This is the first in my Themed Character Design series, a collection of character designs constructed using keywords that represent a theme. For starters: time, smoke, journey.
At conception, I needed a traveller imagery since 'journey' was part of the keywords. Quickly, the vision shows something like a lanky young assistant professor, a clumsy but likable idiot. It's one of those abstract character who are as smart as they are capable of very huge blunders (and that comes in the form of mismatched socks). As I started to give him steampunk-style aviator elements, I also added a little Union Pacific 618 train motif on him. The 618 has one of the defining looks of TRAIN. :D
With that element, the 'smoke' part is already defined, together with his smouldering scarf. As for the 'time' part, well, it's more infused into his briefly invented descriptions. A timeswalker. An early 20th century time traveller. To top it off, a hourglass-meets-kerosene-lamp becomes a part of his travelling equipment. The lantern is a traditional journey guiding tool, after all.
I've read once that strong constrasting shapes, with curves and straights helps a lot with creating a specific look. I experimented on that on the elements on Ment. The smoke contrasts with train-helmet; the flowing scarf and chest hubcap against the stiff jacket. Despite not having fantastical protrusions and layers upon layers of armour, I think Ment managed to maintain a nice silhouette. He looks so carefree in his pose as he throttles through his environs, and what worries do a time traveller have? They can be irresponsible for actions, if they wanted to.
I gotta try more of these TCDs later on!