Xmas Day 2018: Where Did The Bird Go?

“A heart without dreams is like a bird without feathers.”
Suzy Kassem
“Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.”
Salvador Dali
“Let me be as a feather. Strong with purpose yet light at heart, able to bend. And, tho I might become frayed, able to pull myself together again.”
Anita Sams


My Christmas card designs for the year 2018 are a little different from 2017’s. This time, I specially curated a theme for SNSD OT9 members. I wanted to tell a story across these 9 cards which I would be making for them. It’s about me flying around as a bird. In each card, if you spot a feather, it is a trace of evidence that I had been here with this person before and left a piece of myself behind but where now did that bird fly to?

One thing to note that I had decided to standardise by using only the same pink cards across all to signify these 9 cards belong together as one set and pink is a reminder of SNSD official fandom colour. Also, most of the designs are a continuation from their 2017’s Christmas card designs (you can view them at Xmas Day 2017: The Magic Of Christmas Time) and their respective birthday drawings in 2018.


The story starts off with Sooyoung’s card which reveals the main theme of the whole set: “Where did the bird go?” Sooyoung’s cards always seem to tend towards the more artistic and poetic side, which is a reflection of the artsy films she has been participating in with the more recent one being “Memories of a Dead End” and also the poetic lyrics and articles she has written. Her Christmas card design in 2017 was similar to this one, but instead of an autumn leaf, this time it is a feather. From here, we shall begin our quest in searching for the whereabouts of the bird.

<3 SUNNY <3

There’s always a sun in my previous designs for Sunny. This one is no exception. But this time, I decided to humanise the sun into the face of Santa Claus! As an extension of my 2018 birthday drawing for her (see post: FOR SUNNY: WATCH SUNRISE WITH YOU EVERY DAY), I wish that perhaps the sun that she sees at sunrise with Sogeum every day would start to look like a Santa Claus from now on! Keke. ☀️🎅🏻


For Jessica, there’s always a cat in her cards and ang bao. This time, it was Puss in Boots for her simply because I remembered liking one of the boots she was seen wearing on her instagram but I have already forgotten which one it was by now. 😛 It was also natural for me to stick a feather out of the hat worn on Puss in Boots’ head. Everything just fell in place nicely. She still looks rather chic as Puss in Boots, doesn’t she?

I’ve also included a paper windmill at the side because there was a fashion event which she attended before that had lots of colourful paper windmills on display. It left a very good impression in me.


It was kind of mysterious why I was suddenly triggered with the idea of an anchor for Tiffany’s card. But I didn’t think much of it at first and just went straight with the idea, found a great quote to go along with and not forgetting to still include a pink diamond which has been a common element in my previous Christmas card and ang bao for her. 💎

But after her card was done, I gave some thoughts about it and realised the anchor could possibly mean that she has pretty much settled down in the U.S. now and is on her way to continue fighting for her American dream.

Coincidentally, the feather on Tiffany’s card looks similar to the leaves of the legendary palm trees in L.A., doesn’t it?

<3 YURI <3

This is related to the dreamcatcher earrings I had made for Yuri’s birthday not long ago earlier in the month of December (see post: For Yuri: Into Yul 2018 – Dreams Come True). This dreamcatcher idea is perfect for my Christmas card because it already has feathers hanging on it. So it wouldn’t look out of place if I were to stick feathers on her card. Her card is special because she doesn’t just have one feather but three. Would that mean the bird has been here 3 times before? Keke.


Decided to make this for Seohyun because if I didn’t remember wrongly, Seohyun used to say before that Candy Cane is her favourite song in Taenggu’s “This Christmas – Winter is Coming” album which was released in 2017. So I wrote this line “Sweeter than a Candy Cane” which was taken from the lyrics. While I wished her good health and many successes with a Christmas tree full of fruits last year, I wish this year to be sweeter than a candy cane for her. 🍬


The idea for Hyoyeon was a unicorn ornament. The unicorn is a continuation from her 2017 Christmas card. In fact, the idea to use feather as an element in my artworks first started from Hyoyeon’s birthday artwork in August 2018 where I used a large ostrich feather to stick out from her witch hat (see post: For Hyoyeon: Mystic Queen 2018). Just to align with the key elements from her birthday artwork, I had a feather sticking out of the unicorn head too and also some colourful flowers to decorate its mane. And there you have it, the Hyonicorn! 🦄

<3 YOONA <3

For Yoona, my idea was a golden silhouette of a deer. Now not only her horns are gold (referring to her 2018 birthday artwork For Yoona: Take A Rest On My Horns Before You Fly Again), her whole body is gold.

When I think of a deer silhouette, I would think of the image on Typo’s paper bag. (Note: Typo is my favourite gift and stationery shop from Australia which has several stores in Singapore)

Coincidentally, this image also has a bird sitting on the deer’s horns too, similar to the birthday artwork I made for Yoona. I thought I could just reuse the same image from Typo for my Christmas card (saved me a great deal of time and trouble without having to design a new one myself). But instead of black, I made the deer silhouette gold using a shiny gold paper. As for the bird, I drew a dotted outline instead of a solid body to signify that the bird was obviously here to take a rest before as evident from the birthday artwork but has now flown away. But I didn’t forget to leave a feather on the deer’s butt! Lol.


Eee? Did you just see a bird on this card? Yes! The bird is with Taeyeon! If I’m the bird, then Taenggu is the butterfly. I came up with this design because I want to spend this winter by her side. I imagined flying with her among the winter trees, so carefree, so melancholic. In this season where it feels freezing cold and lonely, at least we could depend on each other for more love and warmth. No matter where this bird has flown to, Taeyeon is always its final destination because that’s where its heart feels at home. 🏡💜


In 2017, I only made Christmas cards customized specially for 12 artistes whom I had chosen. This 2018, I decided to extend this to even more artistes and staff who are Taenggu’s friends and colleagues in SM and her family as well, pretty much like what I had done for Chinese New Year earlier in the year. But instead of painstakingly making customized cards one by one for each individual person like I did for the CNY ang baos, I decided to make do with only 2 designs and “mass produce” several copies of them all at one go. And I made sure to keep the designs as simple as possible but still look good visually. This way, I could make the mass-making process a lot easier and faster for me.

First design concept is a Christmas tree that are made up of 5 different variations of geometric shape designs. 🎄 I decided to write the words “Joy to the World” because this particular line from the Christmas song kept ringing in my head. Or is it the other way round? The song kept playing in my head because I had been writing these words many times? Haha I don’t know.

The second design concept is a girl wearing a scarf around her neck. I call it the Scarf Girl design in short. I made use of 3 different washi tape designs to create the patterns for the girl’s scarf. As for the girl, there are 2 different types of girl too, one with straight bangs and the other with a side fringe. So if you do the calculations for the different mix and match of the girl and scarf, there are 6 different combinations in total.

This year’s xmas card designs are all about simplicity and minimalism. And this approach was extremely effective because I managed to churn out 60 pieces of these cards (minus the 9 SNSD pieces) over a span of 2-3 weeks added together. I hope these are enough for Taenggu to give out to the people who mean very much to her and have helped her along the way with her career and love life.

Although these cards have arrived a few weeks late, I hoped everyone had spent Christmas joyfully and would enjoy the rest of winter warmly and filled with love.

Lots of love,
From Celeste Koh a.k.a Namu

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