Author Archive: Kate Santee

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2013 Challenger: Kate Santee

| October 21, 2013 | 1 Comment

And we’re off!

I can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t drawing, and I figured I might as well get paid for it. In the past year I’ve been getting my footing in a career as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator and have taken on many exciting new projects, including my first published illustrations for the children’s book Silly Nomads from Palmerston Close. I’ve also cut my teeth into comics and illustrated several short comics and strips for Arcana’s serial anthology, Steampunk Originals.

This will be my second serious attempt at the 30 Characters Challenge. I only did a handful of characters in 2011, and in 2012 I was preoccupied with a job search and a post-hurricane power outage, but this time I really want to be deliberate about creating art on a consistent schedule.

Here are some sketches from my first official participation in the challenge:

And a sketch of the protagonist from a comic that might be appearing in Volume 5 of Steampunk Originals:

You can see all this and more on my personal art blog.

I have a few  ideas for a personal comic I’d like to flesh out, so I’m aiming to articulate some character concepts I’ve got in my head and eventually come up with a narrative that could tie any of them together, even just a small handful. On the technical side of things, I want to push my artistic style to see if I can portray a diverse range of body types and facial structures, and I’d like to play a bit more with color (as much as I like rough sketches, I’d like to get better at producing a finished product).

Good luck to everyone who’s taking the plunge this year! I’m looking forward to seeing tons of cool characters!

#8: Alternate Universe Monkey Punch

| November 29, 2011 | 0 Comments

My boyfriend told me about a dream he had where he met the creator of Lupin III, who turned out to be a kindly old woman who was just in the middle of an archeological dig.

The mental image that resulted was too good to pass up, and I ended up quickly sketching what turned out to be a badass-adorable elderly Japanese woman. She dabbles in archeology and swag old-lady fashion when she’s not busy drawing surprisingly saucy cartoons.

#7: Magic Student

| November 29, 2011 | 0 Comments

This is not a prompt from the story generator, but I just realized I hadn’t drawn any dudes up until the jerkface comedian, so maybe I could balance it out a bit.

I like this design, but it’s dawned on me that the dudes I like to draw tend to dress like college professors from 50+ years ago. I guess I project my own interests on my female characters too, but somehow it’s more noticeable on the male characters I draw. I should probably work on that.

#6: Opinionated Comic

| November 29, 2011 | 0 Comments



I played around with a story generator and played off some of the prompt phrases for characters, and I was too lazy to come up with decent names for them.

This guy’s kind of a big jerkface.

#5: Focused Queen

| November 29, 2011 | 0 Comments

Only two days of November left? TOO BAD STILL DRAWING

I picked up a bunch of minimal character descriptions from this story generator, and this is meant to be a “focused queen”. I’m afraid I don’t have much of a background for her, but I did like drawing that ceremonial uniform.

#4: Orli the Vampire

| November 12, 2011 | 0 Comments

Your friendly neighborhood vampire who may or may not be based on an iconic horror movie character.

She loves to write poetry and play with light switches; she really hates sunburn (which she gets far too easily) and seeing people drop too many things.


#3: Elena “Lanie” Flynn

| November 7, 2011 | 0 Comments

Another member of the Teen Girl Squad Band, the keyboardist!

Lanie was a private school kid up until seventh grade and is still licking the wounds in public high school. She’s naturally shy, sometimes insecure, and when faced with a conflict she tends to be passive aggressive. However, she means well and can be a loyal friend—she is, in fact, good friends with Tesla, who stood up for her against some bullies back in middle school before they learned they shared a similar sense of humor and a love of classic rock and Pokemon.

#2: Tessa “Tesla” Liang

| November 7, 2011 | 0 Comments

Inspired by the generic concept of a group of teen misfits starting a band, more specifically motivated by the desire to see more teenage female characters that weren’t terribly shallow stereeotypes.

With most of these designs I tend to be more concerned with the visual aspect than the writing, but the more I sketched this character the more little details about her occurred to me. The character who started as a simple semi-punk bassist is becoming an honors student whose love of literature comes second only to music, a musician who picked up the cello at an early age before learning to play bass, and a generally chill person who sometimes has strong opinions about music and politics (she’s flirting with feminism and socialism). I’m starting to like her.

#1: Mimi Necco

| November 6, 2011 | 0 Comments

When I first heard about this challenge last November, it was too late in the month for me to actually join, but I thought it was a fun exercise and did a couple on my own. Two character designs that came out of it were Captain Neckbeard and The Skunge, the most fearsome pirates you’d find in any basement.

I almost wanted to revamp their designs for the official challenge, but I felt like that’d be cheating, so I decided to add another member to their nerdy crew. She’s probably a navigator of sorts, definitely convinced she’s a cute little kitty cat in the body of a grown woman.

2011 Challenger: Kate Santee

| November 1, 2011 | 0 Comments

Greetings, all! I’m Kate Santee, and I’ve been drawing ever since I could get my grubby little fingers on pencil. It’s been over a year since I graduated from Kutztown University with a BFA in Communication Design, and since then my work has alternated between caricature art and freelance graphic design.

Character design has always been of great interest to me. At an early age I would draw ridiculous characters inspired by whatever cartoons or video games I was into at the time; as my tastes branched out I became aware of other genres, different art styles, and a greater variety of approaches to conveying characters.

I jumped at the chance to participate in this year’s challenge because I find it to be the perfect opportunity to push myself as an artist. With this challenge, I hope to push as many ideas as I possibly can within the constraints of a single month and put just as many of those ideas on paper. Furthermore, I want to push myself to share my art with other people—partly for the exposure, partly for the criticism. I’m looking forward to exploring different concepts and figuring out how to convey them effectively.

I have a portfolio of my graphic design and caricature work here, and you can find some of my personal art and sketches on my blog.

Good luck to everyone involved! I’m excited to work on this challenge and see all the characters that come out of it.