When it was time to freshen up our website to add that fire, we knew who we wanted to work with: Kika MacFarlane (she/her), a Jackson Hole based illustrator, animator, and designer who uses her art as a tool for social change. Her aim is to advocate for people and the planet through art.
Kika is behind the GIFS on our new website homepage and we wanted to learn more her art, inspiration, and creative process and we thought you would too.
Photo: Kika MacFarlane
CS: What inspires your art?
Kika: So many things! Time outside, emotions & activism, and mostly just an innate desire to put experiences and feelings into something. I’m very big on colors, so I love sourcing the colors I use from the natural world & time spent outside. I’m also so inspired by my community, being surrounded by other creatives and feel supported in my work always inspires me.
CS: How did you get started as an Artist?
Kika: In somewhat of a backward way! Growing up I loved art, but I also was in love with math and engineering. It took me a long time to realize that art and design activate the same problem-solving side of my brain that math does, and that pursuing art as a career is just as valid and important as pursuing something like engineering.
After I graduated with a liberal arts degree, I began working as a designer in the outdoor industry for brands like Patagonia and Stio. That’s when I really fell in love with illustration and began developing my personal style as not just a designer but an artist too. I’m now a full-time freelancer, doing illustration, animation, visual design, and murals!
CS: What mediums or techniques have you been working on, and why?
Kika: I’m a digital artist by trade, so I mostly work in the Adobe Suite & Procreate on iPad. I love the flexibility and range that digital art gives me - it’s magical that I can take a drawing and turn it into an animated world or a t-shirt or more. Lately, I’ve been really enjoying digital collage, combining photo elements with illustration and creating fantastical places that don’t exist. I’ve also been experimenting more with Augmented Reality (AR) - putting digital art elements into the real world is such a cool new way to be creative!
CS: What are you passionate about?
Kika: I’m passionate about people & planet! I really love using digital illustration as a tool for activism, and using it to speak out on environmental and social injustices. I’m also passionate about tearing down barriers to access the outdoors - I know firsthand how exclusionary this industry can be. At the end of the day it's just sliding on snow or playing in the trees on stolen land - no one has a right to be there more than anyone else. If my art can make more people feel accepted and stoked about going outside in whatever way they like, I’m happy.
CS: What do you want people to know about you and/or your art?
Kika: I want people to know that being an artist is the most vulnerable and scary thing - and that I don’t have it all figured out! I think being an artist is all about just taking a leap and putting things you create out into the world. You’re never going to feel like it's perfect or that you know exactly what you’re doing. But it’s the most rewarding thing in the world to create & believe in yourself!
PS: At Coalition Snow we work with a variety of talented artists to create the best graphics that you will love year after year. Check out the other blogs we have written introducing you to these Artists on our Shop Talk blog: Get to know our Creative Director Lauren Bello Okerman and Guest Artist Olathe Antonio who created the graphics for the 22/23 La Nieve Backcountry Ski and Sojourner Splitboard and Powder Board. Curious who’s behind our new Dangerously Good Pussy Sweatshirts? Then you’ll want to get to know Eliza Marie Phillip here. Don’t forget Grace Garcia who illustrated our best selling Shred the Patriarchy graphic.