Zero Birthday 2019: Hear The Lion King Z Roar!

“Look inside yourself. You are more than what you have become.”
The Lion King
“While others look for what he can take, a true king gives back.”
“Believe in yourself and there will come a day when others will have no choice but to believe with you.”
“It’s the Circle of Life and it moves us all, through despair and hope, through faith and love, ’til we find our place on the path unwinding.”
“Love will find a way, anywhere we go. We’re home if we are there together.”
“As you go through life, you will see that there is so much that we don’t understand. And the only thing we know is that things don’t always go the way we plan.”
The Lion King
“Oh yes, the past can hurt. But from the way I see it, you can either run from it, or learn from it.”
The Lion King


The idea came when I was looking through the photos on Taeyeon’s Zero instragram to find inspirations for an artwork for Zero’s upcoming birthday. This particular photo was the key to link me up to the concept of The Lion King, the recent photorealistic computer animated remake of the Disney’s film that I had just watched with Taenggu on our 54th monthsary last month!

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That big yawn of Zero instantly reminds me of Simba / Mufasa’s majestic roar in The Lion King movie. Don’t they look alike?? Isn’t Zero an exact dog representation of The Lion King??? Haha. 😆

This would be a perfect evolution from my last year’s birthday artwork for Zero which I first crowned him as King Z (refer to FOR ZERO: KING Z AT THE TOP OF HIS WORLD (TAENGGU’S HEAD). This year, he’s going to be upgraded to another level on which all other dogs in the animal kingdom would envy him for – The Lion King Z.

“I’m going to roar like a lion!” says Zero, “No one could ever take me down now!”

Speaking of The Lion King, Taenggu herself is a big fan of the movie too! In June when the teasers of the live-action movie were out, she was seen excitedly liking and leaving comments on their Disney official Instagram page (read the article about it here), which was the main reason that motivated me to watch the movie with her on our 54th monthsary last month.

Previously we had also watched The Lion King broadway musical on our 43rd monthsary when it was playing here in Singapore last year too!

SO, to get started, what I did first was to use a A5 sized wooden board that I had in my art material collection at home and cover it with a suitable colour paper for the background. I had a few options of colour papers in mind and it was difficult for me to decide at first which one would best suit my artwork.

Eventually I decided to go with the gold colour paper which is of the similar colour scheme that matched the backdrop in The Lion King movie. After pasting the paper on the surface of my wooden board with a double sided tape, I cut away the excess paper (same method I used for Tiffany’s birthday artwork earlier this month – refer to FOR TIFFANY: SAILOR MERMAID TIFFANY YOUNG). But because the quality of this particular gold paper is quite resistive to cutting, I ended up having rather rough and torn edges at the sides (Taeyeon, pardon me for this! 😅).

Next, similar to what I did for Jessica’s birthday artwork earlier this year (refer to FOR JESSICA: CHIC LIKE AN ICE PRINCESS BLACK CAT), I found a suitable crown hairband from The Green Party and detached it from the black band using my own jewellery plier.

Then I drew a rough sketch of Zero with a lion’s mane like Simba’s on the board.

Original cartoon version of The Lion King. I wanted to draw Zero having a lion’s mane like Simba’s!

Next, by using a tracing paper to draw an outline based on my sketch, I cut out the lion’s mane from a brown foam sheet that I sourced from our local bookstore, Popular, and pasted it on the centre of my board.

I drew a sketch of Zero’s face as a guideline again, this time on the brown lion’s mane foam sheet.

Initially, I wanted to try out using this new light grey, soft and fluffy knitting yarn that I got from Daiso that is more commonly used for knitting soft toys.

I wanted to stick the yarn onto the foam sheet to form layers of Zero’s silver fur using a white glue. But the effect turned out disastrous and undesirable. Up to a certain point I stopped because it began to look like a mess of rice grains with no clearly defined features.

Not given up on hope yet, it seemed destined that I could have a second chance at remaking the artwork again because I happened to have a spare piece of the same A5 wooden board at home and another half piece of the brown foam sheet left. So I gave it another shot.

I repeated the first few steps again. This time before I started pasting the fur, I formed Zero’s mouth first using black, grey and pink foam sheets to make it look like it is slightly protruding from the surface.

And this time, I ditched the grey furry knitting yarn that I used earlier on and used a mixture of grey and brown cotton threads of varying shades instead (they are the same materials that I used to make last year’s Zero’s birthday artwork! I still had leftovers from last time.)

Here’s a video of the process of how I made Zero’s fur using these cotton threads.

This method that involved repeatedly cutting and pasting the cotton threads few strands by few strands at a time definitely took more time and effort as compared to using the grey furry knitting yarn. It required a lot of patience and back-aching moments to do this but I felt I could do much faster this time since I already had experience of doing the same thing last year. Thankfully, the effect turned out a lot nicer to my liking this time and my efforts were not wasted.

I started off with his head, from the eye area to his mouth.

Then finished with his ears.

Next, I made use of the stems of a few cotton buds that I found at home, cut them into smaller pieces and stuck them at the top and bottom of his mouth to form his teeth.

Next comes what seemed like the most important part – crowning of Zero as The Lion King (lol). I secured the white crystal studded crown that I detached from the hairband earlier on on top of Zero’s head using my white glue.

Just when I thought I was done with the whole artwork, I climbed onto my bed to take a rest but there was this nagging feeling inside of me. I thought about how there still seemed to be something lacking or missing about this artwork, like it felt empty at the area beneath Zero’s head. That’s when I knew I gotta fill it up with some words. I was reminded that I have some unused alphabet stickers in my collection at home, so I dug them out and found this suitable set of stud alphabet stickers that would go well with my artwork.

And there, at the empty space on Zero’s lion’s mane, I put the words “LION KING Z”.

Finally I could say it’s a wrap!!

More detailed shots of my final completed artwork for Zero. 📸 Presenting to you, The Lion King Z!! 📣

It was a Sunday afternoon when I completed the artwork. I climbed back onto my bed again, my heart feeling full and satisfied finally. I decided to spend some time reading my last year’s post about Zero’s birthday artwork again. Honestly, I usually would forget what I wrote after the posts were published several months ago, so I guess it would be a good time for me to review and refresh my memory of what had happened back then. What amazed me was I realised that last year when I did Zero’s birthday artwork, it was also on a Sunday. I wrote about how it was a lazy Sunday and I was surrounded by bad energy and wanted to laze myself in bed but was kinda prompted by Taenggu to get up and start making my overdue artwork for Zero after she did an instalive suddenly filming herself making a handicraft of Zero.

One year later, as if the time had come round again for the second time, a similar situation seemed to happen again (remember how I also had a second chance of redoing my artwork for Zero earlier on?). This time, it also felt like a lazy Sunday morning, but what’s different this time was, it wasn’t me who felt “lazy”, it was my new family dog named Tofu. He, who is usually very hyperactive, was unusually sleepy and spent a couple of hours in the morning napping beside me.

And I spent the morning with him, couldn’t really do much but I felt unusually good. I felt like I was receiving healing from him in the process to give me enough positive good energy and drive to complete my artwork for Zero for the rest of the day (though I still had to battle lots of bad energy hurting my back).

It was a lesson I had learnt through making this artwork with relation to what’s going on in my life right now. Everyone deserves a second chance to get back up again and give another shot at fighting for their dream after making mistakes and failing for the first time as long as we learn from the past (an important lesson from The Lion King story too!). 💜

On a sidenote, I’ve also been amazed by how rapid the events in my life have unfolded themselves in the positive direction especially in the recent months. Just about a month ago on Silver Day, I wrote that when I marry Taenggu, I would try to take care of her and Zero even though I had zero experience of taking care of a dog (refer to SILVER DAY 2019: ONE SIZE FITS ONE – MY ONE AND ONLY CINDERELLA). And then unexpectedly 2 weeks later, my sister suddenly came back home one night with a new puppy to our surprise. It was a gift from her boyfriend to keep her company while he is away in the US for 1+ year of training. As a result, I also get a chance to experience being a dog owner for the first time and learn how to take care of a dog too. Seems like Heaven has its own way of prepping me up on what needs to be done in order to get closer to my dream of marrying Taenggu isn’t it?

Thankful, I am thankful. 💜

So on this day when Zero was born, to my future dog whom I wish I would be taking care of with Taenggu, I would like to wish him a HAPPY 2ND BIRTHDAY! Yes, Zero is 2 years old now! How time flies.

Zero is not only a Lion King in Taenggu’s heart, he is also her hero, her number 1 idol and her one and only.


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