Local artist Zuzy Rocka has collaborated with Anon Optics, a sub-brand of Burton, to design ski and snowboard goggles as part of an artist series.
As a snowboarder, Rocka said the project meant a lot to her and is something she can now cross off her bucket list.
“I’ve always kind of dreamed that maybe one day I’d be able to have my art on something snowboarding, like either on goggles, a jacket or snowboard,” she said. “Aside from obviously it being really cool that people can buy it and that they paid me for it, I was just really thrilled that I can actually say that this is something I’ve done in my life.”
Rocka said she rode for Burton for a long time, and has been an ambassador for their brand. When Anon decided to do their artist series, they reached out to Rocka to ask if she would be willing to design a pair of goggles.
“There was definitely a lot of pressure because I really wanted to do a good job,” said Rocka. “They kind of gave me free rein, which is good, but it was also kind of hard.”
Rocka said as she came up with ideas she “scribbled them all down,” and ended up with a lot of rough doodles for designs. After bouncing ideas back and forth with Anon, they both decided on the design of a wolf trapped in branches, with the branches appearing to look like lightning.
Rocka also said she is happy the goggles are monotone colours and unisex.
When it was time to execute the designs, Rocka said she took a slightly different approach than most people likely would.
“I actually painted it,” said Rocka. “I did the two separate paintings on really long canvases. I actually used all the mediums that I use because I also did a bit of a dark watercolour background… and I put it all together digitally so that it looks like a stormy cloud background with the watercolour.”
Rocka has been doing photography and art full-time for the past four years. Although she has been drawing her whole life, she said she stopped painting for a while because she didn’t think she could make a living from it. But over time, she began creating art seriously again.
“It’s kind of cool because obviously I love the photography, but it’s really fun to see my art kind of taking off in the last few years with these big commissions coming up,” she said. “I’ve been doing a lot of really big paintings I haven’t released yet either, and I’m doing some work for the resort.”
Recently, Rocka painted a mural for the Nordic Ski Club to be seen along the ski trails. She said she also receives commissions from local community members for custom art in their homes.
Rocka will be a vendor at the Sun Peaks’ Holiday Kick-off Artisan Market this year, bringing smaller items such as paintings and drawings, Christmas cards and painted mugs.
“It’s pretty sweet that I can call this my career,” she said.