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)

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.

Watchmaker Reassembles a Rolex by john cheng

As 2014 winds down and time presses on forward, celebrate by watching this amazing video of a watchmaker reassembling the intricate pieces of a Rolex. These pieces help us measure the time that seems to always escape us. How will you live in 2015?

Watchfinder & Co. presents: Inside the Rolex Submariner, a demonstration of the intricacies of the Rolex calibre 3135. WF&Co. Head Watchmaker Tony Williams shows you how this famous movement is taken apart and reassembled. A History of the Rolex Submariner: First revealed to the public in 1953, the Rolex Submariner was a diving watch for everyone.

Latte Motion by john cheng

Japanese company Ajinomoto General Foods used 1,000 cups of coffee to promote, Maxim Stick. That's quite a bit of latte! 世界初!1000杯のラテで作られた、ラテアート・アニメーション(ラテモーション)! The world's first latte art animation(latte motion) created with 1,000 cups of latte!! 1杯1杯丁寧に手作りされたラテアートで繋いだ濃厚でクリーミーな物語をお楽しみください。 Please enjoy the rich, creamy story connected by carefully handcrafted latte art one by one.

Houshi by john cheng

German photographer Fritz Schumann has directed a short documentary, “Houshi”, about a Japanese hotel run by the same family for the past 1300 years. Talk about having a family business!

Houshi Ryokan was founded around 1,300 years ago and it has always been managed by the same family since then. It is the oldest still running family business in the world. This ryokan (a traditional japanese style hotel) was built over a natural hot spring in Awazu in central Japan in the year 718. Until 2011, it held the record for being the oldest hotel in the world. Houshi Ryokan has been visited by the Japanese Imperial Family and countless great artists over the centuries. Its buildings were destroyed by natural disasters many times, but the family has always rebuilt. The garden as well as some parts of the hotel are over 400 years old. Houshi (法師) means buddhist priest. It is the name of the family as well as of the hotel. (It's great if you want to share the video, but DON'T publish any still images or screenshots from it without my permission!) (c) Fritz Schumann 2014 music by Mario Kaoru Mevy Houshi Soundtrack available here:

Hayao Miyazaki: The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness by john cheng

Mami Sunada has directed a documentary The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness that explores  studio Ghibli that was lead by, in my opinion one of the best animators in the world, Hayao Miyazaki. I must see this!

Opens at IFC Center on 11/28, available nationwide on digital platforms starting 12/9! Granted near-unfettered access to the notoriously insular Studio Ghibli, director Mami Sunada follows the three men who are the lifeblood of Ghibli – the eminent director Hayao Miyazaki, the producer Toshio Suzuki, and the elusive and influential “other director” Isao Takahata – over the course of a year as the studio rushes to complete two films, Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises and Takahata’s The Tale of The Princess Kaguya. The result is a rare “fly on the wall” glimpse of the inner workings of one of the world’s most celebrated animation studios, and an insight into the dreams, passion and singular dedication of these remarkable creators.

Watch Hayao Miyazaki animate the final shot of his final film, The Wind Rises, in the new Studio Ghibli documentary, The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness. Exclusive clip for with permission of GKIDS.

Aaron Draplin Designs a Logo by john cheng

Aaron Draplin of Field Notes was asked by to go through the process of designing a logo. I love his process because this is pretty much exactly how I work. I always encourage new up and coming designers to use pencil and paper rather than going directly into the computer and mocking things up.

Be sure to watch until the very end and get Draplin's bits of advice about freelancing.

Watch more like this at Most logos aren't designed in fifteen minutes, but most designers aren't Aaron Draplin. Aaron's a Portland fixture by way of the Midwest, the owner of Draplin Design Co., and an advocate of "blue collar" design: design that works. Here he takes our logo design challenge, creating a dozen iterations of a logo for a fictional construction company. Not inspired? Just wait. Watch as he sketches, brings his ideas into Illustrator, and tests and tunes the different iterations. The logos Aaron creates prove design can elevate any company or brand. Along the way, he provides tips for freelancing, finding inspiration, and providing clients context for logos that won't just live in PDFs.

Jackie Chan: How to Do Action Comedy by john cheng

Here is an interesting segment on the differences between the action in the films of Jackie Chan and the action of other films. Yes, he may have the advantage of being a skilled martial artist and other actors may not have the years of training Chan has to emulate the style of action film that is unique to Chan, but it also seems like the point of budgeting and editing really play a bigger role just as the video argues.

Our world is so budget conscious that we always seem to sacrifice quality work versus figuring out a creative solution that can merge the two. What's worse is when the lack a quality is noticed, it is the creative person/team that will get the short end of the stick being stuck with the stigma of not delivering. Maybe I'm still being naive in hoping that if we all just do quality work, the work will show for itself, but in the end everyone really needs to be on the same page.

One thing is for sure, Chan's movies are definitely different from other action films in the market.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens by john cheng

By now everyone has seen the Star Wars Awakening Trailer, however, we have another year until it comes out. But that means you have one year to gather supplies and make your own lightsaber hilt to bring to the opening! Check out the trailer again as well as some other videos to give you some inspiration for your own lightsaber builds!

Pan by john cheng

Pan! Warner Brothers has released an official trailer for Pan, the origin story of Peter Pan. This looks pretty good.

Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund, Rooney Mara and Levi Miller star in PAN, in theaters Summer 2015! From Warner Bros. Pictures comes, "Pan," a live-action Peter Pan feature directed by Joe Wright ("Atonement," "Pride & Prejudice"). Offering a new take on the origin of the classic characters created by J.M.

NHK ~ Japanology: Spinning Tops by john cheng

I love spinning tops! I played with them when I was little and still do, although I do still hold a slight fear of tops when throwing them because of one incident of having the top whip back at me and giving me a fat lip. Despite that, I still love tops.

Spinning tops have been a part of many different cultures but recently I found a video on youtube called Japanology that delves deep into the cultural significance of tops in Japan.

(NHK) ~ Begin Japanology invites you into the world of Japanese culture, both traditional and modern, explaining how traditions evolved and the part they still play today in people's everyday lives.

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya by john cheng

Official US trailer of Studio Ghibli's Tale of the Princess Kaguya. An amazing Japanese fable that I remember reading when I was little. I'm excited to see Ghibli's interpretation of the classic tale.

Subscribe to TRAILERS: Subscribe to COMING SOON: Subscribe to INDIE TRAILERS: Like us on FACEBOOK: The Tale of The Princess Kaguya Official US Release Trailer #1 (2014) - Studio Ghibli Film HD An old man makes a living by selling bamboo. One day, he finds a princess in a bamboo.