An early sketch of FLANN!
This is one of my very first FLANN! concepts. She always had the goggles and cheeky grin, but like all my early sketches, she wasn't quite "herself" yet. I knew right from the start that I wanted her to have a cool arm-thingy and fish-themed accessories. The logo was pretty solid even in its early phase, but it needed tweaking, too.
An early sketch of James
A very early version of James. He looks odd to me here, because I was trying to put his personality onto one of my old character's faces. I have a distinct recollection of attempting to convince my brother that a jacket with only one sleeve was ~super coolio.~ This goes to prove that important design decisions should not be made at 3am while listening to viking metal.
Side Characters: Lettie & Gramps
A before and after of Lettie and her loopy Gramps. Even the side characters change between the first sketch and final design!
The All-Important Half-Sketch
I have a lot of half-finished drawings like this one. During this phase, I'm not very worried about getting the details "right" -- it's more about conveying personalities. Quick sketches help me trim down the initial costume designs into something that both suits the character, and will be easy to redraw over and over again.
This part of the process is great for figuring out a character's personality. I fully believe the best characters need to run around in a sketchbook a bit before they're ready to venture out onto the final page.
Quick Draw Pages
Quick draws are a little different from sketches ... mainly because they end up being more detailed! Doing quick draws like this lets me tell a mini-story while I get to know my characters. James was finally beginning to look like himself and not like one of my older designs (though he still had that weird one-sleeve thing going on). FLANN! had more or less evolved by this point.
About the Author
Author and illustrator Danita Stallard has long been enthralled by the fantastical adventures of a certain gentleman who built a mechanical fish. She currently resides upon the Canadian Shield, where she spends too much time wandering the forest with her dog and acquiring interesting rocks (most of which are quartz).