City Guide: Austin Artist Sophie Roach

Sophie Roach is an artist and illustrator based in Austin, TX. By utilizing familiar shapes, patterns and her intuition, Sophie has created a unique visual language based on spontaneity and rhythm. Her abstract style is playful yet austere, extremely detailed, and often vibrantly colored. When she’s not hard at work in her East Austin studio, she’s out traveling the world, sketchbook in hand.

She'll be customizing Vans gear at our Classic & Austin event so we thought it might be best to get her thoughts on the city. Click read more for her hometown Q&A.

1. What’s your favorite BBQ in Austin?
I’ve been frequenting the La Barbecue truck on South First recently. Their brisket is out of this world and they have free Lone Star every once in a while.

2. What’s your favorite boutique/vintage store in Austin?
I like Feathers off Congress and if I could afford it, I’d totally go on a shopping spree at By George.

3. Where’s your favorite place to hang out in Austin?
When I get tired of working in my studio I like to walk up the street to Cenote to grab some iced coffee and doodle in my sketchbook. For swimming and people watching I’ll head over to Barton Springs. In the evenings I head to the East 6th area where there are a handful of bars with great outdoor areas for having a beer with friends.

4. What is it like living in a city so artistically diverse?
We have a huge pool of knowledge here and not a whole lot of competitive spirit; the diversity has formed a creative community that is very supportive and generous when it comes to helping each other reach our individual goals.

5. Has living in Austin influenced your "tribal psychedelic art"?
I’m sure it has. I’m not sure how, but I grew up here so this city has certainly had an influence on the work that I’m doing.

6. Do you like all of the street art around Austin? Have you contributed to it?
There definitely isn’t enough street art around town besides the Hope Outdoor Gallery, which is a really nice spot to see the talent we have in Austin as far as street art goes. Aside from a couple paste­ups here and there I mostly stick to drawing in my studio.

7. What do you think of the music and art scene in Austin?
I find it really exciting and unpretentious, though I do my best to completely ignore things that are boring or pretentious. We probably have those things too. As far as I can tell if you really want to make something, be it music or art related, there are plenty of resources available for you to do so. If you just want to observe, you’ll be overwhelmed by the options on any given night.

8. What do you think about the Street style in Austin?

There are not a whole lot of situations that you have to dress up for in this town. As a result, most of Austin (excluding the notoriously shlumpy UT students) has a casual but trendy/creative thing going that I really like.

9. What inspires you?
I’m always paying close attention to the world around me, recognizing patterns, then encrypting them with the family of motifs that I’ve created. The more I change up the world around me through travel and experience, the more I tend to come up with when I’m back at my drawing table.

10. What’s one thing you can't live without?
Breakfast Tacos. There’s an insanely good taco truck across the street from my studio called Veracruz All Natural. I go there way too often to grab a migas taco with bacon and a kiwi­watermelon smoothie.


La Barbecue
1502 S 1st St, Austin, TX

1700 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX

By George
524 N Lamar Blvd #103, Austin, TX

1010 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX

Barton Springs
2201 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX

Hope Outdoor Gallery
11th & Baylor St. Austin, TX

Veracruz All Natural
1704 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX