After a recent surf session with your good friend, Jacob Campbell, the two of you sat down to lunch at Café Haleiwa on the North Shore of Oahu, where Mr. Campbell has chosen to present an exhibition of new drawings entitled Absolute Independent Reality Is Hard To Find. Originally from Oxnard, California, Jacob studied fine art at the University of California--San Diego, receiving a B.F.A. in 2006. He is also the son of Malcolm Campbell and nephew of Duncan Campbell, the duo who’ve been behind Campbell Brothers Surfboards since 1970. Malcolm still shapes boards in California, while Duncan owns Café Haleiwa. Their design, called the “Bonzer,” is unique in surfing history because it was the first to feature three fins, making it the archetype for the modern surfboard. You took the opportunity to catch up with Jacob about art, surfing, and music, among other things.
THINGS IS COOL: First of all, congratulations. This was kind of a long time in the making.
JACOB CAMPBELL: Thanks. Yeah, it’s easily been over a year. Last year [in 2011] when I was in Hawaii I started with a few drawings.
T.I.C.: Why Café Haleiwa?
J.C.: It’s been an outstanding offer that I do a show at the family’s Café. I’ve wanted to see more surfing on the walls in here. I remember coming in as a kid, years ago, and seeing all of the older Bonzer imagery. So, to also commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Bonzer surfboard design, I wanted to create some artwork that was related to my dad and Duncan’s visual history, in a sense.