Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login

Make whatever character you want

Thu Feb 23, 2017, 8:31 AM

FAQ | Commissions | Characters


I made a journal similar to this a while ago: DRAW WHAT THE FUCK YOU WANTSince this is art related I'll rant here.
Because of the Steven Universe shit on Tumblr and now people being offended by how you may draw your own character (which was seen on here), I need to jump in here and give my angry thoughts.
DRAW WHATEVER THE FUCK YOU WANT. Doesn't matter if it offends someone else. YOU CAN DRAW IT. Of course you can't post certain things to specific sites because of rules, BUT BESIDES THAT DO WHATEVER YOU WANT.
People are trying to police on what illnesses you can give to your characters or how you represent your character. Some people are even saying "if you don't have that illness you can't have your character with that illness."
BULL. SHIT. That is taking it TOO far. INSTEAD, you should encourage people to RESEARCH the said illness so they are getting it right. But even if the artist doesn't want to, it's their right.
It's just so frustrating to see people telling others what they can and can't draw. I'd draw protest art if I could handle a bunch of people

But I have some other things to say now! And this new one isn't as mad sounding. ahahaha

This is something I am super passionate about, so I wanna share my feelings for this. So in a way it will be giving advice on how to make "believable" characters, and yet don't have to at the same time.

First small thing: make an overpowered character if you want to.
Go as mary/gary-sue as you want. They are your characters! Many characters in anime are over-powered and very much loved. Many times it's fun seeing them over-powered. More fun when there's a twist to them, like One Punch Man.
This also goes for things they might be "perfect" at or are a general prodigy. Go ahead! Just know that if you rp with someone and you have an over-powered character, it may make it frustrating on the other person. It can also be easy to not have interesting stories either. BUT YOU CAN STILL MAKE THEM THAT WAY!

Now for the biggest part of this journal:
Make any kind of character you want, either it being from different sexualities, races, sexes, species (though also be mindful of closed species) and any kind of disability or ANYTHING ELSE that can happen. You don't have to experience it yourself to make a character with it.
You can also go by stereotypes. They are there for a reason. It's wrong of people to say "NEVER GO BY STEREOTYPES!" cuz then they are ignoring the many people who ARE stereotypes.

My advice: just treat the character as that: a character.
When it comes to believability, characters are super complex. Just think about each person you know. They are all different in their own ways. Treat your own characters like that!

So this next part of advice is for if you want to make them realistic instead of "overpowered/can do everything right" kind of thing.

First, lets go with an example. A gay character. What makes a character gay? Their sexuality. The ONLY thing you need for that character to be gay is for them to be sexually attracted to the same sex. THAT'S IT. Everything else is up to you! You can make them as stereotypical as you want, or as far away from stereotypes as you want, or a mix of both! Figure out their likes and dislikes and how their society is towards them and how they react to that as well as general personality and if they have any possible mental disorders and... the list goes on! The more you add to a character, the more realistic they theoretically will be!
Don't go by what people say you "can" and "can't" do with a character because they have specific interests. Not everyone will like your character, and that's fine! But they can't tell you to not go into something.

Now, when it comes to specific other things, like mental illness or physical disabilities, these would be better with a bunch of research, and talking to those who deal with it. Hear from lots of different places since everyone goes through things differently. You can then figure it out from there! However, this is only if you're giving a character a SPECIFIC problem! If you make up a problem, you can do as you like!

For example, my character, Chet, seems as if he has "split personality disorder" (I know it's called something else but this explains it more easily) but it's very unique to himself. When he's not hungry he is more calm and regrets a lot of what he does... but when he becomes hungry he is very different and murderous, not caring what he does. That's just the tip of his problems, but I'm not trying to base him off of a specific mental issue. He is his own character, so it won't follow specific things.

Like with being gay, if your character is of a skin tone, like a black character (and you yourself are not), make them as their own character! The only trait they have in common with other black people is their skin color. The door is wide open! Now if you want them to be a part of something specific, like the black panther party, or lives in the ghetto, or any "stereotypical" black thing (and shhh if you are suddenly offended by what I said here. Each race has their stereotypes), then you'll want to do research. See why some black people live in poor neighborhoods (and also know that any race can!). Or read up on success stories of black people getting out of there, or compare it to black people who have lived rich ever since they were born! See the differences between them. It also depends on culture. A black character and a white character living the same life may be very alike (like with mannerisms, food, language, and so on. Interests can still vary wildly, however), while if they were a part of two very different cultures, they'd be very different in all those things!
This all goes for any race/nationality. If your character deals with our world, it will be best to do research on the specific cultures you may have the character in, but still treat them as their own character! I'd just say be wary of false stereotypes (stereotypes that were given to a race but isn't actually something that ever happened, or happened to ONE person.)

Like me for example, even though I have a fantasy world, I am doing lots of research of Japanese culture to put into my world, with some differences, but also trying to avoid false stereotypes. I love the Japanese culture, so I want to do what I can to learn more!

But if your character is in a fantasy world and they aren't based on real life, their skin color wouldn't dictate how they are as a person (besides the made up cultures you do).

I have mentioned my trans character before, and I know there will be people who will be angry at me for a variety of reasons (that I'm not trans, or that I don't portray the character how they like, or even showing anything negative about them). To me, they'd only be seeing my character as "trans" and not as a person. That annoys me. :/ But I will simply ignore them and do as I please. Some people will be able to relate to the characters, while others won't. The character isn't meant for everyone who is trans to relate to them. That's not reality.

But, if you do want to make a character that focuses around a specific thing about them, go ahead! I may personally not like it, but as I've said you should make characters how you want. You just shouldn't dictate how others make their own characters.

I really want to drive this point home: each character is their own person. Treat them as such.
I have stereotypical characters, opposite ones, and mixed ones. It makes it fun when they all interact together!
So have fun with it!
And if you need any further advice, go ahead and ask me. :3

Add a Comment:
Karn-sama Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2017
I don't often favourite journals, but this is a great mmessage. 

while personally Ifind mary-sues to be a...difficult subject too do right, wgen they are they can be great fun!
I do't get why poeople get all offended by some characters........
if they don't like it, why are they looking at them?

also, sorry fpr the spellingb errors, I have a cat poinning me to imited motion in the typing department
feather--weather Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2017

Srsly though
Yeah make what you want
Do research preferably if you want to make an OC from a specific race or region (so many pet peeves when a character who's a "native new yorker" use the word "hella" jfc) but don't let the fact that you're not a part of that group dictate what kind of characters you can make

Because if I can only make an OC based on what i lived... that would be a kinds boring cis mutt girl
Ghostsenpaii Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Another thing I have to add on with this:
Why must people attack others if they have an OC that happens to match a closed species? No offense to you, as you have a closed species yourself, but many closed species (especially animals) tend to be something you could actually make without ever knowing the species because it's not too incredibly different from a known creature. Yet if someone goes to post that OC, they usually get attacked for infringing on that closed species when they didn't even know it existed in the first place.

My solution to the entire thing would either to have the owner of the closed species let them keep the OC as they didn't know and quite possibly do changes TO the closed species so it never occurs again, or change their closed species drastically so it's more unique. Because I hate when stuff like that happens. Of course, if they KNOW that the species exists and do it on purpose, that's totally fine to get after. But if they had absolutely no idea that it was apparently a 'closed species', then you seriously don't need to attack them.

I do agree with you, though. People are so mean and limiting when they try to tell people what to do with their characters. I honestly don't give a crap what you make your character like. Hell, I'd even encourage others to make an OC based off of a closed species and just simply never post it or alter it drastically so they don't get attacked. But it's so terrible that we all try to limit each other with creativity. The point of art is to BE creative. And I can understand when you want to sell designs to make some money, but you shouldn't be able to claim basic designs and species (for example, if you had a metal-based canine species it shouldn't be closed because any number of people would have an OC of that sort without knowing of a closed species and get attacked with no purpose) and then get offended if someone has an OC like that. While I'm on it, people should just love characters and the style they're drawn in as it is instead of dissing on the creator. That's not only rude but it can lead the artist down a dark path. It's actually sad how dark deviantART has become lately. So many people are attacking others for characters, personal quarrels, stealing their art and characters, openly abusing species (and blatantly ignoring their rules), etc. I'm actually thinking I might end up leaving deviantART if it becomes any worse, because it's becoming less and less of a safe place for artists.

(One more note: I'm not against closed species. I'm actually for the idea if it's a UNIQUE CLOSED SPECIES, whether it be human(oid), anthro, feral, or anything else. The thing I'm disagreeing with is having a closed species that's basic and could EASILY be done by anyone. Sad to say that I've encountered far too many closed species that are too similar to realistic animals with just a few tweaks. If you're not going to go out of your way to make your species completely unique then you should just make it an open/semi-open species.)
dawningbluesky Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2017
cool journal~ I did intensive research on things for my story before, so I know what it's like. never understood why stereotypes were bad too, and nice to see someone else who agrees :3
safyia110 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Awesome Journal!  I couldn't agree more!  I am so glad you put this out there for all to see~    ^^
Mako-me Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2017  Student Digital Artist
Reminds me when I made a character with the last name Belmont. Apparently people never realize it existed well before Castlevania and automatically pinned my character as either a rip off or sue. I honestly never played those games so I never understood what they were talking about besides character names. x_x this is beautifully written by the way <3
Mikeymonkey1989 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks so much for posting this! :hug: I'm a true believer that characters are like real people. I don't wake up and say, "today, I'm going to create this kind of character." They just come to me and are who they are. To alter them to please someone would just feel wrong.

I totally agree with your point on research, as well. I, personally, get really into the psychology of my characters, and I feel that it helps me get to know them better.
shorty-antics-27 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2017  Student Digital Artist
well it can be good to want to make a specific character, then to let them change as they develop~

I wanted to make an armless Volatikai. Then he turned into Flint, and it's more of his personality that stands out than his arms. xD His hair is a contender as well. LOL
Mikeymonkey1989 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
Makes sense. To each their own, as I say. It is fun to watch your characters grow and develop. :)
gravityfallsandstuff Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2017  Student General Artist
Too bad I care too much about what other people would say if I went all out-
But I love my OCs how they are.
shorty-antics-27 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2017  Student Digital Artist
It's why it annoys me when others try to control what other people do. :/ it's not fair.
HannahSealy Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh my god, preach it! THANK YOU. I've ALWAYS said this.
Characters don't have to be perfect, or they can be. The whole point of creation is to create what YOU want! No matter how ridiculous or weird or over the top or boring a character may be! I acknowledged some cliches in my characters. I know they are there, and I'm okay with it! It's who they are. I love seeing OCs that someone is passionate about, no matter how amazing their story is or sin't.
THANK YOU for this journal. This needed to be said.
shorty-antics-27 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2017  Student Digital Artist
Yessss! <3
ShadowMaster4213 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2017  Hobbyist Artist

I have a mix of characters

And I love each and every one of em haha

I don't care what people say, cause they're mine and I can make em the why I want them to be

But I am still fair in RPs. My over powered character is clumsy and childish as fuck
shorty-antics-27 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2017  Student Digital Artist
I become upset and sad when people worry they are going to offend people by how they portray a character. That's like if a gay man should be upset that they themselves are flamboyant, the gay stereotype. There's nothing wrong with it. :v
ShadowMaster4213 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2017  Hobbyist Artist
Add a Comment:

:iconshorty-antics-27: More from shorty-antics-27

Featured in Collections

Journals, Commissions, Info by feather--weather

Resources by feather--weather

More from DeviantArt


Submitted on
February 23


33 (who?)