“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 Berlin, Beverly Hills, Austin, New York and San Francisco on his CV. We caught up with him to talk influences, creativity 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 caveman drawings I’d spend hours doing them. From those drawings I learned to paint black outline work with block colours to make the picture. At some point I was introduced to the artwork of Jamie Lynn and Mike Parillo, and the work of Neil Blender, Jim Phillips and 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.