While most of my contributions to this website in the last few years have been in the form of words and doodles, when I joined newschoolers I dreamed of being a ski photographer. I shot for various outlets for a few years, and even landed a couple photos in print, before I decided that drawing was way easier and switched over.
But, occasionally, an old friend from those formative years calls me out of retirement. So, this week, instead of sitting at my desk and cranking away at art projects and comics, I spent four days skiing and taking photos with Sander Hadley.
I got back to my desk Friday morning with SD cards full of photos that I can't share yet, sore legs, and stinky boots. And waiting on my desk was a pile of sticky notes with hastily scribbled reminders on them. Between shooting and editing, I didn't have much time to do anything else all week, so I just let the deadlines pile up and stuck notes all over my monitor to remind me to get to them.
I love shooting photos, but this week left me really excited to draw, like actually, physically draw, not digital comics or cartoons, but pens on paper. So Friday afternoon I sat down and started putting some ideas onto sticky notes. This winter I've focused on making my art bigger, doing larger scale projects that take longer and have bigger payoffs. So it was a nice change to instead take it back to basics, a pencil, pen, bottle of whiteout, and grey and red markers. No consequences hanging over me, no cost to crumpling up a sticky note and throwing it away, no pressure. Just making ideas physical. So here you go!
Over the last few weeks I've spent much more time writing, drawing, and thinking about skiing than actually doing it. My mind has run wild at my keyboard.
I haven't worked around other creatives in a long while. Shooting alongside the inimitable Bobby Jahrig was an excellent experience, and a nice reminder that making things with other people is a good change from locking myself in the spare bedroom and trying to be creative in a vacuum.
My personal preference always leans towards closeup fisheye shots, and hand drags are one of my favorite tricks to shoot.
There's something wonderfully contrived about trying to portray skiing as naturally and fluidly as possible while still trying to work efficiency. I love that dance between actual fun, good skiing, and setting up shots that showcase an athlete to their fullest potential, regardless of the quality of skiing. I'm sure it's a balance we've been trying to strike since the first cave painters depicted skiers.
And finally, the gig is done. Those last few pow turns out the bottom with the camera gear packed up are bittersweet. There's always more potential left on the table, more features to film, and angles to get. I've never skied off a slope confident that I've milked it for all its worth. But that's part of what makes this so addictive. There's always something to come back for next time, and for now, we can just enjoy the magic of skiing for fun, the sensation that started this all.
Drawing on sticky notes was fun. It's great to create throwaway art every once in a while, not worrying about if it will work on a wall or in a frame. just cranking out ideas. I hope you enjoyed!