December Tee - Tired x Tired x Tired
The big text at the top says “I’m tired” but in a sleepy/over it way. The sentence at the bottom says “ah...I’m really tired (in a physical way because it literally means ‘strength is lifted’) ... I’m tired (in a emotionally exhausted and I’m empty sort of way)”.
The big bunbun drapes all her anxious weight on the girl while the little rage bunbun is flailing about and sad bunbun is pulling at her, trembling lip and all. All the girl can do is sit there, crouched over. Sometimes you just need to sit in the tired and be tired, dead inside. For the days you're tired and you still gotta get shit done, here's a tired friend who knows how you feel even when you can't say you're tired.
club exclusive medium heather grey limited run black
January Tee - Rose & Peonies
Return of my Rose Ribcage girl originally from 2017! 2021 is upon us and while I am hopeful (for how can we endure without hope?) yet I find myself still dwelling over that which was so hard and painful in 2020. Skull in hand and not scared of death, our girl is ready to move forward as the peonies bloom both beneath her and within her, a reminder that good things are around the corner but it's also ok to not be solely focused on moving ahead, sometimes we need to sit in the experiences happening to us. The little Bunbuns are wary but there is one peacefully asleep, adrift in sweet dreams, secure in blooming peonies and hope they bring. Whatever 2021 may bring, you got this.
I'm actually really terrified of death and if I'm not careful with my thoughts, I can have really bad panic attacks. I had gotten them under control but 2020 came and told me "nahhhh". Drawing memento mori themes like this become a channel in which I can focus that fear and anxiety and panic, even while my mind is still screaming in sheer terror. But most of all, I try to remind my brain, death is not something I can stop or run away from but to live as best as I can, panic attacks and all, and not keep me from living just because I'm scared of the end.
club exclusive medium heather grey limited run black
February Tee - Fortune Mart
For me, the new year doesn't really start until Lunar New Year, so now I feel more hopeful and optimistic about the future. I definitely feel beat up from last year but I'm ready to put on some bandages, stock up on things to fuel me, and get going! This was hard but also really fun. I'm lazy and don't really do backgrounds but I had this image in my head of a girl in a supermarket but with lucky, mystical items to help her get through her days. I wanted to incorporate the snacks as well as tradtional Korean superstitions I grew up on, such as how salt was thrown at people and doors to ward off ghosts and bad luck; "Dream pie" which are Choco pies, lots of Spam, and definitely those big cup noodles. To celebrate 2021's Year of the Ox, we have our girl picking up an ox plushie while the snake plushie is for me since I'm year of the snake. I decided to give her angel wings because I like to believe everyone tries to be good and all of you guys are sweet angels to me. Thanks so much for being my bun fam <3
club exclusive lilac limited run light pink
March Tee - Water & Moon
This month's tee is inspired by my boyfriend whose birthday is on the second. We have lots of conceptual and philosophical discussions because honestly that’s where my brain is most of the time (I agonize over humanity and society way too much) but he's always loved water and would live in the ocean or at least a swimming pool if he could (how Pisces of him right? 😏) and one time I asked him what I am to him and he said “water” and my brain is pretty negative to myself so I of course immediately thought “oh no I’m drowning him” and asked him to clarify and he said I’m powerful yet soothing like water and bring him peace and feels like home. 😭 oh yeah you bet I was sobbing! I've called him my sun since we were teens but in 2019 he gifted me a moon ring set with one of the best love letters that’s why there is moon and my Korean culture is a huge part of me so I wanted to express the waves and clouds the way they were from historical Korean paintings. My way of communicating my art is how I experience my feelings. So I wanted it to design something to say "We are more than human. We are beautiful, great things like water and the moon" and I hoped with this little insight into my creative process, it will be a reminder that you are loved and lovable and loving.
club exclusive seafoam
limited run baby blue
April Tee - Tiger Games
This month's tee is inspired by my mom whose birthday is early in April. I've been wanting to draw something as a tribute to my mom who is born year of the tiger so I'm excited I could do it for Tee Club. Growing up we played a lot of Mario Bros on the Super Nintendo so I thought a bunny and tiger version was perfect. My mom's leg would jump up everytime she needed Mario to jump and I remember laughing about it a lot together growing up. I used to sleep like I was dead that my mom would have to whack me to wake up but when I went away to college and lived in the dorms, I didn't sleep deeply. She came to visit and I would just fall asleep on her just sitting down - at the table, on the bus, even in the bathroom. I still love to go and glomp my mom and lay on her too but it's been hard as she gets older and I need to be gentle with her. I'm so grateful for her and try my best to cherish the time I have with her and I hope this inspires you guys to spend time with your loved ones too, especially as there's light at the end of this covid tunnel finally in sight.
club exclusive banana
limited run dusty rose
May Tee - Glasswings
For May's design I knew I wanted to do something with a peony because they're my favorite and I always look forward to buying peony blooms in May. I wanted her sitting in the bloom very Thumbelina like when my friend Taylor reminded me that butterflies exist. Butterflies and peonies have historically been paired in Korean paintings and represent prosperity and contentment together. I love how caterpillars turning into butterflies is such a beautiful reminder of growth and transformation. I didn't know which butterfly wings she'd get but I knew I wanted them to be small because it doesn't matter how big our progress or growth is, we can fly and we are beautiful. As we move into Summer, I hope this design will be a gentle reminder of support and unwavering belief in your journey. <3 I'm also really excited because instead of black ink, I wanted to try a soft, deep grey so the design would feel dreamy. Thank you so much for all your love and support in my Tee Club!
After lots of searching I came across the Glasswing Butterfly (Greta oto) and I fell in love with these magically mysterious little butterflies. They are called Glasswing butterflies because their wings are transparent like glass. They are common in Central and South America and are known as "espejitos" in Spanish speaking countries which means "little mirrors". Unlike other butterflies with transparent wings, the Glasswing butterfly's wings are non-reflective which help them to better evade predators. They are at max only 2.5inches at full maturity yet can carry FORTY times it's own weight and can fly up to 8 mph for short periods of time.
club exclusive lilac
limited run sunrise
June Tee - Cultivate Your Garden
‘One Must Cultivate One’s Own Garden’ - by Voltaire from Candide
This idea is constantly on my mind because I am have generalized anxiety disorder and plagued by overthinking. It always feels like negative thoughts spring up like weeds. When I was younger, I used to think my anxiety was something that needed to be fixed and honestly, it would be nice if it could, but I've come to accept the way my brain processes the world and my existence and it isn't something that can just simply be uprooted. Like those dandelion seeds that float far distances and set root in the best maintained gardens, we are exposed to so many ideas and experiences, both consciously and unconsciously. It would be nice if we could use some weedkiller on the originating dandelion but it's an impossible feat as you have over a hundred seeds from just one dandelion flower. Even if you dig up the dandelion, unless you get all of the roots, it will still sprout again. Negative thoughts, like nature, are exceptionally resilient. And there's a purpose for that, it's to keep us safe. Our brain just wants to make sure we're safe and I appreciate my brain for wanting to protect me. So it's really about maintaining the weeds, not letting it spread its seeds and strangle other beautiful thoughts, hopes and dreams but to be able to recognize the negative thought is helpful as long as it does not overwhelm. To "Cultivate Your Garden" reminds me not only that I have power over my thoughts but also that it is something I must dedicate time and effort to and if I do, the garden that is me, will flourish. I hope this design encourages you too.
club exclusive storm
limited run leaf
July Tee - Watermelon Crush
까불지마 - Literally means "don't act up / don't get cute with me" but also has the feeling of "don't f**k with me"
깡 - Slang term meaning "guts", also used for someone who never gives up
나 건들지마 - Literal translation "don't touch me" but used in reference of being bothered or interrupted in general.
I think all the gardening is influencing by designs the past few months ;; I always design based on things I'm going through and this design is actually the culmination of the past three months of physical therapy, occupational therapy, disordered eating therapy, and anxiety therapy and the last year and half in general. The last two weeks I have been back at the gym, sometimes even twice a day, and while I can not crush a watermelon with my thighs yet, I'm so incredibly proud that I can leg press 478lbs. When I realized I could lift nearly 500lbs with my legs, it was the last piece in a healing process that reclaimed my confidence in myself that I can handle myself. Lots of things have been scary for the last year and a half, but I've always struggled with feeling assured that I was capable to defend myself whether physically or emotionally, leading me to overthink or anxiously plan for hypothetical situations. But with the self work, inside and out, I am building myself and I like who that is. I AM strong. I AM capable. There's nothing to fear when I have myself in my corner and loved ones who have my back, so I hope this design reminds you that YOU ARE A FORCE AND MERCY ON ANYONE WHO TRIES TO COME AT YOU. May the little Bunbun wielding the knife remind you that smol and cute does not mean defenseless.
Maybe by the time these tees finish production, I will attempt to crush the watermelon xD. Sorry this tee was late again too. I actually had a different design planned but I wanted it to have a front and back and unfortunately production is a lot more. At the same time, just a week ago I was able to leg press 478lbs so I was inspired to do this design utilizing a vintage pinup pose because strong is sexy, especially in women.
club exclusive banana cream
limited run apple
August Tee - Inner Space
There is a song from 2014 where the English title is "Inner Space" but the Korean title literally translates to "My Brain Structure".
You can listen to it HERE.
The chorus lyrics go:
welcome to my inner space real my-world real my-love
welcome to my inner space real my-mind real my-heart
At the age of 31, I have officially been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and ADHD. I did not expect the ADHD and it threw me for a loop but really made me see how the things I struggle with are not because I'm lacking, I just need different tools because my brain works different. It sucks that I have seen 5 therapists before the age of 30 and none of them suspected and it's not their fault, neurodivergence is abhorrently understudied in women. I have been working to get an evaluation since early this year because twelve hours of research into Autism and I had never felt more seen and not alone than when I heard other women share how they struggle with interpersonal relationships. It was a bit of a bombshell to hear the doctor suspected ADHD but once I actually did research into it, WOW, I felt like a standard issue human rather than a lacking defect as I've been made to feel most of my life.
Knowing that I am different and how I am different has given me true freedom to accept myself as I am and stop self-flagellation for the things I struggle to do. So for August's Tee Club:
Welcome to my Inner Space
This illustration is literally where my brain is most of the time. I reside in a floating castle in the sky where it's always cotton candy skies and though the sun is close, I can still feel all the stars twinkle. The little Bunbuns are my brain simultaneously thinking and planning and feeling and they all want my attention but as you can see, the girl can only look at one Bunbun at a time (especially if there is ice cream involved). I used to really hate this about myself and I'd try all sorts of things to manage myself but I've been just letting myself be because I don't know what that's like. I still feel pressured to seem "normal" if around other people but it feels nice to let myself be and accept that I can only do what I can, not what I can't. The lamps flare because I have astigmatism. I know it's bad, but all the lights look like stars to me so it's pretty. I never realized that everyone doesn't see lights as stars. I drew all the really important Bunbuns - ice cream addict Bunbun, drawing in a messy pile Bunbun, ready to fight to protect Bunbun, sucked into video games Bunbun, likes to sleep with company Bunbun, hungry Bunbun chasing a chicken, Space cadet Bunbun, dissociated Bunbun and Bunbun with Wolfie.
I hope this month's shirt will remind you that you're okay, just as you are because you're the only you and you're beautiful.
club exclusive light blue
limited run pink
September Tee - Submerged
I can't swim. I can passingly float. And it's really funny because I panic and doggy paddle. I can start out trying to do a breast stroke or freestyle but eventually I will feel myself sinking and doggy paddle like my life depends on it until I get tired and I'm glad the swimming pool is only four feet deep.
That's what daily life felt like: a panicked struggle against the pressure and weight of the pool water while being awed at the many people swimming laps back and forth with such ease and speed. Within my mind, there was still that same pressure and weight but it was more of a struggle that I couldn't move as fast as I wanted. While everyone else ran and jumped, it was like I moved within my own fish bowl of water. I still felt and saw everything everyone else could but just...slower.
Since last month and getting diagnosed with ADHD and ASD and starting on Adderall this month, the water doesn't bother me as much. The deep acceptance I feel towards myself has established a layer of calm amongst the many layers of anxiety and turmoil. Instead of fighting against myself based on the world's and society's expectation, I'm just allowing myself to be - passingly floating because I do it pretty well.
The text on the girl's hoodie sleeve says "I'm okay" because I am in this sense. Not okay because the Adderall is making me practically narcoleptic which is why I am late this month for releasing this design because I literally can not overpower my brain with willpower to stay awake but I'm sure it'll get sorted out. With trusty Bunbun to hold on to (anxious as she is) and a mini Bunbun ready with stabby energies, this month's girl is definitely all magical girl vibes with moon goddess light bathing her through a field of peonies (which really means she's just running through some bushes) to remind you:
You are magical. You are okay as you are despite your struggles, despite how you may not fit into what the world wants from you, despite your inability to do things as well as your peers. So sparkle on cuties, sparkle on.
*marble colorway is a heathered white with grey flecks, black is solid black*
club exclusive marble
limited run black
October Tee - Little Monsters
For October, I definitely wanted to make something that was spoopy. I had this concept in mind for a few months after getting hooked on this song: Red Velvet's Monster
Growing up I felt like SO MUCH was always wrong with me. I definitely remember being called a little monster by those who babysat me. But the most consistent feeling I've had is being a robot playing at human. As I got older, it felt like little monsters inside me were contained by the robotic construct that is my mind: something to control, something to hide. Well, we know I didn't control or hide them well at all, in fact it led me to getting diagnosed with ADHD and Autism and I got stuck trying to separate what parts are me and what parts were me pretending to be human to avoid detection. But all of these parts are me. The choices I make, the way I mask and all the dark little monsters inside me.
My little monsters come in the form of emotional dysregulation, rejection sensitive dysphoria, anxiety, and an inclination to run away that is too close to the surface at all times. They are ravenous and destructive but they also motivate me to do better, achieve more, do all the things that pop into my head. They are little monsters but they are also little friends for I wouldn't be me without these even if they make life difficult.
Thanks for loving me, your robot friend trying to be human. Whether you're a bubbly forest fairy or dark demon lord or machine learning in an upright meatsack, you're beautiful. You are living your life. You are being you. If you have little monsters inside you too, let them stare down eerily at anyone who crosses you.
club exclusive heather smoke
limited run bloodwine
November Tee - Divine
If there was one thing I could change about people it would be the irresponsible way we flippantly generalize a person and label them with oversimplified and hurtful descriptors. I've only lived my life in the body of a female and while I love being a female, I could really do without all the words society weaponizes in order to cow me into what it wants me to be.
Let women be. Stop policing little girls. And this goes for EVERYONE. Other girls made just as many comments as boys to tell me how I "should" behave because I'm sure it's what they were being told too. It is MY body, I wear what I want to wear for myself, not for the male gaze and not to be sexualized. Being assertive and aggressive does NOT make me "bossy" or a "bitch" just because I know what I want and how to get it.
It is a real issue that we put so much pressure on girls and women to be a certain way and I still struggle with myself and all the words I have included on the design. I have always been inundated with so many words that reprimanded how I was and words that tried to mold me into some stupid box of what I "should" be. I have to tell these words that have been etched into my mind to fuck off every day but I also need to stand up for myself with people. I tend to be avoidant to confrontation but lately...I don't know if it's the 2nd puberty of my thirties? I feel like a raging fireball ready to fight with my little Bunbun gang.
Many of these words, I've reconciled and several I've reclaimed, but at times they are still triggering and they are a source of trauma. I know we all have our own mountain of words but I want you to know, YOU ARE DIVINE. Sit on those words and let them lift you up like a throne because the most important word is knowing that you are magic and light and so much goodness. So here's not just one flipped bird but two with all the leisurely confidence that comes from knowing that "Yes, I am a psycho bitch...and yes, if you touch me, you will die".
Words in Korean in this design:
바보 - stupid/idiot
독한년 - derogatory phrase to describe a strong willed, relentless woman
싸이코 - "psycho" spelled in Korean
못난이 - ugly, half-wit; literal translation root from "born bad"
미친 기지배 - crazy bitch; 기지배 is from 계집애 and is also used to denote young girl in both derogatory and non-derogatory terms
뚱땡 - fatso
Also, on the waistband of her shorts, it says "건드리면 죽일거야. 해봐." which means "If you bother/touch me, I'll kill you. Try me."
club exclusive pink
limited run gold
December Tee - Embrace
Wow! I can't believe it's already December again which means it's already been one year since I launched Bunny's Tee Club. This started as a way to make sure I draw atleast one illustration a month and a way to work out my feelings. It has become a way I communicate with the world about my experiences, about a month in time. I'm so honored by all the love and support Tee Club has received and blown away by how much it has grown. I'm forever grateful to everyone who has been part of Tee Club whether they own one design or all twelve.
I still plan to continue it as cons are back but definitely need to get better at planning as November has shown with everything that could go wrong going wrong and thus I'm still working on shipping November's tees and this is three days late in terms of releasing the design so subscribers can choose their color and size. I'm so sorry for the delay and am so grateful for your patience and understanding that I'm just one woman doing all the things - although I've been bribing my dad with red bean pastries to help me fold and bag.
December is my birthday month and looking back at this past year, I did a lot of growing. Which at 31 I definitely thought world shattering growth was behind me but I'm not mad at it. I always knew I was different and I finally got answers getting diagnosed with Autism and ADHD this Summer which really became a turning point of really accepting myself by not trying to measure myself to ANYONE'S standards be it society, academia, social media, even my family and friends. Things that never made sense to me that I kept trying to adopt? I let all of that go. I still struggle with being angry, both in general and towards people, but I've been steadily allowing myself to be angry, even raising my voice when I feel like I'm not being heard.
I've always acutely felt an internal dichotomy of two inner selves divided by what I want to do and what I have to do. I used to always see them as a child vs adult but for the first time, I see them as the same age, light and dark, where you can not have one without the other. Most of the time, therapy for me is explaining something that happened which made me feel a certain way and the therapist reminding me it's okay to feel because I used to (and still occasionally) judge myself for feelings and thoughts I have because I wanted to be "good" and I felt like I can't be truly "good" when I have stabby feelings or angry feelings or even indifferent feelings. Maybe it's 31 years of carrying all of these expectations and trying to hide all the negative things that would be touted as things I should be ashamed or my therapist reminding me twice a month, every month since the Spring that "it's okay to feel" but fuck it, I like all my parts, both soft and dreamy as well as scary and psycho. I hope this month's tee reminds you that all of you, is just you. We have light and dark in all of us and it is important to embrace both.
The alternate title for this design was 32 Buns because on the long sleeve version there are 11 Bunbuns on each sleeve + 10 in the front design meaning 11 + 11 + 10 = 32 because I turn 32 this year. For the sleeves, most of the Bunbuns are neutral face because my mind wanders off a lot and I just gaze off into the distance.