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Draw With Jazza - Creating Characters: Fun and Easy Guide to Drawing Cartoons and Comics Paperback – November 8, 2016
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Through the design process, you learn how to focus on portions of your entire project through these stages, so you do not get overwhelmed, and it's how the process works in a studio setting if you're interested in that kind of work.
I don't want to give too much away, but here's what you learn in each stage:
Stage 1 - you learn to research and develop your character before you start designing him/her. The book poses a lot of great questions that will bring more life to the character(s) you're designing. You also get a few pages on the different styles used in comics and animation. I didn't know what these styles were called before, so that was nice.
Stage 2 - This is the stage where you design your character and there are some tutorials to help with character anatomy. Mostly human anatomy. There is no animal anatomy in this book. You'll also get a blurp on character personalities and archetypes.
Stage 3 - You learn to polish the character design.
Stage 4 - You learn to properly present your characters for yourself or a client, such as turnarounds and poses.
Stage 5 - There are various characters that Jazza takes you through the design process and we see how each process works with actual characters.
Overall, I like the simplicity of the book. The pages were easy to read through. I got through it in a day. I'm studying through it again, but the simplicity allows for anyone to jump right in and get started. Even during the discovery stage, I used a few of the questions to shape out a character I'm working on and I was able to design and create him in a day. That time frame will vary of course, but the questions helped spark a lot of ideas.
This book is appropriate for all ages. I'm in my 30s, and I plan to buy one for my 13-year-old nephew and my 17-year-old godson. It's easy for anyone to understand and a great addition to your library. Update: I showed my older brother the book and I will be getting it for him on his birthday.
I wanted to leave this to the end so you wouldn't think my review was skewed. I've been a fan of Jazza's content online for almost four years, and that does not sway my opinion of this book. One thing I hate is when people do videos to get you to pay for their content, but you end up getting the same old stuff. So I looked at this book with a critical and skeptical eye because of that reason. I am happy to say that I've gained new knowledge here; very helpful knowledge. Very few books are written about character design. There's only one other good one that I know of. This book is the culmination of a lot of growth from this artist, and he knocked it out of the park.
This book is really a culmination of years of online tutorials for the production art community, and you can tell that love and care has been poured into each page. The methods used here align with the professional methods of character design that I was taught in grad school, and he does a great job covering each stage of the character design process. In addition, I like how it's not confined to one drawing style, because once you understand the simplified shapes of the body you can apply those techniques to generate all sorts of characters and art styles, from flat cartoons to 3D characters.
Huge thanks to Jazza, keep up the great work, I'll keep sending viewers and readers your way!
I have followed Jazza's "Draw With Jazza" on his You Tube channel for over a year now. He has the heart of a teacher and gladly shows his talents as well as his struggles and encourages everyone to keep drawing and learning. His demonstrations of the uses of digital drawing and the technology is a whole other aspect of his work worth tuning in for.