BEFORE YOU SCROLL DOWN!!!!! PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR THE GUIDE. VIEW AND READ THIS FIRST!!!! BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING CLICK AND READ THAT. THEN READ THIS ARTICLE!!
FORGIVE ME for any typos in the guide. My English is not always good and the program I made the guide in does not have a spell checker.
You guys..this is the truth. I'm just keeping it real for ya'll. Please only take advice from THIS wiki and this one only? Yes. Making an oc means that you have complete creative control and can do whatever you want with it. HOWEVER THERE ARE RULES TO FOLLOW MY LOVELIES! Don't be fooled. Making an oc is a long, sometimes hard, by fun process that requires a LOT of research, imagination and time!
I felt this guide and set of helpful tips needed a place here on the fandom wiki!
This was originally posted as a wikihow article and improved as a Devaintart how-to guide created and written by me, Spiceprincess with a little help from Candy2021. A lot of you guys on this fandom wiki make some cool ocs! Most of you have the right idea but beware! It's REALLY easy to go down the wrong road!
The text below is the description on the original deviantart upload just copy and pasted from here! I added some more things and tried to make it as clear as possible! If you have questions or need clarification on something still, don't hesitate to drop me a line, either HERE on the wiki, on my talk page, or on my Deviantart page. :3
Okay, well I was going to apologize because I write so much but I realized.. Explaining the process of making an oc requires a lot of words! There's lots of things to look out for, keep in mind and remember! I REALLY REALLY REALLY REEEEALLY hope no one looks at this guide, says TL;DR and walks away D: I can only hope that you read it, please??
BEFORE WE GO ON
VERY IMPORTANT words to know the meaning and signs of:
Mary Sue/Gary Stu - THIS IS BAD, BAD, BAD, BAD. The sad thing is, it is probably the most often mistake made by any artist. The title "Mary Sue", for a female or "Gary Stu" for male, is given to an oc and it can mean a couple of REALLY BAD things. This usually means an oc has "flawless" ways. For example, an oc having powers that make it so they will always be ready for what life throws at them. Or and oc who had a tragic background and is that stereotypical moody teen. The main warning word that goes with Mary Sue/Gary Stu would be CLICHE.
Plagiarism - There's so much of this going around the fandom it's crazy. Some just don't understand what it is and when they find out they don't care! This is how artists get reported and banned. click HERE for the perfect example diagram of what obvious character theft looks like. Clicking the link you will find a better explanation on plagiarism, as told by Candy. Lastly, OF COURSE, if you ever find someone plagiarizing you or someone you know, DO NOT get into some argument or post some angry journal entry. Simply leave a comment stating their crime and report them. You don't even have to leave a comment if you don't want to. Just report and move on.
HELPFUL CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT LINKS
Mythical Creatures Guide -- This is a brilliant site which offers list upon list of monsters and mythical creatures from around the world!
Seventh Sanctum -- This is also a life-saving web site. It overs many helpful generators which give you prompts, or ideas about things from character hair and eye color combos to personality traits! It's really helpful and actually quite fun as well.
How to avoid making your oc a Mary Su or Gary Stu! -- This information was posted on site for LotR but the info still rings true for ANY oc. PLEASE READ.
Giving a Mary Su Flaws This might help for previously created ocs of yours that fit the Mary Su bill, or if you just can't get away from that mindset.
Tips for Outfit and Color Scheme Some very helpful hints on that. Some design ocs and make them very cluttered and far too busy looking! This will help cure that mindset!
Choosing one can either be a instant bout of inspiration ORRR the hardest thing in the world, depending.
As I've said, try to AVOID things like Slenderman and the changelings from My Little Pony FiM. Also, Homestuck trolls. Just because you want a troll character does not mean they have to be of Homestuck origin. The same goes for Shrek. Just because you want an ogre oc doesn't mean they have to pull from Shrek.
MLP characters are MLP characters. Putting them in the MH universe honestly does not add up. Mainly because the MH characters are humanoids, or creatures who resemble humans in body, shape, face, all that. The main reason Slenderman is a NO NO is because of more... moral reasons. I am not very well knowledgeable with Creepypasta and the stuff that it's about but I DO know that Slenderman's main victim of choice is CHILDREN. That's a whole other, full detailed issue as to why, but... just do not use him as a monster parent. PLUS he's VERY over-used. Many in the MH have an oc who is his child so if you created one as well, it would not get noticed very much probably.
Speaking of overused monster parents! It's easy to get your oc lost in the pit of boring. For example... let's say you want to make the child of a genie or djinn couple. While there is nothing WRONG with this, think about it! Look at how many genie/dijnn there are out there in the fandom. More than 4 or 5 and your genie oc will just get thrown into the pot of unexciting sameness. To avoid this, put the genie/djinn race on the backburner and try to search for a different monster parent to use instead.
Now, I know. Sometimes you latch onto a certain monster parent and you are honestly just too inspired to let it go. So let's say you HAVE to make a genie kid. OKAY another way to avoid getting thrown into the pit of sameness, is by doing a little trick I did with a few of my ocs.
Try looking up that same creature or monster but in a different country or belief. Google something like "genies in africa", "genies in europe.", or simply "genies around the world" and see what you get. Most of the time you will get good articles and info on creatures that are VERY SIMILAR to the original creature you chose, but perhaps a tad different. This way you can get a bit more creative and pull designs and ideas from a different country or belief system and still have an oc of the creature you wanted in the first place!
I'll admit this does not ALWAYS work ALL THE TIME, depending on how obscure the monster is. This method takes a lot of research as well.
One other thing I should mention... I've seen a few people do this. Using a monster from a movie, show, mythology, reliegion, whatever, as a monster parent is the whole point. HOWEVER I've seen some in the fandom use the ACTUAL monster as their oc. I haven't seen someone use a movie character for this but I have seen creatures of urban legends and myths like Bloody Mary used as a person's oc. If you want to use the actual monster as your oc, then make them a teacher! The whole point of Monster High is that they are the KIDS of monsters right? Not the actual monster.
Annnd of course, (this usually applies to oc's based off movie and show characters) do not make a carbon copy of the monster parent you want to use, and call that your oc. True your character will probably have traits similar to the parent but that isn't an invite to basically plagiarize the original monster by making the "younger" version of them.
VILLAINS, BADDIES AND SO ON
As I stated in the guide, just because a character in a movie, show or whatever is a villain does NOT mean they are automatically monster parent material.
Sooooo many times I've seen children of The Joker and Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, even Cruella Devil. NO PEOPLE. NO. THEY are humans. Eventhough they might of been portrayed so crazy that they seemed like monsters in their stories, they are not.
And I should also mention that just because a character in a movie IS actually a monster, doesn't mean they will make a good monster parent! Chucky the doll for example. Monsters and mythical creatures ARE unrealistic, yes but that's just taking it to the extreme. Monster villains like Chucky, Jigsaw, the Grinch and pyramid heads are just a bit too far-fetched. If your oc was the kid of one of them, the oc might LOOK cool but past that, it's hard to add depth to the character and if you DID try to add depth, it would just seem silly. In all honestly. It CAN be done but it would be very, very difficult to do it right. I don't think I could even do it right. So to be safe just avoid doing this.
Some others to add to the no-no list would be Willy Wonka (unless it was like.. a kid made out of twizzlers or something idk), superheros like the Fantastic 4 or the Avengers, annnnnd things like Santa, The Toothfairy, and Rise of the Guardians characters. While, yes. Jack Frost COULD be considered as a monster parent, choosing to use him as such JUST because the Rise of the Guardian's version of him is so popular or you love him or the movie so much, IS BAD.
Try to avoid the urge to give these characters children.
GODS AND GODESSES
This is a tricky one. I have the son of the Hawaiian volcano goddess actually. However he actually is unaware that he has any magical powers. He basically just looks a bit odd. Anyway!
One of the MAIN ISSUES and most prominent with making the children of gods and goddesses is that it usually will kind of force the mary sue/gary stu mindset on you. The gods have all these magical powers that are a wide array of things. Making the child of a god usually inclines the oc creator to give the child similar or the same powers as the parent. This causes the oc to become unrealistically handy and convenient. And a "flawless" Mary Sue.
FLAWS- Just a note about your oc's freaky flaw! A FLAW is something like a trait, habit or genetic quality your character has, which prevents them from functioning day-to-day, causes them to be self conscious about and/or causes discomfort or annoyance for not just your oc but those around them. FOR INSTANCE a "flaw" which is not actually a flaw would be like saying your oc is "shy and doesn't talk much". While that WOULD cause issues for them perhaps, it isn't that big of a deal. It's just more of a general personality trait. If you were to say your oc "is socially awkward and is known to insult others without realizing" then THAT could work as a true flaw because it negatively effects your oc and those around them. Make sense?
AGE - When choosing an age for you oc, PLEASE do not get out of the thousands if you must age them in such a way. THINK ABOUT IT. Would YOU still be in school if you were 110,00 years old? Even having canon characters such as Draculuara being 1600 is pushing it BUT it IS a part of the Monster High universe so there's nothing wrong with aging your oc as 1500 or whatever. Just don't go to the millions or over the mid-late teens.
PET - When deciding on a pet, try not to choose something too crazy or out there. You CAN get pretty wild with it and choose exotic animals (Draculaura has a pet bat for crying out loud) but don't get too insane.
Try not to draw your oc too big. If they have large wings or horns or something that will cover the words to their bio, then it is best to use a graphics program that supports layers. This means NO MS PAINT. (Do not panic, keep reading and you will see some helpful links!) Using a program that supports layers will allow you to draw the picture of your oc BENEATH the words. Of course if you just CANNOT part with MS Paint, you can extend the bio length.
ALSO IMPORTANT! Candy2021 brought up a very good point to me. If you oc has an accent or speech impediment like a stutter, slur or lisp, it would do you MUCH better to just SAY that the oc has an accent/speech impediment rather than trying to TYPE with that accent.It will make it easier on you because you won't have to think about HOW to type certain way. A few times I've seen bio's trying to be written out as the character but they try to do it in how they think their oc sounds and it makes it very hard to read and understand!
When adding friends and family remember to stay true to your oc! This means that if your oc is a shy or mousy type of character and their bio has blank spots where friends should go, don't fill in the spots with canon character pictures. It's expected an anti social oc to not have many friends you know? Try getting into some rps and BE PATIENT! Don't be in such a rush to marry off you baby!
Remember to always credit the maker of any stamps or icons you use to indicate who is your oc's "bff", "bf", "gf" and so on.
As I stated in the above guide DO NOT add someone else's character to YOUR oc's bio as a friend or whatever, WITHOUT asking the other person for permission! You cannot add a random oc from the fandom to your oc's bio without contacting the oc's creator and ASKING them. Most, and I do mean MOST will say yes! If you just add their oc without asking and they find out, the ones who would of said YES will say HECK NO. Probably report you as well because it is plagiarism. You are STEALING their character from THEM eventhough it is OWN your art.
BASES = A BAD THING
This subject might be a bit touchy with some of you but PLEASE READ.
In my opinion, bases are a no-no. I mean.. it's not life-threatening to use them but you shouldn't. Why? First of all, they are plagiarism! For example! This image is the ORIGINAL, COPYRIGHTED, OFFICIAL artwork of Purrsephone and Meowlody by the artist Darko Dordevic. If someone traced and made a base from THAT image, they are committing the crime of plagiarism. They did not get permission to use the image and it is not theirs. Therefore, even IF they credit Drako Dordevic, they are still stealing.
But past ALL that, bases are a lot like a power switch with two settings. One is 'mildly helpful' and the other is 'extremely dangerous'. There is also a fine line between these two settings. What does this mean? Well, dear artist, this means that bases are supposed to be used as an aid.
Getting the correct proportion and/or anatomy of the Monster High style is the wisest way to use a base. This is NOT always an easy task to do; sad but true. Of course, if one is determined enough it can be done! Bases cannot, and WILL NOT improve your art skill. Contrary to what some believe. Usually a base has AWFUL anatomy and won't help your skill level in the slightest. If you want your art to get better don't think that bases will do the trick!
A base is 'dangerous' to an artist only when one uses it incorrectly. Many MH bases and character 'lineart' is saved as what it called a PNG file. When someone tries to color these in a graphics program such as MS Paint, using the fill bucket or brush tools, it creates a messy, pixeled and ugly look which takes away from the original idea you had for you oc. Others use a bmp file which makes the base usable in Microsoft Paint. The same type of issues occur however. It is scary, but in all honesty, it is far, far, far, far better to try and draw your oc by yourself than using a base!!!
I understand some may be thinking BUT I CAN'T DRAW!. That is okay. Many in the MH fandom also have no confidence in their drawing ability but use bases and use them incorrectly. It is far better to to draw the oc yourself because it is completely YOUR creation and you don't have to link back to a base maker or worry about anything like that! Don't panic just yet! There are some helpful links below so hold on tight!
ANOTHER OPTION TO CHOOSE, if you would like to get a visual on your oc and you don't think you can draw DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT use a base. Please. DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT use a monster high (or any other) doll maker/dress up game. You CAN ask around for a free commission from some artist. There are a few around the fandom who can take your description/original concept of your oc and make a visual for you. Candy2021 is one such artist who will do so for a small commission price! They might even give you tips! Some artists may not take free commissions, however. For those who don't know, a commission is when you pay an artist (either in real money or dA points or whatever) for them to draw you something of your choice. A COMMISSION IS NOT A FREE REQUEST. YOU HAVE TO PAY. Usually real money prices are cheap, like $10 -20 for one complete commission so it's nothing too crazy or out of the way to do.
Just do what you can to avoid plagiarism AKA bases and doll makers/dress up games.
DOLL MAKERS/DRESS UP GAMES = BAD AS WELL
Doll makers and dress up games, such as the ones on DressUpGamesSite.com or DressUpWho.com are a MAJOR NO-NO. Why? Because it is also plagiarism. Now hold on. I am NOT saying you can't use them or play with them! I play with them myself! What I am saying is that you CANNOT use a doll maker, take a screen shot, and use that screen shot as a PICTURE of your oc! ANY doll maker actualy. NOT JUST the Mosnter High ones! Most who use the MH ones are usually using it to make the sibling or relative of a canon character, like Clawdeen's sister or Draculaura's brother. This is BAD. Anyone who "dresses up" Clawdeen in a Clawdeen game and calls that creation their "oc" can be called lazy and a theif! You are stealing someone's hard work, first of all. Second, visually it makes you seem unoriginal and uncreative.
Think about it! Do Clawdeen and Howleen look EXACTLY alike? Do Nefera and Cleo look like the same ghoul with a different outfit on? NO! Of course not! Real twin siblings rarely even look similar at the same time! Take your time and THINK if you MUST create an oc that is a relative of a canon. I would advise NOT TO.
It's understandable that not everyone has confidence in their art, or even possess the ability for it but try to avoid resorting to bases and dress up games at all costs! Also, anyone who uploads screenshots and images of things created in dress up games to their Deviatnart account MUST PUT IT IN THEIR SCRAPS! It is a RULE in the Deviantart FAQ!
I know. Monster High style is crazy, crazy insane hard to duplicate. God bless the patient souls who can do it! I've attempted but I honestly fail at MH art style so hard. OTL BUT like I said! It's better to draw in your own style than with a base!
PROGRAMS BETTER THAN MICROSOFT PAINT
SO All of this being said! The best way to get a visual on your oc is to just AT LEAST attempt to draw them. Microsoft Paint is not a bad program. It can be used well and AMAZING things can be created in it! However! It is lacking a very helpful and time-saving feature called layers. Layers are like levels to a drawing. Each level can have an item on it and this way it will be easier to draw things over top of other things and do cool effects that you can't in a program like MS Paint! The graphics programs that DO have this feature and are easily the most popular are Adobe Photoshop and Paint Tool Sai. Both of these programs cost like $60 BUT you can download them for a 30-day free trial. You can click the names to go to their websites if you want to try that.
I know of a few FREE programs which are just as easy as paint but have more features (including layers!). Most can be compared to Photoshop or Sai.
Sumo Paint -- My favorite out of all of them. You don't even have to download anything! You just start using it straight from the browser! A more advanced version can be purchased but you honestly don't need it.
-- The rest of these programs are free as well, BUT must be downloaded to your computer. --
Paint.net In the words of a friend "it's like MS Paint and Photoshop had a baby."
Gimp I've never used it but I hear it's good.
Fire Alpaca I've used it for doodles and so far it's a pretty good program. It offers a lot of cool features as well.
dAMuro is actually not too bad a graphics app either. It isn't the BEST but it's better than Paint due to its layer supporting feature.
AND LASTLY...IF you would like to attempt monster high style, CLICK HERE. There is a whole deviantart group dedicated to making tutorials for you! WARNING most of the tutorials ARE done in Sai but you guys are smart. Most programs work basically the same anyway. Give or take a few tools and effects.
AND FIIIINALLY, DEAR ARTIST, SOME LAST MINUTE TIPS
- To further bring your oc to life chose a voice actor or singer which you would cast to play them in a movie! Of course, be smart when doing this as it's easy to chose a voice which doesn't fit a character at all... in a bad way.
- SPEND LESS TIME ON THE OUTFITS AND MORE TIME ON THE BACKSTORY. It's fine for us to know how cute your oc's gloom beach outfit is, or how handsome your oc looks for the DotD but don't pour all your thought into THAT and not into your oc's backstory! Where they came from, family, basically what have they been through that has made them who they are? Nope. This is not going to take you 15 minutes. You must sit, think, and develop OVER TIME. Weeks, months, even years. This is what having an oc is about.
- DON'T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP! Don't be scared or embarrassed to message a fellow artist and ask for critic and/or tips! Someone else might know just what you need to!
- Remember... just because a monster or mythical creature is obscure or not well known doesn't mean you can't make a great oc from it! In a way it give you more creative freedom without having to deal with cliched movie stereotypes.
- Speaking of Stereotypes! Just because your oc is of a certain species or whathaveyou and they originate from a certain country or area, DOES NOT give you an excuse to be stereotypical or racist! THIS means that just because your oc is the son of the Lock Ness monster, doesn't mean he has to be an extreme Scotsman. Just because your oc is a leprachan doesn't mean they have to have red hair, wear only green. Your oc is a djinn/genie? She doesn't HAVE to grant wishes. Not all Asian females wear kimonos and say "Kawaii" all the time! Do RESEARCH and try to branch out on what's expected!
- NO. Gypsies, pirates and fortune tellers ARE NOT MONSTERS. They never will be monsters. And making your oc a child of one can be taken as racist. The word 'gypsy' is a racist slur itself! I'm just very tired of seeing the daughter of the "haunted fortune teller" or the son of a gypsy or pirate.
- AVOID creating oc's just to "go with the crowd". Creating vampires, genies, cat people, werewolves, and skeleton kids just because everyone seems to love them right now is a waste of your time and talent! Get creative ya silly goose! You can do it!
- Don't be a butt and steal the Create A Monster pack doll designs, draw them exactly as they come in the package and call that your oc. While, yes. The CAM pack is for you to put together and create your very own creation, it isn't an invitation to steal their design and claim it as your own. You aren't the only one with that same CAM package you know. It's perfectly fine to get inspired by and/or base your oc off the CAM pack creations but don't get lazy and just copy what is already existing. GET CREATIVE!
- BEWARE FURRIES. Yes. There is such thing as were-animals, such as were-cats, werewolves and were-rabbits, BUT this is not an excuse to turn your favorite mammal into a Monster High character. Were-porcupines and were-horses just do NOT cut it. DO RESEARCH.
AND THAT'S IT!! :3 Please, if you have any questions, want links to anatomy, perspective, or more character development tutorials, or anything like that, I will be happy to try and help! If you have more links to tutorials or free graphics programs, or you think I've left out something important please let me know!
Remember to take your time and DO RESEARCH.