Feedback on character designs/story
Hey! So I'm trying to build a story around these characters I'm selling stickers for. The idea is that the character/design works alone as a single sticker but can also be used with the other stickers to form a story. I called it Stickerton. Here's a few designs for it! I just wanna make sure I'm going in the right direction with story telling and design here. Feel free to critique as much as you want! I really wanna get this story/concept right before sending it to print!
Here's the characters i've come up with so far!
I havnt come up with names for the rest yet!
And here's a location! The idea is its a print that people can buy to stick the stickers to.
Here's the first accessory sticker!
Here's the story blurb I wrote to these characters
Ava is the teenage daughter of the town's most affluent family. When Ava was young, she was jettisoned into another dimension where she met her soon-to-be protector, the Raven. The Raven watched over her as she tried to find her way back home, and when she did, her only escape required her only friend to sacrifice himself. Ava is home now and wears the Raven's skull as she paints descriptive scenes of her experience. Hoping one day she can find her way back to this dimension and return the skull of her best friend to their rightful parents; who have been searching for the Raven for years.
The Paintbrush - A conceptive weapon! The best friend to inner monsters and outer demons!!! Used by the gloriously creative Ava!
Hopscotch is part of a local species that lives around the desert area of which Ava paints the depictions of her past on the rocks. Every time she comes out to paint the rocks, Hopscotch devotedly follows her. Hopscotch eventually figures out that Ava wants to go back to the dimension she had jettisoned to.
Thanks for taking the time to read up on my project! I just wanna take as much critiques and info i can get before pulling the trigger on production!
These illustrations are really nice and they feel consistent. so nice job there! One art crit though, with that background they can really only stick the stickers to the foreground due to scale, color, and detail. For backgrounds to really work for stickers i might suggest a isometric perspective so you can stick the characters anywhere.
I have a couple of business questions for you with this model though.
what would be the driving force for someone to want to buy these and stick the stickers onto the background? (or stick the stickers anywhere).
Once the stickers are applied to the background, can they be repositioned? (they should be).
What is your plan for distribution and sales?
Who would be an average customer and what other successful products are already on the market?
-What are your income projections for these and what are the risks?
You should know the answer to these questions in detail before sending any of these to print. I worry that selling these as stickers might not be as easy as you would think. I don't know this market at all though, so I'd love to hear what you think.
@lee-white Thanks for the excellent idea on the isometric backgrounds, that could definitely work out way better!
These are awesome questions!
I'd say probably the core of this idea is based on just having cute everyday designs that people could buy but ultimately can work together with one another. Take Barbie for example, you have all these great accessories that are interchangeable with different dolls. However for this you can just buy those separately and just have a cool paintbrush sticker, or a sticker of books, or cute species within this world. On the other hand you can try to collect them all and create scenes with the Background art. Along with this, for inktober, I'm doing a short 31 page story about the world which will also hopefully become a book someday!
Having them able to be re-positioned is also an great advice, I hadn't thought of that but it could make for excellent lasting value, so I'm gonna research materials that could work with that!
Distribution would be almost entirely through conventions, art shows, and so forth. I'm trying to make the style eye popping enough to draw people in. Also I wanted something original because all I'm selling these days are fanart. I was playing with some package design Idea's which I can post later today!
This idea was most inspired off of Alex Pardee's Pinfolk series and Enfu's sticker line. For the consumer I'm trying to make it very all ages sorta thing, something for the children that run up to my booth because they usually dont end up wanting anything unless its a pokemon drawing haha.
So far the most money I make out of conventions are with stickers but most likely because it's Overwatch fanart. It's also pretty cheap to sell at 2 dollars a piece. The risks would mostly be the money I put into production which is either getting them professionally printed or buying a Cricut Maker and printing them myself.
Such a thought provoking response! Thank you Lee!
Hety @cmetznerdotcom I like the concept of your idea and the artwork is very good, I have to agree with everything Lee has asked/Stated as well. I think your main hurdle will most liking be upfront cost for materials for the backgrounds and stickers
@cmetznerdotcom based on your answers, I think you might want to hold off on production for the time being. Here's why I say that:
-The reason you have sold well isn't necessarily because people like your art (although they might), it's becuase you are selling something that has already had the value to the consumer built into it. In other words, if I draw batman, the drawing will sell, but it's not due to my drawing. It's due to it being batman. That is why your fan art is sellling. Same with Barbie, That product line has a 50 year history and milliions of dollars of advertising behind it. It's already a household name.
When you go to do your own project, it will not have that value built into it. So in addition to the actual cost of the stickers and entering the shows, you need to factor in advertising your product in at least a minor way so people can become familiar with it. I can promise you this, if people haven't seen the work before it will be EXTREMELY hard to get them to buy it. Especially at a show where there is recognizable art (fan art) everywhere. Existing characters is what that particular crowd is there to buy.
- If you are doing shows and cons, you need to factor in your costs associated with being there as well as the product. That means factoring how much it cost for your booth, how much it cost for your setup, cost for the product itself, cost for any advertising (like business cards, etc). Also cost for travel, and any lodging costs. So with all that in mind, how many $2 stickers do you have to sell to cover your costs? Factor in an addional 25% out of that amount to cover taxes, etc.
I would download some basic business start up worksheets and see what your true costs are, then think about maybe starting this line if the numbers workout. Otherwise, I suggest keeping with the fan art for these particular shows because I don't think you will increase your income by doing your own line. In fact, I think you will lose money.
It's tough and I respect your adventurous sprit. Keep that up but make sure you understand the market and business principles before starting this line.
@lee-white That's absolutely understandable! It's a bit of a passion project so I'll absolutely keep working on designing it but what you said about taking in account all the costs of production, I'll definitely put that on hold until I am able to figure it all out. This was incredibly insightful advice! Thank you!!