On today’s episode of The Firn Line, we’ll get to know northwest based artist and mountain guide – Craig Muderlak.  

I first got to know Craig through his amazing illustrations in Chris Kalman’s excellent book, As Above, So Below.  His work is emotional and moody – but also uplifting and joyful at the same time.  If you’ve spent time in the mountains – or live for pure moments in nature with friends or family – his work will certainly speak to you.

When Covid 19 hit back in the spring, and lockdowns started going into effect – it hit us all.  I mean, it’s still hitting us all.  I know for myself, I went through a period of immense creativity – making music and producing multiple podcast episodes.  I felt like I needed to contribute something to the community.  But part of this push to create was inspired by seeing what others were doing – and Craig was one of the people who I drew inspiration from.  His series of pieces called ‘How To Be Alone’ are odes to memories in the mountains.  From mount Robson, To Half Dome, To Mount Rainier, To the valley of 10 peaks – looking at Craig’s work, you can almost touch the rock, hear the water trickle through the glaciers, smell the wildflowers waft through the valleys, and feel the presence of undeniable beauty in your soul.

Last month I sat down with Craig for an enjoyable conversation about his process as an artist, his life as a mountain guide, husband and newly-minted father – and the challenges of making a living as an artist – especially in the time of Covid 19.  We started out the conversation talking about Craig’s childhood, and what some of his early inspirations were.