In the Summer of 2004, I completed a certificate program in game animation at the University of Washington. A major part of the class dealt with creating, modeling, and animating a character for a computer game. Space Girl was created about a year later after I had practiced a little more on my own.
One of the pieces of advice I still remember from the instructor is when you are first learning something new and you are not pleased with your first attempt, throw it away rather than try to fix it, and start over from scratch. It will almost always turn out better.