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Need advice on character creation

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Need advice on character creation

Hey guys, I recently have taken up drawing again, and I quickly found myself in the same boat that I stopped in. I think my drawing suffers for a couple reasons, although heres the top few.
I would really like advice on character creation. Whats the best way to go about drawing a character you see in your head? Should you envision it and try to draw it the way it appears in your mind?
I seem to be pretty decent at copying characters and pictures that I see. This seems to be a blessing and a curse as I can draw other characters but lack the ability to draw my own.
Also, my line quality seems pretty poor. I think i am poorly coordinated as when I am sketching and going back over lines I don't re-go-over them very exactly. Are there any exercises to help me with this? Thanks

The first few times a person tries something, they tend to suck at it--this is a given.
Remember how it was as a baby learning how to walk?
First few times we wobble a bit, try a first step, then our nostrils intersect the floor (or carpet) at velocity and its not exactly pleasant, but they stand us up again and eventually off we go.
Its how we learn how to walk.
The key difference between learning something as a babe and learning something as an adult is that babes are not allowed to give up.
As an adult we often try something, it doesn't work so we shut it off and never try again.

There's a few distinctions in your case that should be brought to light.

one--you are comparing the past performance with the present and the future--don't.
The past doesn't equal the future. Wonderful saying that, but its true--you can redefine your approach from this point on as many time as you like, until you get the result you seek.

two: if you are having trouble visuallizing, then you can work on your hand-eye-coordination. I find that copying drawings a lot helps. It helps because as you copy the items, you are copying both the mindset and the physical actions of the original artist. The more intense your focus is on duplicating their work, the more your own neurology will mirror that other artist. This is a principle that works in countless other kinds of activities, so it follows that it works even in art.
In addition, you will pick up, by osmosis, the common principles within that other artist's work--if you copy a number of their images.

three-Linework, for example, has a particular pattern to it. Where is the artist applying their thick lines and their thin lines? Is it a more or less consistent pattern with OTHER images? If there is a consistent pattern, this is likely a "rule" the other artist follows to create a successful image.
Do other artists follow the same kinds of patterns? If so, then its a general rule, rather than a stylistic/individual one. A general rule is something you can apply to your own work, to have it appeal as much as other artists' work you admire.
This kind of meticulous analytical focus can address most of your problems.
Look at the lines, how do they go? Do they go thick here and thin there? Why?
Look at the shapes, do the shapes follow a certain "pattern"? Is there a flatter side juxtaposed against a curved side? Is there a line of action present?
Do shapes taper? Are certain kinds of shapes generally repeated more than others in a given drawn object?

These are just a few of the hundreds of different questions you can ask to breakdown an image and glean the knowledge from it.

Like a gymnast that needs a harness to make the first few practise flips over a sawhorse, before they can flip entirely on their own--so too can you copy other's work to develop your own legs and neurology so you can create wholly on your own.
You can train your hand, eye and mind to function in a similar manner, based on experience, observation and intuition.

The solution here to to draw constantly. Explore a bit and do not fear bad drawings. Analyze, copy, learn from the copies and apply it to your own creations.

Then go from there.

The key is to not be dissuaded, to not give up and to try anything and everything that gives you a result. Ignore the bullshit about not tracing or copying--do both if it gives you results. The only rules to heed are those that are revealed ON THE PAGE.

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

I printed your reply out and put it on my wall. Thanks for the boost of inspiration, I really needed it. Wow, that was great. Thanks for the reassurance and advice, I couldn't have asked for a better response.

Also, what would be the best way to jump into beginners animation? Ive taken a sumer course at USC where we did things like create walk cycles using light tables, etc. Although is a light table necessary to do basic 2D animation? Is there a computer program that could act as a sort of substitute for it? Also, would it be good to just jump into learning a computer program? I am interested in cell animation, no so much stop motion.

try any 2d character animation tool like moho , toon boom studio and learn basic techniques of cut out animation by viewing online video tutorials or by visiting their sites forums !