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!

Inside the Shop: Alex Chavez by john cheng

Pictures from Bevel Code, Inside the Shop.

My fiancee for the longest time was trying to get me to style my hair. She tells me that she never really noticed me until I got a clean looking haircut, but laziness got the better of me and my hair got all crazy again. It wasn't until about a year ago, and much of her nagging, when I decided that I had enough of my crazy unkempt hair.

As a designer, I've always tried to keep up current with design trends by perusing through various lifestyle and design blogs. This is how I stumbled across Blind Barber. After looking through their site and finding out that I get a free cocktail with my haircut, I was sold. I dropped by and was hooked ever since. The vibe there is awesome and the barbers are all really laid back and chill.

Pictures from Bevel Code, Inside the Shop.

Pictures from Bevel Code, Inside the Shop.

Sometime people say the experience is everything, but Blind Barber isn't just an experience, they've got quality behind their craft. Alex Chavez, my barber at Blind Barber, is one of these such guys. Super chill and has got quality behind his craft. Bevel Code's Inside the Shop recently did an interview of him about how he got to where he is now and gives you more insight about the man behind the blade.

Pictures from Bevel Code, Inside the Shop.


If you need quality grooming and live in the Los Angeles area, check out Blind Barber in Culver City.

Blind Barber


The Shoemaker by john cheng

Another great video by Dustin Cohen on the Shoemaker Frank Catalfumo.

Frank Catalfumo is a 91 year old shoemaker and repairer in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. He first opened the doors to F&C Shoes in 1945 and continues to work five days a week alongside his son Michael. If you're ever in the area, make sure to stop by the shop and listen to one of Frank's amazing stories about life in Brooklyn back in the day.

Blok Knives by john cheng

There is something that is just extremely beautiful and inspiring when I watch knife makers perform their craft. It's such a dangerous thing to create, but at the end of it all the product is just so beautiful.

Ben Edmonds of Blok Knives is based in Derbyshire who produces very simple kitchen knives from carbon steel and wooden handles. Watch as he explains his process and musings.

the Life and Work of Murray Carter, the 17th Generation Yoshimoto Bladesmith by john cheng

…go from dream to result...

Watch this great video by the production company, Cineastas. They've produced a great look into the life and work of Murray Carter, a 17th Generation Yoshimoto Bladesmith. The now Oregon-based bladesmith went to Japan at the age of 18 and spent six years as an apprentice to a Japanese bladesmith. 26 years and 18,000 blades later, he continues to create beautiful works of art.

Murray Carter is the 17th Generation Yoshimoto Bladesmith. Born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia, he traveled to Japan when he was 18 years old. He stayed in Japan for half his life and apprenticed under a Japanese bladesmith for 6 years. In this video, Murray tells his story and discusses the importance of pursuing one’s dreams. An extended interview with Murray can be seen at: He currently works out of his shop, Carter Cutlery, in Hillsboro, OR. DIRECTED BY TRISTAN STOCH CINEMATOGRAPHY BY SEAN GRASSO CAMERA OPERATOR KENNY ALLEN LOCATION SOUND ANIKA TOBIASON VIDEO BY CINEASTAS