Artist and woodworker Jeff Canham has a unique approach to his craft. Jeff grew up in Hawaii, and made his way to the Bay area in 2005. He currently works in San Francisco at Woodshop studio. Learn more about Jeff and his art below.
When did you start designing?
I worked on a magazine in college where I got a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design and a Minor in Art History. My first job out of school was at Surfer magazine so that's really where I got my start.
What or who inspired you to start creating art?
My parents took me to a lot of museums and galleries as a kid which certainly got me interested in art. But I grew up loving surfing and skateboarding and through that was exposed to people like Thomas Campbell, Barry McGee, and Margaret Kilgallen who were big influences on me. They had created these career paths and lifestyles that seemed so appealing and that I wanted to emulate.
What did you like about designing a towel?
I like that they can be a piece of art with a function. And I like that beach towels in particular don't need to match anything or blend in with anything so they can be as loud and busy as you like.
What or who are you currently inspired by?
I always find traveling to be a big inspiration. That's been tricky the last couple of years, but even just getting out of my neighborhood bubble tends to open my eyes to new possibilities and ideas.
Any advice for aspiring artists?
If you see everyone going in one direction, head off on a different path and blaze your own trail. You'll not only set yourself apart from the herd, but I think it's more satisfying when you're not responding to and competing with what everyone else is doing.
What is a change you've made in your life that has made the most impact on you or the people around you?
I live in San Francisco and have recently taken up swimming in the bay. It has been an exciting way to explore my surroundings and get myself in the water when the waves aren't good.
When you're not creating, what are you up to?
Chasing my two boys around. They're full of energy and keep me on my toes.
What is your dream trip?
I did a trip to Oaxaca years ago with my friend Kanoa where the whole aim was to take pictures of interesting signs and surf in warm water. We did a ton of both and made an exhibition based on the experience. I want to do that again, but in a new location like South America, India, or Africa. I'm open to suggestions.
Do you have a favorite product?
I can never have enough beach towels. And if it has artwork by Ty Williams, Schuyler Beecroft, or Matt Tapia, even better.