Year of the Dragon – Setting the Mood


Wait! Before you start smirking, we’ve already established in a previous post that I am behind schedule with my “Happy New Year” cards and I have decided to view the entire year as my deadline. Mainly because this is a yearly project I enjoy and I want to do it AND do it right, while having fun. But, also because I am kinda stubborn and I don’t want to quit once I get started.

For some reason, this project seems to be fighting back a little. Maybe it’s because “dragons prefer to live by their own rules”.  According to my research “others are attracted to Dragons, especially their colorful personalities, but deep down, Dragons prefer to be alone.”

I’ll post later about the progress of  catching a dragon by the tail, meanwhile, here are some mood boards I put together from my favorite images collected as I brainstormed on what I’d like this year’s card design to reflect.

(Follow the image links to Flicker for image source info. Flickr set here. Related  post with in-progress sketches here.)


Many of the images I found of Dragons are playful and full of movement. This is a detail from the The Nine Dragon Screen in the Forbidden City, Beijing.

I fell in love so much with the imaginative children’s art  I found honoring the Year of the Dragon. The personality and adventurousness of this work, along with the the way these young artists found the essence of  “dragon”, is inspiring. These pieces also reflect much of the “nature” of Dragons in Chinese lore in neat ways.


Aren’t these patterns and textures beautiful! The colors are amazing.  I loved the joy in those lines and colors. I loved how they also mirror the amazingly detailed patterns, graphic shapes and rich textures found in many of the other, more historical Dragon images I found.

With so much to work from, it’s no surprise that this design is taking on a life of it’s own. More in-progress posts, soon!


4 thoughts on “Year of the Dragon – Setting the Mood

  1. those Yeondoo Jung photos are beautiful work……..the magic of everyday life lives in them………they make me sooo thankful and want to live fuller, freer…….I hope my art does that

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