You may find, like I do, that sometimes starting a new project can be quite daunting. Maybe it's not even a new project, but a new page of your sketch book. Standing before you is the white abyss, the expectation of greatness, the fear of mistakes - all of that and you haven't even put pen to paper. So in light of my struggle with the blank canvas, I have, through pure accident found a way to overcome the fear and let my creative flow a little more loosely when it comes to think up characters.
Here it is, my "great" discovery. Paper mache fish! Whilst rooting around my garage, because well that's how I like to spend my evenings, I came across a discarded paper mache fish, covered in crappy paint and spider webs. Rather than throw him away I decided to clean him up, and give him a fresh white coat of paint. Then whilst watching TV I found myself doodling on him. Random characters began appearing, different features, shapes, sizes, all based around the simple premise of drawing something with eyes, mouth/beak, roundish body, wings and feet.
It might sound a little odd, or completely mundane, or like something you might try. I just thought I would share my little discovery with you, as I have found it rather helpful drawing onto an abstract canvas, as to release some tension from the desire to craft a interesting character.