vision

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)

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!

Medium: Why You Turn Up by john cheng

This is what I need...

You turn up because of the people around you.

You know, the ones with common interests and sense of ambition.

The ones who want to invent new things and do old things better.

The ones whose distortion of reality present challenges that stretch you.

The ones who give you freedom to do things differently.

The ones you trust not to drop the ball (there are no ball droppers here).

You even turn up for the ones who grate on you (they’re also brilliant).

You turn up because the people around you value what you do.

They believe in you and give you what you need.

Together you create something more than a job.

Don’t settle for anything less.

DIY Mini BB-8 by john cheng

As many should know by now, BB-8 the spherical droid, is not cgi. The droid is an actual physical object that the actors were able to interact with. BB-8 has been developed with the aid of Sphero the company that developed the smartphone controlled RC ball.

Well Christian Poulsen has already hacked said RC ball into a mini BB-8! If you want to build your own little BB-8, Poulsen has a breakdown on how to make one at Make:

Playing catch with my home made BB-8 Droid. Check out more of my work here: http://www.cp3d.us/ And the building process here: http://makezine.com/projects/make-this-mini-star-wars-bb-8-ball-droid-with-a-hacked-sphero/

Michael Bierut: The Primitive Power of Logos by john cheng

Great Design Indaba interview with Michael Bierut on the Primitive power of logos. This is definitely a must watch.

The award-winning graphic designer decodes why the simple shapes of a logo can have such great impact . “Design can be a lonely thing,” says Michael Bierut in the second part of this exclusive Design Indaba interview. “As you acquire that skill [in design] you are actually making yourself less normal than regular people.” Designers are sensitised to things other people don’t even notice, he says – the way the curves of a typeface echo each other, for example, or the subtle changes in a logo. Though the work of the designer is social because it requires the user to make sense of it, there is an element of solitude to the design process. “Because you are always in your head,” says Beirut, “and you don’t know what effect it’s going to have until you do it.” We tend to fixate on the power of logos in today’s hyper-aware consumer culture, which Bierut is quick to disarm. “I don’t want to overemphasise logos in the world. I think that if you act with intelligence and integrity and consistency you’ll develop a brand. Whether you are a person or a non-profit, a small organisation or a giant corporation.” What he does think of as particularly interesting about logos however, is the meaning that gets instilled in them over the course of their usage. “What’s fun about logo design, what makes it so interesting, why it holds so much power for all of us is that there is something very primitive about it,” he says. “Many of them are such simple marks. They are not much further evolved than hieroglyphics, or marks on cave walls from millions of years ago.” What happens with a logo, explains Bierut, takes place only partly in the symbol; the rest we do with our minds as we connect the symbol to all the associations we have with what it means. “What’s interesting, particularly about that kind of telegraphic communication is that it it is inherently participatory.” It is this interactive and social quality of design work that lends the profession what Bierut can only describe as “a kind of magic”. In Part 1 of this interview Michael Bierut talks about the process of writing his new book, How to: Use graphic design to sell things, explain things, make things look better, and (every once in a while) change the world, in which he looks back on his life and career in a series of amusing and interesting How to’s.

Square Cash by Square by john cheng

Using mobile devices to make payments will be inevitable, thus all the different companies trying to figure out how to do this correctly especially the peer to peer aspect. Paypal and Venmo are the ones that come to mind. Square cash is a new service created by Square that uses the "$" tag with a handle you create in order go get paid. Watch the video to see how they envision this to work.

Let me put it this way, it'll make payments that much easier at conventions when a customer doesn't have cash or credit card on hand to pay for goods, but has their phone.

Create a $Cashtag to get paid fast. Powered by Square Cash, a $Cashtag is a simple name that you create and can share with anyone, anywhere, online or off. Claim your $Cashtag today.

Do With Less by john cheng

I haven't been stressed about money per se, but I've been concerned over my spending habits and have wondering if I'm living beyond my means. The idea of living paycheck to paycheck frightens me, but luckily, I've been able to save up over the years so that my fear over spending money has no real solid ground. But still, I must keep myself in check.

The key to eternal happiness is low overhead and no debt.
— Lynda Barry

I read the above quote today on Austin Kleon's blog post "Keep your overhead low" and it piqued my interest. Especially the equation he provided:

Low overhead + “do what you love” = a good life.
“I deserve nice things” + “do what you love” = a time bomb.

Seeing the word 'overhead' automatically has an association with business plans, but really can be applied to our lives as well. Too often do I see people living beyond their means only to fall back and suddenly realize that they really shouldn't have spent that money. Then I turn that lens on myself and see the same thing. We live in a world that thrives on consumerism and shuns those around us that don't have the latest iPhone, but when it comes down to it, does owning high end 'status symbols' change who you really are? I would argue no, you are still who you are, just more in debt.

Live frugally so you can do the work you want to do. Save up some “screw you” money, so you can quit a job you hate to take a job you like better. Turn away venture capital money and bootstrap so you can keep control over your business.

Remember, you define you, not your stuff. Create more, spend less.

Creative Mornings: Ben Chestnut Co-Founder of Mailchimp by john cheng

This is a great Creative Mornings talk with Ben Chestnut, Co-founder of Mailchimp. A must watch, in my opinion, for everyone.

Mailchimp Founder Ben Chestnut speaks on one of the most poignant topics of all time, quitting your job to do what you love. Ben Chestnut at CreativeMornings Atlanta, December 2011. Free events like this one are hosted every month in dozens of cities.

Kickstarter - Graphic Means: A History of Graphic Design Production by john cheng

There are many tools and practices that we use now inside InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator that had practical purposes behind them when they were produced manually by hand rather than by the computer. Some of these reasons and best practices are starting to wane due to the very fact that we rely on the computer to do so much now. It is for this reason that we must understand the history behind graphic design and the old school processes that got us to where we are today.

With that, I say you check out this awesome kickstarter project that delves into the history of graphic design and how our graphic design predecessors worked day to day.

Imagine designing and printing a brochure—without a computer. How would you set the type—making sure it fit your layout? How would you crop the images? How would you place those images alongside your text? And what would you hand over to the offset printer when you were done?
Up until just 30 years ago when the desktop computer debuted, this whole process would have been primarily done by hand, and with the aide of fascinating machines that used a variety of ways to get type and image on to the printed page.
Mad Men gives us viewers small glimpses into this detail-oriented, time-consuming process—but working as a commercial/graphic artist in the pre-desktop computer era entailed a lot more than marker comps for client meetings. Graphic Means will explore these methods and the skilled people who used them.

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

Katamaku: Utilizing Materials by john cheng

What a great way to upcycle unused materials! Rather than throwing the material away or recycling by breaking it down through processes to create other materials, Katamaku has taken the used canvas material as is and re-purposed it into entirely new products. SMART!

Katamaku is a new series of products that utilize unused parts of the membrane material that were to be thrown away. They were made into various cases and bags for everyday use. The products use industrial membrane fabric, such as used for the roof of Tokyo Dome. One aim of the designers is that people will appreciate the beauty in materials that are not usually seen up close.

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.

Equil: Smartmarker by john cheng

A while back I posted on a cool whiteboard called Smart Kapp that would help you collaborate in real time with colleagues via whiteboard. Equil's Smartmarker is another similar solution that allows you to use a larger surface. I want one of these!

The new, digital marker that makes any whiteboarding surface smart. The Equil Smartmarker let's everyone stay on the same page, no matter where you happen to be. Save, share and stream whiteboard notes and drawings to anyone on any device, whether in the same room or half a world away.

The Atlantic: Creative Ideas Happen When You Stop Checking Your Phone by john cheng

I think we all have trouble with this whether we admit it or not. Let's just try and embrace a bit of boredom and see what may come of it.

Remember what it's like to be bored? A New York public radio show asked thousands of its listeners to stop checking their phones and see where their minds took them. New Tech City host Manoush Zomorodi takes James Hamblin to Science House in Manhattan to experience purposeful boredom-and see what creative breakthroughs came.