We are excited to team up with NW artist, skier and adventurer Gianna Andrews on this season’s Libstick series. Gianna’s bold colorful NW nature scenes are a little slice of home and the perfect compliment to our Washington made zero hazardous waste dream skis. We got the chance to hang with Gianna visiting her Port Angeles, WA studio to chat about art and life and working with Lib Tech.
Briefly describe your art background? (How did you become a full time artist?)
Growing up in the Pacific Northwest the outdoors have been an important aspect of my life since I can remember, but it wasn’t until later that art entered my life. I followed my passion of skiing to attend college in Bozeman, MT. On a whim I enrolled in an art class and discovered a hidden passion for it. However, my dedication to painting didn’t really develop until I had a terrible mountain biking wreck, resulting in a broken back, broken teeth, and abrasions covering my body. Confined to a hard plastic back brace for months, I spent my recovery at the easel, finding solace in painting lines instead of skiing them. I haven’t stopped painting since. Once I began sharing my story and art on the internet, things really took off. Art has blossomed not only into my greatest passion, but also a successful career. With my art, I hope to inspire others to become the best version of themselves and realize their dreams, even when they seem out of reach.
How has the Olympic Peninsula influenced your artwork and your brand?
I was so in awe of the vastness of the Olympic Peninsula that I decided to move here several years ago and really dig into my art career. There’s so much adventure to be had here, so I am always discovering something new to paint, from the snowy coastal mountains, evergreen trees, and cold water waves. I am beyond grateful to create in a studio above the sea and below the mountains that have really shaped my brand. There’s just something about this place that feels like home.
Flow state skiing vs. Flow state art: How do they compare?
For me, the sense of freedom I experience while skiing is very similar to that of creating art. When I paint, it feels like I’m exploring an outdoor scene without leaving my studio. However, skiing is highly aerobic and painting is stationary. The two really seem to feed off eachother in my life; I need both ends of the spectrum to feel balanced.
Is Van life all it’s cracked up to be?
Yes and no. I think it depends on if you’re full time or part time van life, and whether you are working or not. What I love about van life is the accessibility to adventure, having a mobile kitchen / bed, and the simplicity of being on the road. However, balancing work and life full time out of a van was super tricky, at least for me. At the beginning of my art career, I attempted to run my art business out of my 1986 Okanagan camper van. It was an epic and short-lived chapter, but I ultimately realized that in order to create large paintings and grow my business, I needed a stable space to create. After selling my first camper van, I’ve been the proud owner of several vans and am currently working on the build of a Ram Promaster city. At this point I would call myself an avid part time van lifer, but I see the potential for extended van trips on the horizon!
Obviously, adventure fuels your creativity. Where do you want to go next?
Well, I think you might have guessed it already, but once I finish building out my van I plan to pack up my art supplies, skis and surfboard and head down south along the coast to California.
Do you have any daily affirmations that keep you on track to achieving your goals?
I constantly remind myself : “I am a speck of dust on a larger speck of dust, floating in a void with other specks of dust.” It really helps keep things in perspective.