When choosing a subject for a fashion illustration project, it came to me, clear as day, that what culture displays all the wealth, social standing, marital status, as well as passion, obsession, energy, and aggression on their costumes but the nomads? The garments and ornaments are who they are, and all that they own. I believe that their costumes are the key to the mythological exotica of nomadic world.



In this project, I wish to create a complete nomadic atmosphere in my illustrations not through the settings and artifacts but through costumes and poses. I wish to utilize varieties of costumes to show the lives that the nomads from different corners of the world live. By redesigning the garments, accessories, hair styles and make-up, I hope to transform the traditional nomadic costumes into modern fashion.

Combining The Identities Of All Groups Into One Image / The Beauty Of AndrogynyWhat I am trying to achieve in fashion illustration is to bring out the exoticism hidden in every human being to manifest our romance with fashion, which cannot be found in photographs or real models. For me, the beauty of a human being is not just the body form, it is also the personality. Feelings like obsession, sensation and sensitivity are unique to the human species. In my art, therefore, sex and race are not the emphasis. I believe there is no perfect form of the human body. I think both men and women have a feminine side and a masculine side. I hope to capture the femininity, the masculinity, or even the androgyny to display the complex beauty of humanity.

The Choosing of Poses

Other than the costumes and the jewelry, the poses of the figures greatly affect the atmosphere of the illustrations. To show the mythological exotica of the nomads, poses need to be carefully designed.

    1. Avoid direct, frontal view of the face or any other view that shows all the features of the face.
    2. Crop the face to encourage the viewer’s imagination.
    3. If a figure in the illustration looks toward the viewer, the eyes have to be able to express a message in the illustration to give the figure its personality.
    1. Crop and zoom in on certain parts of the costumes to fully express the clothes or jewelry without interruption.
    2. Choose the best poses which can display the costume and enhance the atmosphere of the illustration.

The Use of Materials


Because of its color intensity and its ability to display energy, acrylic paint is one fo the better mediums to show the nomad’s harsh lifestyle and their bold, passionate and aggressive personality.


The solid, velvet look that black gouache produces cannot be substituted by any other medium. Therefore, to express the mythological exotica, gouache is a very important medium.


Ink and brush is the best medium to show the quality of the Asian paintings. It offers a smooth line, and creates a kind of peacefulness demonstrated often in Chinese paintings.


Watercolor has many important functions in expressing different textures. For example, watercolor produces convincing textural sensations in drawing chiffon and fur.

Color Palette

There are many things that need to be taken into consideration when choosing the color palette. A lot of nomads prefer vivid primary colors. Primary colors, however, cannot produce a mysterious atmosphere. Therefore, I kept the primary colors, but a majority were other colors.

  • Earth colors
  • Greens
  • Gold and silver