One thing that fills our cup is getting to work with incredibly talented artists for our ski and snowboard topsheet designs. For our 22/23 La Nieve and Sojourner Solid and Splitboard top sheets, we asked Olathe Antonio (she/her) aka @olathesart to join our team as a guest artist.
Olathe describes her art as “nature and culture with a dash of fantasy.” She is a proud Diné and Shawnee artist, based in and around the Navajo region. We were struck by her illustrations, inspired by the natural world. We caught up with Olathe so that we could introduce to you the woman behind our latest ski and snowboard illustrations.
Jacinta: Tell me a little bit about yourself, your graphic design art, and what inspires your art…
Olathe: I am a 24-year-old, Diné and Shawnee Indigenous artist from the Navajo Nation. I work in diverse media including printmaking, pen and ink, painting, and digital media. Each art piece of mine has its own special meaning with inspiration most commonly drawn from my experiences growing up immersed in my culture with teachings of the natural world that we are a part of. Many of my pieces are completed through the portrayal of the connection between us, other beings, and the Earth. I enjoy conveying intentionality through color and delicate, organic lines.
Jacinta: What was the concept behind the ski and snowboard illustrations you created for the Sojourner snowboard and the La Nieve skis?
Olathe: This design was originally created to honor what is commonly referred to as “Rain Bugs”, “Water Carrier Beetles”, or “Ásaa' Neiyéhii” (blister beetles). The bug carries significance in traditional Navajo stories and is believed to have a connection to water. I have always regarded the stories and teachings related to Ásaa' Neiyéhii as sweet and wanted to create something that reflected that.
Jacinta: What was it like working with Coalition Snow on the ski & snowboard graphics?
Olathe: I feel proud to have been able to work with an incredible company like Coalition Snow. I personally feel strongly about being intentional in choosing which companies to work with because sharing art can be quite vulnerable. The values that Coalition Snow carries reflect my own so it was exciting to be asked to create for this season. I felt very respected as an artist throughout this process and I am so excited about what we created.
Jacinta: Thanks for everything Olathe, lastly can you tell us about your creative process for this ski and snowboard design project?
Olathe: Art has always been a big part of who I am, so much so that I would cover my body in drawings as a little girl. For some reason, bugs and winged insects were what I was drawn to most and I can’t say much has changed. Whatever piqued my interest when I was young has now transformed into the excitement of recreating/reimagining the intricate patterns of bodies and wings of these small creatures.
Designing unique ski artwork is something that we pride ourselves on at Coalition. We hope you admire Olathe's top sheet graphics as much as we do. Want more artist inspo? You can check out this year's ski and snowboard line up here. For more on our top sheets and how we come up with the best graphics head on over to Shop Talk and read our blog on our Creative Director Lauren Bello Okerman.