Sept 23, 2009
Author: Roberta Rodger
It’s not surprising that a lot of top action sports athletes excel at some type of creative art form. You have to be able to think out of the box to pursue an action sports lifestyle and to get to the top level your creativity and ingenuity on your board whether it’s snow, skate, or surf help you to push the boundaries of the sport coming up with new tricks, finding new locations to ride, seeing an element in front of you as a feature to jib, spin, ride, slash. For pro skateboarder Mimi Knopp it’s art, that is her creative outlet when she is not winning X-Games medals and charging bowls and vert ramps or setting things straight for female skateboarders with the Alliance.
With a diverse upbringing growing up in Virginia, Cuba, Cincinnati, and Florida Mimi has been skateboarding for most of her life and surfing for over half of it. Currently residing in Oceanside, CA Mimi has been creating art for as long as she can remember taking arts in high school as well as getting her BFA in visual arts from Radford University. Mimi credits both her parents support and an early childhood art teacher, “Mrs. Sturdevant- she was an amazing teacher and really laid down the foundation for me on the whole creative process involved in making things.” The foundation of Mimi’s work is drawing that she mixes with other materials and collages and lately she’s been getting more into painting. Using bright colors and bold images Mimi’s work “pops’ off the page and really draws the viewer in with energy. Much like skateboarding Mimi enjoys the self-expression from crating her artwork as well as the freedom and creativity. Art has enhanced her life in other ways too, “It has also helped me learn what I am capable of, and given me a certain confidence to meet challenges head-on.” Many of Mimi’s sponsors are very involved in the art scene giving her a venue to showcase her work. Mimi’s work was in the Nixon Art Mosh this past year in Vancouver BC, and she’ll be featured in the next Art Mosh in NYC the end of Sept. Her work has also appeared at Tony Alva’s Exhibit A Gallery in LA as well as Nikita’s fashion/art shows tying in her artwork with her skateboarding. Along with good friend and fellow vert ripper, Carabeth Burnside they have created Hoopla skateboards, “hoopla was created with the intent to encourage both girl’s participation and progression in skateboarding, while simultaneously offering fun graphics for all skaters.” Mimi created the brand concept and logo and has been heavily involved in the development of the board graphics.
Mimi would love to work for more surf, snow, skate brands and with heavy roots in the action sports industry, a true passion and love of the sports along with her creative talent it’s a path that can be achieved. Focusing on art shows, freelance work, and keeping that connection to skateboarding and action sports pursuing her love for skateboarding on big ramps and surfing Mimi is on the right path!
Check out Mimi's website here
For more info on Hoopla Click Here
Combining her passions. Skate photo David
Pretty and unassuming Mimi's art speaks loudly for her.