One day, I had the urge to explore the underrated genre of Afrofuturism. I immediately wanted to design a character that would inhabit a futuristic African world. I was inspired by "Avatar: The Last Airbender" and "Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse".
First I started with extremely rough drawings of this character, that I created during class. This was done without research, I just wanted to try to get the spirit and basic accessories of the character written down. I also wanted to experiment with a different art style. I wanted to see how skinnier arms and legs that match with baggier clothing. This could make the movement of the character look way more appealing.
I started with some gestures to get some idea of the personality of the character. I added lots of action poses, but my favorite would probably be the shrug. There just seems to be a lot of "swag" in that one motion.
After doing this, I was able to design the character! I wanted to add a mask in order to create a traditional element. I took an African Dashiki an added a hood to make it more contemporary. Then for his pants, I went with joggers to better show his leg movements. My favorite part might be his hair. No idea why. I just think it has a combintation of both natural and modern fashion.
Next, I added some lineart for our character...
Then, I added some colors. I went natural for the mask and went for more vibrant colors for the outfit.
After that, I added shading and highlights...
And in the end, got to this final product!
Next, I explored the world that this character would inhabit. I knew I wanted to stay away from the whole "village" vibe that is over done with African stories, I wanted to go for a big futuristic city, built on top of a traditional ancient city. Since I was in Savannah at the time, I used this as the building blocks for the new world.
I walked around Savannah to get some inspiration for the shots and the environment. I decided to go for a full shot, a wide shot, and a long shot to get the full idea of the world and character. These 3 images were my favorites.
After that, I sketched out the basic shapes of the buildings and elements and built on top of them to create a different world. Doing this allowed me to add value to help me choose focal points and create the best image.
With these building blocks in place, I was able to easily move forward to the finished product!