“Don’t take life too seriously. You’ll never get out alive.”
“Trouble with this world is that everybody is out to get everybody else. I mean, why cannot people be more like me? I love everybody.”
“Of course I talk to myself, because sometimes I need expert advice.”
“Growing up, Sesame Street taught me the importance of education, empathy and kindness. Bugs Bunny, on the other hand, taught me that revenge on my enemies should be quick, clever, and brutal.”
I already had this idea some time around April / May when I was shopping at my favourite lifestyle shop, The Green Party. I came across a white bunny ears hairband which I thought would be a great complimentary gift to my birthday artwork for our Sunny Bunny (see post: For Sunny: High Above Clouds, Sunshine Love). Then I saw there was also a grey version of this same bunny ears hairband too and I wondered if I could give it to Seohyun too when a voice came into my mind, “Bugs Bunny!”
YES, a grey hare like BUGS BUNNY!
My past birthday artworks for Seohyun have always been a little weird, funny, mischievous and unconventional as compared to the other SNSD members. I would always draw her after a certain bunny cartoon character related to the drama she was filming at that time. In the first year of 2017, when she was filming a cop drama “Bad Thief, Good Thief”, I drew her as Judy Hopps from the movie Zootopia (see post: For Seohyun: Seohyun Hopps). In the following year, I drew her as the White Rabbit from Alice In Wonderland who is often seen holding a watch when she was filming a drama called “Time” (see post: For Seohyun: Seohyun In Wonderland). And this year, Bugs Bunny seems like a great idea to continue this bunny cartoon character trend with although she isn’t filming any drama at the moment.
As a small kid, I remembered watching Looney Tunes on TV. Besides Bugs Bunny, I also remembered other Looney Tunes characters like Tweety Bird and Daffy Duck. For the sake of making this Bugs Bunny drawing for Seohyun, I decided to watch some old clips of the Bugs Bunny cartoon just to refresh my memory of him.
From what I see, Bugs Bunny is a really smart character who uses clever tactics and shows no mercy in taking revenge on his enemies. He never lets himself be easily bullied. Even when he is threatened and trampled upon by his enemies, he would fight back twice as hard. Despite of this, he never takes things too seriously or wallows in pain or self pity. Life still goes on for him no matter what happens.
I feel like Bugs Bunny really suits Seohyun’s image and that she can gain strength and inspiration from this Looney Tunes character. As we the fans all know, Seohyun isn’t just a typical pretty-faced idol, singer or actress. She’s someone with brains and big heart for humanity. If she wasn’t in the entertainment industry, I guess she would have studied law and gone into politics. If I’m not wrong, she once revealed before that the South Korea president Moon Jae-In is her idol and the person she wanted to meet the most (well, they had already met last year and her dream came true! read post).
There were some thought processes I had to go through when planning for this artwork. Should I make just a plain drawing with watercolours like I did last year? I probably wanted to do something a little different this time. I decided to use my paper art approach this time, something I did for Seohyun before in the first year.
So I started by choosing my reference photos of Seohyun first.
I chose these 2 suitable photos of Seohyun, one with a wink and the other without, because the angle of her face was positioned similar to the above Bugs Bunny picture.
But the process of sketching her face was fraught with difficulties of getting her facial features right or up to my satisfaction. No matter how hard I tried, my drawings always seemed to end up looking like someone else instead of Seohyun herself. This signaled to me that I seemed to have problems in connecting with Seohyun and my unconscious mind was actually thinking of another person (or the other person was actually speaking to my soul and taking up space in my unconscious mind) even though in my conscious state, I was actually drawing Seohyun. This probably could happen when I’m drawing freehand without thinking much and I don’t have a habit of using guidelines to measure each feature in the photo to its exact detail.
In my final attempt, I finally had a piece that was closest to satisfaction, but I still couldn’t seem to get her lips right. But at this point, it didn’t really matter anymore as long as her eyes and nose looked okay enough because at the end I was going to erase her entire lips anyway and replace it with Bugs Bunny’s rabbit tooth!
After all the tedious sketching of her face, here came the fun part that felt like a brisk to me – drawing of her Bugs Bunny body!
Next, I coloured her hair with various shades of brown colour watercolour pencils before applying a layer of water over it using a paintbrush to give it a watercolour effect.
Then, by taking advantage of a tracing paper, I cut out separate pieces of the body parts based on my previous rough sketch of Bugs Bunny from various grey, white, pink, orange and green coloured papers and outlined the edges with a black marker.
The next thing to do was to stick all the separate pieces of papers and Seohyun’s facial sketch onto each rightful place on another square piece of white background paper like a jigsaw puzzle. Lastly, I drew a few whiskers on Seohyun’s cheeks with my black marker. Seohyun the Bugs Bunny was born!
Very early in the year, I had gotten a square piece of transparency sheet with a very pretty border of flowers and leaves decorations on it from Papermarket. It gives off an enchanted garden vibe. I planned to use this for Seohyun’s artwork even though at the time I didn’t have an idea what I was going to do yet. Now that my Bugs Bunny Seohyun was done, all that I needed to do was to simply place the transparent sheet on top of it and instantly my plain white background transformed into a garden theme. Now it looks as if Seohyun is peeping through a thick bush in a garden munching on her favourite carrot. On top of that, I also added a speech bubble with Bugs Bunny’s own catch phrase “Eh, what’s up, doc?” to complete the entire look of the artwork.
There was a problem of how I was going to stick both the transparent sheet and the white background paper together without making it look untidy though. The best way is to frame it up like a picture frame. But it is rather rare to find such 12×12 inch frames for sale in Singapore. I had paid a visit to a few physical art shops in Singapore in hopes of finding such frames but to no avail. Fortunately I managed to find a perfect white square frame from Carousell (a smartphone and web-based consumer to consumer marketplace for buying and selling new and secondhand goods) which was brought in from China by the seller and sold at an affordable price! Now it looks more presentable as a gift in a frame!
Time to take more detailed nice photos of my finished piece (before and after framed)! 📸
Not to forget the grey bunny ears hairband as a complimentary gift that first inspired this Bugs Bunny idea for Seohyun.
Also a small fork that features the herald white rabbit from Alice In Wonderland (the character from my last year’s artwork) as well. I hope Seohyun can use it to eat the fruits in her cup too! Keke.
With this artwork, I hope Seohyun can stay a happy-go-lucky trickster like Bugs Bunny and be healthy eating carrots away. May her mind garden continue to flourish as prettily as this garden themed artwork.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO SEOHYUN THE BUGS BUNNY!! 🐰🐇