In 2003, I founded Ninthward Skis USA, a freestyle ski brand, as a reaction to the limitations and lack of understanding in the ski industry regarding our demographic and culture. As a professional skier, I had the support of my friends, who were also competing on tour. I had no prior experience in business marketing or graphic design, but I used my illustration degree to lead the way.
As the creator of the brand, I had to wear multiple hats, from graphic design and print production to marketing coordination and production, to delivering market goods. I also did not have a team to produce artwork or graphics, so most of the work was done myself. My early process of creating graphics for Ninthward Skis consisted of giant pencil or pen illustrations. I would scan or photograph each piece and then ink and colorize the image, preparing it for layout and fitting it on skis. The raw look of the drawings was appreciated by everyone involved, and it gave me an understanding of incorporating analog work into graphic design and integrating it into the production process of ski manufacturing. We used screen printing or sublimation depending on the look we were trying to achieve.