Behind the Art with Mike Ennen
Mike Ennen “in the office…”
How’d you get into art in the first place?
I took lot of classes in high school and my mom would take me to lots of art shows after seeing my interest in it, and really it just sort of developed even further from there.
How many graphics have you done in wakeboarding?
It started with around ten boards with Liquid Force and then a soft good line as well, and now I have done the 6 ballistic boards with Slingshot.
2012 Slingshot Ballistic boards with custom Artwork by Mike.
What and Who inspires you artistically?
I’m extremely inspired by my surroundings, the environment, and the landscapes. As far as artists Jamie Lynn is a huge inspiration, and then there is a local Bellingham artist named Louise Zimmerman who is about 90 years old and still doing some insane printmaking.
Have you ever met Jamie Lynn (pro snowboarder / artist)?
Yeah I have. I have always looked up to him for his snowboarding and his artwork and over the years we have become friends. He’s a rad guy and his work is super inspiring.
What’s your process of creating a graphic?
First I conceptualizer the imagery. I like to bounce ideas off other people to really get the groove going. After that I sketch it on paper, and then sketch again on a linolium block before the carving begins. It’s a slow meticulous process since there are no erasers in carving. Its called reductive print making which means I actually print several times at different stages of the carving process to create different layers of ink and color. It’s usually around 30 hours of carving when it’s all said and done, and at the end I have several different versions of the print to send off which brands can then translate into graphics.
Several of the prints which have accumulated over the years.
Outside of wakeboarding, who have you worked with?
I’ve done 4 graphics with Jones snowboards, and then 4 different ski graphics with Faction ski. I also just got a sample in the mail today of a new jacket I did for O’Neill Outerwear…I’m soo stoked it came out great!
How did you score the gig with Jones Snowboards? Are you friends with Jeremy?
Growing up in Bellingham is a lot like growing up in Orlando but its all about snowboarding in B-ham. So a lot of friends are riders or work in the snowboard industry. One day out of the blue I got a phone call from Jeremy Jones. I think I was even watching his section in “Thats it Thats all” when I answered the phone. He said he liked my art and that he wanted to use it in his board line. Last year my art on his Mountain Twin was the best selling board so they kept the same graphic in a different colorway.
Mike’s art on the 2010 -11 Jones Snowboards “Mountain Twin.”
What’s the coolest art show you’ve been a part of?
The best art show I have been a part of would have to be the Collection art show presented by Scion. It was a traveling show that went from Bellingham WA, Seattle WA, Portland OR, Indianapolis IN, and Chicago IL. It was killer to show my art across the country.
Tell us the story behind your printing press…Didn’t Picasso use it or something?
My press wasn’t the press that Picasso used, but it sat right next to Picasso’s press, which is still pretty awesome!
Mike bonding with his 100 year old printing press.
What can we expect to see next as far as artwork goes?
I definitely want to get out of my comfort zone and try a lot of different printmaking techniques. I also want to push my use of color as well. Don’t want to give away to many details, but I’ll definitely plan to continue the graphic journey with Slingshot on the Ballistic series over the next few years.
Are any of your prints for sale?
Yes. Everything is for sale haha! On my site at mikeenneart.com , so if you have a favorite board graphic that I’ve designed hit me up for a print of it!