I've heard this phrase many times in my life and I honestly believe it but sometimes it's hard to remember, especially when you are so invested in your mission. Actually it's hard to remember a lot of these special little bits when you're elbow deep in stress over something.
I've been doing a lot of research and studying recently for my illustration work and one thing I found was that my characters have no depth. They're flat, simple, and quite frankly they look quite amateurish.
I know I'm an amateur but it doesn't have to look that way.
So I started doing a little more detailed research. I started really looking at my work and comparing it to the artists that I admire.
Something about their work and the characters they create said something that my work didn't. There was emotion and life behind their lines but mine just looked ordinary and plain.
What gives? What am I doing wrong?
I asked the illustration community (which is actually a not-so-secret group of illustration buddies I have in a group on Facebook) how I could make my characters appear more lifelike. Their unanimous response was to study animation techniques and storyboards.
I went to college for animation. I studied and studied animation for months. I have books and books on animation, storyboards, and various other drawing tools and now you're telling me the one thing I thought I would never be able to use is the one thing that will help me make my characters more appealing and full of life?
Is that even possible?
I never once thought that my education was a waste I just always wondered what it would have been like to go into college for illustration rather than animation. Who would have thought that my animation background would help make my illustration future that much more promising?
It makes sense. Animators use the characters environment and their situation to enhance the emotion of the character. The character's back story is really pushed into the details of the face, hand gestures, and pose which help to bring the audience into the character's world which helps with the realism of the character.
Who knew I had all of this information literally at my fingertips?
Maybe everything really does happen for a reason.