I usually pick one from two methods that I like to use. One is to start from the thought of a certain vibe or emotion that I want to express or communicate, even when animating, I like this approach because it allows me to focus on the communication through the image, rather than the design of a character for example. The other is starting from an idea, or sketch that I have given more thought beforehand, I suppose this is the more ‘regular’ approach.
So with the regular approach I personally like to refine the initial sketch before I actually start. With the Youtube project I came up with personal characters in this VR mmo world, and the characters would have something to do with music. So as me and my audio friend were having a chat during our regular meetings I came up with Frequency and Amplitude, which of course together make what we perceive as sound. I wanted to translate these to MMORPG roles so I came up with the Idea of making Amp a support type of guy as he would ‘amplify’ the performances of others in our universe, and Frequency could strike lightning fast with his katana, forming the DPS role. I’d love to tell more about the specific lore and thoughts on this universe but I’m getting off track. Here’s what the first doodle looked like, Frequency with his katana and the initial idea of the amp suit with a sound buster and amplifiers as a jet.