First Friday: From city walls to snowboards, inside the mind of Andrew Schoultz
If you’ve taken a minute to admire the impressive new board graphics gracing Travis Rice’s latest Lib Tech line, then you’re already familiar with Andrew Schoultz. Tapped by Travis Rice himself, Schoultz’s work has helped the brand churn out some of the most unequivocally unique and interesting boards of the season.
We were first introduced to Schoultz’s talent via his work with Lib Tech, but this artist’s reach goes far beyond the snowboard industry; from large-scale installations to murals that grace 130 foot city walls, Schoultz’s art has made an impression across the country. Now, his finely tuned artwork will be gracing slopes around the world, turning Travis Rice’s Pro model snowboard into a veritable work of art.
On his blog, Rice heaps praise upon Schoultz and the board the two collaborated to create, stating, “What I’m most stoked about in the board line this year is the partnership I was able to form with San Francisco based artist Andrew Schoultz. I’m blown away by Andrew’s work. Andrew and I talked a lot about the pirate ship inspired piece prior to starting it. He comes from a skate/street art background. The size and scale of a lot of his mural work is incredible. I was already a big fan of his work, so collaborating was a fun process.”
Read on, and get inside the mind of this exceptional talent:
How did you first get your start as an artist?
I first got started as an artist when I was a very young child. My dad always made doodles and could draw really well, and I would try my best to copy what he was doing. I was also really into Marvel Comics early on as a young child as well. I would try to copy the comics and I actually got pretty good at it. In a lot of ways I feel like I have been doing art my entire life… There was never really a question about it. It has always played a huge roll in my life as long as I can remember and no matter what, I was always making things in one way or another.
What would you say is the main theme running throughout your work?
I don’t exactly know what I would say is the “main theme” in my work. On a very basic level, I am interested in capturing the overall vibe of what is going on in the world at the present moment, which in a fair amount of ways feels like chaos and uncertainty. Everything feels up in the air at the moment and in transition, so I guess that would be something that I would say is a valid theme in the current work I am making. I would like to say I am making work about something a little more rosey, but unfortunately we are living in turbulent times. As an artist, I feel like I cannot help but find the presence of all of this filtering into my work in some way or another
What concepts/subjects influence your work the most?
Most recently history and war are the subjects, and the cyclical nature of both of these things is the concept. It seems pretty direct to describe it this way and also very simplified.
Which artists have influenced your style?
I am influenced far more by people in general than I am by artists. Some artists I really admire are Alicia McCarthy, Phillip Guston, Ryan Wallace, Romare Bearden, Margaret Kilgallen , Mark Bradford, Xylor Jane,Tim Hawkinson, Hilary Pecis, Chris Burden, Paul Noble, Raymond Pettibon, and Robert Gober to name a few.
How did you get started working in the action sports industry?
I have been skateboarding since I was in the 5th grade and still street skate pretty hardcore on a regular basis. In all honesty I never really made a conscious decision to work in any particular industry; illustration jobs have never really come easy to me. I get caught in my own stuff too much. Last year I was very lucky to get the opportunity to create snowboard graphics for Travis Rice. It was a super honor to work with him on this project, and I think in the end, the product turned out phenomenal.
Tell me about your recent collab with Lib Tech
My recent collaboration with Lib tech was basically making the graphics for Travis Rice new boards that just dropped. It was an awesome and unique project. I basically had to create a large scale painting, roughly measuring 5 X 8 feet. The painting was taken by the Art Director at Lib Tech, Annette Veihelmann, and turned into several snowboard graphics. I had a few conversations with Travis about what he was looking for before I began making the actual piece. It quickly became evident that water would take play a primary role in the final piece, and that was basically the jump-off point. I felt very comfortable with the whole process; I did not really feel like there were any boundaries, and the trust that Travis put in me was amazing. A very rare thing in my opinion. I really love the final result and feel so honored to have gotten to do it.
From installations to paintings, murals to sculptures, you work in multiple mediums. Which would you say is your favorite?
I would definitely say my absolute favorite thing to do as an artist is paint giant walls in the outdoors. The bigger the better. I love working as big as possible, whether it’s an installation or a mural. Studio wise, I love making large scale works on paper that consist of multi layered collage, painting, and drawing. Last year Los Angeles County Museum of Art acquired one of these works for their permanent collection from The Mark Moore gallery. This was definitely a great feeling, to have such a monumental piece of my work find a home in such a prestigious collection.
Where do you see the snowboarding world and your art intersecting? What I mean is, why does your art make sense on the bottom of a snowboard?
Despite a lot of the serious issues I have been discussing in some of these previous questions, at the end of the day I am trying to create work that is fun to look at and provides the viewer with some sort of an experience. I believe there to be a sense of adventure and sense of utilizing what’s around you and becoming one with yourself. Sports like snowboarding, surfing,and skateboarding are all about this. Participating in these things adds so much to our lives, and opens our minds to so many new possibilities. It’s up to you and you only to realize your potential and physical capabilities. This entails really becoming in tune with yourself and your surroundings. A consciousness that allows you to really conquer mental barriers.
Any crazy goals or dream collabs on your mind for the future?
My goals keep on changing as I go on. Right now I would say one of my main goals is to remember to enjoy things while I am in the moment. Often times in the past few years, I recall stressing out to no end to get my exhibitions, murals and projects to the place I wanted them to be, often times never really enjoying the process and the simple pleasure of doing what I love to do. After the fact, I would always look back and have such fond memories of whatever it was that I was doing, but never really enjoyed it in the moment. Life moves by fast. It is easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of it all and is good to slow down some times. In terms of a dream project, I would really love to mount a major exhibition in China in the next five years.
There is not really a question for me whether to create or not. It is uncontrollable. It’s what makes me feel alive. Being an artist means freedom, and the ability to express yourself and for me it has also been an insane pursuit of goals. To keep on moving forward with conceptual ideas as well as figuring out the best way to execute and present those ideas. It’s a constant journey to bring what is in your mind to reality. This is something very special in life. It applies to everything. It’s no different with snowboarding. You have an idea in your head, and it is up to you to make that idea a reality.
Check out more of Andrew Schoultz’s work on his website: http://www.andrewschoultz.com/