Sketch vs Character vs Brand

I was asked to write something about sketch vs character. Have a read!


Every illustrator works differently. We come at things from different perspectives and each outcome in turn is different. I see a bird in the park and I think, what a pretty bird. Another illustrator sees the same bird and thinks, just say, hmmm bird pie! For me, a character develops in their own right. They start as a sketch and develop into a character. They get drawn until you can draw them no more and by the end you know what their favourite food is, what colour socks they like best and the name of their best friend. Your character then fills your story, he can either be the starting point or he can make the existing framework come to life. And then, once he has a life of his own he can potentially become a ‘brand’. A brand has history and substance. A brand is recognizable and all of these things are usually only possible when life is breathed into a sketch. So, before a book can be published, a character needs to live and before the character can live, the sketch needs to take a deep breath, take a few faltering steps and then run, walk, skip or hop.