I'm happily working away today and I just realized its been forever since I've blogged! I thought sharing a brief glimpse at character development would be fun. I just happen to be working on the finished paintings for the latest in the Katie Woo series. ( Lets just say this title has had me doing a lot of research on musical instruments!) Katie is one of the most iconic characters I have had the privilege to work on!
One thing that makes Katie Woo who she is and a feature much loved by her fans, is her quirky and fun sense of fashion. While that may seem to be insignificant, it actually lends much to the development of the character and gives the reader a clearer sense of just who she is.
You may think, gee she wears cute clothes BUT those cute clothes can tell so much about the girl wearing them. For instance, we can tell she is a girly girl. She loves skirts and matching tights, fancy sweaters and quirky accents. Let's not forget those turquoise glasses, which I originally made red! We can also tell she has a bit of an artsy streak from all her colorful patterns. I think this bold fashion sense helps to support her bold and outgoing character. It just wouldn't be the same if she were wearing a plain t shirt and jeans!
Many of the ideas for the clothing and color feel of the characters come from my own personal favorites or things I have seen while combing through magazines, the internet, etc. I can't help but incorporate a little bit of myself in every character I create. Thats just where the ideas begin. Much like a real person, I design and create looks that I think would suit her. I try to create a color palette to fit each title. For example the outfit for the Valentine book was purple, pinks, and reds. Once I get going, I design a board with Katie in her latest fashions. It helps the editors and designers get a feel for what she will look like in an upcoming title.
Since this has become such a feature for the Katie Woo titles and something her readers look forward to ( and mimic!) I really pour my heart into it. Its fun getting to play dress up one book at a time!