“I’m always inspired, by meeting new folk, going to new places, and by every situation I find myself in,” reckons Schoph. “I don’t like to be in the same place for too long. I think that’s important for me”.
It’s something that certainly comes across in Schoph’s life and work. Schoph lives it, and is the perfect example of somebody for whom shredding and art go hand in hand. He’s spent the last decade travelling the world and pursuing his passion for both, whether as a pro rider based in the French Alps, or as as an artist painting and exhibiting his work in group exhibitions across the UK, Europe and the US.
And the Doncaster-born shred artist is currently on a proper roll. As well as collaborating with RhythmLivin and Dragon on signature ranges, he has shows in Munich, Beverly Hills, Venice Beach, New York and LA on his CV. We caught up with him to talk influences, keeping it fresh and how you need to make sure you don’t grow out of creativity as you grow older.
What came first for you, art or snowboarding?
Art’s always been with me, since I can remember. I know this because my parents recently retiled their kitchen and found old doodles that I did when I was about five years old. I guess it’s the first thing we all do, pick up a crayon and draw. I didn’t talk ’till a late age, but I drew on anything I could. I think maybe it wound my parents up for a while, until I finally decided to open my trap and speak.
I think everyone’s an artist, or creative, or whatever you want to call it. At some point in everyone’s life they created something; a drawing, a painting, a sculpture or whatever, and someone’s been stoked on it. Like when you see finger paintings stuck on a fridge door with magnets. To me that’s raw art and I love to see that. Folk say “I can’t draw or paint,” and I think for some that’s a real shame, I guess as people get older they grow into new things and experiences and a lot of that is lost. I never formally studied art and I’m fortunate still to have it in my life.
Snowboarding hit me when I was about twelve. Back then I loved the rebel/punk/thrash thing shredding had. I was a proper keen-head, reading shred mags in school, getting bollockings all the time. All I wanted to do was get out to the mountains and shred. I remember watching Volcom’s The Garden over and over again. It was the sickest thing I’d ever seen! Finally my dad hid it from me because he wanted to watch Blockbusters! Chuffing Bob Holness!
Then Sheffield dryslope opened up and that was that. My older brother had just passed his driving test and we’d be up there more times than at home, robbing my old man’s gardening gloves, padded lumberjack shirts and that. God he got well pissed! I was hooked and ran three jobs to save up for my first board – a milk round (got fired), morning paper round (got fired) and a Saturday job at the butchers (worked there for 6 years – stoked!) The board was a 152 Noah Salasnek with baseless bindings – it was heavy as hell, and I was a tiny kid. Man, I was so, so stoked when I’d finally saved up enough cash! The early mornings and getting fired were all worth it.
What were your early art influences?
My influences changed a lot when I was younger. I used to paint and draw these, how can I say, cave man drawings? But with the actions on the paper, I’d spend hours doing them. From those drawings I learned to paint black outline work with block colors to make the picture. At some point I was introduced to the art work of Jamie Lynn and Mike Parillo, and I also recall the work of Neil Blender, Jim Phillips, Mark Gonzales – being introduced to all their art in a sense really opened up how I looked at art and snowboarding.
Were you influenced by snowboard graphics?
Influenced for sure. I love art and snowboarding.As well as the Salasnek board, other standouts for me were Brushie’s graphics, Terje’s Norwegian sword, Dave Vincent’s A-Boards art and all the Lib graphics.
Snowboarding is obviously a newer sport than skateboarding or surfing, but do you think it has a strong creative art heritage?
In my eyes, shredding alone is an artform. You know, there are so many different styles, fashions and ways of expressing yourself. Just like art.
As for board graphics, I have mates who can pick out a shred-deck they remember from back in the day which bring back great memories of a time in their life, y’know? You’re not gonna get a dude saying “Shit that plain white graphic was insane, I so wish I had that one on my living room wall, it brings back so many fond memories”, are you? Folk like seeing things that are aesthetically pleasing.
It’s the same deal as when you get a board and sticker it up. I know some guys who make it a proper military operation to make their board how they want it. People wouldn’t do that if art had nothing to do with snowboarding would they?
Maybe snowboarding doesn’t have the heritage that skateboarding and surfing does, but there are plenty of creative and artistic talents who come from our industry. Its only a matter of time before snowboard art does get its own recognition just like skate art has.
Are you into any other action sports? Do you surf? And are you into photography, film or sculpture?
Nah, seriously, I appreciate all kinds of creative outlets. But I don’t really have time or space in my life right now for anything else, and I like to put my all into to everything I do.
While you’ve always worked in various mediums – oil paint, spray paint, bitumen, collage element etc – some of your recent work has involved the use of a mixed media/collage style, and a great high gloss resin / lacquer finish. What was the thinking behind that?
I’m just mixing it up. I don’t wanna get burned out on one style. I wanna learn. Collage was something I looked at for a long time and didn’t quite get it, let alone understand it. I wasn’t saying it was shitty or anything, I just couldn’t see the deal with cutting up images and sticking them down with Pritt Stick. Then I realised that you can’t really knock it without trying it. So that’s what I did.
I learned that I really enjoy messing around with compositions and reproducing my own, but at the same time learned a lot more about composition and applying that to all aspects of my work. Its a lot different to the painting work I’m known for, but I don’t wanna be tarred with the same brush y’know? It’s funny, I’ve had some haters on the collage subject, and because I’ve changed certain aspects of my work, mainly from second handers that sit in the office all day doing the same shit day in day out.
What’s been inspiring your recent and current work?
Y’know, I really don’t know. I’m always inspired. Everywhere I go, every situation I’m in, meeting new folk, going to new places: I think that’s important for me. I don’t like to be in the same place for too long. Travelling further afield than the UK to work with other artists on shows and exhibitions certainly helps this. I also spend a lot of time on my own which i like. In my space, my studio, getting shit done with no distractions. But when the work’s done, thats my time to jump on a plane and get inspired again.
What’s your favourite work or work you’re the most proud of so far?
All my art has its own thing going on. I never really have a favourite. When I’m painting a piece I put all the inspirations and thoughts that are happening right there and then in my life. As a result I tend to get more attached to the paintings I’ve most recently been working on, I suppose it’s memories from that year, y’know? As for proudest? I suppose it’s every time I show work and exhibit – I love seeing folk getting amped on art and having a good time, I think its great to create a buzz around art, and it’s nice to know people have rocked up at a show and had a great night.
What artists or designers inspire you?
In life I find so many folk inspirational. I’m heavily influenced by how other artists work in comparison to myself to achieve the finished piece. When I hung out at Balise Rosenthal’s studio a while back I learned a lot from the trip – from his way of painting, to checking art out.
Other artists I admire for what they do are Ben Brough, Taylor Reeve, Haroshi, Jaybo, Tim Hendrix, Thomas Campbell. The list could go on. When I first started out my work was heavily inspired by Picasso’s later works, and present day by Dali and Pollock. I think your influences change a lot over a period of time depending on what you want to achieve.
Do you own or collect work by any artists?
I’m not a massive art collector, but I own some. A Mike Giant, a Michael Siebein. A cool one for me is one of Jamie Lynn’s originals – through his snowboarding and art I guess he’s been an inspiration. A few years back I managed to hang out with Jamie and his band Kandi Coded over in Europe while I was touring on the Dalikfodda Shithouse tour. As a thank you I received an original a few weeks later in the post. I think it’s cool to have art in my studio which is inspiring to me.
Describe the work you created for the Looking Sideways London show?
Elder, the work I created for Looking Sideways London will be pretty much an ongoing experiment. It’s my first actual 3D layered resin piece, something I’ve been wanting to work on for a while, so it is truly new ground for me. Maybe I should have practiced before sticking it straight into a show, but it’s working out. Although the nights of sleeping with the fumes of resin and the weight of the thing I could do without.
What have you been working on in the last year, since we last interviewed you for the Looking Sideways Wangl Tangl show in March 2012?
The past year I’ve had shows in Europe and the States, Germany, France, San Diego and LA. I’ve also been working on signature lines with RhythmLivin and Dragon Alliance and a bunch of private commissions. There are also new concepts in my work. To be fair, I’m a little overwhelmed by how fast its all moving. Its been super busy, but the kinda busy I’m into.
Any last words?
The harder you work, the luckier you get.