Cover Artist Cyrus Dan Cañares of Travelfund by Sirius Dan poses with his hand-painted signature ottomans

Writer, photographer, and painter Cyrus Dan Cañares describes himself as a man consumed by wanderlust. Here he shares how his thriving furniture business funds his travels

In his early 20s, Cañares spent most of his time working as a photographer for various cruise ships, a job that allowed him to travel from Alaska to Antarctica, Samoa to Fiji and everywhere in between. By the time he quit this role, he pursued one of his childhood dreams: a soap opera writer.

However, his thirst for travelling did not stop. Unfortunately, like many young employees in the Philippines, his salary was not enough to fund this wanderlust.

In 2016, he set up Travelfund by Siriusdan, a contemporary brand where he features home decors fit for people with an artistic and offbeat taste. “Pillows and ottomans were my first items; what helped hone my love for furniture is my frequent visits to vintage stores in Bangkal, Makati, Kamuning and Cubao Expo,” he shares with Tatler.

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According to Cañares, most of the proceeds his brand generates go to his travels. “My entry point salary was not enough back then so I had to find a way to fund my travel addiction. It was around the same time I began to explore other creative pursuits—painting and craft-making. I just combined all these elements and TravelFund by Siriusdan was born. It was and still is my travel fund.”

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He is especially fond of incorporating his hobbies to his craft. A self-confessed cinephile, he says that two of his favourite works are accent chairs inspired by the filmography of Pedro Almodóvar. “Ingmar Bergman, Pedro Almodóvar and Wong Kar Wai inspire me to no end. They were my first artistic heroes,” he says. “Because of my fascination with Almodóvar, I made two accent chairs inspired by his filmography. I used red liberally and coupled it with highly visual retro fabrics; I finished it off with hand-painted details. I called it the Pedro Chairs.”

The 38-year-old artist also admits that his interest in movies allowed him to consider expanding his style. “I am heavily influenced by my love for films. For example, the colour red is something I would never use but since Almodóvar and Wong Kar Wai use it often, I subconsciously applied the colour to some of my works,” he explains.

One trait that Cañares values most is individualism. He believes that this is what differs his work from other artists. “I have always been an individualist in a sense that I want to be original and different. I believe that this trait of mine has transcended into my works,” he reveals. “By combining different cultures, art forms, and disciplines, I try to make every single piece as unique as they can get.”

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He believes having at least one art-infused furniture at home will do wonders for the atmosphere. “Quite simply, artwork, in any form they come, provide inspiration. For instance, a comfortable chair can help you relax, and a great painting can command a room,” he says.

“Whatever you put into your home—paintings, furniture and whatnot—should speak to you. It should be something you truly really like. There’s a lot of nasty things going on outside that the last thing you need to have in your home is a piece of furniture or that does not make you happy or inspired,” he concludes.

This story was originally published in Tatler Homes Philippines Vol. 28. Download it for free on Magzter