Here's a new time-lapse video of my vector illustration process using the weird and now-defunct program Macromedia Freehand. I'm waiting for the time when I update my OS and I can't run Freehand anymore. That will be a very sad day. But this has been fun practice for character design that isn't a bunch of circles. :P
Mainly, my process has been finding really good illustrators and learning from their character design as much as I can. I've been drawing off and on since art school, but I never mastered those little touches that make a real professional. Hands are a particular challenge, so I spent a lot of time sketching different poses and shapes. Hats are also tough, with weird contoured brims and odd dents.
In the end, I had to rely on other artist's sketches from the sample art I've collected on my Pinterest board over the past few weeks. I tried not to just straight-up copy or trace over their work, though. Like I said in my last post, this is a backup plan and will more likely just serve as loose art direction for real professional illustrators.