ART ATTACK: Kups

Unmistakable style on and off a board. Kups has a memorable and distinct approach to life, riding, and his career as an artist that we admire. And that is exactly what landed him here, on a Snowboard Canada art attack feature – let us dig deeper with this dude.

Hi, this is a bio for Kups.

Ten years now living in Whistler, I grew up in Maple Ridge, BC. Grouse Mountain and Seymour were the go-to shred spots with the occasional trip to Mt.Baker. Twenty years of snowboarding and thirteen as a professional artist. I graduated from University with a Degree in Criminology and a double minor in Communications and visual arts. University taught me to how to learn. I treat every project like a class assignment and try not to skip steps.

Kups in his natrual paint element captured by photography Kris Dontas.

INTERVIEW WITH KUPS

How long have you been “creating” and where did it all begin?

KUPS: I don’t really know, creating is such an ambiguous word. I’ve been watching paint dry and snapping pencil crayons my whole life. It comes on in waves for me. The more I pay attention to my energy the more I realize that some actions are better suited for particular activities.

What about snowboarding? Tell us your snowboarding history, please.

KUPS: Right! I had a lot of energy as a kid and played a lot of sports. My mom did a great job of keeping me going. I was heavy into basketball and ski racing, then literally woke one day and decided to switch things up. Dirt biking, snowboarding, and surfing seem to be a better fit. Having such a competitive childhood naturally made me want to compete in these sports too. Took a few more years of injuries and chilling out to realize that I’d rather just laugh with my friends and enjoy what’s going on around me.

Natasha Louise photo.

What’s inspiring you these days?

KUPS: The first thing that comes to mind are my friends. I consider myself lucky to have such a great collection of talented and loyal people in my life. I literally just watched one of my best friends go on an absolute war path, change careers, learn how to fly a plane, and check himself into commercial flight school. I mean, I remember him mentioning that he wasn’t content with a few things in his life, then BAM, Captain Nick!

How much time do you spend on a board every season?

KUPS: I try to get up a couple of times a week. Usually I’ll set up my day so I can ride in the morning and paint in the afternoons. I’m also a chronic napper, so this typically goes something like ride, nap paint, and repeat

Best part of snowboarding?

KUPS: Snapping turns on surfy pow sticks in the winter and sunny day jump laps in the spring. Avoiding pile-ups, not getting landed on, laughing at near dead escapes, and respecting SLOW zones of course.

What is your primary medium? What other mediums do you dabble in?

KUPS: I’m all about the best tool for the job. Efficiency is the name of the game. Sprayers, spray paint, brush, airbrush, and digital media are all fair play.

Any work that mixes snowboarding and creating?

KUPS: Absolutely. I have a lot of shred buds that I get to create for and also really enjoy working with Snowboard companies. Top sheets, logos, murals, apparel, I’m down for whatever.

Whatcha listen to when ya snowboard and create?

KUPS: Could honestly be anything. I listen to a lot of music and cycle through genres quickly. I could list a few favourites but really don’t know where to start.

Kups by Josh Dooley.

Any sneaky projects in the works?

KUPS: Yes, Always. Pineapple and Palm Tree underwear for BN3TH apparel, custom shop shoe for The Circle Snow & Skate shop in Whistler, and a Limited Ed. snowboard for PRIOR Snowboards. Summer’s here so it’s mural season! Lots of outdoor stuff scheduled.

Quicky rituals for boarding or creating?

KUPS: Nothing to report.

Anything else you want to tell us about your process?

KUPS: I’m a big promoter in not forcing things. I’ve done enough of that in my past life.

Current Motto?

KUPS: Chill More Hustle Less

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