How can I prepare for a career in character design?


I'm a young girl and I love to draw, especially characters. I started drawing people when I was much younger. I love character design.

I would like to have a job that involves drawing people in different poses and backgrounds. It could be for games or motion pictures. What college major would be best for me, and what should I focus on now to set myself up for the this sort of career path?

8/6/2014 1:55:00 AM

Draw every day. Take a sculpture class so you can get skilled at creating maquettes of your characters. These will be useful as reference for you to draw them from all angles. Study birds and fish for skill in rendering texture and form, and movement. Since art school is expensive, help offset the cost by building a portfolio now. Take art classes, photograph your best work, and as your skills increase cull your portfolio. Art schools look at your portfolio for merit-based scholarships. Go to portfolio reviews and recruiting events. Listen to critiques and figure out what they are looking for, before you are in the hot seat yourself. Post your work online and join artist communities. Start a webcomic featuring your characters. And start looking at schools that have these specialized minors, like SCAD, and find their students on tumblr to see if it seems like you would be happy there based on their experiences.

Don't close off any avenues yet. Taking physics might seem irrelevant now, but the more well-rounded you are, the more you will stand out at admission time, and later in your career it will be easier to talk with and collaborate with people in other fields, to make cool things happen, especially if you go into game design.

Good luck to you, and have fun! Also, if your family is not super supportive of an art career, just remind them that everything needs to be designed before it is made. And that means art jobs are everywhere.

8/31/2013 1:49:00 PM