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BilletSpin Tops: Navigator by john cheng

I've always loved spinning tops from when I was very young. My first top was a wooden throw top that my dad taught me how to throw. It took a while to get the hang of it, but that memory has stayed with me ever since. Now that I'm older, I still love tops, but my tastes have also gotten older.

In comes the precision metal spinning tops. These suckers might be expensive, but are well worth it. They are tiny pieces of art that you can play with. Yes you could buy another knife to add to your collection of EDC with the amount that you spend, but you can't really play with a knife in the way you could with a top. Plus you can bring it anywhere unlike with a knife. 

That being said, you should check out the Navigator by BilletSpin on Indiegogo. This is the 25th top that they've made and its a beauty of a top. The machine work on this thing is gorgeous. Reminds me of what I imagined the Golden Compass should look like. 

Last bit of information, once this campaign is over, they wont be made again! 


Lifted: No. 1 by john cheng

 Click the image to read the comic.

Click the image to read the comic.

I haven't posted in a very long time, but I felt like sharing what I had worked on towards the end of last year. It had been a long time coming, but I really wanted to try writing a comic where I could pour in all of my random interests and create a world where I could vicariously have fantastical adventures through. 

The process of writing and illustrating it myself was quite a learning experience and I'd like to do more of it in the future and hope that I get better at it too. I was originally going to keep it to myself, but I figured ... why not? You can click the image above to read the comic. I hope you enjoy it!

If you happen to really like the comic and want a physical copy, you can purchase one through blurb.com by clicking the thumbnail of the cover.

Optimist by john cheng

Great video by Eric Friedensohn on how to look at life with a different perspective. There are things in life that you have no control over, and if we take a step back and look at the silver lining of things, we can live life just a bit happier.

On August 1st, 2014 I left everything behind. I ran for my life out of my apartment as it went up in flames, taking everything I owned with it. This shocking event forced me into unknown territory with only the clothes my back. When the fire department let us back inside, I went in to see what I could salvage. Amongst some small items was a rough sketch I was working on earlier in the week, a lettering piece –­ “Optimist". Taking it as a sign, I held fast to this notion of gratefulness and positivity, looking for the silver lining at each turn. As luck would have it, that positivity came right back around to me. In the following weeks, I received an overwhelming amount of support and love from my friends, family and extended community, and was able to get back on my feet. This story serves as an important reminder to keep moving forward, even under the worst of circumstances. A huge thanks goes out to my brother Josh, my parents, Casey, Gary & Marlene Dworkin for helping through it all. I also want to thank John Langdon, Swayspace Letterpress, MKG, and Perk Kafe. An extra special thanks to the team who put this video together. Director- Matt Figler | Producer - Jess Lee | Editor- Cory McCabe | Music- Blueberry by Jesiah Read the full story – www.efdotstudio.com/blog/august1 Purchase letterpress prints here – www.efdotstudio.com/optimist (100% of proceeds go to disaster victims in need of immediate aid)

Frisk x Murakami by john cheng

We basically bring a piece of art into the pockets of normal consumers
— Jan Heeling

The Frisk Company has partnered with Takashi Murakami to create these awesome mini sculptures that freshen your mouth at the same time! Watch the video about the project below!

You Won't Regret That Tattoo by john cheng

A great documentary that explores the memories behind tattoos of an older generation that really challenges the idea that ink is something we'll regret later down the line. Moreover, the film really takes you to a place of intimacy. You get to hear the stories behind some of the tattoos these people have gotten and the film also forces you to think twice before you judge a book by its cover. There is most likely a reason behind that tattoo, why not take the time to hear the story behind it?

'You Wont Regret That Tattoo' is a short documentary that explores the meanings and memories behind the tattoos of an older generation, and challenges the belief that ink is something we will come to regret. FILM CREDITS Director: Angie Bird Producer: Michelle Woodward Executive Producer: Michelle Woodward Executive Producer: Liane Thomas Executive Producer: Dan Ford Cinematographer: Viktor Cahoj Editor: Izzy Ehrlich Set Designer: Simon Francois Art Director: Angie Bird Post Production: Rooster Post Post Production Executive: Melissa Kahn Colour: Alter Ego Colourist: Tricia Hagoriles Producer: Jane Garrah Executive Producer: Greg Edgar Graphic Design and Post Production Facility: Crush Graphic Designer: Stefan Woronko VFX Artist: Kaelem Cahill Post Producer: Emma Wojick Music Supervisors: Marco DiFelice and Amanda Clemens for Silent Joe Post Audio: The Orange Lounge Mixed by: Spencer Sunshine Music Composed by: Jay Merrow and Christine Stoesser

Pocket Top Kits! by john cheng

I've been working on a personal comic of my own for quite some time and it's proven to be quite a challenge. There have been many ups and downs to the entire process of creating a comic from start to finish, but I have learned and am still learning so much.

I'm no where to being done and during my low points while working on this project, one way I've picked myself up is going on a tangent and making something fun that could potentially be a part of the world that I'm creating. One of such projects is the fake ad above. I wanted to make an ad for a fake emporium selling parts for pocket tops that was also drawing in customers by preparing a meet and greet with the Pro Pocket Top Rider Kriss Neff!

Top riding can sound some what self explanatory but if you don't remember the concept, I've had a few posts in the past of one of my characters riding on a top like the one posted here.

Also just to give a bit more background into the development of the poster ad I made, you can see the sketch I did for it below. I wanted to fill up the page as much as I could without getting too cluttered, but that meant that I needed to generate some content that doesn't yet exist in my fictional world. I also wanted to give off a feeling that this fake store/top company was akin to those of a skate shop. Not sure if I succeeded in that regard, but it sure was fun to make.

While pocket top riding is fictional and honestly not at all an original idea (Totoro and Zelda to name two other places I've seen it), Chris Neff is a real person who plays with tops. Check out some of his tutorials!

3A Toys x Bravest Warriors by john cheng

I don't even know where to start. I've been following WO3A for quite some time and hope to own a toy of theirs in the near future. I haven't made a purchase yet mostly because I don't have the funds to buy one of their amazing toys.

It is definitely getting way more difficult especially with the new release of the Bravest Warriors toys. I mean, just look at them! Beautifully made! You can pre-order them at Bambalandstore May 21st, mark your calendars!

Paige Smith Urban Geode by john cheng

Artist Paige Smith in Los Angeles crafts paper and resin geode crystals and installs them throughout the city. Sometimes I happen to cross paths with one of these and they always put a smile on my face. Such simple forms that produce beautiful results against an urban landscape.

Tested: Felt Creatures with Woolbuddy by john cheng

Norm from Tested interviews Jackie Huang from "Woolbuddies" at WonderCon 2015. I saw this guy a few years back at Dcon and his kits are amazing. I'm thinking about buying a kit again!

If you're looking for a fun weekend project or a fun DIY gift for someone, this is definitely a fun project to pick up.

At WonderCon, we meet up with Jackie Huang, an artist who sculpts with felt to create fantastic creatures. Jackie's "Woolbuddies" take the form of everything from adorable owls to giant dragons and even an R2-D2 droid. We learn about the felting process and get a quick demo!

How To Turn Styrofoam, Into Solid Aluminum by john cheng

Watch the latest King of Random video that uses Styrofoam to create an aluminum positive. Time to heat up that crucible!

Here's how to turn almost any styrofoam creation you can think up, into solid aluminum. It's almost like magic! :) See more metal casting experiments: http://bit.ly/PopCanMelting Next Video: Coming Soon! Previous Video: Homemade Microwave Popcorn: http://bit.ly/MicrowavePopcorn Subscribe for new videos every 5 days! http://bit.ly/TKoRSubscribe Join my email list!

Man at Arms: Hylian Shield by john cheng

The guys over at Man at Arms: Reforged build the Hylian Shield from scratch. Awesome!

Which weapon will be next? ►► Subscribe! http://bit.ly/AWEsub Every other Monday, our team of blacksmiths and craftsman will be building some of your favorite weapons, and some weapons that you've never seen before. This week, we're recreating Link's Hylian Shield from Zelda!

Inhibitions by john cheng

'Inhibitions' is the latest piece that I've completed. It was a really fun piece to do, but also a great learning process in terms of overcoming my fear of painting over precious brush strokes that I had already laid down. Painting is a process and you can't get too attached to any part of it because, at any moment, it has the potential to be changed.

One of the ways that I helped myself get over this was painting a smaller version as a study to mess around with. It was something tiny that I didn't have to worry too much about and allowed me to be more fluid and free with slapping wherever I wanted to.

WSJ ~ ‘Calvin and Hobbes’: America’s Most Profound Comic Strip by john cheng

Christopher Caldwell, of the Wall Street Journal, did a great write up about Calvin and Hobbes. Read the entire article at WSJ. Oh how I miss the days of reading through these comics.

At its simplest level, the strip is about the friendship between a bright 6-year-old misfit (Calvin) and his pet tiger (Hobbes). Its “trick” is that Hobbes is a lifeless stuffed animal when others are present and a rollicking, witty companion when they are not. So the story can be understood on many levels. It is about the richness of the imagination, the subversiveness of creativity and the irreconcilability of private yearnings and worldly reality. Where Calvin sees a leaf-monster trying to swallow him, Calvin’s father sees his troublemaker son scattering the leaf-piles he has spent all afternoon raking.

Willy Lastra Glass Blowing Studio in Buenos Aires by john cheng

Check out this great video of Willy Lastra's glass blowing studio in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Get a closer look into his studio as well as why he decided to open up this studio.

Un perfil sobre Willy Lastra, soplador de vidrio artesanal, en su taller de Berazategui, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Música: Mientras tanto Narcotango de su disco Cuenco -- A profile on Argentine glassblower Willy Lastra and his workshop in Berazategui, Buenos Aires. Music: Mientas tanto by Narcotango from their album Cuenco

The Sucklord by john cheng

Great short interview of Sucklord in his studio by Joey Garfield. I love how Sucklord finishes a thought and immediately continues to sand whatever he's working on.

Joey Garfield spends an afternoon with The Sucklord, talking Star Wars, Gay Rights, and why Super Villains have the upper hand. Director: Joey Garfield Starring: The Sucklord DP: Jan Reichle Editor: Jonah Oskow Colorist: Alex Delany Mixer: Weston Fonger Soundtrack: The Crystal Pharoah Child: Dmitri Arons A Ghost Robot Production www.suckadelic.com www.ghostrobot.com www.thecrystalpharoah.com www.offsitecolor.com Read more at Ghost Robot's Grand Quarterly www.grandquarterly.com

Kawara Chair: Recycled Japanese Roof Tiles by john cheng

Designer Tsuyoshi Kawara has taken old Japanese Roof tiles and reused them to create the Kawara Chair. These beautiful tiles are fired and 1200 degrees Celsius, resulting in the ability to hold the weight of a person up to 250 lbs. The Tiles are set on a beautiful wooden frame and come in a variety of different glazes.

Akufuncture: Guan Yu by john cheng

Akufuncture is curating a Gallery opening featuring artworks revolving around Guan Yu at General Lee's in Chinatown. Akufuncture was kind enough to invite me to participate in this awesome event so be sure to show support to local artists as well as to Akufuncture on Feb 20th at 9 p.m.

Guan Yu, or Guan Gong as I know him, holds a very nostalgic place in my heart. Whenever I see his red face, instead of thinking of a great general, I remember the Taiwanese puppet shows that my dad used to take me to see. I remember one time when my dad came home from a business trip from Taiwan and bought a Guan Gong puppet to give to me and play with.

In case you're wondering what a Taiwanese puppet show looks like.