, they know a little about them right away.
Third, give your character some depth; their past, personality, and talents. Just note, always give your character some faults; No one is perfect. If she is good at using a bow and arrow, she can’t possibly be good at sword fighting as well.
Finally, hopefully, you have a name for this amazing character of yours! If you don’t there is always a way to find one you want!
-I recommend this one the most. Your new character is like a new baby, you must think of a good name with meaning. So search here, it has tons of ways to find names by nationality, origin, or even meaning.
-If you have absolutely no idea on a name, try this randomizer. SeventhSanctum
No go have fun with that character of yours, and take pride in the fact that you now have a character that is unique and no one else can take it from you.
Most of the information here was not created by me, but was taken from very reliable sources.
So you’ve read my previous article and want to join the anime league?
Well, there’s two options you can choose to start out on this journey to this ever-expanding-fandom. Start either watching anime, or reading manga. (‘Anime’ is the term for Japanese animation. And ‘manga’ is Japanese comic books.) We won’t be getting into manga; but I do recommend trying it. What I’m going to start doing is reviewing classic anime. They are the best ways to start out in the anime universe.
What is ‘Classic’ Anime?
“Classic anime is generally any anime made before 1990.-The late 1990’s brought about the new era of anime.”
(quote from http://www.anime-forums.com/showthread.php?84435-Classic-Anime-1998-down)
What some classics you should get started on?
Well, I’ll be finding reviews later. But the oldest that has been translated is ‘Astroy Boy'(or ‘Tesuwan Atomu, lit. “Mighty Atom”). Try that out.
Okay! As my 1st ‘how-to-draw’ tutorial, I’ll teach you how to draw HaiAato’s Mascot: Haimaru.
But first, I want to give some links to some other tutorials on the basics on how to draw anime. (Compliments of Bakaneko.com)
Now that you know the basics, let’s get started.
1. Start w/ the basics. (Next, choose either face or clothes.)
If you’ve went over the tutorials on ‘anatomy’ and ‘female figures’, than you should know this. I have a lot of practice, so my skeleton is probably different from the tutorials, but don’t worry you’ll get the same result in the end. Just pose her with her left arm angled so her hand is on her hips and the other dangling. The knees (or at least one) needs to be bent slightly, so that it looks natural.
2. Face: Here we begin with the eyes. (Check the ‘extra’ tutorial for help.) Haimaru’s eyes are the basic protagonist shape, people see that shape a lot. Keep in mind that the pupil is more of a sharp line than a circle or oval. (This is because I base my drawing style off of Rumiko Takahashi. And with her style, any character with demon in them will have a sharp pupil instead of round.) Since the face is facing the front, the nose will have two nostrils showing.
3. Hair: (Check the ‘Hair’ tutorial.) I always begin with the bangs. It’s what starts out the entire design and makes the character stand out. Haimaru’s are again, basic. Start in the middle of the face and draw a half oval that stops at the top of the eyes, then continue with that basic shape through the length of the face. Next are what I call the ‘side-berms’ (even though they really aren’t.) All characters usually have something like this before their ears start out(did I mention we won’t be drawing regular ears?) Draw them curving in towards the face and then, when it gets to the shoulders, curve out just enough to make a curl. In the back of her hair I add the same type of curl to add to her flair. And end it at her chest. Oh! And don’t forget the ears! Her ears are usually mistaken as cat ears, but they are a pointy-type-of-dog ears. So, basically draw a triangle on both sides of her head, draw some extra stray hairs, her inner ear, and then your done with that.
4. Clothes: I start from the up and go down and work on covering her body the best I can. We start with her collar, make a ‘v’ shape in the middle of her neck and connect it and outline it. Then you’ve got her sleeves, she has none, so you basically outline right where her shoulders begin. Now comes the obi; you start at the end of her chest and draw a rectangle directly over her waist-line. Put the string and knot that holds it together in the middle, and the bow in the back(the bow looks like a rectangle in this case.) Then the skirt, draw out from the obi and end the skirt where her legs begin(this is a very short skirt) there is a slit on her right side so draw that there and outline it. (Unfortunately) she has some shorts underneath the skirt. The boots are knee-high, you draw a ‘n’ shape right above where the knee starts. And as for the tail, I usually do whatever I want with it, draw a line showing the direction it goes in, I usually make sure it curves in some way. And then flesh it out and give it some stray hairs, like the ears.
And we’re done! Phew- that was harder than I thought, explaining all of that. Maybe next time I’ll just do a video or step-by-step photo tutorial, you let me know.
If you’d like to see more of my artwork, or just want to get to know Haimaru more check out my DeviantArt account.
‘Till next time!
If you haven’t seen much anime, then you’re missing out.
You don’t have to like romance or comedy, there are tons of genres for you to choose from. Action: Dragon Ball Z, Adventure: InuYasha, Mystery: Case Closed, Romance for girls(Shoujo): Fushigi Yuugi, Romance for boys(Shounen): Ah! My Goddess, Comedy: Great Teacher Onizuka, ect. It’s not just Saturday morning cartoons anymore.
Not only are most classics subtitled in english, they’re also sometimes dubbed. If your main language isn’t english or japanese not to worry; most anime is subbed(or dubbed) in a variety of languages.
Although there aren’t many ways to watch anime. There are 3 common ways of watching: cable, DVD, or internet. Most fans prefer to watch it online, because it’s usually free that way.
In fact, most of the fans come from other countries than its home, Japan. You can see that when fans come together at anime conventions. You’ll meet some weird, obsessive, fans; wearing either exact replicas of their favorite characters or very opinionated clothes.
Which takes me to another subject on the anime fandom: creativity. Most fans are very creative, in different ways. Some like to express their opinions through artwork. Others will design clothes and wear their creations in public to catch strangers attention. Or maybe you’re the type that likes to write, we’ve got two things for you: writing your own stories of the anime world, or roleplay.
Now if you’re reading this and decide to become an anime fan you’ll need to know your vocabulary. ‘Otaku’s, another word for anime fans, have set up this lingo based on the japanese language and changed it to their liking. Common words they used are: kawaii, hentai, fanfic, cosplay, and doujin. Look em’ up.
If you’re new to anime and have just finished this article all hyped up on info, then I have done my job! Now go out into the world with a new view on life and explore.
(EDIT [2/7/11]: If you liked this article, check out the continuation: The History of Anime. It’s short and has all the basic facts you need.)