Why is sketching important for Toy Design?
I thought that being Inktober and all I would write something about sketching. Let's get one thing straight... I'm really bad at drawing, but my sketches are for me and me only and what do I mean by that.
I feel discouraged to sketch and I rarely share my sketches. However, I still do it, no matter how bad it is. Sketching is just a fantastic tool of getting your thoughts out there and give them a form a structure.
Like most of the ideas that I have, they look and sound pretty fabulous in my head, until you tell that idea to your best friend, your spouse, and while you are saying it, you are actually just realising how bad it sounds. Well, it's the same thing with sketching.
And I'm going to show you a concrete example. A couple of months ago I was sitting in a cafe (talk about cliche). I had an idea, well the idea bounced in my head for a while now. Still, I had the urge to put that idea on paper, so I started sketching and wouldn't you know after half an hour I was staring at 8 sketches of my next designer toy, and looking at those sketches I knew that I'm going to sculpt this and hope it's going to look as good as it does in my head.
And this is how Telos was born, well he wasn't named Telos just yet, I wanted to call it Urban Death (YUK). And from the sketches, you can see that I have narrowed all my ideas and what elements I wanted to have and what kicks he will be wearing.
And finally I made a simplified version of Telos cause I wanted to see if I can draw this with a few lines as possible and see if it still made sense, this is the same as squinting when you sculpt or paint something to see if the silhouette works. And to be honest, looking at this tiny fella I might do a chibi version of Telos, how cute that would be ^_^.
Once I have the sketch done, I start looking for a reference, if you have watched any of my tutorials or have been to any of my courses, you would know that I love making reference boards. My favourite tool for researching is Pinterest I have boards for every project I worked on, or plan to work on (Hint, Hint).
Started researching for clothing design and elements, how they look on a body, how a hoodie flows, and how the folds look, type of hoodies, and so on. In the sketch, I haven't decided on doing a double hoodie. Still, while looking at different photos I thought a double hoodie with a cap would look appealing on Telos, the more layers you have, the more interesting the piece is to look at while at the same keeping the silhouette clean.
I can't stress this enough having a great silhouette is the most if not the only important thing when designing a toy. A clear silhouette says so much, what emotions the character is feeling, what is going through their mind, you don't need eyes, mouth, eyebrows to show how sad a character is, you do that with body language.
Now that I have a pretty a solid idea on how the toy will look I started inking Telos, and inking is just a fancy way of saying tracing over your messy sketch or design to get a clean design that you can colour, make stickers and prints.
In the next article, I'll show you how I start sculpting the toy and take the design from 2D to 3d in ZBrush.
When you are reading this you might still one of the lucky few to be able to pre-order your own Telos
If you have any questions, feel free to comment or send me an email.