A Collection Of Mythological Creatures Of China. Illustration project for To Break Studio, inspired by mythological creatures, monsters, and demi-gods from Chinese folklores.


Tools used:
Clip Studio Paint / Photoshop / Procreate / ToonBoom Harmony / After Effects / Premiere / Audition
I designed and illustrated 32 characters, 妖怪 (Yaoguai: monsters), inspired by Chinese folklore. The main goal was to use anthropomorphism for younger generations to grow awareness of and evoke their interest in tales, ultimately cultivating an admiration for their culture.

This project had reached ~15k followers after its one-month debut on Weibo. Since the beginning of 2022, it has gained 96k followers.
From the given brief, I researched and read variations about Yaoguai monsters, and I worked closely with my client to determine the traits and talents we would like to address. At the same time, I further leaned into the project by studying traditional Chinese garments, paintings, motifs, and vessels decorated with monsters to capture the historical spirits and better integrate them into our character designs.

︎︎︎A collection of 龙九子 (Long Jiu Zi), nine children of the mighty dragon

All of the children have unique talents. For example, the oldest brother, 囚牛 (Qiuniu), specializes in music. Therefore, his monster form was engraved on instruments, especially on 二胡 (Erhu) - like a blessing to empower the performer’s skill or as guardian gods - which lends me vast space for creativity and inspiration for their outfits and props designs.

Merchandise Design

I was also tasked with creating merchandise design, including plush toy design, sticker sheets, and cardholders.

Prop Design

We introduced a series of spirits who lived in ancient Chinese instruments. I designed nine one-of-a-kind instruments along with their own unique spirits, based on the signature instruments that represent Chinese musical history: 埙 (Xun), 古琴(Guqin), 古筝 (Guzheng), 编钟 (BianZhong), 笛子 (Dizi), 箫 (Xiao), 二胡 (Erhu), 琵琶 (Pipa), and 箜篌 (Konghou)

©2021-2023, Richan Li ︎