A member on Inkblazers is holding an OC tournament, as mentioned two posts back. The deadline was two days ago and the entries are now being judged. It is fine to release the sketches and thoughts behind the process now.
As mentioned, I was assigned the comic Shapeshifter: A tale yet Untold.
I carefully read the comic. I have looked at it before, but I wanted to make sure I understood the world, as it is quite detailed. Reading a comic with the intent of creating a character for that universe was a strange experience, but I do not think it detracted from my enjoyment of the comic. On the other hand, I think I might have understood more of it since I was so focused while reading it!
Though the comic focuses mostly on Outbreaker characters (those who have been possessed by supernatural beings and therefore have heightened abilities), I became quite interested in designing an average human character. I wondered what the average human would be doing in such a world, and being that much information on humans was not given yet it was a bit of a stretch. I also considered creating a cultist character, but I understood less about them.
Here are four sketches after I decided on a human woman.
I thought it was highly likely humans would fight for themselves and their own survival, though there would be those depending on the strength of others (Outbreakers, mainly). There was quite a sad chapter focused on the plight of the humans, especially poor ones, from one of the great cities. I thought the characters were quite strong, but I still wanted to design someone who had taken it upon themselves to help not only their family, but others, and had taken the steps to defend herself ... and thus, she is armed, and belongs to a group of like-minded humans from her city.
Here is the final line art, and below it, the description released with the finished image on Inkblazers.com.
"Humans are protected from the monsters roaming the lands by warriors, by Outbreakers. In a city of little importance, things were going downhill. Only two Outbreakers roamed the area, and the situation within the walls was desperate. Most people went without food for days. Foraging for food was dangerous, and many never made it back.
Tired of depending on others for their survival, some humans banded together to look after their own needs. It was humans that saved themselves 1,000 years ago, and though that time is forgotten, the human spirit is strong. This band roams the wilds, hunting and foraging, so that others are not compelled by hunger to leave. Shani belongs to this band. She specializes in archery, as a guard for the hunters. She is quick and silent, her sight is keen. She doesn't resent the Outbreakers, but moreso the apathy of many humans. This group's acts may be small, but many rely on them."