Trayner Bane, author of the Windhollows book series, had written an impressive draft of the backstory for his video game. Now he needed a character designer. Insert montage of months of fraught searching for the perfect person. In reality, Google turned up a search in 0.48502 seconds. He emailed me. I replied. We talked on the phone. And here we are.
Windhollows is destined to become a video game, but along the way has also evolved into a book series. Although the story is playful and fun, it deals with some emotional topics such as single parent families and bullying. Lightheartedness is provided by funny characters and their friendships. The story takes place in the Land of Windhollows, which is primarily inhabited by Beanians and Weanians. PU2 is a precious resource in the lands and one that is being silently amassed by Dr. Rip Stinker who amassed all of Billy's essence of PU2 at birth, forcing Billy to endure life as a Bare Pants. As Billy grows older, he learns that he has more in common with Dr. Rip Stinker that he thinks. Eventually he makes discoveries about the Lands, its inhabitants, and his strange link to Dr. Rip Stinker, to eventually become the reluctant hero.
I really enjoy character design and thinking about the personality of the character and depicting the outward appearance of personality is both challenging and fun. The process requires making tons of drawings and there’s always a thrill when the character starts to emerge from all that drawing.
So, here’s a sneak peek of the design process for some of the main cast of Windhollows!
The first thing I started with in designing these characters was their shape. Beanians and Weanians have distinctive shapes. Using some of the descriptive parameters in Trayner’s text I began to develop the two main types of BeWe inhabitants.
Working on the bean shape and the hot dog shape of each character and considering the placement of the eyes and mouth. I threw in a hipster Weanian for good measure.
Early sketches of Wendy, Teddy (Billy’s friends) Billy and Squeaks, Billy’s pet squeaker, who adores Teddy.
These characters have been a lot of fun to design. I will continue to show more design work and final designs as the series progresses.
Windhollows is available on Amazon print or Kindle.
Air of Vengeance (Windhollows, Book 1) https://www.amazon.com/dp/1973288265
Darkness Falls (Windhollows, Book 2) https://www.amazon.com/dp/1973288257