How to create your own cartoon characters using everyday items

You might think that to make cartoon or comic characters, you have to be really good at drawing people. Not so! The makings of new characters are all around. You just have to look. Try this exercise, and you won't look at your toothbrush—or anything else—in the same way.

Your teacher in this video is Taylor Dow, a comics artist and game designer from Seattle’s Gage Academy of Art. He shows you how to come up with new ideas based on the shapes of different objects you have at home. He uses a nail polish bottle, a small whisk, and an electric plug adapter, but you can use anything you want.

As you'll see in the tutorial, you can get a bunch of shapes even from just one item, depending on which direction it's facing and whether you trace it or draw it freehand. Add a face and some other features (maybe a sassy hat?), and you've got a character that's totally out of this world.

And, by the way, Taylor has some advice about mistakes that’s worth remembering: If a drawing doesn't turn out the way you wanted, that's great. Why is a mistake great? It's a chance to come up with something different or surprising. Once you have a character you like, give it a name, and keep drawing it!

What you'll need:

● One sheet of paper
● Something to draw with (pen, pencil, marker)
● Small household objects for inspiration (optional)

Virtual Kids Week activities are intended for children with involvement from a parent or guardian.