April 7, 2021

Meet the Colorado Artist Behind Our Custom Veritas Skis

Artist Joe Palec shares the inside story on how winter sports and cannabis inspired his graphic design for the Veritas skis made in partnership with Icelantic.

When it comes to cannabis culture, there is no offseason. Long before the law turned friendly, for example, cannabis and winter sports had already established an intractable bond—the secret slopeside smoke shacks are the stuff of legend. Fast-forward to today, and it’s this rich history that Denver artist Joe Palec drew from when he was recently tapped to design graphics for a custom set of Veritas x Icelantic Nomad 105 skis.

Just as Veritas Fine Cannabis is committed to ensuring consumers find the right strain for every occasion, every time, Palec’s unmistakable style blurs a stream-of-consciousness approach with intricate, surreal illustrations—each perfectly paired to the project at hand.

Thus, when Palec was asked to lend his talents in putting a Veritas twist on Icelantic’s flagship model Nomad 105 skis, he turned to those who knew the culture best for inspiration.

In keeping with the principles that guide all elements of the Veritas ethos—a hands-on approach from seed to harvest, cultivation consistency, quality over everything—Palec has produced a remarkable, one-of-a-kind design. As for how Palec would describe his final graphic art?

“Dangerously whimsical,” he says.

Check out this Q&A for more on Palec’s artistic background, his favorite Veritas strain, and much more:

How did you find yourself in this line of work? 

I’ve always been good at it. I was always doodling for friends, but then about three years ago, I started to take it seriously, producing shows and doing commercial work. It’s been a long road but it’s been working for me so far! 

Do you have any major influences as an artist?

One would be Martin Handford, the artist behind Where’s Waldo. I’ve always been into that style. I like making art that people want to look at but hopefully where they can have some fun with the work too.

What was your inspiration for the custom Veritas x Icelantic Nomad 105 skis design?

Veritas is a cannabis brand, so I obviously wanted to work that theme into it. I also spent a weekend with some avid skier friends and asked them if they knew any ski terms that might qualify as a double entendre so that I could work them into the design. So skiing tricks like the Daffy Duck and the Truck Driver and terminology like “yard sale” [aka eating it on the slopes], “pizza / fries” [ski positions], and “park rat.” I utilized all of that stuff as inspiration for my design.

How did you start designing for cannabis brands?

Separate from my work as an artist, I also work in cannabis, so I know a lot of people and budtenders within the industry. There’s actually a lot of overlap between the art and cannabis communities in Denver, thanks to brands like Veritas, which is really active in the art community and goes out of its way to cultivate relationships with artists.

I also definitely need to give a big shout-out to Robert Gray [@robtheartmuseum], who puts together really cool cannabis-influenced art events. It was at one of those events where I was first introduced to the Veritas team. I’m so grateful to work with a brand like Veritas that is so invested in the art community and in supporting the artists that are a part of it.

Do you have a favorite Veritas strain?

My go-to is Cake Pop. It’s one of those strains that doesn’t make me freak out, which I tend to do a lot. It just gets me into a great headspace, plus it helps me concentrate and gets my creative flow going.
The Veritas strain library is your source for tasty options for any activity, conveniently organized by whatever experience you’re looking for.  

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