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.


Samantha Woolman, the artist, designer, and skier behind Samuraii. Left photo by Josh Mcgarel.

Sam Woolman (Samuraii) is inspired by the outdoors and loves nature.  She spends her summers camping and winters hunting for fresh powder. Sam’s art is based on her own photography. She draws inspiration from the color palettes and overall mood that is evoked from the photos she works with and takes careful consideration when averaging colors not to lose the original climate from each individual work.

She uses activewear as the mode of delivery. For Sam, artwork acts as an extension of her mantra of living a healthy, adventurous lifestyle in the mountains.

What about skiing inspires your work?
SW: The freedom of being in the backcountry when it is so absolutely silent that your ears strain for sound is one of my favorite feelings in the world. Having a pair of skis enables me to find these small silences and experience the serenity of being in the mountains. These moments are the ones that I find most inspiring.

Have you ever put art on skis? OR thoughts on doing so?
SW: Ever since I was a small child I have been fascinated by both ski and snowboard graphics, and it has been amazing to watch the ski and snowboard industry change to one that focuses on featuring artists on their yearly lineups.  

Until this year I hadn’t really thought of having my art printed on skis to be an actual reality, but I took a plunge and submitted my work to the Prior Topsheet competition. Even though I didn’t win it was an amazing experience and I gained a lot of confidence and support from the community.  Who knows what will happen next year…

What’s your next creative project?
SW: I am always refining and redefining my style, moving into the winter I am looking to take everything that I’ve learned and push my designs even further.  

SBC: What do you hope people feel when they experience your artwork?
SW: When people look at my artwork I hope that I can evoke the same feelings that I have when I am alone in the wilderness. I am endlessly inspired by the beauty of the Coast Mountains and hope that my art can inspire the kind of love I have for them even for someone who hasn’t experienced them first hand.

Do you have any ski-related goals you hope to accomplish this season?
Every season my goal is to ski more, I’ll stick to that.

What puts you in your studio groove to create?
SW: Generally, I need to leave my house, there are too many distractions inside. Currently, my studio is all digital, starting with photography. I am most creative after a long walk with a sketchbook, camera, and laptop. I can pop myself down when I feel most inspired and put the pedal to the metal – if you will.

How did you get into art?
SW: I have always been artistic, my first memory of intentionally making art was taking the permanent marker and coloring the backs of my parent’s couches when they weren’t looking. Fast forward, I focused on art in high school and received early acceptance to Emily Carr Art and Design, where I received a Bachelors of Design. My schooling has definitely influenced my current style.

Sam in her happy place 🙂

Describe your artist style in 3 words:
SW: Organic, angularity, balance.

Describe your skiing style in 3 words:
SW: Deep, steep, repeat.

Current song on repeat?
SW: Anything from Emancipators “Soon It Will Be Cold Enough” album.

Guilty pocket snack?
SW: Not exactly a pocket snack (something about food in wrappers doesn’t appeal to me), but I’m a sucker for a box of Mac and Cheese.

Who’s inspiring you these days?
SW: I love following the local art scene. I find Aparent Clothing very inspiring. She has a new collaboration with local photographers which I’m really looking forward to seeing at the Whistler Holiday Market.

You seem to be very comfortable creating in many mediums, what’s drawn you to each?
SW: I have always worked with what is readily available to me. I have previously worked with watercolor and acrylic painting, as well as true mixed media art pieces. Currently digital makes the most sense due to space. I am the most comfortable with myself when I am creating, the medium is simply a means to do so.  

She makes the mountains we ski wearable. Design by Samuraii, photo by Josh Mcgarel.

Need more Samuraii? Check out her websiteInstagram and Facebook. 

“Art of Skiing” continued with Kate Zessel.

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