Something I’m fascinated with, is how certain characters come about. They don’t just spring out of an artist’s mind full-formed. Every character goes through a design process, full of iterations and trial & error. Daisy is no different, so in this post I’ll be looking back on how she came into being. But first, we’ll need to go a little further back.

Back in 2005, I’d been working in the game industry for a couple of years, and the work regular crunch times were taking a toll. For the longest time, I liked to draw violent, action-oriented, and even mildly creepy things. The problem was that now I was animating monsters and soldiers every day, so drawing more of the same in my spare time was no longer fun. I needed something else to draw, and decided on pinups.

Pinups felt like the exact opposite of my industry work. By day I animated violent action things, but by night, I drew cute & sexy things! The only problem now was that the character I’d started drawing – Mary-Anne – still had a bit of creepiness and a lot of violence to her. I’d designed her as a chainsaw-wielding psychopath.

Mary didn’t require much design work. She was basically my version of Sadie-Mae from Scooby Doo Meets the Boo Brothers, just with big anime bangs.

Pretty much the same.

Violent quirks aside, Mary was still a generic pinup girl. At the time, I was a frequenter of the “Drawing Board” forum of Shane Glines’s website, where someone had noted that everyone was essentially drawing the same idealized pinup girls. The styles might’ve been different, along with hair styles and colors, but the base ideas were the same. That turned into a challenge, for artists to share and draw their ideas for body types other than the basic template. Some suggested different ethnicities, others recommended older or overweight women. The only thing I could think to add to the discussion? Little people. I had no intention of acting on the suggestion, it was just a fun idea that I felt should be added to the mix.

Shifting Plans

By 2007, I’d fallen into a rut. I’d modeled & rigged Mary in 3D, and had lots of crazy plans for animations, but I wasn’t interested in her being a psycho anymore. Nothing else seemed to work for her though, so I ended up pushing her aside until I could make sense of her. In the meantime, I needed a new character to focus on, but every attempted just looked like Mary with different hair & clothes.

Once I started playing with different eye, nose, and face shapes, I’d drawn a face that I liked.  The hair took surprisingly little time. She originally had bangs, but I almost instantly decided against them.

With this new character’s face and hair settled on, now I needed to give her a body. Starting with Mary’s proportions as a template, I decided to go a little shorter, but while keeping the width of everything the same. Having her stand at least a head shorter than Mary would help to set them apart if I ever had them side by side, but it still felt too… normal. By this point I’d drawn a few images of my gnome from World of Warcraft, so I decided to make this new, unnamed girl shorter, and shorter still. With each step, I started laughing to myself, so I knew I was on the right track!

One last detail – her breasts. What size should they be? I could have just given her average-sized breasts and been done with it, but wouldn’t it be more fun to make them bigger? Just as with making her short, the bigger her breasts got, the funnier it was to me!

being overworked and sleep-deprived at the time may have also been a factor.

Now the funny thing is that over the years her design has evolved, to the point that she’s gotten even shorter, her hips wider, and her boobs are now what before I might’ve considered too big!

I’m a simple creature. Don’t judge!

The next order of business for this character-to-be – clothing. While many an online perv would disagree, she can’t just be naked all the time! It took no time at all for me to settle on “waitress at a 50s-style diner”.

Even her name took little time to settle on. “Daisy” was a name I’d planned on using for a gunslinger cousin to Mary-Anne. That idea was quickly dropped, because again, it would’ve just been Mary-Anne with different hair. I still wanted to use the name, though, in here it felt like a perfect fit.

Her Grand Entrance

For Daisy’s debut, I’d decided to draw a comic. Looking back, the biggest problem was that she was less of a character in it and more of a punchline. 

I also couldn’t be bothered to ink or color it, two steps I still struggle with!

That comic was originally supposed to be Daisy’s only appearance, but she ended up being too much fun. More & more ideas came, and very quickly she overtook Mary as my main character.

Further Developing the Over-developed

The more I drew her, I felt that if Daisy was going to stick around, then there needed to be more to her than just “short girl with big boobs”. Pinups & boob jokes can only go so far, but a fully-realized character can go so much farther!

Putting myself in Daisy’s shoes, I imagined that having such large breasts on a tiny frame would be annoying. Maybe she just wants to do her job and get through her day, but one way or another the size of her boobs makes that difficult. At the very least, they would draw attention, and – projecting a bit of myself onto her – perhaps Daisy doesn’t enjoy being the center of attention.

Clothing would be another issue – much of what she wears would need to be custom-made, which is likely more costly, leading to an additional layer of financial stress. Custom bras in particular are not cheap, I learned, and Daisy would certainly need several of those!

Then of course there a grosser details, like the fact that large breasts, like any other body part, generate heat. They generate heat, and they’re pressed together and against the body…  sweating is unavoidable. How embarrassing might it be if Daisy needed to change her clothes several times each day, due to the sweat?

More Complexity, More Complications

Fleshing out Daisy’s personality wasn’t without its headaches. The biggest problem was that I hadn’t stopped drawing pinups of her, and those pinups often clashed with her personality. In-character, she’s offended when people focus on her breasts, but then I’d turn around and draw a nude pinup where she’s practically demanding that the viewer look at them.

Eventually I’d settled on a simple compromise – if it doesn’t happen in a comic, then it isn’t canon. And even if it DOES happen in a comic, I can change my mind! That’s part of the fun of having your own characters – you make the rules, and can do whatever you want!