Hi! It’s Chani, hijacking the blog to talk about my design process.
By now we’re all used to the way the Kichel characters appear–aren’t they a part of our families? But when we were first getting started with the strip, I put a lot of thought into their appearances–face shape, build, hair color. All of these components come together in a way that helps form your impression of the character. Let’s have her take it away with some more insight into her design process.
When I design a character, I use a lot of visual storytelling. Certain traits can be expressed through illustrations, and different shapes can give different impressions. If you want a character to look friendly, you’d use a round shape (think of a baby’s cute little round face!) Round shapes are easy, happy approachable. Squares are more strict and rigid—they’d imply someone who’s a stickler for rules. And if someone’s dangerous, you’d use more triangles. Think of Haman with his pointy hat, pointy ears, maybe some sharp teeth sticking out. Evil characters have a lot of pointy shapes going on.
Here’s one of the most recent additions to the Kichels family: Chaykie’s mother-in-law. Just her drawing gives the reader a lot of subtle clues about what she’s like. Her sheitel is very square—she’s rigid, inflexible. You also see some pointiness and sharper angles—you don’t want to get in her way. And her sheitel is very dark—darker than anyone else’s in the strip, actually—and set against pale skin. That contrast gives you a bit of an icy, harsher look. It’s less easy on the eye. You look at her and think, “Oooh, something’s up with her.”
I’m curious to hear your impressions of the Kichels characters. Who’s your favorite family member? What do you think about their personality? What do you think of their appearance–does it affect the way you perceive them?