How do you do it? Personally, I enjoy working with canon and then jumping off to create my own canon for that character. I do know some people that completely disregard the canon entirely and just do whatever the hell they want, but lets see what the playground likes to do for there character creation.
As the title says: Do you work withe canon? Around it? Against it? Or any combination of the 3? If so, do you study for your role?