They say the eyes are the window of the soul. And that if your eyes are good, the whole body is good. And if the eyes are bad, the whole body is in darkness.
I believe this also applies when concocting funny, quirky and instantly likeable characters for children. However, for me, it’s been a learning curve to discover that the eyes of a character are in fact, the most important thing for a character, and the natural point of contact for the viewer.
I did not come by this in an instant revelation, sadly. But its been more a slow process of experimentation, practice, and of listening to client feedback, and taking it in without loosing the essence of what makes the character truly yours.
I found after all my process that it’s actually very simple- let your characters interact with each other and with your reader, get something emotive going, and you really can’t go wrong. For me, some of the best illustration I know, is where you can look at a drawing and be almost alarmed by the character looking back at you! I really do love vivid characters whose wit kind of sneaks up on you!
Practically, probably the best way to make that contact with your reader, is to place your character’s pupils slightly off centre.. Not much, but enough. If you’re going for slightly cute, go for the obvious big pupils, and, if you’re going for mega-cute, add some light tints to those big pupils.
Aside from making them cute, It’s also a law of perspective, when somebody looks at a person or subject the eyes will focus on that person/subject, hence the slightly off-centre tip.
I hope this saves you some time…
Bye for now x