Meet Icelantic Skis' topsheet artist Travis Parr
At Icelantic Skis, which was founded and run by a group of childhood friends from Colorado, Travis Parr is the guy behind the skis' painterly top sheets. And this year he's doing something totally different.
Travis Parr went to art school with an emphasis on classical figurative artwork and hyper-real oil paintings. "My thesis was about running a business in 2013. This was in 2004, so it's kind of cool that the plan worked out 10 years later," Parr says.
New This Year
"This year, I'm sculpting, then taking high res photos of the sculptures, and then creating topsheets from those images," Parr says. "You can't really tell that they're sculptures. Most people think they're still paintings."
Icelantic founder Ben Anderson went to engineering school then decided to focus on skiing. He bought an old K2 ski press and moved back to Colorado to start prototyping skis. Parr went to high school with Anderson in Evergreen, Colo., and was a natural fit to join the company.
"I always have my idea for the art first," Parr says. "I'll put it together and then I get to open up Pandora's box to them. What I love about working with those guys is the freedom and the trust."
"I always have a vertical format in mind, but I don't limit myself to thinking about it going on a topsheet," Parr says. "I create a piece of artwork for the sake of art, but I cater toward the scale and form. I got lucky because it's a format that I love to design."
"My favorite graphic was the Da'Nollie from the first year," Parr says. "It's a Masai warrior jumping over Kilimanjaro. I really like that one because I think it aligns the culture's belief and the park kids' belief. They're praising the same thing."
"This year's Gypsy is a wood carving with eyeballs that are inlaid with abalone shell," Parr says. "It has an actual fish tank on top with a living fish in it. The idea is that you have to feed your brain. The fish represents life."
"We're an independent brand," Parr says about Icelantic. "Skiing has its mafia. It's been fun to infiltrate the world of skiing."