The Inspiration Behind Soju Man Designs: Traditional Minhwa Style and Future Plans

The Inspiration Behind Soju Man Designs: Traditional Minhwa Style and Future Plans

Soju Man Designs started out with three distinct designs. Over the next few blogs, we’ll talk about the inspiration for them and how the designs may develop in the future. Click here for a bit more background on Soju Man Designs.


Traditional Soju Man – the original ‘original’! The whole idea started here.

I was introduced to the idea of ‘Soju Man’ not long after arriving in Masan, a small city about an hour west of Busan. This also included a warning from the Koreans I was talking to about the ‘special powers’ of soju. It’s certainly the case that soju gets you a particular ‘type’ of drunk that is possibly not experienced with other beers or spirits. People become very creative in the places they will fall asleep for example…….

Blue T-shirt Traditional Soju Man Designs Minhwa Style

While there are a lot of humourous soju T-shirts available to buy online, I couldn’t find any that really represented this idea. I was looking for a T-shirt featuring someone who’d let loose after a long day at work. I wanted the soju bottle (with its distinct green colour) to be prominent, and for it to be clear that this was a ‘Korean’ design – note the unmistakable table of a ‘samgyeopsal’ (삼겹살] restaurant in the background.

I was fortunate enough to meet an incredibly talented designer online called Jae (you can find his Instagram profile here), who was able to do all this. Based in Seoul, he naturally had a feeling for the concept and proposed that the design would look best in a ‘minhwa’ style (‘minhwa’ [민화] refers to Korean folk art produced artists without formal training, and was often the work of anonymous craftsmen who adhered to the styles inherited from the past). I’m delighted with the way it has turned out.

Yellow T-shirt Traditional Soju Man Designs Minhwa Style

So what next? I have a number of ideas for other designs. Could we see Soju Man in a yoga studio? Or might there be a design of him and his partner wearing couple T-shirts (I wonder what design might be on those T-shirts??).

What would you like to see? Any ideas gratefully received in the comments section below.


Check out the Soju Man Designs collection.

Soju Man Designs Instagram

Soju Man Designs on Facebook.

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