Jeremy Anderson grew up in an academic environment. His father was a Stanford University professor who periodically homeschooled his children because he did not trust the school system. After serving in the Navy, Anderson tried writing a novel but did not like the results. He studied sculpture at the California School of Fine Arts before moving to France in 1950. While living in the Breton village of Carnac-Plage, Anderson was awed by the rows of great stones there and became interested in mythology, pagan rituals, and symbolism. He tried free association to help him delve into his experiences, fantasies, and thoughts and worked with a variety of materials, ranging from Styrofoam to bronze. Anderson also appreciated the literary works of James Joyce and often incorporated verbal puns and visual humor into his sculptures.