In trying to figure out what these characters should look like, I had been drawing raccoons and vultures mostly. I had initially thought vultures could work as a base with a reference to the characters being "scavengers", but I thought raccoons' association with collecting junk was a better fit. I also got excited about using raccoon eye-masks to create facial expressions-- I like giving different species distinct eyes.
The vulture influence survived in the characters' beards (or manes, or frills, or whatever you'd call that). I tried to use those to throw in some lion flair too, and got in some opossumy finger-gloves markings for good measure. My goal in alien design is generally "borrow visuals from enough different real species that it feels familiar, but also such that none of them comes across as overwhelmingly dominant".
You can also see me trying to figure out how to differentiate the elements into different characters, in the lower right in particular.
[This post was made public in July 2016. Become a patron to see a new one every week!]