How to Create Enchanting Character Aesthetics
If you are part of the writing community on Twitter or Instagram, chances are you've come across some lovely character aesthetics or mood boards. They are a fun and visual way to share information about your characters or story.
Today, I will not only show you how to create an aesthetic, but tips on how to make them visually striking.
My most liked photo on Instagram is this mood board I created for my current WIP, A Sea of Pearls and Leaves:
It is not just a random assortment of pictures, but an intentional arrangement of thoughtfully choses images. It is visually pleasing and offers a glimpse into the plot and mood of the story.
So, how do I get started with creating a mood board?
You first need images! To find gorgeous photos, I prefer to save images from www.pinterest.com or www.pixabay.com. Although it is easier to find beautiful photos on Pinterest, you do not legally own those images. It's fine for creating aesthetics which you are just sharing for fun, but you can't use them to create book covers, etc. That is why I suggest Pixabay or another royalty free image site if you plan on using Canva images for profit.
I have a few suggestions for collecting images. Since you want your mood board to encompass your story and/or your character, consider searching for images that represent the following:
Someone who looks like your character
Special objects or symbols
Favorite things (animals, food, etc.)
Make sure these images have a similar "vibe." What I mean is, don't choose a cartoon character for your MC while the rest of your images are realistic. Keep the tone consistent for the entire mood board.
I also like to type the word "aesthetic" after my word in the search bar of Pinterest. It ensures you will have lovely and artistic photographs appear.
Once you have your series of images, head over to www.canva.com to make the aesthetic. It is user friendly and is a great place to make all types of marketing images, not just mood boards.
Steps for creating an aesthetic with Canva:
1. Select your design size on Canva's home page. I usually choose the Instagram Post:
2. Click elements -> Grids -> Choose your preferred grid:
3. Upload photos and pop them into the grid
4. Photo Placement
Now you can work on the visual appeal of your aesthetic. Think about balance and color as you place your photos into the grid. Similar colors or textures should be placed opposite of one another. Play around with the position of the photos for the best arrangement.
Choose a filter to place over each of your photos to give them a similar tone. Not all the photos you find online will work perfectly together, but if you use a filter it will give them a cohesive look.
Hint: my favorite is Nordic!
6. Background Color
Choose a background color that ties everything together!
7. Download and share away!
Have fun sharing to social media or enjoying for yourself! Aesthetics are a fun way to visually represent your characters or story!
I hope you enjoyed these tips on creating your very own aesthetics and mood boards! Check out these others I've made (some for myself and some for friends on Twitter):