Brian Eder at Anno Domini.
Brian Eder and his partner Cherri Lakey started Anno Domini in July of 2000, branding their space as “the second coming of art & design.” Eder and Lakey are almost single-handedly responsible for making downtown San Jose cool again after the beginning of the SubZERO Festival, an annual street festival that draws crowds of up to 10,000 celebrating South Bay artists and performers.
After graduating from San Jose State with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts in photography, Eder found ways to keep his artistic spirit alive with a variety of projects. After meeting nearly 20 year ago, he and Lakey worked together at a digital pre-press company, putting out film for businesses that were transitioning to digital printing. In 1995, the two started their first design company called Two Fish Design.
Eder continues to contribute to the growth of the San Jose art scene with the popular monthly First Fridays Artwalk event that draws more than 1,000 people to the SoFA District.
Name: Brian Eder
Occupation: Graphic Artist and co-owner of Anno Domini
How long have you lived and worked in San Jose?
I moved here by train from St. Louis, Mo., with my family in 1976. The furthest I have lived from here since then was Mountain View for a couple years, and then I moved back this way sometime after 1995, self-employed as a graphic artist for the company my partner Cherri Lakey and I started called Two Fish Design.
What do you like most about San Jose?
Mostly the people—the artists, the musicians, and the geek culture, of course. There’s a palpable energy here that stands out from other areas I’ve lived in or just visited on a regular basis. The spirit of what it takes to actually thrive here as an an independent creative or small business really stands out.
At what point did you decide to stay in San Jose and pursue your career?
As I mentioned earlier, I had moved as far away as Mountain View. However, in 1995 my partner, Cherri Lakey, and I started our own business freelancing as graphic designers. We knew we wanted to start an art gallery at some point as well. We looked to San Francisco and we thought it would be really easy to start there—the culture would be more embracing. But growing up here, I felt we could add something to what was going on here, and even though it would be a harder path we chose to move here. We thought if we could start something here in San Jose that actually helped to change the culture, it would really be an accomplishment for us.