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Much like with high-speed rail and convenience store sushi, America is — in many ways — just now beginning to catch-up with Asia in terms of social & chat sticker production. Whole micro-economies have sprouted around stickers for apps like LINE and WeChat. Characters that started off by helping you write LOL to your mom now have entire retail ecosystems.


When we approach sticker creation, it’s generally from a character-centric place. We want the user to not only go ‘hey, that’s a great way to express how hungry I am’, but also to fall in love with the little pixelated creature that’s helping them express that hunger.

HERE’S A BRIEF LOOK INTO HOW WE MAKE A CHARACTER FOR MOBILE STICKERS, FROM SKETCHES TO FINAL ANIMATION .

 
 

OUR SUBJECTS

 
 
 

SUBJECT 1:

Meet:
Mr. Minton

Suave. Athletic. Poised. Totally not like your dad.

That’s Mr. Minton. He’s not just the neighborhood champion of badminton, he’s the neighborhood champion of having nice hair, driving a cool car, and wearing a sweater decoratively thrown over his shoulder even though it’s 98 degrees outside.

 

Background: Aside from football, which we’re bad at, badminton is Indonesia’s most loved sport — and we kind of rule at it. Being great at badminton is a male status symbol; a sign of your sporting prowess. For our character, we wanted to nail that suburban swagger with a strong undertone of Richie Tenenbaum to give a slight Western nod.

 

CHARACTER SKETCH

 

Illustration

 

Animated GIF

 
 

SUBJECT 2:

TEEN TUYUL

Over the last thousand or so years, the tuyul has been one of Indonesia’s most hated paranormal visitors. A small goblin obsessed with mischief, money, and madness, it’s easy to see why your aunt keeps sharing that viral story of a captured tuyul on Facebook. The tuyul has been a menace for a millennia, but now… now he wants to be a %#@#@ Instagram influencer.

Background: Ghost culture hums in the background of most of Asia, but in Indonesia, centuries of mythology carried from across the world have combined to create something of an obsession. The tuyul is a part of life here. An annoying, occasionally dangerous reason for things going suddenly bad. He’s also tiny and funny looking, so bonus.

 

CHARACTER SKETCH

 

ILLUSTRATION

 

ANIMATED GIF

 

CONCEPT 3:

Macan MOM

Are you eating right? Eating enough? How about sleep? Are you staying up too late? Do you know how important sleep is? Your friends sleep too much, though. Are you still hanging out with them? How are their grades? How are your grades? You want to go to college right? Not end up like Uncle Fadli, always just sitting at home doing nothing. But when will you visit your aunt and uncle next? When was the last time you visited, honestly?

Background: While it’s something of a well-kept secret, Asian mothers tend to vaguely worry about their children and have mildly high expectations for their children's lives. Indonesian mothers are certainly no exception to this rule, and with Constance Wu having introduced America to the genre, it seems like having a disapproving matriarchal figure in your phone might be a societal necessity.

 

CHARACTER SKETCH

 

ILLUSTRATION

 
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Animated GIF

 

See more of our work for GIPHY on our creator channel.