For me, bringing your characters to life is the best bit of the design phase.. quite often they pop into my head fully formed while reading a great manuscript. Then its just a case of sketch, sketch, sketching, note taking, research, sometimes studies in different medias & usually some more sketching.
If you have a good idea of how your characters look, you can provide an illustrators brief along with the manuscript. You can make it as detailed as you like. Either way, meeting your characters for the first time is so much fun.
Once they have been properly worked out I will send you studies like the ones below to make sure they are just right. If you don't love them just as they are you can make nates & I will adjust them accordingly.
It's so important to get the characters perfect at this stage, before work starts on the finals. That's why I always include up to two revisions in my quote. I want you to be absolutely smitten with them before they are signed off & we can move onto the finals!