“Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.”
“When I filter the sunshine in my life, I bask in the light of a transforming and inspiring reality…”
“There is sunshine in my soul today.”
I already started brainstorming for an idea for Sunny’s birthday artwork as early as in March. I was on a 5+ hour flight to Perth. Instead of taking a nap, I thought I should make full use of my time on the plane to do some planning for my future tasks. Thinking of ideas for my upcoming artworks was one of my agendas of the day while I was flying high above clouds, literally.
I remembered I was looking out of the airplane window. It was fluffy white clouds everywhere. It looked like a place in Heaven.
I imagined a bright yellow orange sun peeping out at the horizon through the clouds. It was Sunny’s smiling face at the centre of the sun giving me a finger heart from afar, as if she was saying “hey, show me/you some love!” Then, I also imagined her with a pair of white bunny ears popping out from the top of her head because of her nickname “Sunny Bunny”. There were also some birds flying high above the clouds.
And so, I decided that this would be the theme for Sunny’s birthday artwork this year. I would create an artwork based on this scene that I had envisioned in my head on that flight. If you have seen my past years’ artworks for Sunny, they were usually filled with lots of sunshine positive vibes. First year, I portrayed her as a sunflower (see post: For Sunny: Sunny Sunflower). Second year, her beloved cat, Sogeum was like the sun with whom she watches at every sunrise or sunset (see post: For Sunny: Watch Sunrise With You Every Day). And this year, Sunny has become the sun itself, radiating sunshine and warmth into my life and everybody else’s around her.
I began working on this only in May. Although I already had the rough picture in my mind, what kind of materials and approach would I use this time? Should I still stick with only plain drawing and watercolouring like I did for her past two pieces? Something seemed to tell me that I should do something really different this time, something more than what looked like an elementary school level of artwork for my past pieces for Sunny. I gave it some serious thoughts and decided I could try out a form of layered paper art! It would be a suitable technique to do if I want to create layers of white clouds around the sun like what I saw on the plane. It was a new method I hadn’t really explored before. Like what one of Taenggu’s messages on her “tarot cards” says, I should “try challenging something new”!
So all I needed to do first was to get my materials. That would involve making some trips to the art shops to get suitable coloured papers, white foam pad stickers and a wooden board with an open frame. I originally wanted to get a 3D photo frame similar to the one I used for Jessica’s birthday artwork last month (see post: For Jessica: Chic Like An Ice Princess Black Cat) but eventually decided it wasn’t suitable for my artistic concept for Sunny.
Then I got down to the actual work by drawing a sketch of Sunny’s face first. I chose this following reference photo from her instagram gallery of her sporting the brightest smile I have ever seen on her (she must have really loved her ice cream very much! lol).
I was really pleased with my initial sketch of Sunny. Better than expected. It did succeed in capturing the cheerfulness in Sunny’s smile really well.
The finger heart gesture was an addition that I drew on my own that wasn’t seen in the original reference photo.
Then I made a bold move to colour her face and other body parts with watercolours. Last year, I coloured everything else in my drawing except for Sunny’s face. This time, I felt like Sunny was telling me to colour her skin as well so I did. I guess it turned out looking pretty fine actually!
Next was the fun part – cutting papers, pasting and layering them on my wooden board. A blue paper for the sky background, an orange circle in the middle with yellow sun rays shooting out, her facial sketch with the finger heart gesture and a cute little red heart, layers of white clouds overlapping each other and finally, the last and imo the most important feature of all, a soaring white bird. I actually had a really hard time trying to find this bird. I remembered I used to have a unused set of flying bird items that were meant for scrapbooking. I bought it around 1.5 years ago with an original intention of making an artwork for Jonghyun who had just passed away back then but I didn’t eventually do. I believed it was still lying somewhere in my home office but despite my numerous efforts of searching, I somehow couldn’t find it at all. Just when I was about to give up and thought I would give it just one last search again, I found it miraculously lying in my plastic bag which I had previously flipped through many times over. Anyway, now that I have used one bird on Sunny, I still have 5 more left.
I didn’t film any videos of this final stage of my process this time. But I was really focused and into the moment. I just wanted to get it done quickly and efficiently without compromising on its quality. Overall, it was a pretty smooth process!
Detailed shots of my final piece. 📸
Can you feel that this artwork is filled with so much light and positive energy? Thanks to Sunny, our energy pill!
In my earlier visions of Sunny on the plane, I mentioned that I imagined her with two bunny ears too. But eventually I decided not to include them in this artwork due to the limitations of space on my wooden board. Instead, I’m complementing this artwork with a really cute bunny ears headband and a sunflower hair clip that I got from my favourite lifestyle and gift shop, The Green Party. (Just like how I also got Jessica a tiara headband to complement her artwork with too!)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY OUR SUNSHINE SUNNY BUNNY! Hope you like my artwork and my little gifts for you! Thanks for always bringing sunshine into our lives. Hope you will always keep that sunshine alive in your soul too! Namaste. 🌞🌤💛🌻