Hello. In this making of I will take you through some of the techniques used in the creation of this simple cartoony 3d illustration.
As most of my ideas, the one about a tough little fish with piercings came at random. Fishhooks seamed as a logical substitution for jewelry a fish would use. I grabbed a piece of paper and sketched the shape of my fish. It turned out to be a mix between a piranha and... Hmm. Well, I don't really know what sort of a fish it is, but it's tough and stupid.
I usually start modeling by roughing out the shape in ZBrush and then retopologize, but since this was such a simple concept, I decided it would be faster to go straight to some old fashion poly modeling. Before I imported the sketch into 3DS Max for reference, I colored it gray in Photoshop. I find it easier on the eyes than staring at a big area of white. Since this character has such big bulging eyes, I started modeling from there. Building the mesh from a plane into an eyelids using Freeform extend tool. It's a fast way to build a surface over the sphere of an eye. Shift dragging the edges to create new polygons is my favorite method for quick surface development. Both, fish and hooks were built using this method.
Posing was simple. I just made a soft selection from the tail to the middle of the body and then applied twist and bend modifiers. Fishing line remnants are just some editable splines with thickness. Created some bent cones for little sharp teeth and cloned the hooks around. The eyes are simple lathe objects. For UVW unwrapping I used the X-ray Unwrap plugin. I like its simplicity. Just place the seams and press unwrap button. With that the base model was finished and ready for sculpting.