Skiing is an art. Painting the mountain gracefully with skis is beautiful to watch and to feel first hand. But what about those artists that ski?! They’re making masterpieces in the studio and on the slopes, impressive right? Our “Art of Skiing” series aims to get into the minds of these admirable humans.


Art of Skiing featured artist Kate Zessel. Photo by Abby Cooper. 

Kate Zessel is certainly a unicorn for two distinct reasons. She is sincerely magical in her work, but also ridiculously hard to find. Have you tried to hunt a unicorn? It’s no easy task. Kate’s either soulfully consumed by her cozy home studio or searching for inspiration in the mountains. Whether lapping the park, walking her wolfdog Timber in the forest, conquering slopes on her snowmobile or skinning up summits she’s always getting after it. On top of her radness in all directions, she’s downright humble about her work. Read on to get the first-hand account of this ski industry mover and shaker.

SBC: What about skiing inspires your work?
KZ: The Mountains. It is about the movement, the high scenic views, the peaks, trees, huts, wildlife,  the feeling of being so small and most importantly the fine detail’s that need to be accounted for in the backcountry. Its the whole experience that I try and capture in a single piece.

SBC: Have you ever put art on skis?
KZ: I have created 2 ski designs for Prior, a local Whistler brand and snowboards for GNU and Slash.

SBC: Where can we see your work in the ski industry?
KZ: I am working with Whistler Blackcomb, The North Face, and a few other brands this season.

SBC: What’s your next ski objective?
KZ: The big dream is to one-day ski Tantalus or Currie. This year I would love to explore up the Hurley more.  (These locations are in the Whistler BC area)

SBC: What puts you in your studio groove to create?
KZ: Going to new places and exploring helps me see things in a different way and keeps my experiences new which inspires my designs.

Kate’s work photographed by Abby Cooper.

SBC: How did you get into art?
KZ: It has always been a huge part of my day to day routine and how I decompress.

SBC: Describe your artist style in 3 words:
KZ: Intricate. Inspired. BC.

SBC: Describe your skiing style in 3 words:
KZ: Methodical. Passionate. Driven.

SBC: Current song on repeat?
KZ: High Five by Sigrid

SBC: Guilty pocket snack?
KZ: Koala Cone; 5 Cent Candy

SBC: Who’s inspiring you these days?
KZ: Right now it is my friend and new neighbor up in Pemberton Cristy. She spends her days with her two dogs,  touring, training for ultramarathons, mountain biking, growing and creating all her own vegan food while building a house and raising a family.

Kate Zessel skiing another beautiful line at Fernie Alpine Resort. Photo by Abby Cooper

Need more Kate Zessel? Check out her website, Instagram and Facebook. 

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