I’m a sucker for a feel-good story of an artist who finds his or her work in an unexpected place, so I was delighted when New York–based artist Judith Braun emailed her friends and colleagues earlier today to say she had spotted something she designed in the hands of Sochi Olympic bronze medalist Kelly Clark. Her joy was palpable (not to mention emphasized by the use of Comic Sans):
Ok, so all I did was design the snowboard that KELLY CLARK won her OLYMPIC BRONZE on! …but I am bursting with pride anyway.
Braun explained to Hyperallergic that she was contacted early last year by Burton snowboards, and she conditionally declined. But the company was persistent, and she finally accepted, even though she was in the midst of a battle with cancer.
“When they first wrote to me, after seeing my Fingerprint work online, I was hesitant. I find some design offers are too commercial, and I have no connection to the product. And I have to admit I was not in the loop about snowboarding and Burton … yet. But between Google and some of my friends I was soon brought up to speed and decided to do it,” she said.
Soon after she completed her chemo therapy in July 2013, she traveled up to Burton headquarters. “Burton had some design ideas based on my work, so when I went to the headquarters, in Burlington, Vermont. I spent a couple of days drawing on site, to suit the size and shape of the boards,” she explained. “They had a studio set up for me and treated me as an artist from beginning to end. There was no promise or expectation about who would buy or use my board … it would just be part of the Feelgood series. So this is all a great honor and surprise to be connected to Kelly Clark’s Olympic bronze win!”
“Of course I had no idea who would choose my design at that time,” she said. “I hope to have an actual board soon.”
Today, Burton notified the artist that the board will available to the public in fall 2015.