Mark McFarlane
Mar 23, 2016 · 6 min read

Thanks for your interest in Canvas. We receive a lot of questions about what Canvas is, why it exists, how to join and how to best use it. I hope these answers below will be useful to answer those questions and more.

If you have any other questions you’d like to ask our team, please post a comment on this article, or email me at any time!

Mark from Team Canvas

About Canvas

What is Canvas?

Canvas is an online network for Tokyo’s creative community.

It’s a place for professional and amateur creatives to show their skills, make new connections and find work.

That means that as a member you can use Canvas simply as a social network to show your work and meet new creative people. But if you work (or want to start working) as a professional creative, you can also use it to connect with people to work with or hire.

Visitors to the Canvas site who are not creatives can simply discover cool things that are being made in Tokyo by our members, or use Canvas to discover creatives to hire for projects or jobs.

Who made Canvas?

Canvas is made by Tacchi Studios, a mobile and web app design and development studio based in Shibuya, Tokyo.

We work with some of the top brands from Japan and around the world to make digital products that delight customers and meet real business needs. We do this by combining research, design, technology and lean business principles in meaningful ways.

If your business needs someone to help you create a high quality mobile app or website, we’re the people to talk to!

You can learn more about us at

Why does Canvas exist?

The Tacchi Studios team loves creativity in general, and Tokyo’s wonderful creative community in particular! We have made many good friends and colleagues in the community over the years.

We saw an opportunity to use our skills to help make Tokyo an even better place to be a creative. And so Canvas is our way of giving back to the people that have made Tokyo such a fantastic place to live and work.

Joining Canvas

How do I know if I’m a “creative” or not?

Do you make stuff, or are you involved in the process of creating stuff? This includes art, design, technology, music, film, communities, advertising and many other things. If so, you belong on Canvas!

Do I have to live in Tokyo to join Canvas?

Yes. Creating a strong local place for Tokyo’s creative community to gather online is really important to us, and so we’ve made Canvas an invite-only platform for creatives who live in Tokyo.

The local aspect is core to the value of our platform, and we cannot dilute that by allowing profiles for people who do not live here. Our visitors would lose trust in the platform if they cannot know for sure that all the people they see are based in Tokyo.

I live in another city, but I’m planning to move to Tokyo in the future. Can I join Canvas now?

No, sorry. It’s great that you’d like to join Tokyo’s fantastic creative community, but please see the answer above for our reasons.

In order to be a true member of Tokyo’s creative community, we believe that you need to be here and contribute socially. Canvas is not a tool to help those outside Tokyo to easily build a network before they arrive.

Also, it is a bad experience for our users to see profiles for members who are not in the same city as them, as this breaks Canvas’ core concept.

What happens if I am invited by a friend, but I don’t live in Tokyo?

Please respect our wishes to keep Canvas exclusive to those based in Tokyo, and do not create your profile. Unfortunately we’ll likely have to deactivate your account if we discover that you’re not based in Tokyo.

Will Canvas be coming to other cities in the future?

Is that something you’d like? If so, please email us at and let us know!

Why is Canvas invite only?

There are two reasons why Canvas is invite only:

1) We must ensure that we protect the core concept of Canvas, by ensuring that

2) Canvas is currently in beta, and therefore is unfinished and changing constantly. We cannot have too many members on the site as this would stop us from focusing on learning from our existing users and making rapid changes.

I’m a member and I’d like to invite a friend, but I don’t have any invites. How can I get more?

Ask us! Just click on the orange circle in the bottom-right corner of the site and let us know!

I’m a creative who lives in Tokyo and I’d like to join Canvas. How can I do that?

You have two options — 1) Get invited by a friend. 2) Request an invite from here.

I work for a recruitment agency and I’d like to contact Canvas members about my clients’ positions. How can I do that?

You can’t, sorry. We work hard to protect our members from recruiter spam.

I’m an HR member of a creative agency or startup. Can I join Canvas?

Honestly, we haven’t worked out a policy for this situation yet. In some cases it’s possible, so please get in touch and let’s talk!

Creating your profile and sharing your creations

When creating my profile it says that I have to choose a profession, but I do more than one thing (e.g. photography, copywriting and graphic design). What should I do?

We’re aware that this feature is very restrictive, and are working on a set of improvements to allow members to communicate more accurately the different skills they have.

Unfortunately it will take us some time to design and build a good solution to this. In the meantime, please don’t worry too much about this, and choose one profession. In the future you’ll be able to update this.

And of course, you’re welcome to share any kinds of creations you’ve made. It doesn’t have to be related to the profession shown on your profile!

How many creations should I share? And when should I post them?

There’s no specific number that we think you should share. It all depends on what you’re looking to get from Canvas. If you’re hoping to find work as a freelancer or a full time job, we suggest sharing as many examples as possible of your highest quality work. But be sure to write a good description! Businesses that look at Canvas to hire people are looking not just for beautiful stuff, but explanations of your process and how you work with other people.

We’d suggest that you don’t post too many creations at one time, however. We’d suggest one or two per day maximum. This helps keep you visible in the activity feed over a longer time period.

How can I include more than one photo or image for my creation?

Unfortunately right now our system is limited to just one image per creation. We’re working on a more feature-rich creation editing system for the future, but for now if you’d like to add more than one image to a single creation, please consider creating a composite image. A good example can be found at

Collaborating with Canvas

I’d like to run a local non-profit event, meetup or gathering. How can Canvas help me?

We’re very interested in helping local creatives start their own mini communities through Canvas.

For example, we’d love to find a way to support someone with starting their own meetup about writing, music-making, filmmaking, acting, software development etc etc!

We’d be happy to discuss the use of the Canvas name for such events. If that’s something you’d like to talk to us about, please get in touch with us at!

I work for a business or brand, and I’d like to partner with Canvas on an event, marketing activity, corporate sponsorship etc. Is that possible?

If you love helping the creative community as much as we do, we’d love to work with you! The collaboration must be appropriate to our concept and beneficial for our members. Please contact us at and let’s talk!

Many thanks for reading. We hope you find Canvas useful.

    Mark McFarlane

    Written by

    Director of Tacchi Studios, a Tokyo based digital product agency. We made, a place for Tokyo’s creative community.

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