In Hawaiian, “kaha” means to draw or make marks, “kaha iki” means artist. It is serendipitous that the same letters make up the last name of Teri Kahan. She loves to draw, and a passion for the spirit of Hawaii inspires her life and work. Her favorite tool is the brush, yet she is equally proficient on a Macintosh computer.
Teri developed an artist’s eye at a young age. She discovered Speedball pens at age 14 and her budding graphic talent was nurtured in art and lettering classes in high school and college. She became involved in the lettering guilds of the Society for Calligraphy (Los Angeles) and The Friends of Calligraphy (San Francisco), and at the age of 22, started her own graphic design business. Early projects included posters, menus, certificates and envelopes.
Shortly thereafter, she obtained a California Teaching Credential and began teaching calligraphy and design part-time for Coastline and Golden West Colleges.
In 1982, she married Richard Stumpf, a past chairman of the SfC. Richard’s considerable artistic and teaching talents were a great inspiration to her, and with him as partner, her skills and knowledge of the lettering arts increased exponentially. She and Richard traveled widely during the 1980s, teaching workshops for various calligraphic societies, three national calligraphic conferences and for the Getty Museum.
The 1990s were spent in Hawaii where Teri’s creative energies blossomed further. Her connection to the “spirit of place” produced some of her most fulfilling projects: the first four of her fonts, lively apparel art, and twin boys.
Teri has returned to Southern California where she continues to work in the rapidly changing field of design and lettering. Her art services now include print, media and web communications. Though most of her current projects are graphically oriented and created on a computer, hand lettering is still a first love and very much a part of Teri’s artistic expression.