Icelantic Skis are well known amongst the Colorado ski community and as they come up on their ten year anniversary their brand is becoming a well known name throughout the industry. These guys have a unique story to tell, they are taking a new approach to building skis: playful shapes, full-proof construction, and story telling graphics. We wanted to catch up with the artist, Travis Parr, who brings each ski to life with his unique artwork and enjoyable color palette.
What is your background in art and where did it all begin for you? How did you land in the ski industry?
My background as an artist is in Illustration/Fine Art. After receiving my BFA at the Laguna College of Art and Design I moved back to Colorado and started Icelantic Skis from the ground up with Ben Anderson and Travis Cook.
As a founder, was starting a ski company a perfect way to bring your art into the picture or was this a second thought?
It was a combination of both. By being a founder at Icelantic, I was my own Art Director. This made the process of creating art more personal. Usually doing work for a company means that you are creating someone else’s vision. But at Icelantic it was “our” vision to communicate.
Can you explain the process? From canvas to skis.
I create handmade pieces of art for the graphics at Icelantic. I start with this process then transfer the original image to the computer where I then showcase the essence of the story we are trying to communicate. The computer is a great tool to compile all of these original pieces of art on to a file that is then put into production.
Where are you getting inspiration for designs?
My ideas for the images come from ancient beliefs about life and spirits. Researching “tribal” ideals and the art they created gives me ideas to showcase these concepts- to tell an ancient story that has been buried in history.
What skis are you usually on and where can we find you skiing?
I’m a big fan of the 173 Shaman- it’s a great carving ski and also has a lot of play on piste and off. I also love the Gypsy because of the “shape” and how it functions on the Mountain. I’m currently skiing in Canada, Cali, and Colorado at the moment.
Have you ever been asked to do guest art for other ski companies?
I’ve produced work for other action sports companies such as 686 clothing, Loaded Longboards, and First Accent, which are great complementary brands, but my designs are exclusive to Icelantic.
Where is everything heading? I heard a little bit about the sculptures being turned into graphics. What else is going on outside of Icelantic, artistically?
I’m currently working on the 10-year anniversary here at Icelantic, it has been a great ride to this point. I’ve been transferring out of painting to other outlets that are apart of my artistic career, such as sculpture, drawing, music and multi-media. By taking this approach gives Icelantic and myself a more multidimensional platform to help communicate our story. I’m currently focusing on Icelantic at the moment but have gallery shows all over the world.
What is your favorite cocktail?
A nice big beer & shot of whisky.