Wikijunior/Kiki character/Designs/Final decision

See also: Wikijunior/Kiki character/Designs/Second last round

This page is about creating a recurrent character for the Wikijunior project. For discussion about the character see: Wikijunior project Kiki character

About Wikijunior: A while ago, the Beck Foundation approached the Wikimedia Foundation, inquiring about whether we would be able to use our resources to develop educational material for a younger audience. We responded that we would be interested in such a project, and that our materials can be adapted for children. A proposal was sent, and we received a small grant to develop the project (see October 16, 2004 board meeting). Thus was born Wikijunior. For more information see the project's page: Wikijunior here on meta and the actual project being developped here on Wikibooks.

What now?


Nikki 5


Rainee, different views* Rainee, comic* Other characters in Gashapon Shop*

  • note Rainee is an existing character design, a possible design for Nikki
Alexander Shen
Gashapon Shop, other web comics
DeviantArt Page

These are illustrations/panels that I stole with permission from Gashapon Shop. The character pictured is named Rainee, and she runs a hobby shop for her dad. The reason I've included this character is because I'm anticipating many of you will find #2 too cutesy.


  • I am seriously leaning toward preferring the style of this artist (see my comments at Nikki 2) for these reasons:
    • versatile, can work in any pose.
    • very pen-and-ink looking, the strong black lines lend themselves to print media very well, not reliant on color printing, in case the page doesn't have other color images on it.
    • nice compact images that don't depend on fashion accessories to be interesting, seems like a nice wholesome universal kid.
    • This one is a little more rugged, I'm picturing Nikki number 2 without the cute flower, although I am not against cute flowers in the right context -- I think she could dress up to go to a Luau or Potlatch or the like, and a costume might be suitable in those cases, but I'd like to see her in lab coats and cargo pants and, pretty much whatever outfit would be suitable in her environment, but NOT be a fashion girl, just be ready for anything. Pedant 18:56, 31 July 2005 (UTC)[reply]
  • I've added my DeviantArt Page for further reference. I'd be very honored if I were able to work on this project. If you would like to see anything else, please let me know. -Alex 8.2.2005
    • Great to see you're here, I was just about to start contacting all the participants to have them come. I'm glad you're still interested in the project. -- user:zanimum
  • My favorite. Simple, versatile, and elegantly drawn. Having checked out the artist's other work, I'm confident that this will work. -- 19:09, 10 August 2005 (UTC) (don't have an account on Meta, but I'm CodeGeneratR on the English and Swedish Wikipedia).[reply]
With any of the character designs, we would have had probably one minor girl and two minor boy backups characters, as well as adults. -- user:zanimum

How would Kiki Improve Wikijunior Solar System?


Mr. Shen:

  • How would you propose putting Kiki into a 48-page booklet about the solar system?
    • As for how she'd look, I'd say superimposing her over actual images (though never fully blocking out the photographcs), sidebar panel conversations, comic strips within the booklet regarding information she has learned (I am a big fan of comics afterall) and maybe some type of activity page (make a mobile or something).
  • What role would she take?
    • I believe it would be fun and interesting to have her basically be the half-guide/half-learner for the entire book experience. She'd basically have questions that maybe the kids reading the booklet would have (i.e. How hot does the sun get or What are the rings of Saturn made of?). She could also be a guide because since she's such a youngster herself, the kid's could relate and pretend to be with her on the trip.
  • How would having Kiki be better than not having Kiki?
    • It would take the "this is a boring text book" edge off of the booklet. Pictures already help in that respect, but adding a cartoon character that kids like to look at and see in different situations gives it a larger sense of fun. It wouldn't be simply learning = boring, but rather learning = fun. The pictures can be cute, funny and that makes it less of a chore to go through. It also adds the element that Kiki is a kid, so are the readers, and thus creating a sense of connection between the reader and material.
  • Can Kiki be Polynesian (the original concept)?
    • Of course she can. The image here is actually of one named Rainee. The design can be altered to match more of the original Polynesian concept. No problemo.

--SV Resolution(Talk) 18:47, 3 October 2005 (UTC)[reply]

-- Alexander Shen

Nikki 7


Full picture

Carlos Hoyos Barceló
Wikipedia connection
User of es. meta user page of Dr. Jones
He has some experience in animation.
Deviantart page
[1] (old pictures)


  • I like this artist (see my comments at Nikki 2) for these reasons:
    • versatile, can work in any pose.
    • classic cartoon look

this one works for me as much as 2 and 5 for some of the same reasons. Might be nice to see more from this artist, in a variety of environments. Pedant 19:42, 31 July 2005 (UTC)[reply]

How would Kiki Improve Wikijunior Solar System?


Dr. Jones:

  • How would you propose putting Kiki into a 48-page booklet about the solar system? *What role would she take?
    • The solar system is a tricky one, as it is full of content. Being the first book on the series, we must introduce the character, which is very space-demanding. My approach would be to use the very first page exclusively for introductions (this has already been done by Uderzo and Tabary, so I'm confident that it will work here). I will also dedicate the last 2-4 pages to puzzles and games that require reading the book to beat.
    • I can create a fun short-story about her and a little martian that would justify the need to learn about the solar system, but that would take from 4 to 5 pages. Other approach would be including a comic strip on every odd page, referencing the section. The idea is that she learns from a teller, which knows a lot about the topic. However, if the space issues are too high, I would drawn instead some illustrations of her explaining some concepts (like gravity) and show some cool facts. Kiki would highlight the most relevant points of the booklet. DrJones
  • How would having Kiki be better than not having Kiki?
    • Having a character for all booklets gives identity to the series. This way, we have a way to connect books that handle very different topics. If Kiki is a good character, children will get identified with her, allowing us to work within a proximity atmosphere. They will be more attracted to the book, and it will be more enjoyable. Of course, if Kiki doesn't work in practice, we should remove it entirely. DrJones
  • Can your Kiki meet the original requirement of looking Polynesian?
    • I guess so. I should say that this Kiki wasn't drawn with the character in mind; it was more a test sketch to show to all. I still don't see any advantage on making her polynesian, though. It doesn't add any character, symbolism, nor helps children to get identified with her. On the other hand, the idea hasn't been thrilled to death. DrJones

--SV Resolution(Talk) 18:44, 3 October 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Kiki Polynesian
Kiki short haired

Here is my first try to make her look polynesian. I had to change some aspects of her face, so she looks now a bit older. If this version of Kiki gets chosen, I would do minor adjustments here and there to get the final design. Choosing a polynesian Kiki has the additional disadvantage of not being able to include a little martian without bringing back memories of Lilo & Stitch. I included two versions because there wasn't agreement in my home about which one looked better. DrJones 20:39, 9 October 2005 (UTC)[reply]

<filler text>

Nikki 12

Daniel Nilsen
More stuff from Daniel
Notes from Daniel
If I got it right it's supposed to be a girl who lives in Hawaii. I can't say I've seen any specific age on her. Only that you'd prefer her to be "relatively attractive". So judging from that and the fact that she's supposed to be young, I figured around the age 16-19. Anyway, I'm sure you get a lot of Lilo & Stitch type of designs, so I wanted mine to look somewhat unique (yet normal). So I made her very much like my niece at the age of 13 would like her. My version of Kiki is very adult and female, but still fresh, playful and sporty. I also made her "race" in a grey-zone. Whether or not she's a native Hawaiian girl is left wide open for the reader. I think it's a character that would be very much liked by young ones as it's very stylish and not too suger-sweet. I hope you like it as much as I do. If not, it was very fun trying. And you're more than welcome to ask me again.


  • This one is pretty neat too. --Ce garcon 17:21, 5 August 2005 (UTC)[reply]
    • Nice fresh look. Very reproducible. Would like to see some other poses and costumes, perhaps a black and white version, also see my objections above to bare midriffs, vis a vis our international multicultural target audience. I like this one as much as any of the others, costuming considerations aside. In fact I like this one very much. Pedant 01:39, 12 August 2005 (UTC) Just checked this one out with teenager nephew, he likes it and says it's "one of the better one's we've seen, but seems a little old for the target audience"... I could maybe be happy with something along the lines of this image. Might try to knock 2 years off her age? or not... Pedant 01:45, 12 August 2005 (UTC)[reply]
  • You all must realise that this artist a.) was late b.) didn't follow the instructions that were in every posting, so might not follow future instructions if chosen. Plus this character will not go over well anywhere where we can get foreign aid grants. -- user:zanimum
  • I like the face on this one. The clothes are too hip looking, and the bare midriff is too sexy (hip today looks very dated very quickly). The books are aimed at 8 - 11 year olds so kiki should IMO be younger than 16. Never the less I'm drawn to the picture. It looks good. Theresa knott 18:04, 16 August 2005 (UTC)[reply]
  • I don't like the particular type of handbag used in this image (too stylish), but I think a carrier bag of some kind might be a cool gimmick for the character to have and pull strange and unusual things out of when dealing with the topics. You could take it to an extreme and pull absolutely impossible things out of it, like a whole planet.--Eloquence 23:08, 3 October 2005 (UTC)[reply]
    • I have to agree, much too stylish overall. I could see any of the other characters need little to no redesigns over the next few decades, not so with the others. The shirt is so form fitting, the boobs more developed than the target audience. We could try the handbag gag, but it might get tired after a few books worth. -- user:zanimum
  • This Mr. Nilsen claims he didn't see any age range put on Kiki, yet it's been plastered all over the discussion for her. He also does not seem to have shown himself since originally posting this, as he has not answered any of the questions posed by SV Resolution. Not to mention the fact that no 8-year-old boy is going to want to read a book with a tween as the mascot. (My little brother has been grimacing at the picture) -- 20:58, 21 March 2006 (UTC)[reply]

How would Kiki Improve Wikijunior Solar System?


Mr. Nilsen:

  • How would you propose putting Kiki into a 48-page booklet about the solar system?
  • What role would she take?
  • How would having Kiki be better than not having Kiki?
  • Can you show us some other examples of Kiki or any other human figure involved in some kind of activity?

--SV Resolution(Talk) 18:47, 3 October 2005 (UTC)[reply]



Wikijunior/Kiki character/Designs/Voting archives

Next step


So what now? Risk 21:29, 16 September 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Any of these designs would work. I think that what we need to know now is that the artist can work with the material. Should we have another round of voting, or ask the artist to come up with some concepts for b:Wikijunior Solar System, which is the closest to completion? --SV Resolution(Talk) 18:24, 26 September 2005 (UTC)[reply]
I think concepts would be best. Let them have a free for all, decide one or two things to illustrate based on the content in the Wikibook. However, while I'd love for us to publish the Solar System book, the grant was specifically worded as being for something on animals. -- user:zanimum
While this is a good idea, it has nothing to do with choosing our recurring character. We can have many artists illustrating the same book (and the more, the better), but we can have only one Kiki. I suggest creating as soon as posible a page on each book for brainstorming, and give concepts and ideas so we don't lose time drawing things that are going to be rejected. Leave this one exclusively for Kiki. DrJones 13:16, 27 September 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Study of the character


At this moment, there is not enough info about what role is going to perform Kiki on the books. Is she going to get an active role during the whole book? That is, being part of an ongoing story, or is she going the be mainly on static poses commenting certain points of some topics?

  1. On the first case, it's important to being able to draw Kiki from different angles.
  2. On the second case, we must know if she is going to be full bodied or if we are going to show only her face. It's more difficult to draw a full body, but a single face requires being able to draw interesting expressions.

The character is not well defined yet. This is important as it affects her outfit and gestures. I suggest everyone to write up to five adjetives describing Kiki in his/her mind, and up to three things Kiki isn't. Note that defects define the character better than virtues, but we must also transmit values to kids, both are important.

  1. DrJones - Kiki is: Fun, smart, curious, irresponsible, witty. Kiki isn't: studious, calm, bad-mannered.

Will Kiki interact with elements of the book? If that is the case, we need images of her in action.

Once all is decided, we can ask the artists to draw one or two of each aspect needed. Is enough ten days to decide? DrJones 13:16, 27 September 2005 (UTC)[reply]

SV Resolution(Talk) 12:41, 3 October 2005 (UTC):[reply]

  • IS: Curious, adventurous, energetic, boisterous, quick-witted. Likes to tell people what she knows. Interested in trying on the lab coat, the space suit, the stethescope, etc.
  • ISN'T: Shy, tactful, reserved,
Kiki should be shown as a whole body, as with any other character included in the brief story lines, and spot illustrations. -- user:zanimum

Risk 01:16, 22 November 2005 (UTC)[reply]

  • IS: I do see Kiki as a an adventurous and enthusiastic girl that can, at times, show a calm, shy and studious side. She likes learning, but only on her own terms (looking for stuff she finds interesting). She'd be completely stifled by any kind of shool environment. She's quite smart, but too smart.
  • ISN'T: Though she's relatively calm and balanced for her age, she certainly isn't the kind of girl that can sit still for very long. She's also not opinionated, she's pretty much NPOV all the way. If she does have an opinion on a subject, she leaves room for doubt. I agree that she's in no way bad-mannered; although she could be described as a rascal, she rarely, if ever does anything illegal or truly ill-mannered.

I think her place in the book should be single illustrations, mostly of Kiki explaining stuff directly to the viewer, often in a surreal environment (she could be holding two planets to say something about their relative size, or be shown playing pokapok with ancient Mayans). I'm against any kind of storyline, though perhaps certain explanations could span several pictures. I'd also like to see her interviewing (famous) scientists (this is where her shy side could surface).

Kid group comments


The kids here are pretty evenly divided between number 5 and number 12, as first choice and 5, 12, and 7 as second choice. Sorry it took so long to pry an answer out of them. I personally think any of those 3 would work. Pedant 17:09, 27 September 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks for the comments, Pedant. I think we should pursue the artists of these three. Find out what ideas they have for illustrating b:Wikijunior Solar System, how long they think it would take, and what the characters look like in action. Kiki 12, for example, is only shown standing serenely still, not surprised or startled or holding her breath or squashed by a big planet's enormous gravity. I've just made an argument for a more cartoonish character, haven't I? --SV Resolution(Talk) 13:24, 4 October 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Making that Final Decision


I would say that Alexander Shen and Carlos Hoyos Barceló are both still paying attention and have been responsive to questions we've been asking here. They can each demonstrate that they have produced artwork in the past (they provide deviantart links), and that they can draw new stuff on short notice. That's a good indication that they can comple something that they start for a wikibook.

Personally, I like Kiki 5 because the artist has demonstrated simple and appealing cartooning style which could work really well in a variety of wikijunior situations. He also seems to devote a lot of time to his comic strips. Dr. Jonez' deviantart journal indicates he is very busy with a couple of games.

Any other opinions? --SV Resolution(Talk) 14:31, 18 October 2005 (UTC)[reply]

I'm very happy with any of these designs. I want to point that, while I'm really busy these months, and not having to work in yet another project would be a gain for me, I also don't want it to be taken into account for this vote. DrJones 15:51, 18 October 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Perhaps it would be a good idea to take these designs as a starting point and collaboratively design a Kiki that takes everybody's comments and suggestions into account. We've got at least three artists (including myself) willing to contribute time to the project (and possibly more), but I doubt any one of us would be very enthusiastic about drawing somebody else's designs. If we created a Kiki, based on these three designs that three people can draw comfortably, we'd have three artists instead of one. Three 48 page booklets, with at least a drawing per page would add up to 144 drawings. That's pretty much an impossible workload for just one artist. Designing Kiki this way would require some more activity than we've seen so far, but I think if people started submitting quick design sketches, it could pick up momentum. I think it would be a more productive environment than the current contest-like setup. I've pretty much kept quiet up till now, because other artists weren't aware of this page and I didn't want to take an unfair advantage. If we could collaborate on the design, everybody could just speak freely.
As a second point, you can't hold it against people that they haven't responded to questions or comments, since none of the artists were informed about this page. Carlos and myself contributed as wikimedians, and I think Alexander Shen found this page by himself. No one was officially informed that they could (or should) respond to comments.
Risk 16:46, 18 October 2005 (UTC)[reply]

That's the problem with a Wiki, isn't it? There is no "we", no "official" and no "process", though many of us have been following Zanimum's lead.

On the bright side, there is also nothing to prevent any artists from contributing any number of new sketches, or collaborating on a new "multi-artist" Kiki design and posting it anywhere on any of the wikis. If you are interested in that, why not talk to some artists and see if anything comes of it?

I don't think the various Wikijunior editors have a strong collective opinion about the best way to add a character to these booklets. Maybe the artists have some ideas. I suspect that those with cartoon strip experience might have an advantage at this because they have already grappled with how to illustrate a fact or an experience. I have no artistic or publishing experience, so I am just guessing.

I have no idea how to improve Wikijunior Solar System with pictures of Kiki. But he content is pretty stable there. In fact, most of it will have to be removed to make a 48-page booklet. It may be that the parts that are easiest to explicate with pictures are also the best parts to include. Be bold
SV Resolution(Talk) 15:48, 19 October 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Well, to tell you the truth I'd really decided that I didn't want to delay the project any further by butting in on the procedure. However (with a litle friendly nudge from SV) I've realised that the project doesn't need me to delay it. :) I'll try to upload some sketches later today. Risk 12:57, 3 November 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Have a look at b:Wikijunior Solar System/Solar System. The text is pretty much done, (except for the part where maybe 50% of it will have to be removed and pictures added). Or b:Wikijunior Solar System/Sun. That one is pretty far along, too. Could you alert the other talented and interested artists that we cannot make a decision because there is no "we", so a free-for-all is commencing?

--SV Resolution(Talk) 17:15, 3 November 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Kiki 12 is a good picture, but would be horrible for this project. Waaaay too "sexy" for these books. I hope I'm not too late to have an opinion. --Lord Voldemort 19:46, 3 November 2005 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, I agree. Especially if we want to take this international, and get grants to publish Yoruba-language version in Nigeria, and Dari- and Pashtu-language versions for Afghanistan. I'm not saying we should be extremely conservative, just this isn't it. -- user:zanimum

Creating a full character


The idea is as follows. Interested artists follow up on proposed ideas with small, quick sketches, trying to (roughly) copy other peoples designs. People who can't or won't draw can simply comment on the submitted idea's. That way, it would be more of a discussion than a contest. After a while (with a healthy dose of compromise) the designs will hopefully converge to a Kiki design that reflects the ideas of the community, that doesn't belong to any specific artist and that all the participating artists can draw comfortably. Basically, as has been noted, it's a free-for-all (but what is a wiki, if not a free-for-all?)

For this to succeed, it is important to generate a lot of discussion, so please, comment freely and frequently. It would also be good to continue the discussion on Kiki's character, started above by Carlos.

I've kicked things off by basically copying (perhaps interpreting would be more accurate) the above three designs, with a little artistic license, and trying to make them a little more polynesian. I think it would be best to take these three as a starting point, but we should certainly take another look at the other designs as well.


Notes: Alexanders' style is very difficult to copy accurately, let alone adopt. I've added some more detail, in hopes of achieving a polynesian look. Risk


  • My main concern with this style (Both Alexander's and my interpretation of it) is that it doesn't allow for enough detail. In his comics Alexander has a wonderful way of stylizing things, but to do the things I see Kiki doing (petting lions, wearing ancient Incan costumes, spacetravel), I think more detail is required, especially if we want the drwaing to be informative. I would very much like to see how Alexander would make Rainee polynesian, because I had a hard time with it. Risk 01:01, 5 November 2005 (UTC)[reply]
  • #5 looks way too much like this. Scienceman123 07:58, 1 January 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Notes: My interpretation of Carlos' Kiki. Risk


  • I thought I saw a flower in her hair in the original polynesian Kiki (though, it might just have been her hair). Although it goes a long way to give her the hawaiian look (and balances out the hair), it doesn't seem to fit the image. I don't see Kiki, with her wild, spacetraveling, jungle hiking lifestyle wearing a flower in her hair as a fixed accessory. It might be something she only has in certain surroundings. Risk 01:01, 5 November 2005 (UTC)[reply]
Makes me think "flamenco" --SV Resolution(Talk) 21:06, 7 November 2005 (UTC)[reply]
That's probably a combination of the flower and the hairstyle. We should probably try to focus on making the character work without accesories, and add them afterwards. The facial features could be made a little more polynesian without becoming too pronounced or limiting. I think making the hair a little messier (more 'plucky') could help to make her look more adventurous. Risk 01:23, 22 November 2005 (UTC)[reply]
  • I'm not sure if I'm allowed to give my view here (and if I'm not, delete this, I won't mind), but I'm interested in becoming a contributor to Wikijunior and this is my favourite design. I agree with the previous comments - especially the hair one. Just a little more ruffled would make it look better. As it is, it looks a little too prim, like it's tied back in a bun. Altogether, a very good design, and I'm keen on the style of drawing etc. Very nice. Can't sign as I don't have a meta or wikibooks account (I really want that migration), but if anyone needs to contact me, I'm on the 'pedia at en:User:Vanderdecken. 10th May 2006
  • Looks too old for the target audience, almost "motherly." As said, too prim. Scienceman123 talk 08:39, 1 January 2007 (UTC)[reply]



Notes: My take on Kiki 12. The only element that's truly the same is the cyberpunk hairstyle. I tried to make the face a little younger and a bit more polynesian. Risk


  • I think Kiki 12 is a little too fashionable. It looks great in the image above, but it doesn't go with planets, jungle cats or South American countries (let alone Ancient civilizations). Unfortunately, there's not a whole lot to Kiki 12 beyond the accessories that's visible in the original picture. Risk 01:01, 5 November 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Push for no Kiki


I am unsure as to where to put this, but since this seems to be a page that has some activity, I thought I'd add it here. I would like to push that we scrap this idea of Kiki. The books are already far into development, and really don't leave much room for a Kiki type character. I know it would have been nice to have, but since this project developed without a recurring character, I'm not sure if we should even have one. I know a lot of people have put a lot of hard work into the idea of Kiki, but is it really plausible? Do we really want to rewrite all of our material just to fit her in? I am sorry to bring this up. --Lord Voldemort 18:49, 9 November 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Not at all, it's a valid opinion (and I personally don't see a drawing or design as a waste of time if it isn't used, I still learn from it and enjoy making it). My idea of WikiJunior is that it's a constantly developing series. We may go to print in December for Big Cats, but the books can stil be edited after that. There has even been talk of turning it into a children's wikipedia. I figure Kiki may not play a big part in the first printed series (I doubt there'll be enough time for that), but once we develop a full character we can start thinking about how to merge her into the current content. I personally see her delivering facts, trivia and anecdotes that are already in the current texts. They would just have to be reworded a little. I think it shouldn't be something that the main WikiJunior project should be concerned with yet. Once we manage to create a complete character and visual style, we can start worrying about her place in the books, I don't think it would require a very great effort to modify the texts to include Kiki. Risk 21:35, 9 November 2005 (UTC)[reply]