TOM SCHILPEROORT, paddler, surfer, designer and artist. Tom grew up the small coastal town of Fish Hoek near Cape Town, South Africa. Art became a part of his life at a very young age. “Both my parents are designers and my grandfather was a painter. They gave me lessons on things like perspective and shading way before I was taught them in school.”
Living close to the beach, Tom was in the ocean at a young age. He started surfing at age 12 and later joined the Fish Hoek Lifesaving Club where he trained as a junior lifesaver. This was the start of a lifelong relationship with the sea. He found real enjoyment and talent in racings surfskis.“I learnt the self-discipline that comes with having to train twice a day. I learnt how to race tactically and most importantly I learnt a lot about the ocean.” He would go on to travel the world with his surfski paddling, racing in places such as Hawaii, Mauritius, Australia and Hong Kong.
It was merely a matter of time before Tom’s love of the ocean found its way onto the canvas. ““The thing that characterises my work is the use of found materials like cardboard and magazine paper. I didn’t like the thin acrylic paint we were given at school, so I began experimenting with different materials. Like any coastal teenager I had piles of old surf mags, filled with dreamy photos of exotic surf destinations. It was a natural progression for me to carry the vibrancy and stoke of these photos into my work.”
“I’ve always painted, for as long as I can remember. I kept it up through school, university and whilst travelling. It’s an outlet for me to express some of the fantastic experiences I have had on the sea and whilst travelling and racing.”