Brooklyn Bell is an artist and graphic designer who lives in Bellingham, Washington. Her beautiful mountainscape art is featured on our Lupine skis. Recently we spoke with Brooklyn and learned about how art powered her growth as an outdoor athlete, her work creating and advocating for a diverse community in outdoor sports, and the tools that have helped her find a place as a professional artist.
On the Lupine Graphic:
"It is an imaginary mountain. I really like to play in this world of the imaginary. My biggest concern with creating something for skis is making sure the skis really talk to each other and that they flow really well. Then, I want to make sure that the skis hold a certain kind of energy and a certain feeling as well."
"They have a lot of feminine energy. They're pink. But also really badass. They're strong and I think they have a lot of clarity and power."
On the relationship between skiing, mountain biking and her art:
"In the beginning I was still kind of figuring out skiing and getting into mountain biking and outdoor sports in general and trying to figure out who I was and navigate all these things. Art for me was like a to-do list and it was almost a vision of who I wanted to become. I had somebody tell me that in my early art it looks like I'm looking up to the mountains, or they're really far away. Now I'm on top of the peak looking down or out."
Photo: Matt Roebke
On lines in her work:
"People always see the topo. I have had some folks tell me that my art look like thumb prints and I kind of like that explanation better. I like the idea that they're thumb prints and that we're connected to the mountains in this really special way."
On the best tools for aspiring artists:
"My computer is a really powerful tool. But the biggest tool I've used is I have a bunch of different notebooks. I have a notebook for skiing and biking and I keep track of all the days I ride my bike or all the days that I ski. Then I have a normal notebook that I jot down ideas in little moments. Then I have my drawing notebook. Between the three of those, cross referencing them and checking in with myself - really taking the time to notice the small moments - I'm able to find so much inspiration for art or deep meaningful messages being inward, even if it's just every other day. Just keeping track of things is a really good tool."
Photo: Matt Roebke
On working on skis:
"With creating topsheets for these skis I just imagine somebody is going to be skiing them for a long time and passing them down to a sister or a newer skier. I think the life of skis is really cool. They will be around for a long time, stories will be associated with them. I hope that's what happens with these skis, that they end up being what someone needs and then that person inspires another person."
On diversity in skiing:
"I want there to be a legacy for black folks in skiing and snowboarding. Maybe if that legacy isn't there I can help start it and cataloging it."
"It's really good for the ski community to see that there are people who are black and brown out there. People need to see it's not just happening in climbing and hiking. There's a huge need for visibility in the other sports."
Brooklyn recommends that you keep an eye on these organizations and athletes of color who are making an impact in our sport:
All Mountain Brothers: Great place to get inspired and connect with POC in all disciplines on mountain biking. Instagram: @Allmountainbrothers
Hans Frederick: Freeskier and badass from Bergen Instagram: @Hansbjarkoy
Markus Fohr: Skier who just released a sweet edit with Faction Instagram: @Markusfohr
Kiana Marie Busey: Artist and snowboarder from Leavenworth. Brooklyn was recently a member of a panel for She Jumps who awarded Kiana an Ikon Pass as part of their effort to provide the tools to grow the participation of WOC in snowsports. Instagram: @kianasmiless
Vasu Sojitra: A big mountain skier and ski mountaineer from Bozeman. The biggest advocate for POC and especially WOC in outdoorspaces. He is someone who stands up for what is right despite what people think or what will please his sponsors. Instagram: @Vasu_Sojitra
You can Find Brooklyn on Instagram @Badgal_Brooky and at her website: