Behind the Scenes: the evo-exclusive Lib Tech Wunderstick Skis
Lib Tech and evo have been long-time partners in the snowsports industry, dating back to the first Mervin gallery in our original Seattle store. As last winter came to a close, the stoke was high and both brands were looking for a way to give the long standing relationship a unique spin. At the time, Lib Tech was re-launching their ski line and we were looking for a ski shape that currently didn’t exist in the line: a 104-108mm waist ski with subtle tip & tail rocker. Combine that with Lib’s Mini-Mag tech and a notched tail for easy climbing skin attachment, and this really became something special. Of course it needed to look good, so we graced it with the adventure-inspiring artwork of local Seattle artist Mimi Kvinge and the Lib Tech Wunderstick was born!
We caught up with Mimi as we visited Lib Tech’s office across the street from our Seattle store – taking a first look at the skis before they hit production.
How did you get hooked up with evo?
Long before I ever worked at or with evo, I regularly frequented the store as a customer. Regular visits lead to a friendliness with the staff and soon I found myself officially part of the team. Freelance art can be a rather lonely road since it involves so much time working alone, but through collaborations with evo and a season working part-time in the shop I found a home-base for both my work and myself. The sense of community and appreciation for both skiing and art has made it an obvious fit for my own personal interests and values.
So, now you are a full-time artist? Did you always have a creative side?
I am completely self-taught so I have made it a mission to try every medium I can by holding a daily “art class” with myself. Like many artists who are not classically trained, I started with illustration. While most people know me for my large acrylic paintings, those who have seen my illustrations and/or watercolors would probably say I am most skilled in those areas. Other than trying to push myself, I have transitioned mostly to acrylic because of my fascination with color and the ease at which I can explore it within that medium. Next step is digging deeper into oils and sculpture!
Your art has been featured on a couple of ski/snowboards before – where else has it been?
I feel so incredibly blessed and honored to know that I have original paintings in 9 different countries and prints across the world. One of my favorite things about art is that it is universal. The way a painting or drawing makes someone feel transcends language, class, gender etc. Knowing that something I made with my hands is living in the home of a stranger and becoming a character in their life, is phenomenal.
With so many great pieces, how did you select this one for the Wunderstick graphic? Tell us more about your inspiration for this piece!
The graphic for the Wunderstick was a collaborative selection. It actually was one of my older pieces that evo connected with and the rest is history! When I originally created this piece I had first started to play with painting galaxies. I always exaggerate the night skies in my mountain paintings in order to translate the overwhelming and ethereal sensation of standing in the mountains under the heavens. The mountains are my spiritual place and that is probably why so much of my work features them.
Where are you planning to ski this season?
My dad is my number one ski partner (he will always be better than me and arguably cooler in general) and he only skis at Crystal Mountain which means I will be splitting my time between there and Stevens Pass this season. Generally Stevens has been my home mountain, but I love the vertical at Crystal and nothing is better than skiing with my family! Anywhere there is snow I am happy to ski.
What projects do you have in store for next year?
You may be seeing my work on several other “fun toys”! But I can’t disclose specific brands yet. Additionally one of my major goals is to build my mural portfolio which means my work will hopefully be popping up around the city. I have a children’s book in early planning stages and some super large canvas projects. Should be a busy year!