Exploring creativity through character creation

·2 min read

Wheatland Society of Arts is hosting a three-night introduction to character design program for area teens interested in learning about illustration and concept design.

The program is being instructed by Alyx Kisko, a graduate of the Vancouver Animation School with a diploma in concept art. Kisko, who has been drawing for 12 years, recently became a professional freelance illustrator and concept artist.

The workshops will be held three Tuesday nights (Nov. 17 and 24, and Dec. 1) 7 from 7 to 9 p.m.

Designing a character is a multistep process where much must be considered, explained Kisko.

The first step is choosing in which theme or genre the character will exist, whether it be dragon-fire fantasy, not-too-distant dystopia or anything in between. Then, each participant will decide on who or what their character will be.

“When you design a character, they each have to have their own story that also makes sense in the world that they are in,” said Kisko.

After that comes the heavy work. With the help of other references and their imaginations, each creator will decide on and manifest the character’s appearance, build, clothing and accessories.

The next step is doing several iterations of the same character and then deciding on one of them. But bringing in elements from each initial design into the character’s final form is often a winning approach, said Kisko.

There is no level of artistic or skill needed to participate in the course, just imagination and creativity. “There’s no requirement for you to already know what you’re doing,” she said. “You’re allowed to use your own style and whatever character design approach you want. The most important thing is just to have fun with it.”

Kisko will be covering illustration fundamentals, such as anatomy tips and “shape language,” which refers to the use of shapes to convey a character’s personality.

Participants will be provided materials with which to draw their character, but they are also welcome to bring a tablet or laptop to draw their character digitally.

The cost of the program is $15 for all three nights. Space is limited and registration is required. To register, contact Wheatland Society of Arts at programming@wheatlandarts.ca or call 403-934-6665.

Sean Feagan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times