How to Create a Charismatic Character

These are Ed Vill's tips for illustrating characters full of personality

In the history of illustration and advertising, there are countless examples of characters and mascots designed initially to be used in branding that have become a resounding success, an indissoluble part of a company's image, or, in some cases, even part of popular culture.

Sometimes, the opposite happens. Characters fall into oblivion for their lack of charisma and personality. Such is the case of Speedee, the little-known predecessor of Ronald McDonald. With his big hamburger-shaped head, he failed in his mission to become the official mascot of McDonald's.

This is just one of the many examples that underscore the importance of creating characters with personality. Ed Vill (@edvill) has some tips that you should keep in mind when drawing your own.

How to Create a Charismatic Character 1
Ed Vill

Walk a mile in your client's shoes

Using a mascot is a great way to make a product or service attractive to the consumer. The first thing you should do is learn the brand's real needs and why they have asked you to create a mascot for them.

This character or pet must embody a concept, and show some specific characteristics, tell what that brand stands for. It also has to do it with a very marked personality. Make a mind map with the brand's main characteristics and translate them into qualities or traits that your character must show.

How to Create a Charismatic Character 3
Ed Vill

Draw, draw and draw

Finally, Ed Vill places particular emphasis on the importance of the sketching process. His general rule is to finish each and every one of the ideas he has, even those that he knows will not be chosen. Good ideas can arise from working on every project to the very end.

On the other hand, you must also keep in mind that "no line is final.” You can always continue working on a finished idea and improve it.

How to Create a Charismatic Character 5
Ed Vill

In the Domestika course Cartoon-Style Character Design with Procreate, Ed Vill teaches you how to create a character that brands will love, from the first pencil sketch to the final digital illustration.

English version by @angeljimenez.

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