Re: Tips for making or improving your creations.
Well, since this seems to be taking off, I figure now's a good time to post the thing that gave me the idea to start it. (also i'm making an index kinda thing up in the first post) This is something I did a lot in high school, though it's more of a general drawing tip.
Now that i think about it, maybe i should get back into the habit of that...A good way to practice:
if you want your characters to have more consistent proportions and look (for lack of a better term) more alive, watch movies and while they're playing try to draw what the characters are doing without pausing or taking screenshots. try to do 5-6 a day. They don't need to be big, don't spend more than a few minutes per picture, and don't worry about the fine details the first few hundred times. it's not about getting the details for that one character right, it's about getting the basic shapes and movements down. Try to do this a few times a week, preferably daily but I know that's not practical for some people. It will improve your skills, shouldn't take more than an hour or so out of your day, and as a bonus, you have an excuse to re-watch all of your favorite movies, and plenty of new ones.
It's like practicing an instrument. It's about repetition, accuracy will come in time. The idea is that after a while you'll be able to draw those poses from memory without needing a reference picture. Speaking of repetition, get a sketch book. Cause even if you're putting all of your practice sketches on the same page you are going to burn through paper FAST. better to have it all in one place.
Also try to avoid drawing too many pictures in other people's styles you're copying. A lot of artists have a particular set of proportions they use that wouldn't carry over well to someone else's style, or to your own once you come up with one. You stick to copying one style too much and you get used to that proportion set, witch will wreak havoc on a little thing called muscle memory. fan work is fine, but at least half of your stuff should be your own.
Lastly, if you get up to a point where you don't seem to be getting better, or if you just want tips, show your work to other people. And don't get defensive if they nitpick it; believe it or not, that's actually a GOOD thing. You WANT to know where you've picked up bad habits, or have been making errors. That said, don't focus too too much on that side of things either, as it can get depressing real quick if you start tuning out the comments about what you're doing right and let self doubt sink in. That's why it's good to have someone like AD around; someone who seems to think everything is awesome.