Art and mountain biking collide in Jill Kintner's Mind Maintenance contest.
In the height of the COVID-19 lockdown, most professional athletes channeled their energy into working out. Suddenly, Instagram was flooded with a sea of fitness tutorials from our favorite riders. Instead of teaching plyometrics, Racer and Olympian Jill Kintner used the newfound free time to get creative. Kintner grabbed her sketchbook and got doodling, creating elaborate woodland scenes and dream mountain bike tracks. As a mountain biker and artist, Kintner has often used art as a tool to memorize race runs and prepare for competitions. It’s also been a clever way to express herself at events, with her helmet and race kits being some of her favorite canvases to work with.
These days, art has become a welcomed mental break from the uncertainty of the pandemic, and the best part about her latest series of drawings? They’re accessible to everyone. Each illustration is a coloring template meant to inspire creativity. For the last month, Kintner has released a weekly template for her fans to color for a project she’s calling “Mind Maintenance”. At the end of the week, she picks her favorite masterpieces and awards the lucky artists with some pretty sweet prizes. This week’s prize, however, is perhaps the most coveted one of all: A custom-painted Norco Sight C2 mountain bike by Made Rad by Tony. It’s a chance of a lifetime to have legendary frame painter Tony Baumann create the bike of your dreams. The contest ends this Thursday, and there’s still time to throw your name into the pool.
Here's your canvas, what will you create?
We caught up with Kintner to learn more about her passion for art and what inspired her creative coloring contest.
Has art always been a big part of your life?
Jill Kintner: As a kid, I’d draw all the time, particularly these squirrels for my dad. But I've always had sketchbooks. It’s been my way of taking visual notes and learning. I tend to keep one with me at all times to write out little ideas, sketches, develop my training schedule—it’s kind of like a visual journal.
Kinter fully designed the custom wrap for her new sprinter van build out.
You also studied art in college right?
JK: Yeah, graphic design. I attended two different schools. First in upstate New York at RIT but then transferred back out West to a school in San Francisco. Bikes and art are like two massive passions of mine. I'm super inspired by any kind of design and illustration and have the tendency to dive deep into my illustrations. If you look at my biking career, you’ll see that the arts have paralleled it.
It seems like you try to incorporate art into your biking as much as you can right?
JK: I design all my own kits, especially the graphics on my helmet. There's a lot of customization that I'm involved in. I also designed the branding for my website, like everything.
I tend to choose brands that have a full custom program. It's almost my favorite part about going to an event like Crankworx is that I get to wear a new kit that I’ve designed. Yeah. I feel like I have power kits and certain colors make me feel a certain way.
Absolutely! If you look good, you feel good.
JK: You're going to perform better if you feel good. As silly as that sounds.
One of Kintner's specialities has been drawing the course tracks from her races. For this "dream track" kintner got extra creative.
I heard you like to draw track maps as a tool for racing. What inspired you to do this?
JK: Yeah. I used to draw BMX tracks I went to as a kid, just so I could remember them and sections that were good. They were basically little notes for myself. I really got into it. When I was doing World Cup races, it kind of just helped me work out my racing strategies.
I'd have notes for passing moves or my shifting points. It was really like a good tool, because it made me break down what I had to do at each moment.
They're a cool piece of art though. They end up becoming pretty detailed, which is typical for my work. I can’t help but make something super intricate.
How did your mind maintenance contest come about?
JK: When lockdown started I had this idea of making my coloring poster free and accessible so that people can print it on their own printer. Most athletes focused on working out. I guess I turned to art just because that's something, if I had more time, I would do way more of.
I released the coloring page and around a thousand people ended up downloading it and sending it to me. When Red Bull saw that it got the ideas flowing. I've pitched this idea to design your own graphics for a bike frame, and the winner could win a custom painted Norco from Tony. I’ve been working on this huge animation project—it’s a combination of illustration and mountain biking—and this contest is a nice introduction to my artwork.
How do you go about designing your templates?
JK: Red Bull went on my website and picked out a couple of the things I've already drawn that apply to my life. Like the coloring page was like a no brainer. Then the track maps are like, obviously, a big part of my life. The “what's in your pack” drawing I actually already did something similar for Freehub. People love Van Life so that seemed like a fun idea, especially since I just got a new van. Honestly, I’m most excited about the custom bike graphics. To win a brand new Norco and have Tony Baumann custom paint it is such an awesome prize.
The best part of this whole contest is to just see people doing it. Red Bull has some of the submissions up on their page and they’re all so different.
One thing that’s really iconic about your work are your little Woodland characters, how did they come about?
JK: I used to draw squirrels on every card I ever made for my dad. I found that the bushier the tail, the better. But honestly, I ride bikes for a living. So I'm out in the woods and this is my environment every day. I guess I just don't take it for granted, so the woods have become this big source of inspiration for me.
It’s a good day if you’re in the market for a new mountain bike. Transition, Yeti, and Commencal all released fresh new bikes yesterday (on top of the Specializeds, Cannondales and more Commencals that just recently came out). In what’s becoming a bit of a trend in the mountain bike world, both Transition and Yeti released short-travel trail snipers – what some may go so far as to call cross-country bikes – a new direction for brands known for their bikes that perform best when pointed
Designer and artist Peter Forsythe carved out a unique niche in the rock and roll industry, designing t-shirts for some of the most prolific bands. Peter Forsythe photo. We’ve all been asked this same question: What do you want to be when you grow up? For Peter Forsythe, the answer came to him at his first Grateful Dead show in 1981. The music, the culture, and community fascinated him, and more importantly, as a fledgling artist, he saw other artists making a living by selling their
This week in Women in the Ocean, we connected with activist and aspiring marine biologist Yassandra Marcela Barrios, who is fighting to protect her island's delicate coral reef. The Right to Roam photo. There’s a whole hidden world along the coastline of Colombia’s Tierra Bomba Island. Underneath the crystal clear water lies a labyrinth of coral reefs, hosting a multitude of marine life: fish, anemones, sea lilies, and sponges all in colors brighter than most artists' palettes. The first