'I'm Painting The Great Outdoors:' Ski Map Artist Reflects On Career
Art Business

‘I’m Painting The Great Outdoors:’ Ski Map Artist Reflects On Career

James Niehues’ map of Breckenridge. You know those ski maps that you’ll find at resorts? Artist James Niehues has been designing those for decades. Colorado Edition recently met him in his studio outside of Denver, and spoke with him about what it’s like to craft the maps, and what they mean to skiers. Interview Highlights These interview highlights have been lightly edited for length and clarity. Erin O’Toole: I did not know that those ski maps you see at ski mountains are made by a person: you. Do you hear that a lot? James Niehues: Oh yes, I’ve done so many through the years that they just can’t quite grasp how many I’ve done. I’ve been doing it for 30 years, and about 200 different resorts have my trail maps. Can you describe the process of making these beautiful maps? The most important thing is to remember that we’re making a map, so the most important thing is to make sure that it’s clear to the skiers how to get down the mountain. It’s important to also portray it in such a manner that when they’re on the mountain and they look around, they can relate to the trail […]


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