Jennifer Schauerte graduated from MA Graphic Communication Design at Central Saint Martins in 2015.
She is now a professional downhill skater, artist, designer and adventurer, competing in European races in the Czech Republic, Italy, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Slovenia, the Philippines, China and the UK. Jennifer is currently number 5 in the women’s world rankings, and second in Europe.
Her graphic design work has incorporated corporate identity, music album covers, magazines and editing sound and moving image.
Why did you decide to come and study at UAL?
I applied to study at Central Saint Martins because I wanted to do a masters study with a university with a name and to extend my knowledge and skills in the field of communication design. Being able to stay in one of the most creative cities and not go back to my home country Germany pushed my career further and differentiated me from others. I am always seeking to know more, to learn more, to produce more and knew that the UAL had a lot to offer my academic career. It had all the facilities I needed to get started creatively.
Your final masters project at Central Saint Martins was all about adrenaline and how it can influence our emotions. Can you tell us more about that?
Starting to do research for my project, I discovered downhill skateboarding, which requires you to be an adrenaline junkie. After talking to the right people and going to several events around Europe, I got into the sport myself. I basically ended up skating and practising a lot. I came to know first hand what goes on inside the head of a longboarder speeding down tarmac mountain roads on a piece of wood. I felt within my own body how good adrenaline is for my emotional state and the balance between body and soul.
My project shows how extreme sports can relieve mental and physical issues. I believe that regular adrenaline rushes can treat depressions, maximise creativity, narrow your focus and help achieve a healthy lifestyle.
The only way of showing the lifestyle of this big family of skateboarders and the way adrenaline influences everyone’s life – including my life – was moving image. I made a film in which I experimented with colours, light and other materials for capturing the movements but also went deeper into the emotional part by interviewing downhill skateboarders on track and analysing my own emotional state before and after a run. Basically this project changed my life.
For the past 3 years you have been a Professional Downhill Skateboarder. What have been the highlights so far?
The adrenaline is addictive. The best part about the sport is that I get to travel a lot, see the world and meet my best friends – my huge skate family – surrounded by beautiful nature, where I can just be myself.
My highlight was winning first place in an important race in China, skating in the Philippines and reaching second place in the world ranking of the women’s category for downhill skateboarding.
In addition to your career as a Skateboarder, you also work as a Graphic Designer, and have even designed longboards. Can you tell us about some of the projects you have worked on?
My work as a graphic designer has been very successful as well.
I work freelance, and my main duty is designing for the creative production company that produces London Fashion Week, London Fashion Week Festival and London Fashion Week Men’s. Next to that I design for a leather suit company, that makes suits for downhill skateboard races. I have also designed for musicians, car companies and design agencies.
I began building longboards as part of my bachelor work in Munich in a workshop at a friends, who had started building boards himself and had the facilities. I basically gave the company a name, logo and it’s appearance. In future I will be working for a German longboard company Root, who are quite successful on the world market.
What are your plans for the future?
As a designer I would love to work even more creatively, getting into editing and film-making a bit more. I may even work for an agency for a while, although I love my freelance and jet-setter life at the moment. I would like to educate myself more by attending more courses, lectures and speeches and keeping myself up to date.
My future plan for skating is travelling and racing around the world, hoping to find sponsors to help me out a bit. Maybe with a sponsor, a little bit more practice and luck, I can become the world champion.