Past Artist Series: ADOLFO CORREA
(Although you can no longer buy Adolfo's ski graphics directly, we can get in touch with him to see if he can give one-off permission for his archived pieces. Please contact us for more details.)
Chilean graphic artist Adolfo Correa has not always been a creator—he began by being an appreciator. As a young child, he collected other people’s graphics by way of stickers, albums, and other everyday artistic trinkets. He has since followed this love of art and design to Europe, where his own art can now be found on music posters, advertisements (for little brands like Mercedes Benz, Nike, and Adidas), among other well-known collaborations. Recently, Wagner Custom Skis had the honor of collaborating with him on the design of four pairs of skis for the Traffic Artist Collection (named for Traffic NYC Creative Management, which represents Correa). Although not a skier himself, he was eager to take on the challenge and excited to share the results. Take a scroll through the skis he designed for the collection, and read about his reflections on his artistic journey thus far.
Wagner: Where are you from and where do you currently live?
Correa: I’m from Santiago de Chile, and I am currently living and working between Spain and Belgium.
Wagner: What do you think about seeing your art on skis?
Correa: I feel really happy about it! Since I was student I have always wanted to see my artwork in sport equipment. In fact, it’s something that I would like to do more often in the future.
Wagner: Tell me a little bit about your artistic journey.
Correa: I have to say that, due to my humble beginnings, I was not very close to art. Actually, I did not have the opportunity to visit a proper contemporary art museum until I went to university. As a child, I was more interested in graphics, stickers, albums, and music, but when I visited my first art exhibition, I felt in love with museums, art galleries, and expos. Artists like Alfredo Jaar made my head explode and made me aware of the connection between art and design.
Wagner: How has this journey evolved over time?
Correa: I feel that I am currently able to understand art better than before after visiting so many museums in Paris, Madrid, Florence, and Brussels. I’m now much more prepared to express an opinion.
Wagner: What are your favorite media to work with?
Correa: Analog over digital. I always draw on paper, even when I work with vectors. I do different grids and patterns manually before I process them digitally. I really enjoy working in different fields, but sport is the one in which I feel I do best.
Wagner: If you could describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
Wagner: What has been the most challenging part of your journey?
Correa: Moving to Europe and starting over was such a challenge to me. However, the most rewarding part was when I began to work with big clients—the ones I always dreamed about.
Wagner: What is the most memorable response you’ve had to your art?
Correa: I participated in my first design event as a speaker, and a number of students shared with me how motivated they were because of my work. Every time this happens, I feel very excited and grateful.
Wagner: What do you hope people gain from your work?
Correa: A fresh and enjoyable view.
Wagner: What is your biggest inspiration?
Correa: The more I read about Japanese culture, the more I love it. The funny thing is that almost all my favorite artists were strongly influenced by Japanese art, and I didn’t know it until I immersed myself in the history.
Wagner: Was there a particular moment when you realized you wanted to make art your profession?
Correa: I never took my future too seriously, even now. For this reason, I never had problems with spending hours and hours drawing a portrait or days researching and creating designs on my computer. I just decided to study graphic design and I never really cared about failing or getting bad marks. I think that was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made because that allowed me to better explore.
Wagner: Do you have advice for other burgeoning artists?
Correa: Never stop seeking.
About the Artist:
Adolfo’s work is bright, patterned, and representative of the playful nature he strives for in both his life and his art. He enjoys variety, from his detailed and realistic portraits to his loud and colorful animations and posters. The intersection of design and art is what inspires him, and he values being able to create a new visual language with each piece, communicating with each viewer in a different and ideally profound way. He designs for such clientele as Mercedes Benz, Nike, Adidas, McDonalds, the International Basketball Association (FIBA), and Corona. He studied graphic design at the University of Chile, near where he grew up, and currently splits his time between Spain and Belgium.
Article by Caleigh Smith
Caleigh Smith has written for many online publications, including Colorado Ski Country USA and Teton Gravity Research. Although her dreams of becoming the next great female telemark skier have begun to dissolve, along with the menisci in her knees, her dreams of becoming a freelance adventure journalist have thankfully landed her in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It is here that she has finally been able to incorporate her love of skiing into her professional life.