Girl & The Yak Personal Character Design Project

Back in the Winter of 2015, I was interested in studying entertainment design at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. At the time, I didn’t have any recent character design examples to show in my application portfolio, so I came up with a quick character concept and got to work! Over the course of a week, I hashed out two characters and one prop design for my application. I’m proud to say that I was accepted into the program; however, I ultimately decided to go without more schooling and jump straight into a freelance career instead.

The following images are the final concepts for this project. To see process work, click here!

pema turnaround_665

The main character in my store is a young tibetan girl named Pema. Here’s her official turn-around.

norbu turnaround_665

The second (though equally important) character in this story is Pema’s yak, Norbu! I’ve always loved yaks, and I especially love the way the tibetan people decorate their bovine companions. In all honesty, this was a very self-indulgent design for me haha.


Here are a few silhouettes I sketched up to get a feel for Pema’s personality and how it affects her stance and movement.

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Expressions! Throughout her creation, I pictured Pema as a girl with lots of personality–spunky, stubborn, and determined. I included some of Norbu just to get a feel of how his mouth opened.


This part I didn’t expect to enjoy as much as I did–designing Norbu’s saddle! I spent a good deal of time researching tibetan fabric designs and patterns to come up with my own authentic-feeling concept. By the time I had finished, I had a hard time deciding which saddle to choose for the final design!

pema&norbu rendered_665

And this is the final concept! Overall, I’m pretty proud of what I was able to put together in such a short span of time. Eventually I’d like to revisit these two once I’ve got even more character designing experience under my belt.

Looking to get your own character designed? Contact me now!