When Amancay Nahuelpan left home in Temuco, Chile, in 2007 to work at New York’s Windham Mountain, he planned on taking snapshots for the mountain’s photo operation. But the 23-year-old’s drawing skills caught the eye of marketing director Kirt Zimmer, and the transplant found himself penning ski comics for the resort’s website. After last season, he returned home to Chile, where Skiing Magazine caught up with him:
It’s too expensive to ski in Chile. The lift tickets are about the same, but the equipment costs a lot more. I never skied when I was growing up, but I learned to ski at Windham.
I fell a lot.
I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. But professionally, only since 2003. I don’t make a living at it, though. In Chile, the economy’s not strong enough. I hope to come back to the U.S. and do comics or animation for the movies.
The stuff I did for Windham was the first time I’d drawn something like that. It was hard to learn how to do the gear and the tricks because it’s not something I’m close to. But Kirt let me do what I wanted as long as I didn’t offend anyone.
Skiing’s a lot harder than drawing. For me, just standing on skis is something I really have to think about. But drawing just sort of comes to me. By the time I left Windham I could go down all the blue runs.
Now I’m teaching English in Chile. It’s pretty good. I get to practice my English and make money doing it.
I’m not sure what I’m going to do next. I might travel in South America. I might go to Canada. But I wouldn’t mind going back to Windham. I’d like to go skiing there again.
-SKIING MAGAZINE, November 2008