Crowned Queen of Crankworx on numerous occasions and a four-time UCI MTB 4-Cross World Champion, Kintner is a true legend on two wheels. And although her path to becoming a champion mountain biker is not unlike many other talented riders, her journey was influenced by one factor that had nothing to do with the bike at all. Instead, it has a lot to do with that all-important flow: her art.
Kintner grew up in the US state of Washington and competed in BMX for much of her life. But when it came time for her to attend college, she chose to study design at New York’s Rochester Institute of Technology and then the California College of Arts in San Francisco.
It was during this time that she fell in love with mountain biking and how it allowed her to be in nature more than BMX ever had. School filled her days, but every chance Kintner got, she escaped to go ride her bike in the woods. Her priorities soon shifted as she saw more and more progression on her bike.
In a leap of faith, Kintner decided to go all in on mountain biking. Two years later, she won a world championship title. But she never lost the love for creating that she’d found in school.
In an illustration class, she and her fellow students kept personal sketchbooks, not only to jot down their ideas and cultivate their own styles, but also as a way to communicate about work they were seeing around them.
Opening one of Kintner’s sketchbooks is like being let inside her brain. Pages of doodles of mountain bike outerwear, calendars and little creatures fill the pages. Her drawings are quick and whimsical, as though her thoughts are exploding onto the page. Kintner’s art gives the sensation that if you were to tumble into one of her cartoons, it would be the best adventure.
As Kintner dove deeper into the mountain bike world, the relationship she found between biking and art continued to grow. Drawing was not only something she did when she was away from the bike, but something she could incorporate into riding.
She doodled courses from downhill and enduro races to help her memorise lines and features. Her drawings became the best way for her to communicate her ideas to her sponsors and others in the bike world. This led to her designing her own mountain bike kits and covering her Red Bull helmet with unique doodles.
For Kintner, biking is creative on its own, but to be able to combine her love of biking and art in projects like Bandit Hill – a short film that features her drawings as animations in addition to her riding – is a dream. She’s integrated doodling and drawing into every part of her life in a way that continues to cultivate creativity and relationships, and inspire others to do the same in their own lives.
For this talented rider, one of the best parts of being creative is finding a flow state of being completely immersed and focused. For Kintner, drawing is not only relaxing but provides a way to work through her thoughts and come up with solutions to things in life.
“The more in-depth you go, the more you could surprise yourself,” Kintner says. “Once you put a pen to paper, it brings your ideas out of your head and into something more real, and it makes you feel good.”
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