The funny thing is, both those things you mentioned @Joy-Heyer are because of how I dropped the sketches in--the "door jam" you mentioned was actually the edge of the panel in my sketch, but I decided to move it over for a bit more space, but my sketch didn't have that part completed. And I originally had the thought bubble filling the bottom of the second panel, but realized it worked better in the next panel when I was laying out the text, thus the floating head. Thats a good point about the shoulder strap and the hair though, I will have to keep my eye on that as I ink the final.
You can do your own merchandising. For people who just like character design or who don't want to create a story or world for the characters they draw, a good idea is to sell prints and merchandise like mugs, pillows, phone cases, stickers, t-shirts and greeting cards. Check out places like Etsy or print on demand sites to see what's being done and how you can bring something new to the table.
There's also fashion design or perhaps personalized scrap booking art. You could cartoon someone's kids and print sheets of papers and stickers for their scrapbook. You can print your own shower curtains and fabrics now too. You could do an entire home in "storybook style" if that's your thing. I'll just mention that I've never seen any storybook style car decor that wasn't Disney related. (Tinkerbell window decals and so forth.)
"Design" is a pretty big tree, and you could explore some of it's branches. haha
@Rapteev Thanks for saying that! I had a lot of fun making this piece and experimented a lot with the palette, I'm glad you like it. I really love earth tones and keep coming back to them, but I've been trying out other palettes lately too.
Unfortunately, with a paid project with a looming due date and other things going on, I don't know when I'm going to find time to apply the last bit of Will's critique. However, this has actually been a really great exercise in diving back into my many-layered vector files and finding that, yes, I can edit this image and make it look "seamless" (for lack of a better term) not as if I cut and pasted a new part in, but like it was always that way. I've developed a way to organize and label my files so even after not looking at it for a few months, I was able to go back in and easily figure out what was going on and what layers to work on. And that reassurance/confidence was worth doing the edits for (even if some people think the original was better), so I'd like to thank @Will-Terry for that. :-)
I'm going to contribute one of my late-childhood favourites - the crowd scenes from Dinotopia by James Gurney:
The following piece is a good example, I think, of using value to calm down areas of an image - the third running dinosaur and the structures in the background would make it far too cluttered if he didn't lighten it up, and it gives a real sense of depth and atmosphere too. I never get tired of looking at all the details...
Hmm. I think you're right. I think the lines still help define it, but they are a little dark now that I come back to look at it again. I can lighten them a bit so they don't grab so much attention and blend in a bit, but keep them there to help define the form. I'll play with it.
I use DropBox too (as well as Time Machine), and am really happy with how it works. I work on both a desktop Mac, and a Macbook, and I particularly like the fact that it syncs the files automatically...so I can work on a piece on my desktop for a bit, then later (leaving a bit of time for it to sync) I can work on the same updated file on my laptop.
@Sarah-LuAnn I'm glad I'm not the only one who saves in progress jpgs! They are nice because it allows me to see what work I've done in the last few hours and it helps to prevent me from overworking a piece.
Looking at other people's in progress pictures is nice as well because it shows me different thought processes of how they put an image together that may be better than my method so I always appreciate them for that as well.
@Sarah-LuAnn Wish I could go. But I'll be attending a smaller SCBWI illustrator's conference later this month in my area. I might try to shoot for one of the bigger conferences next year. Good luck with everything this weekend and let us know how it goes!