8 Years with BTS

Today (13 June) was BTS’ 8th anniversary of their debut!

To countdown during my first Festa (BTS’ annual anniversary celebrations), I did a series of little Polaroid watercolour paintings for their most recent album ‘BE’. I also did a bonus one for their single ‘Butter’, blended with Jin’s solo song ‘Moon’ from their previous album ‘Map of the Soul: 7’.

I wanted to start off more grey and gradually get more colourful as we head towards ‘Dynamite’.

For ‘Life Goes On’, I was inspired by Jimin sitting on top of the building in the music video! I came up with the ‘Fly to My Room’ idea while sitting on my own bed. The trees were an attempt to imitate autumnal trees in Korea. The ‘Blue and Grey’ painting was inspired by the beautiful ‘MTV Unplugged’ performance!

‘Skit’ was inspired by BTS’ ‘Dynamite’ Billboard No.1 celebration/Jungkook’s birthday VLive, with my favourite lines from ‘Skit’! Again the ‘MTV Unplugged’ performance (specifically the red motorbike) inspired my ‘Telepathy’ painting as well, plus my favourite lyrics in ‘Telepathy’ – I love the wordplay in ‘Bibilly Hills’ (nicely explained by doolset and muish) – and the part that mentions a small island in the middle of the blue sea. ‘Dis-ease’ was inspired by various words in j-hope’s opening verse, ‘sleep’, ‘coffee’, ’24 hours’ etc. I tried to go for a golden hour vibe with this one (usually when I feel most sleepy myself, hahaha).

‘Stay’ was inspired by RM’s line “we connect to 7G”. The idea to write them against a purple-pink evening sky actually came to me months ago, before I even thought about doing this ‘BE’ series. The utility tower was a much later idea. I really liked the simplicity of this one (I say simplicity, the lines of the tower took me ages lol)!

‘Dynamite’ was a mix of two scenes from the MV. First RM’s scene in the MV holding up the vinyl case (wow Namjoon’s presence is strong in this series!) and the later one where they dance in the field with the coloured smoke shooting up behind them.

Initially the ‘Butter’ painting was going to just be related to the song, but the word ‘moon’ in the chorus suddenly reminded me of Jin’s song (which I love to bits) and I changed my idea at the last minute. It’s inspired by bits and bobs across the two songs: Jin’s hair in the Stephen Colbert ‘Butter’ performance, the turquoise background lights during RM’s outro in the original MV and Jin’s ‘Moon’ photoshoot in the MOTS ON:E concept photobook video!

These were a fun way to practise more with watercolours. I’m recently coming around to the idea that watercolour with lineart is just as valid as lineless watercolour. I think I get too influenced by all the stunning lineless watercolour artwork I see on Instagram and forget myself and what I love most about art! I’d been struggling for a while with lineart/lineless but once I started the inking for ‘Life Goes On’ I was just so happy letting myself do lineart that I’m never putting myself through that unnecessary fretting again 😂

Thank you for reading! If you’re an ARMY like me, happy Festa 💜 Let me know what you think of these paintings! If I did them for other albums, which ones should I paint first?

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