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Meet Roy Kerckhoffs of Roy Kerckhoffs Art in Carlsbad

Today we’d like to introduce you to Roy Kerckhoffs.

Roy, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started pencil drawings early on in my life, which I’ve always done since (even still now). When I was around 10 years old, my parents gave me a camera for my birthday (a point-and-shoot). They noticed that I was always taking pictures of buildings, bridges, etc, instead of my family. I wanted to go to art school at some point, but my parents encouraged a path to science. I was also very interested in engineering and physiology/biology. In 2003, I graduated for my PhD in biomedical engineering and I came to San Diego for a postdoctoral training at UCSD (I was born and raised in the Netherlands). In 2007, I started selling my photographs under the name of Eyeball Photography while still being employed at UCSD. My business kept growing and in 2014 my wife and I decided that I should go full-time with my photography. That’s also the year I renamed my business to Roy Kerckhoffs Art. In December of 2015 I opened my own studio in Carlsbad, where I also do all my own framing. Most of my work encompasses coastal scenes, which are black and white photographs, which I hand color with oils (on photo paper) or acrylic paint (on canvas). It’s my goal to capture the whole California Coast (which I know will take some time…!).

Has it been a smooth road?
I started my business right before the crash of 2008, so overall I’ve only seen my business grow. One of my biggest challenges so far is related to finding a good affordable location for my own retail gallery space. In 2015, I settled with a studio space in Carlsbad but I still dream of having my own gallery.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
I hand color my black and white photographs with oils (on chemically-developed photo paper) and with acrylics when I print my photos on canvas. I use the same techniques on photo paper as in the early days of photography. Back then people used cotton balls and wrapped cotton on tooth picks to put color on their photos. I use cotton rounds and cotton swabs. I’ve been mostly known for my lifeguard tower photographs at Torrey Pines, Cardiff-by-the-Sea and Ponto Beach, which are part of my earliest work when I started on my beach theme.

I’m mostly proud that I can make people happy when they choose to put my work on their walls. It’s always nice to see somebody walk away happy with one of my works.

I think what sets me apart from others is that I combine photography with paint and that I don’t go for very color-saturated photographs.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Unfortunately, I don’t have a good comparison. I started my business here and have never been anywhere else: which pertains to both California and San Diego County. People have told me that California has a lot of rules compared to other states, but I guess I “grew up” with them in the first place.


  • My pricing typically ranges from a $30 matted open edition print to over $5000 (big hand colored originals with large frames)

Contact Info:

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