Haenyo – The Diving Grandmothers of Jeju Island

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The Korean Jeju islanders have something to be proud of – their grandmas are divers. It may seem surprising, but for the people of the island this has been a way of life for centuries now. This tradition, once a thriving profession that drove the economy of the land, is in fact, now fast deteriorating.

To understand more about the diving grandmothers, we need to go back a few hundred years in Korean history. Jeju Island lies around 53 miles to the south of mainland Korea. Given the geographical location, fishing has always been the major occupation of this Island. The surrounding waters are rich in exotic sea food like octopus, conch, abalone and urchin.

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Artist Uses Thousands of Letters to Create Detailed Images

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Erin Smith is a young Australian artist who deconstructs entire passages of text and uses the thousands of individual letters to create beautiful detailed artworks.

The 29-year-old from Queensland moved to Melbourne a few years back, to study graphic design, and has recently moved back to her home state. It turned out this wasn’t the right career for her, because “I find it difficult to sit in a chair inside for any period of time…and I’m hopeless at deadlines so I wasn’t very good.” But it was during her studies that her fascination with typography began. “A few years ago at university we were learning about typography, how different weights of a font can help create emphasis etc. About a year later, I was looking at the intricacy of the engracing of a smith and wesson pistol (on the computer, not my own) [and] I thought about this image in relation to typography then started using the computer to creat the image. I did a series of these for a project”

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Soccer Moms Take on Cheerleading for Their Sons

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You all know the soccer mom; it is a dominant sort of individual in the suburbs and easily noticeable at any PTA meeting or sporting day of any school.

This stands true pretty much everywhere, except St. Ignace, Michigan where soccer moms have managed to do something genuinely surprising.

Instead of sitting around yelling at the players at least twice as much as their coach, these proud parents have decided to join in on the action by, well, getting closer to the action.

Since the St. Ignace high school has no more than 215 students and pretty much none of the ones outside the team have any interest in the sport the football team was facing a serious disaster. They were facing every teenage jock’s nightmare as there were no cheerleaders to motivate them.

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Design Duo Create Mind-Blowing Thread and Nail Portraits

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Pamela Campagna and husband Thomas Scheiderbauer create intricate thread and nail portraits based on old family photographs.

It’s amazing how someone can recreate organic shapes so well from thousands of angles created with nails and thread. Designers Pamela Campagna and Thomas Scheiderbauer take up to a month to work on each of their complicated artworks, but the outcome is certainly worth the time they put in. After analyzing an old photo they begin hammering nails into the canvas until they come up with a pixelated outline of the artwork, after which they start connecting the dots with thread. That’s easier said than done, and looking at how clean yet detailed their portraits turn out, they must have a great deal of patience.

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Marvelous Finger and Palm Print Paintings by Zhang Baohua

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In 1989 Chinese artist Zhang Baohua invented a new style of painting which requires the artist to use his finger and palm prints to create unique works of art.

It’s hard to believe such masterpieces can be created without any tools, but Zhang Baohuang manages to do it by using just his fingers and palm prints. His unique painting style is characterized by a concise, lively style and a sense of reality, and is considered a combination of traditional Chinese painting and the structural features of Western painting. Most of his works depict animals, especially dogs. Zhang’s works have been featured in art galleries all around the world, and he is known as “China’s world famous palm painting artist”.

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Susan Stockwell Makes Victorian Gowns from Paper Maps and Real Money

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We’ve all seen paper dresses before, but Susan Stockwell’s Victorian gowns made from maps and various bills are in a class of their own. A sculptural study on colonialism and the British empire, her series of life-size paper dresses are composed of ordinance survey maps and English bills glued together. By sing military maps to create women’s dresses, Stockwell addresses issues like English colonization and occupation of Scotland over 300 years, and mail domination in Western history. Based on styles of dresses worn by English women explorers during the Victorian period, the artist honors their role in history.

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Food Artist Makes Pancake Celebrity Portraits

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Chicago-based artist Katherine Kalnes creates delicious pancake portraits of celebrities the likes of Justin Bieber or Ryan Gosling.

There are some fans out there that would kill for the chance to sink their teeth into Justin Bieber, so to spare the popular pop star any possible injuries, 25-year-old Katherine Kalnes has created a delicious portrait of the singer from pancakes. The young food artist uses a special pancake batter that comes in a spray can, called Batter Blaster, frosting, chocolate chips, blueberries and raisins to create edible portraits of celebrities like Drive leading man Ryan Gosling, Kelly Ripa, Ellen DeGeneres or Stephen Colbert.

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Artist Creates Mind-Blowing Mosaics from Thousands of Naked Bodies

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New York-based artist Angelo Musco is taking the photography world by storm with his incredible mosaics made up of thousands of naked bodies.

Touching themes like birth, procreation and gestation, Angelo Musco creates complex structures of the natural world from an ant colony and beehive to a school of fish, using thousands of human bodies. “A swarm of fish captures a profusion of life, the safety of a symbolic nest, and a connection of one being to another. ‘It’s the strength derived from this collective force,” the artist says on his website. “The nests, as well, relate to the safe geography of birth and early life.” But Angelo Musco also draws inspiration for his unique mosaics from his traumatic early life experience.

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New Mind-Twisting Doodle Madness by Sagaki Keita

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Sagaki Keita is an amazingly talented Japanese artist who specializes in recreating classic masterpieces from thousands upon thousands of childish doodles.

If you were to look at Sagaki Keita’s work from really up-close you’d only see familiar doodles like we all used to do back in school, during boring classes. But as you slowly back away, you realize that with every step the doodles seem to blend together until they form an incredibly detailed version of a classic work of art, like the Mona Lisa or an old Roman statue. His art really blows you away, and just thinking about the amount of time and effort that must go into each of his pieces, you can’t help but feel in awe.

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Photo Realistic Paintings by Alyssa Monks

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Using photos for loose reference, Brooklin-based artist Alyssa Monks creates incredibly realistic paintings that make viewers scratch their eyes in awe.

Although many set  photo realism as their ultimate goal, artists that can  make people ask themselves “Is this a photo I’m looking at?” when they look at their masterpieces, are really rare. Alyssa Monks is one of those few talented masters that can recreate a photo from scratch using a paintbrush, as well as add their own personal touch and making an artwork really their own. Looking at her amazing works, it’s hard to believe they’re actually painted, and viewers are often only convinced when thy get close enough to see the brush strokes. The paintings are so realistic you can make out every little detail, down to the tiny imperfections of a subject’s skin.

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Mind-Blowing Painted Illusions by Oleg Shuplyak

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Oleg Shuplyak is a talented Ukrainian oil painter who uses hidden images to turn his artworks into mind-blowing optical illusions.

Born on September 23, 1967, in the Ternopol region of the Ukraine, Oleg Shuplyak studied architecture at the Lviv Polytechnic Institute, but his passion was always painting. Although he creates all kinds of beautiful paintings, it was his talent of transforming his works of art into optical illusions that really caught my eye. Objects and characters in his paintings are aligned perfectly in such a way they create outstanding illusions that are easily spotted. I find his art fascinating, and having seen some pretty awesome optical illusions in the past, I have to say his works are some of the best I’ve ever come across.

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Ukraine’s Amazing Underwater Painters

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You can’t rush art! That’s what they say anyway, but that rule doesn’t apply to the members of Ukraine’s national school of underwater painting, who have just 40 minutes of oxygen to complete their masterpieces.

Painting usually takes patience and comfort to produce memorable works of art, but the artists painting in the depths of the Black Sea can’t really afford to take their time, because that would mean risking their lives. The unusual group of painters, all certified divers, work at depths of between 2 and 20 meters, and claim what they do is just like regular painting, only their canvases are covered with a waterproof adhesive coating, before they plunge into the sea. Although they decide at what depth they want to work, underwater painters have to be very careful because the deeper they go the more color is lost, and on the surface colors look totally different. Red, for example, turns brown or even black.

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Meticulously Detailed Drawings Made with Graphite and Chalk

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Paul Cadden is a Scottish-born hyperrealist artist who creates painfully realistic artworks using only graphite and chalk.

I’ve posted some pretty realistic drawings in the past, like Rajacenna’s detailed celebrity portraits, Juan Francisco Casas’ photo-like ballpoint pen drawings, or Paul Lung’s pencil artworks, but the pieces you’re about to see are on a whole other level. Using simple materials like graphite and white chalk, Paul Cadden is able to replicate complex photos down to the tiniest details. Whether it’s the countless wrinkles on an old man’s face, the smoke from a lit cigarette or the water dripping from someone’s face, he makes it look unbelievably realistic.

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Jason Sho Green’s Mind-Blowing Doodle Portraits

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Jason Sho Green uses a simple ball-point pen to create incredibly intricate portraits that are actually made of other smaller drawings.

Whether we’re good at it or not, we all like to doodle, but American artist Jason Sho Green has taken the pastime to  a whole new level with his amazing doodle portraits that look like modern-day mosaics. Seen from a distance, his works looked like detailed recreations of his subjects, for which he uses shadows to outline the fine characteristics of the face, but as you approach them you realize there’s a lot more to them. Jason actually uses a ball-point pen to “assemble” his portraits from various doodles, including images of people, animals and fantastic creatures.

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Russian Artist Paints with Molotov Cocktails

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Radya Timofey, a 23-year-old Russian artist is taking the art world by storm with a series of original paintings made by throwing Molotov cocktails at his canvases.

They are often used to cause chaos, but young Radya Timofey is turning Molotov cocktails into art tools to create beautiful portraits of soldiers who fought in World War II. He uses a mix of home-made napalm and oil-based substances to sketch the outlines of the portraits and then throws a Molotov cocktail at the canvas, setting it ablaze. After the artwork has stopped burning, a charred figure is revealed. Although the actual “painting” takes place in abandoned outdoor areas, Radya Timofey says “of course it’s dangerous to use fire like this, but we are careful. We put them on the hospital as a testament to their bravery, in life they literally did have to put their faces in the fire to fight the Nazis.”

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