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Spellbinding Visuals: Magical Book Artwork Tells Surrealistic Stories

Posted: 04 Sep 2016 06:00 PM PDT

[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Drawing & Digital. ]

book cover art

A series of book-centric illustrations (now collected into one big ‘book of books’) by Seoul artist Jungho Lee explores realms of impossibility through the deconstruction and re-imagining of bound volumes. Each surrealistic piece pushes the limits of plausibility in different ways, challenging the viewer to read complex stories into deceptively simple-looking drawings.

book architecture

book bending warped

book fishing

Winner of the World Illustration Awards for 2016, Lee is a Korean artist whose dreamlike work is often featured both on the covers of and within books for children or adults. The illustrations shown here are some of the 21 submitted for the competition and also included in the book Promenade, a collection published by Sang Publishing early this year.

book door

book image

book memory

Lee’s mixed-media approach includes “charcoal, water colour, gouache, hot-pressed papers and computer” graphics. He cites surrealist René Magritte and German artist Quint Buchholz as sources of inspiration for composition, messaging, lighting and angle of observation choices.

book plane wing

book pie

book surrealism

Lee starts with a basic image or rough sketch on large-format paper, usually using graphite or charcoal. Then he scans in the work and begins digital manipulations. Sometimes he goes back and forth, printing to paper to add more layers manually.

book lighthouse

book hike

book deconstructed

While his pictures span a variety of types, styles and subjects, much of his recent work specifically revolves around the manipulation of book-related imagery, expressing the contents of volumes without any use of text. If the series continues, he may create a followup volume to Promenade featuring further works of bookish art.

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[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Drawing & Digital. ]

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Buzz Off: 15 Smokin’ Hot Mosquito Coil Holders

Posted: 04 Sep 2016 10:00 AM PDT

[ By Steve in Design & Products & Packaging. ]


Modern mosquito-borne diseases like Zika and West Nile fever call for traditional insect repellents like pyrethrum mosquito coils and creative coil holders.


The classic mosquito coil was invented in Japan over a century ago and has changed very little over time. Ditto for the coil holders, usually made of heat-proof ceramic traditionally crafted in the form of an open-ended pig. Called “katori buta“, these hog-like holders have become symbolic of summer in Japan, Australia, Africa and South America, where smoldering mosquito coils have always been the go-to skeeter repellent.

Never Boaring





The coils are made mainly from Pyrethrum derived from the powdered seed heads of Tanacetum cinerariifolium, a type of Chrysanthemum. Considered non-toxic to humans and pets, the smoke emitted by mosquito coils effectively repels any and all insects while its coiled design ensures it will smolder for roughly 7 to 9 hours. Some variations on the classic pig-design coil holder evoke cows, cats and even hedgehogs should one be feeling a tad kosher. Others take the opposite tack and, er, totally and realistically pig out.




With over a century of use to work with, creative types have come up with a plethora of mosquito coil holder designs with which to complement your newly bug-free home. Here is the Shigaraki-yaki Watermelon Ceramic Mosquito Coil Holder, individually made in Japan and available in red or yellow.

Feelin’ Hut Hut Hut


Mosquitoes can transmit a number of debilitating illnesses and in sub-saharan Africa, malaria is endemic. No surprise, then, that in Malawi if one wants a mosquito coil holder it’s a simple matter of browsing the local pottery market. That’s where Matt & Rachel Floreen of Africa Stories found this delightful hand-made ceramic coil holder.

Spidey Sense



Some folks want to set tradition aside, others chuck it out the window – and nail the window shut! Take this spider-themed mosquito coil holder from northern Thailand, if you dare. The matte black finished steel holder is no doubt child-proof while using it should keep your home skeeter-proof. In related news, some mosquito coils in Thailand are purple.

Goofy Is As Goofy Does




Here’s a goofy mosquito coil holder listed for sale at T3-Toys. We’re not “hav’n a go,” by the way, it really is a Goofy mosquito coil holder – officially authorized by Disney and sold sometime in the ’90s at Tokyo Disneyland. Guess it’s a better souvenir than a dumb t-shirt.

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[ By Steve in Design & Products & Packaging. ]

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