I don't want to get completely rusty in digital painting--I did this recent sketch in Photoshop CS4. These are a couple of kids from a story I made quite a while ago. The story is mostly in written form, but of course I have ideas of what people and places should look like. These two are neighbors/classmates and are 2 of the 4 main protagonists. Turned out to be good practice for having 2 characters leaning against each other, which I realized I almost never do... because it's hard. :D
It's hard to say where exactly my inspiration comes from when designing characters. I owe much of it to the experiences provided by video games and cartoons over the course of my childhood and early adult life, as do so many other fantasy artists today. The thing that piqued my interest about character design at an early age was the sheer scale and freedom with which we can build stories as artists, purely from a visual standpoint. Character creation is always the most exciting part when I'm working on a new storyline. It's also the most distressing, as the all-important question "Why would anyone care about this character?" is always the biggest hurdle. I guess figuring out the answer is what we work towards everyday as aspiring character artists.
For me, part of it is being able to create characters that can do or be the impossible. When life gets dull, I can sit down and start writing/drawing stories. Whenever I have a new story concept, I always write it down in the form of a "What if" question, then list details after that. But after that initial "What if?" phase, I work towards making a connection to the real world somehow, so that others might want to take part in these stories.
If you want to contact me for any reason, feel free to send me an e-mail (email@example.com). I'm always available to just talk about art/storytelling in general or discuss work requests.