Travel Blog

19 Mar

Artist Kate Zessel: Slopes to Studio

Every now and again someone makes the leap from weekend warrior to following their dream, and Kate Zessel is one of those brave souls. She has gone from having to drive away from Whistler at the end of the ski day to living and working in the mountains full time as illustrator and graphic designer. Her drawings capture tiny moments of mountain life, weaving them into larger pieces that speak of days spent in the mountains observing wildlife, how the sun creates shadows on the peaks, the way smoke drifts away from campfires.

I think my art creates part of my life, and my life creates my art. It just all kind of ties together. – Kate Zessel

For Kate, spending days in the mountains backcountry skiing and touring provide her with both inspiration and energy for her art that returns to her skiing in a feedback loop common among many of Whistler’s artists.

Learn more about Kate’s work through her Zessel Designs website and for daily doses of inspiration follow her Instagram account. You can find her work at display at Cheaky’s Café, FORLISE and at the Maury Young Arts Centre through Arts Whistler.

Illustrations by Kate:

West Coast Illustration by Kate Zessel

Artist Kate Zessel: Slopes to StudioArtist Kate Zessel: Slopes to Studio


To experience the place where mountain adventures and art meet, visit during the World Ski Snowboard Festival and check out State of the Art. It’s a huge exhibition of established and up-and-coming-artists with live art demos happening through the week. And for more information on Whistler’s arts and culture venues, visit

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