Marlo here. I've just come back from my annual NESCBWI conference, which was wonderful as always. I attended my buddy Russ Cox's session on character design on Friday, which really got me thinking about not only character design in general, but the design of our penguins.
Russ, who is a master of character design, had us try a progression of speedy, unexpected drawing experiments, which immediately pushed me to draw in ways I usually don't. They allowed me to loosen up and explore in ways I hadn't considered.
Now, these rough sketches may not look like much, but to me what they represent is something very exciting indeed—both for our Pixel Movers & Makers work and for my illustration style in general. My transition from wildlife artist to illustrator has not been speedy or always smooth, so I do need these reminders to step outside my comfort zone—clearly displayed in the image at the top of this post—and remember I also love to make stuff like this:
I hope to create a place in between for our animations.
Now, back to the drawing board!