And here she is now!
This is arguably one of the worst drawings a high schooler has ever made.
Izzy was created way back in my high school days as a Sonic the hedgehog fan character named "Izzy Goldriser." Using actual Prismacolor gold pencils, I based her off another fan character from my World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) fan fiction.
Yes, I was big on fan fiction in those days. Don't knock it. Fan fiction is a great way to develop your writing skills!
I originally created Izzy to show up my two best friends who were both making Sonic fan characters at the time. I saw them creating characters and thought "I could do better than that." It's more than a bit ironic that I essentially came up with a female Sonic recolor.
Showing up my friends was also what sparked my original interest in pixel art.
Izzy was created based mainly on the character design of Sonic. Large, connected eyes, gloves, quills, cat like ears, and no neck. The world she came from, however, was drastically different, and her early stories rarely had her interacting with the Sonic characters.
She also dropped the name "Goldriser" and replaced it with "Goldrunner."
Her very first story (the very first draft of The Stolen Defender, then called The Island) took place on Zyearth, her home planet... a place I intended to constantly reference but never intended to actually develop. But my role playing partner at the time (and now my friend and the artist for the book cover) insisted we wrote the story on Zyearth.
Things moved on from there. Izzy developed very quickly into a character that stood on her own without the crutch of the Sonic world.
This was Izzy's first redesign without the Sonic influence. As you can see though, I still had issues with the anime influence on the character.
By this point, Izzy dropped the camisole shirt and went for a tube top... which is a lot harder to draw.
The next design got her away from the anime to a better degree, and it was the first piece to get rid of the flesh muzzle, but she still had problems. The major issue with this piece is her flesh arms and belly. It just didn't fit.
You'll notice Izzy kept the tube top, though it turned white.
The final form of Izzy's pixel art life fixed the issue with the flesh arms and gave her a lighter shade of brown for some variation. As you can see too, she also still has gloves. She's the only character who never fully lost the gloves from the Sonic era artwork.
She also had one final name change here, going from "Goldrunner" to "Gildspine."
At this point too, Izzy was still sporting camouflage in her pants, another early trope in her original design. She's also kept the tube top, which is still a major component of her wardrobe.
After that last piece, my friend Omni got involved with the character design since he was going to do the cover. His early designs of her really solidified the way the quills work on a quilar's head, and also removed the camouflage. This actually made way for a standard battle dress uniform later on.
Izzy's final character design based on the book cover for The Stolen Defender. Ironically she's also standing in a forest posing - just like the very first picture I've ever drawn of her.
And that's Izzy's story as a developing character. She really is the character that started it all.
Have questions about Izzy or Zyearth? Leave a comment!