Start with a simple shape.
Mike Wazowski (Monsters Inc.), Baloo the Bear (Jungle Book) and SpongeBob are three examples of character designs that are based on distinct shapes (a circle, a pear-shape and a rectangle).
Drawing #1 shows a simple rectangle, #2 shows a light sketch of a character based on the rectangle and #3 shows a janitor character - his shoulders and feet are at the 4 corners of the rectangle. Instead of beginning with a detail such as the eyes or mouth, this character design starts with a simple shape. APW 2016 Character Design Contest Guidelines apw_character_design_contest_rules_regulations_2016
Storytelling in animation is parceled out into scenes that may last only a few seconds. Simple character designs can "read" clearly and quickly. I suggest using a simple shape as a starting point for a character design. The innate qualities of the shape can inspire a body-type for a character. Each shapes produces a different effect - a triangle is sharp (dangerous?), a tear drop widens at the bottom (heavy?), an oval etc. each day, try a new shape." Vince Peets - APW Director