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 Follow me at Music: Flamingosis - Football Head ProleteR - April Showers Calvin and Hobbes dance by Adam Brown:
Art is never done as long as it has an audience.

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.

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. Music: "Mystical II" by Jennifer Goodemberger.

Pixel Art illustration by Octavi Navarro. 2014.

Fire Painting by john cheng

Artist Steve Pazuk paints with fire. This is such a memorizing process and the outcome is just beautiful.

Video portrait of the very original and talented Steve Spazuk in his creative space. Music "Fly" by Ludovico Einaudi More from the artist : More of my creative stuff: Portrait de l'artiste-peintre Steve Spazuk dans sa technique hautement originale et dans son atelier de création. Musique "Fly" de Ludovico Einaudi Site de l'artiste: Suivis sur le réalisateur:

Boundaries by john cheng

"Boundaries." Print available in theShop.

At an early age, the value of serving others was instilled within the very fabric of my soul.  No matter what the situation I always felt a sense of duty to those around me, especially the ones that I love and hold dear, to the point where I would still try and serve others even if it harmed me deeply. 

Having a heart to serve others is not a bad trait to have, but the lesson that is being learned by me to this day is that when you forego your own identity and well being, you actually lose the ability to serve others with a full and joyful heart. Instead, you become a person with a heavy heart crushed by burdens too much to bear and stripped of any joy.

Be courageous! Setting your Boundaries and protecting yourself from the arrows of guilt, shame, fear, and a false sense to duty is not being selfish, but rather it is keeping yourself healthy and giving yourself the ability to help and serve someone else when they most need it. Otherwise, how do you help someone who is hurt when you are also wounded?

Karakuri Puppets by john cheng

Amazing Karakuri puppets by Hideki Higashino, one of the few remaining craftsmen who still practice this art form and keep it alive. Watch as Higashino carefully sculpts these puppets as well as discuss what it is about Karakuri that fascinates him and why he does what he does.

Thanks Anime Expo 2014! by john cheng

A really big thank you to every single person that visited my booth this past weekend at Anime Expo!!! You guys rock! Being there four days in a row was a bit rough, especially when you are sitting in the same spot for 8 hours straight. But all in all it was yet another great year of great experiences and meeting new people.

Putting freebies up on social media was definitely included in the list of great experiences. I have never done give-aways like this before, but the results where phenomenal! Below are some of the awesome people that dropped by to pick up their freebies! (I failed pretty hard the first two days by not taking photos of people who came by to pick up free stuff. Lesson learned! I also failed on the blurry phone pics.)

Last but not least, I have to thank all my friends who came to my rescue when I needed to step away from my booth. Thanks again Jono, Phil, Chris, Elisa, Sean, Luke, and Issac!!

If any of you are wondering if some of these prints will be for sale online, they will gradually be posted by next week on theShop! If you saw something you liked but isn't up online, send me a message through the contact form on this site and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks again and I hope I see you all again at next years AX!

The Unique Art of Video Games by john cheng

Nerdwriter, Evan Puschak, discusses the topic of whether or not video games can be placed under the context of art. I for one, can completely understand the placement of video games under the category of art based on the underlying themes that are hidden under the layers of game play, story, and graphics.

Art is something that has something to say or something that is meant for the audience to engage and experience. By that definition, games can without a doubt fall under the art category. Thoughts?

Anime Expo 2014 by john cheng

It's that time of the year again! Anime Expo time!!!! 

Every year around this time, I find myself scrambling to get all of my prints in order. Today is one of those days where I'm sitting in my studio prepping prints for the awesome goodness that is AX. I have quite a few new prints this year as well as a few older prints that I used to sell on my etsy under the alias of Paperhooch

My artist alley booth placement this year isn't as desirable as I'd like it to be but that is mostly my fault for registering so late. Initially I was going to pass on this year's AX, but seeing my friends get their own booths this year motivated me to register as well. That being said, I'll be located waaaaay in the back at booth L23. Come and visit!!

626 Night Market by john cheng

Looking for something to do in Downtown LA tonight and tomorrow night? Head over to the DTLA 626 Night Market and show down on some food, visit me at my artist booth, and just have an all around good time. Visit 626 Night Market for more info or purchase your presale tickets at Eventbrite.

Un-Private Collection Series by john cheng

Takashi Murakami photo by Chika Okazumi; artwork © Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Takashi Murakami will be in conversation with Pico Iyer at the Orpheum Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles. This is going to be great! Who wants to go with me?

Thursday, May 29 | 8 p.m.
Orpheum Theatre
842 Broadway, downtown Los Angeles
General admission tickets: $12


Artist: Vince Low by john cheng

Check out artist Vince Low's scribble art. He makes portraits by scribbling and captures the very essence of his subjects. If you like his work, they are available for purchase!

Remember to do what you like, and like what you do.
— Vince Low

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.

5 Years In Prison for Vandalizing Vandalism by john cheng

David William Noll may face 5 years in prison for vandalizing two Banksy pieces in Los Angeles. The irony in this is just too much, similar to the artist who broke one of Ai Wei Wei's vases at a show that depicted Wei himself breaking a vase.

At the end of the day, you do have to question both sides for their actions. First, why would Noll post video of himself on Youtube committing the act. Secondly, why would you charge someone for vandalizing vandalism? Unless of course this is completely just press fodder and the reality of the situation is that Noll is being charged for graffiti itself.


Stefan Bucher by john cheng

Last night I had the opportunity to attend Roski Talks with guest Stefan Bucher. There were so many things that he said about his life experience as a designer/artist that completely resonated with me.

One of such things was a question that he posed to himself wondering whether or not he wanted to just be a graphic designer. This is a question that I find myself pondering everyday and I think as a result, it has pushed me to try different things. Just the mere fact that another designer who is far more established in his career, felt the same way as me, was very assuring and encouraging.

Greed control was another topic he touched upon. To be able to assess a project and have the ability to say no based not on how much money it can make you, but based on well you can design that specific project. He moved forward to say that it is not a power game and not about being an entitled designer, but instead understanding how much control you have over the project to get the best possible product. To make it even more clear, he illustrated that more greed = bad work. As greed increases and money becomes your motivation, the quality of work decreases, but of course only in the context of discretionary. If you have bills to pay, a family to feed, that is a luxury that cannot be afforded sometimes. However there are moments when it is possible.

The last bit stuck out to me was his take on producing work. There may be time and time again where you spend hours upon hours on a project only to get a "meh" result versus other times where you spend 15 minutes and get the most brilliant solution. There should be no shame in the amount of time spent on a project. Its a difficult concept to grasp, but to make it more clear he alluded it to folding a paper crane. You may one day fold a paper crane in 2 minutes and it is the most perfect of paper cranes, however that crane was benefited by 10 years of folding prior to that. The only reason why you were able to create the brilliant piece of work in 15 minutes is because of all the time and effort you placed into your craft for however many years prior.

Ass to chair adhesion..
— -Stefan Bucher

This concept was a good lead to move further into work ethic. Always be producing work, because if you wait for inspiration to come, it never will. You have to sit and work and create on a schedule for those ideas to flourish. Sit down and make sure the, "ass to chair adhesion," forms. You're already sitting there, you're not gonna get up now, so just make work!

Thank you Stefan Bucher, you are a great inspiration to me!