I really enjoyed Dereks talk on character designs and seeing various characters throughout animation and to see what other people thought about them.
Since then I have done some research, looked at some of the names of the character designers mentioned and sketched out a fair few of my favourites or interesting designs from books and model sheets that I think work well or that appeal. By doing this I hope to get some practise of drawing characters, but also to get more of a feel for the shapes and ideas used to create a sucessful character.
To create something more original I thought about finding a really detailed character desacription and working from that to make a character of my own. I may take a character from a book I know well so that I have an understanding of the story and personality, or take a shorter description and develop it into something I can understand and create a character from.
I think I may make this a challenge for myself and maybe have a go at a few until I find a style or something that really works.