Sooyoung Birthday 2019: Spring Is Coming As You Wish

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant.”
Anne Bradstreet
“The promise of spring’s arrival is enough to get anyone through the bitter winter.”
Jen Selinsky


The design I did for Sooyoung’s ang bao not long ago last week was actually a preview or teaser of what I was going to do for her birthday artwork (see post CNY RED PACKETS 2019: PIG YEAR OINK OINK). In fact, I already had the idea even before I started planning my ang bao designs. I sourced for a packet of synthetic cherry blossom / sakura flowers from Carousell in late January but put it aside while I started making my ang baos first since Chinese New Year came first before her birthday (talking about priority!).

The ang bao design that I made for Sooyoung this year is also a theme about spring too

I finally found the time to start working on her birthday artwork 2 days before her birthday. My idea was to draw a portrait of her on paper and then surround her with lots of sakura flowers. I also planned to use a sakura flower design washi tape (which I already have in my collections) to make the borders around her portrait. This was inspired by her own exhibition which was organised last December where green duct tapes were used to stick her paper photos on the wall and make lines and borders. Simple yet cool.

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서른이되면 바뀌는게 하나는 있더라구요. 생각만 하던것들을 현실이 되게 하는것. 꿈꾸던 것들을 실행에 옮길 수 있다는것. 내 능력치가 좋아져서가 아니라, 20대에 만난 인연들이 모이고 우리가보낸 시간과 경험이 모여서 막연하게 꿈꾸는 것을 넘어 현실이 되게 할 수 있어요. 주변에 오랜시간 신뢰를 쌓아온 좋은사람이 있고, 그들과 함께이기에 도전하기 두렵지 않은 나이가 30대인 것 같아요. 연말에는 전시를 하면 어떨까 막연하게 생각만했는데 , 내 머리와 손과 발이 되주어서 나와 팬들이 나의20대를 아름답게 추억할 수 있게 만들어준 전시회의 모든 스탭분들에게 늦었지만 감사인사를 전하고싶어요. 연초에 수영사진관으로 시작해서 연말에 수영사진전으로 끝난 2018 덕분에 행복했습니다 🙏❤️ #이별이빛나다 #수영전시회 #앞으로사진더많이찍을게 #외장하드아직많아

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So I began by sketching a portrait of her based on a recent photo which I had chosen from her instagram gallery.

My reference photo of Sooyoung used for my artwork

I wasn’t really particular about drawing her facial features as accurately as how she looked in the photo. I merely drew until I personally felt satisfied enough. At least my sketch, as it turned out, was a big improvement from the one I drew of her last year (see post: FOR SOOYOUNG: OPEN YOUR THIRD EYE TO SEE A BIGGER WORLD).

The second step was to use my sakura flower design washi tape to make borders around her portrait as freely as I wished.

The third step was to stick my synthetic sakura flowers, leaves and petals on the paper using a white glue. Notice how I purposely positioned some of the petals in a heart shape! ㅋㅋㅋ

Last step was to write the words “Spring is here” at the bottom of the paper using a gold metallic marker.

I didn’t take any work-in-progress photos or a process video this time so I could only write down the steps I did to make this artwork here. Hahaha.

So here are the detailed shots of my final piece! 📸

Why did I choose to do a theme about the spring season for Sooyoung’s birthday artwork? It isn’t like she was born in the season of spring since February is still considered winter in Korea so technically she is a winter baby. I decided to do this artwork because of her following instagram post.

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그냥이대로봄이왔으면좋겠다 😢

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She seemed to reveal her wish for spring to come well after winter ends. Her yearning for spring’s arrival spurred me to make this artwork that is full of cherry blossoms to signify that all hopes are going to blossom this coming spring season.

I was reminded of a quote that I used before in an old post MONTHSARY SPECIAL: THE THIRTY-FIFTH.

It goes,

“Stillness is the flower of winter. All hope waits beneath a blanket of white.”

Indeed, when all snow melts away, flowers are going to bloom. Spring is already here before she knew it.

Interestingly, the words “Spring is here” were also written on the wall at a hidden corner of my office. They were already there ever since I joined the company last July but it only came to my attention recently when I started planning for Sooyoung’s birthday artwork.

Remember Jonghyun wrote the song “우린 봄이 오기 전에 (Before Our Spring)” in his posthumous album “Poet | Artist” before he left us?

JONGHYUN – 우린 봄이 오기 전에 (Before Our Spring) (English Translation)

Before spring comes
Before it gets warm
Shall we meet?

Before the day comes
When everyone else is asleep
Let’s met

Actually, looking at you
Watching over you makes me happy
Just looking at you smiling
Just watching over you makes me feel at peace

I know this sounds foolish
But I’m afraid to go to you
Even if you don’t understand
It’s alright, it’s alright
Because there’s still a lot of time
Before spring will come

Actually, I don’t want spring to come
Don’t want it to get warmer
Just looking at you smile from afar
Makes my heart ache

I know this sounds foolish
But I’m afraid to go to you
Even if you don’t understand
It’s alright, it’s alright
Because there’s still a lot of time
Before spring will come

They say spring will come faster than last year
But the cold and frozen winter is still here
Don’t worry about what to do
I’m alright, spring will come to me too

I don’t want to go to you
I’m afraid I’m contagious
When I forget my tears and my sadness
When spring comes to me too

Let us stay strong till the bitterness of winter is over and welcome spring as it warmly arrives.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KIM SOOYOUNG (p.s. sometimes the voices in my head like to call you Kim, instead of Choi, I don’t know why lol)! Spring is coming as you wish. Stay happy and cheerful always! 🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸

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