John K Stuff- Character Design Process

When I design characters for myself, I think less about design than I do about personality. In fact, I rarely think at all about it. I feel it instead.

I thought this was an exceptional quotation from John K Stuff- and it literally sums up what I want to achieve in my own work. I try not to focus on the look of a character, but rather the way it moves the way it interacts with the other characters and the environment around it.

Stuff discussed how when designing characters he relies on design theories in a more “abstract” way. Balancing the shapes and the spaces, “adding up to a pleasing 2 dimensional graphic that is more symbolic of a general character type, rather than a fully dimensional multi-layered personality.” 

Stuff states this is partly as he is “designing backwards” and partly as most producers etc do not want solidified final and specific character designs. These are deemed “ugly.”


George Liquor- character created by John K. Stuff. (, 2017).

Stuff gave the example of George Liqor- created from an idea that “popped into his head.” Stuff talked about how his own characters start as an idea that comes “between a character type and specific variation” these then evolve as the stories progress, shaping them to what they will become.

Stuff talked about allowing “design flexibility allowing the storyboards, layouts, animation mold the designs.” I found it interesting how he said to not think of “each creative stage as a separate entity” something which I admittedly have done in the past. I find this a really intriguing mind set to have- and for now on will allow the progression of the story to interact more with my designs- rather than just creating the feeling I think is desired.

References (2017). Designing My Own Characters Is A Different Process. [online] Available at: [Accessed 15 May 2017].


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