One of the most useful tips for writers that I’ve stumbled across is the concept of creating Character Aesthetic boards to help with visualizing a character outside of the limitations of black-and-white type. These boards are collages of pictures collected from various sites like Google and Pinterest that come together to speak to the “aesthetic” of a character and visually represent who that character is at their core. If you’ve ever clicked around on sites like Tumblr, you’ve probably seen these. Not only do I find them seriously fun to make and pretty to look at, but they can also be really helpful tools for inspiration! I threw together a few personal boards for my Deceived characters just for fun during the writing process, and will leave them here as bonus goodies. This page will be updated any time additional boards are added to the blog. – SRV
Cecilia DeAngelis/von Essen – first wife of Bruce von Essen and mother to Angelina and Blair. Quiet, kind, and sophisticated, Cecilia is a former ballerina with a thirst for travel, an appreciation for art, and a talent for painting and gardening.
Bruce von Essen – As the founder and CEO of the successful investment firm, Vonessen Inc., Bruce can almost always be found in a sharp suit and tie. Angelina and Blair’s father is a wealthy businessman whose hobbies outside of the office include international travel, fine dining, attending various arts performances in the city, and sailing his boat on the lake.
Victoria Adessi/von Essen – An opportunistic gold-digger with a love for high fashion and lipstick the color of burgundy wine, “manipulation” is her name and $$$ is her game. Most of her (former) co-workers at Vonessen Inc. consider the ambitious single mother to be the greatest thing since sliced bread – but behind closed doors, Victoria is just about as petty, narcissistic, materialistic – and downright disturbed – as a girl can come.
Nicolette Adessi/von Essen – Victoria’s daughter and Angelina and Blair’s stepsister. Her peers at Archbishop Wright have a tendency to dismiss her as the “easy” cheerleader on the squad, but a childhood under Victoria’s neglectful and oftentimes emotionally-abusive wing has left her insecure, misunderstood, and desperate for attention – even if that attention often turns out to be negative. Cheering and hooking up with boys may be the talents that she’s infamous for, but she’s also a pretty good cook and can bake a mean cinnamon bun.
Blair von Essen – Blair likes anything vintage, pretty, and romantic. Innocent, introverted, and studious, she loves to read classic literature, drink loose-leaf tea, play the piano, and follow the rules. When she isn’t focused on her schoolwork, she’s dreaming of traveling to Paris. But behind her perfectly-polished exterior lies a troubled girl battling with deeply-rooted insecurities. Blair struggles to achieve balance and perfection, and often finds herself overwhelmed by the pressure that she puts on herself to live up to her own impossibly-high standards.
Angelina von Essen – Determined, popular, stubborn, and rebellious, Blair’s fraternal twin sister is the self-proclaimed “Queen Bee” of Archbishop Wright Preparatory School. Angelina loves to sing, play tennis, and hang out with her friends – but only a few of them get to see the real her behind the mask. Though the real Angelina struggles with anxiety, she’s got big career dreams and promises to keep – and she’ll do anything to make her goals a reality.
Aiden Andrews – Honest, loyal, and endearingly mischievous, Aiden Andrews is just about as All-American as a teenage boy can come. Though his family isn’t as well off as most that send their kids to Archbishop Wright, the scrappy wide receiver has been Angelina’s best friend since third grade – and her “secret” (or not so secret) crush. Aiden loves making weekend improvements to his old blue Camaro, playing football with his friends, and hiking in the great outdoors.
Ashleigh Andrews – Aiden’s little sister and Blair’s best friend. Ashleigh loves reading, soccer, and comfy sweaters. She’s a great student, a good listener, and a supportive shoulder to lean on. She rarely wears makeup and doesn’t have the patience to deal with cattiness. Mature and grounded (sometimes to a fault), she’d much rather hit the bookstore or paddle around in a kayak than party. She and Blair share a dream to visit Paris someday.
Josh Ashford – Archbishop Wright’s cocky star quarterback. He’s a scruffy, athletic bad boy who likes to cruise around town in his garish Trans Am blasting Def Leppard to tick off the neighbors, party on the weekends, and sneak his father’s pricey Cuban cigars – just because he can. He and Blair are completely mismatched… but at the start of Junior Year, they’re the school’s biggest super-couple.
Gisele Singh – Gisele Singh and Katie Winters have been Angelina’s loyal sidekicks since kindergarten. Gisele is the Queen Bee’s right-hand girl and second-in-command. She loves Indian food, keeping up with the latest fashion trends, dancing, and singing. She spends her free time posting shopping hauls, beauty tips, and make-up tutorials on her growing YouTube channel.
Katie Winters – Katie Winters is the third member of Angelina’s exclusive little posse and one of Nicolette’s fellow cheerleaders at Archbishop Wright. Bubbly, optimistic, and always eager to look on the bright side, this fun-loving redhead adores all things pink, kawaii, and unrepentantly girly. Snoball cakes and cutesy anime are her guiltiest pleasures.
Kai – A surfer boy with a sweet dimpled smile and a genuine heart, Kai is just one of the handful of friendly new people that Nicolette and Katie meet during a much-needed summer vacation post-Junior Year in Hawaii.
Antonio Castillo – Multi-platinum recording artist Antonio Castillo is the poster-boy for the “tall, dark, and handsome” stereotype – or so it seems. He’s got a perfect 50/50 genetic split of Puerto Rican and Italian hotness that’ll melt the average girl into a puddle of molten estrogen and a gorgeous singing voice to match. His fans have been swooning over him since his musical debut, but although the successful 25-year-old is no stranger to accruing admirers, meaningful connections are harder to come by. After wrapping up tour number four, he finds himself at a creative impasse come his arrival in Stirling City – his new full-time residence. But will a certain pint-sized powerhouse prove the inspiration that he’s been looking for?
Jonathan Rivas – Jonathan Rivas is Antonio’s right-hand man and BD Records’ most talented sound guy. This audio tech certainly knows what to do with a few knobs and sliders, but he’s not only known to excel at pushing buttons in the studio – he’s also good at pushing the buttons of his friends! Chocolate bars and cute girls are this ball-buster’s vices; in that particular order.
**Note: all credit for the photos contained in these collages belongs to their respective owners. The images were found in Google and Pinterest searches using various applicable keywords. None are mine unless specifically noted. All I did was put them into collage form.
**If you’re interested in this concept and want to create aesthetics/inspiration boards of your own, here is a useful article by author Darla G. Denton on what it is and how to do it.