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 – Purchase letterpress prints here – (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

How to Find a Fullfilling Work by john cheng

If you find yourself a bit doubtful of your current career, take a gander at this video and look out for the 6 points to follow to find more fulfilling work.

The key to finding fulfilling work is to think a lot, analyse one's fears, understand the market, reflect on capitalism - and to watch this film. SUBSCRIBE to our channel for new films every week: Brought to you by Some of the ideas in this film are based on the great work of Roman Krznaric - and in particular, his brilliant book, How to find Fulfilling Work.

Veritasium: Nature of Risk and How Humans Perceive it by john cheng

Veritasium recently explores the nature of risk and how we perceive it. Why are we so naturally inclined to avert risk even if the odds are in our favor? It really makes me think twice about how I calculate risk and what opportunities I've passed up because I've been too afraid to lose or fail.

How much would it take for you to risk $10? Check out Audible: Can you solve this? Regression to the mean: Help translate Veritasium videos into other languages: Psychological literature shows that we are more sensitive to small losses and than small gains, with most people valuing a loss around 1.5-2.5 times as much as a gain.

Candor by john cheng

As a leader my responsibility is to tell hard truths to my team and to my CEO. I can only do that when folks truly believe that I have their best interests at heart and my intention is to push them to being their better selves.
— Jesse Hertzberg

Sometimes I wonder if people truly want candor in the workplace. Is it even possible to be candid when you are low on the ladder? My hope is that I can be candid and that everyone above, horizontal and below me in the workplace can be as candid as possible. If not, then everything just gets muddy.

Read more On Candor by Jesse Hertzberg.

Build a culture centered around speaking the truth, and you create an environment that nourishes courage, encourages risk taking, and regularly pushes your business through new thresholds.
Look into the companies you admire and you'll notice candor sits at the core of the culture of these great organizations. Without it, ideas are squashed before they see the light of day, while those ideas that do surface don't face hard questions from day one. Candor is also the one problem solving technique that works in any situation.

Teacher Sends Students Letters From Themselves 20 Years Later by john cheng

Bruce Farrer is the man behind this particular assignment and he's been doing it for decades. I remember doing something similar in highschool, but it was only a single page letter and we opened it back up again 4 years later in our senior year. Farrer, however, makes his students write a 10 page letter to themselves and faithfully tracks down each student to deliver their letters 20 years later!

Imagine receiving a letter from yourself 20 years ago and how different you would sound. Would your dreams from 20 years ago be realized? Have your dreams and hopes changed? There need to be more teachers like Farrer.

For decades, high school teacher Bruce Farrer has been asking his students to write letters to their future selves. Twenty years later, he tracks down the students - wherever they are in the world - and mails their letters to them. The impact he has had on his students' lives is profound and heartwarming.

When It Rains It Pours by john cheng

After the water had stopped.

Last week, I had a discussion with a couple friends about what we understood our happiest moments in life were and I revisited these thoughts again with my brother over dinner another day later. My life in this very moment is extremely joyful. I am about to marry a beautiful woman who loves and supports me and we are moving on to a new chapter of our lives. I have a wonderful home to live in, I have a creative career, and I have the time and flexibility to work on my own side projects. I have also attributed my joy to the freedom that I have rooted in Christ. In my own personal life thus far, I’ve found that everything I do is really for nothing. At the end of it all, I will die and I will leave everything behind in the world and carry no possessions, no trophies, no recognition. But through this desperate mindset, believing in God and knowing that I have found favor in His eyes through Christ, I can ultimately be free from the burdens of this life and really enjoy the relationships that I build. I’m a failure at life, I make mistakes, but I know that these mistakes are forgiven. Believing in that allows me so much more freedom to enjoy the life that is mine.

After expressing these thoughts and musing to my friends and brother, my words were immediately tested. My brother and I were walking back to his apartment when I received a frantic call around 8:30pm from my fiancee to return home immediately. There was an emergency, our house was flooded. Immediately I rushed home to find as I open our front door what can only be described as rain. It was raining in our unit. 3 inches or more of water flowing out into the hallway. Our security guard as well as a few kind neighbors were already in the house desperately trying to clean up the water to no avail. I can see helplessness in the eyes of my soon to be wife and I found myself wading back and forth in the water unsure of what to do. I go upstairs to the bedroom area where the closets are and everything is covered in warm, tea colored water. The cabinets were destroyed, my fiancee’s entire shoe collection glistening with a healthy coat of moisture and her entire shelves of high end purses, wet.

Eventually it stopped raining in the unit and we finally learned the truth of the matter. Our neighbor upstairs had decided to draw a bath. They had forgotten that they had turned on the water and decided to go out for the night instead and left their home with the water still running. The designers of the entire building decided that it was aesthetically displeasing to have tubs that included overflow drains, and as a result, many hours of flooding occurred only to finally seep through their floors to water the non-existent plants in our home.

The security guard had called an emergency water clean up crew whom I had met previously in the year for a minor water leakage case due to the neighbor even higher up from us who had failed to turn off their water while filling a fish tank, but that is a story for another day. The company came in with swift hands and quickly vacuumed up all of the water that was settled comfortably on our floors. Now comes the assessment at 2 am in the morning. Most of the furniture, Ikea closets and shelves, are all destroyed and the wood floors of the bedroom area are a total loss. It hadn’t even had time to dry and it was already warping. The floors need to completely be torn out in order to dry out the area underneath to prevent any potential molding from hot water and there was zero possibility of staying in our home. We were forced to move out in a matter of 72 hours due to one persons negligence.

Over the next few days, a restoration company came through and packed out our entire home and put everything into storage. Luckily most of our wedding materials were undamaged except for my wedding shoes which were a total loss. Our wedding is now 2 weeks away and we’re scrambling to get everything done as well as getting everything squared away with this unexpected disaster. Despite all of these lemons being chucked at our face, we’ve been extremely blessed with the love and support of our friends and family. We have a temporary home to sublet and honestly, the situation could have been much, much worse.

I think now you can understand my initial comment about my words being tested. Am I still able to enjoy my life and be happy? Yes. I have a soon to be wife who has been very supportive and calm through this entire situation, we have loving family to support us, and we have amazing friends that have come to our aid. Through this entire ordeal I will still say that I’m extremely and abundantly blessed by God and even though crappy situations may come my way through life, as long as I know to trust Him, He has already prepared the way. Not only that, but I strongly believe that He has used the moment to draw my fiancee and I closer together testing our relationship in stressful waters. So far, we’ve come out unscathed only a bit damp.

There is still much to do as we prepare for the wonderful day of marriage but yes, I’m still happy. Life is good.

BIBLIOTHECA by john cheng

Adam Lewis Greene's kickstarter project Bibliotheca, in my opinion, has hit the nail on the head. I love my Bible, that's for sure, but when I look at it from a design perspective it is actually quite painful. The letters are super tiny, the superscripts are even tinier, I never understood why there were two columns, and the paper is just far too thin. It does feel like a chore to read.

I share similar views on design with Green, but the difference is that he has turned a complaint into a fruitful project. The thought that he put into redesigning the Bible is just mind blowing to me and I immediately backed this project with no hesitation. I would have loved to get the entire set inside the walnut slipcase, but that was a bit out of reach for me.

Whether you believe the Bible to be true or not, this project is definitely worth supporting just from the design perspective alone. I can't wait to get my copy of this set!

Exodus: Gods and Kings by john cheng

A new Bible Epic is coming to theaters! Directed by Ridley Scott, Exodus: Gods and Kings is the story of Moses (Christian Bale) rising up against Ramses (Joel Edgerton) and is set to hit theaters in December. Looks pretty good if you ask me.

Smilely-Face Screw: Yuma Kano by john cheng

I am trying to create work that makes people feel like what I am feeling when looking at Escher’s work.
— Yuma Kano

Get into the mind of Yuma Kano, the designer of the smiley face screw and the journey he has taken from school to opening is own design office. Read it on DesignMadeInJapan.

8-Bit Philosophy by john cheng

Check out the first episode of 8-Bit Philosphy exploring Plato's Allegory of the Cave. It's a very clever way to illustrate an idea to muse upon.

8-Bit Philosophy is a new web series from Napkin Note Productions that explores and explains philosophy through the use of graphics from retro video games like the original The Legend of Zelda for the Nintendo Entertainment System.

How would you handle this situation if you experienced a higher truth first hand, would you share it? On the other hand, what if you were presented with a higher truth by another person? Accept the view, explore for yourself, reject it, or maybe even persecute?

It's an interesting question to pose against yourself because it forces you to think about the last time someone tried to bring into your own life a different perspective.

Maybe I'm the one bringing a higher truth to the world...or maybe I'm the one chained down with a narrow point of view.

The Man Behind the Mountain by john cheng

“The Man Behind The Mountain”, a mini doc about American folk artist Leonard Knight, creator of Salvation Mountain in California. Knight maintained and continued to create this large installation piece up until his death earlier this year. Thank you to filmmakers Ben Stoddard and Dave Ehrenreich from Don’t Sleep Productions for showing us the dedication of Lenard Knight.

Making It by john cheng

I must watch this! Upcoming documentary, Making It directed by Anthony Francis Moorman and art director Woodrow Hinton explores what it takes to 'make it' as an artist. The film focuses on Andrew Bawidamann, Eric Fortune and Brian Ewing and their insights on their philosophy and thoughts on what it means to make a living via art.