We've been running an Instagram contest with Surfline asking users to enter by posting a photo of their creative spaces and tagging #CreativeSpace. Now we check in with last week's winners, @dcal7 (Danny Callaghan), and his girlfriend, @smashdpotato (Ash Costello).
Hey Dan & Ash, can you tell us a bit about what you do?
Dan: Well to put it simply, I shape surfboards and Ash paints them. But we’re always out there tinkering on some kind of new project. We mostly do custom orders, however everything we make feels experimental in a sense, from the shapes to the artwork. We like to flow with what looks and feels right. We see a lot of shapes coming in from outside our area so I find it exciting to make boards that suit the waves I surf. We can get anything from long, lined-up little jetty waves to overhead peaky sandbar barrels. It’s fun applying concepts that aren’t always the norm and seeing them work.
Ash: It is really fun for me to paint and be free with it. I don’t usually go into the project with an idea or a certain image of how I want the board to look. I just do what feels right and in a way that represents me and whoever I’m painting the board for. People know my artwork as “smashyart” and Dan’s boards as “DCAL”. I’m also very passionate about animals and work with two rescuing organizations in Puerto Rico. We have two dogs from PR and a stray black cat named Pancake. In my spare time I have a blog dedicated to the things going on in my weird life including surfboards, photo-shoots of fashion I’m digging, healthy vegan-inspired eating, and modelling.
Dan: We went to college together – I graduated with an engineering degree and Ash with a biology/animal veterinary science degree. But we are following are passions and seeing where that takes us.
How many years have you been shaping / painting together and how did you get started?
Dan: I started shaping boards for myself about 5-6 years ago. After college, I spent several years travelling around the world and began making boards to suit the waves I was travelling to. In between trips, while I was busy shaping boards for the next one, Ash would come hang in the shed with me and started painting my white boards as I finished them. It evolved inadvertently as a way for us to spend more time together. But she is super creative so I think it all worked out for a reason. It’s a creative outlet for both.
Ash: Sometimes we have some input with what the other is doing and it really brings the shape or artwork together. Dan and I are kinda opposites so we definitely balance each other out when working together. We inspire each other to think forward and try different things.
Where is your creative space located?
It’s out in the woods, on the edge of the Pine Barrens, in Galloway, New Jersey.
Tell us a bit about your creative space and what it means to you.
Ash: Our creative space is a small shed. It is a creative retreat for us to feel free and disconnected from the world. There’s something about the woods and nature that is inspiring. When the shed was first built, I would find Dan out there at all hours working on something and ask. “What are you doing out here you little shed creep.” Now all his friends call him “shed creep” and he puts a picture of his shed on every board.
Dan: The world is full of rules and standards so it’s nice to have a space to let loose and just make something completely born of your ideas. It is therapeutic in a way that is different from surfing.
What is your favorite part of your creative space?
Dan: My favorite part about the shed is that we designed and built it ourselves entirely of scrap building materials – from the electrical and framing to the interior woodwork.
Ash: Oh and our little wood stove that keeps us warm in the winter and makes the shed cozy.
Any last words?
Thanks for listening to our story!