Magical World Observation Record

Puer Xu

Hello Everyone, Welcome to my show!

Artist Statement

My idea for this project is to build a magical world. There are many strange-looking creatures living in this world, with various shapes and personalities. Every creature living in this world is friendly. The four mythical beasts appear as the main character representatives in the project. Among these four characters, I have chosen the mythological creatures of the Vermilion Bird, Azure Dragon, White Tiger, and Black Tortoise as my character design reference. Another part of this project is scene illustrations. To enrich my worldview and give the audience a more specific understanding of my magical world, I have also drawn many scene illustrations. For example, dragons composed of clouds, immovable reef monsters that live in the sea, lively celebrations, and even tranquil forests and other magical scenes. Through these scenes, I want to show the places where the mythical creatures live.

Character Design: Vermilion Bird, 2023

Vermilion Bird’s clothes are more complex than those of the other three brothers and have some more decorations. But White Tiger often complains that her clothes look ugly, and then he is beaten by Vermilion Bird.

Character Design: Azure Dragon, 2023

Mr. Azure Dragon doesn’t have many requirements for hairstyles and clothing, but he likes to retain some of the characteristics of beasts. So he revealed his dragon horns and claws.

Character Design: White Tiger, 2023

Once I asked Mr. White Tiger why he always wear a mask on his head. He told me that once on a whim, Vermilion Bird carved a wooden mask for him but was ridiculed by him and then he modified a metal mask.

Character Design: Black Tortoise, 2023

The clothes that Mr. Black Tortoise was wearing as seen earlier. Compared to the clothes of Vermilion Bird and White Tiger, it looks more simple. I heard him say that he doesn’t like to pay too much attention to clothes.

Illustration Parts

I have currently drawn four scene illustrations in this project, as the main purpose of this project is to showcase my imagined world of divine beasts through the four designed characters’ lives as a microcosm. Therefore, I will draw many scene illustrations to enrich my worldview. This step requires a lot of time, so I only completed four illustrations last semester. This semester, I have decided to continue drawing more illustrations. These illustrations are all a series of content. It’s all about Chinese legendary mythical beasts. So I want to showcase my understanding of these divine beasts through these scene illustrations and character designs. For example, using scene illustrations to depict scenes in the world of divine beasts, such as bustling monster neighborhoods, secluded forests, and so on. The scene is referenced and adapted from ancient Chinese architecture. I want this divine beast world to be closer to a utopia, where all the creatures living here are kind and happy. They can leisurely walk in the fields, play in the forest, or participate in holiday celebrations with family and friends. There is no pain, sadness or other complex things in this world, only a happy life. Because real life is tiring, I hope all living beings in this utopia are happy and free.
But because the focus I want to showcase more in this project is actually the fantasy world, 40% of it is the character part and 60% is the scene part. In addition to the four main characters, I am preparing to create additional content for the design of other divine beast characters to appear in a separate supplementary explanation section. It’s not that other characters serve as supplementary content, some of them will appear in the scene illustrations as secondary content that enriches the visuals. (For example, a large-scale landscape painting with illustrations, but some small mythical beasts may appear in the picture)

Illustration: Street

Illustration: Forest

Illustration: Lake

Illustration: Room

Illustration: Celebration

Booklet Layout

I have redesigned the content and layout of my book. The book’s first edition was just plain pictures with text descriptions, so this time I want to unfold my magical world in the tone of a human researcher. This way, when introducing characters and scenes, the book will look like an observer writing a diary. This book wanted to be drawn as an observation record for a researcher, who unexpectedly came to a world beyond Earth and found that only mythical beasts lived there. So, she started writing her observation notes to preserve the strange places she saw. Through the first perspective, recording the images of mythical animals she learned about and also some fantastic places. For example, in the record, it is written that she met four beast friends, each with several different personalities. The background of the book has been replaced with wrinkled and textured yellowed paper. To better match the feeling of writing a diary, the text has also been changed to a style that is closer to the handwritten font and added marked the recording time at the end of each paragraph.

Puer Xu

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Puer Xu is a Chinese born illustrator. She likes comics, anime, and games. She also like ancient Chinese legends and other fairy tales, especially the strange-looking beasts in the stories. She likes magical stuffs, and many other non-realistic things. Her works like to use bright color tones to draw the mythical worlds conceived in her mind. Her practices include character design, illustrations, and comics.