illustration

Art Before Commerce by john cheng

I always go back to Calvin and Hobbes as one of the earliest influencers of my journey through the realm of art. I loved it as a child and I still love it as an adult. Thank you Bill Watterson for your wonderful work of art that continues to inspire me. 

Watch this great piece by kaptainkristian, Art Before Commerce.

A look at the comic strip that elevated the medium. Support this channel at https://www.patreon.com/kaptainkristian Follow me at https://twitter.com/kaptainkristian Music: Flamingosis - Football Head ProleteR - April Showers Calvin and Hobbes dance by Adam Brown: https://vimeo.com/78040385
Art is never done as long as it has an audience.

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!

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!

Kickstarter | Penxo by john cheng

Recently I've returned to using 2mm mechanical pencils to get a more organic feel in my sketches. I love the sharp point of a 0.5 mm pencil, but it was just too rigid for me.

But me being me, I search near and far for the writing utensil best suited for me. This also means that form and function must be on the same level. In the case of my everyday carry pen, I searched for about 2 years before landing happily on the Karas Kustoms Retrakt with a Parker Pen fine ball point tip refill. The aesthetics of the pen are beautiful and the function of the Parker refill suit my writing and sketching needs perfectly.

I'm undergoing the same process at the moment with my pencil. Currently I'm using a Staedtler 2mm pencil and functionality wise, it works fine. The aesthetics portion however, are just so so in my opinion. But as always, Kickstarter seems to save the day. I discovered the Penxo today and immediately backed the project! It is such a beautiful and simple writing utensil an the perfect mix of beauty and utility. I just hope that when I receive my very own Penxo, it will hold up to it's presumed glory.

Designer: Kelli Anderson by john cheng

I just discovered designer Kelli Anderson and a great video about her and her process and I'm blown away! I love everything about her thought process and how she's not stuck at her computer designing, but designing in a very intentional and active way beyond her desk. Definitely a new rock star design inspiration for me.

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.

A Walk in the Forrest by john cheng

"Life is too short and passes in the blink of an eye. Remember to enjoy each and every second of it because you'll never get it back. And if you can't enjoy your current situation, have the courage to change your attitude about it and also to take action, if possible, to alter the course of your current circumstance."

I really like the look of the Amazing World of Gumball on Cartoon Network with how they place illustrated characters on top of photo backgrounds. I thought I would give it a try with some stock photography I downloaded. Maybe I'll start a new side project?

Kidneys, the Magical Beans In Your Body by john cheng

I was sick all of last week and ingesting all forms of liquid, medicine and food. I'm glad my kidneys were at work for me. Check out this great TEDed video on how your kidneys filter through everything that you put into your body. Be nice to your body and put good stuff in.

View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/how-do-your-kidneys-work-emma-bryce After drinking a few glasses of water on a hot day, you might be struck with a sudden ... urge. Behind that feeling are two bean-shaped organs that work as fine-tuned internal sensors.

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.

Forever Love: Jessica Hische by john cheng

Great interview of Jessica Hische reflecting on the Forever Stamp design she created.

Illustrator, letterer, and USPS stamp artist Jessica Hische talks about portraying love on postage — and keeping love alive in the modern world.

Pixel Simpsons by john cheng

I've been watching way too many episodes of Simpsons lately and well, here's some more Simpsons in pixel form by Paul Robertson and Ivan Dixon.

Pixel tribute to the hit series "The Simpsons." Directed and animated by Paul Robertson and Ivan Dixon. Music by Jeremy Dower. Paul - http://probertson.tumblr.com/ Ivan - http://pug-of-war.tumblr.com/ Jeremy - http://www.jeremydower.com/

Sold Art Lithography by john cheng

Watch the amazing process behind Ella & Pitr lithographs created the old-fashioned way. This video makes me want to try it out for myself!

Sold Art présente la première lithographie rehaussée à la main de Ella & Pitr. Éditée à 30 exemplaires, signée et numérotée par les artistes. Imprimé sur une presse lithographique Marinoni-Voirin Disponible sur www.soldart.com Sold Art presents the first lithography hand embellished by Ella & Pitr. Limited edition of 30, signed and numbered by the artists. Available on www.soldart.com Filmé et édité par : Benoit Roche Musiques : Nine Inch Nails-28 Ghosts IV & Kaffé, Crème : soundcloud.com/kaffecreme Merci à l'imprimeur : www.urdla.com et au lithographe : Marc Melzassard Merci Ella & Pitr : www.papierspeintres.net

Pixel Art by john cheng

Watch the process behind pixel artist artist Octavi Navarro based out of Barcelona, Spain. Pixel art is no easy feat. Find more of his work at Pixel Huh or view more videos on youtube.

"The Secret". Pixel Art Illustration by Octavi Navarro. 2014. http://pixelshuh.tumblr.com Music: "Mystical II" by Jennifer Goodemberger.

Pixel Art illustration by Octavi Navarro. 2014. http://pixelshuh.tumblr.com