I had a professor in college who was always pointing out the bits of a drawing that held vitality. With his nose close to the paper he would curl and crimp his fingers over an imaginary pencil, as though channeling the act of that lovely little mark coming into existence.
Creating thumbnails has a similar appeal and energy, allowing not just the design of the character to emerge, but the personality as well. The bottom drawings were sketched for an interactive animated web series from Wild Brain Studios about performers with unusual stage acts. Final character designs are included. This a grouping of animation thumbnails that I particularly enjoyed working on, due to the absurdity of the show’s content.
The top three images were design ideas for two monster critters—a naked mole rat and a jackalope— for a Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG) that was canceled mid-production (not an entirely uncommon situation). See the project “2D Game Art – Building Bits and Pieces” for more about translating the character designs into game assets for animation. (I was sorry not to see these critters in action.)