Our first artist is Sammi Runnels, cyclocross pro and art student at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). Sammi always wanted to be able to pursue both cycling and art and is really excited by being able to do both at SCAD. We asked Sammi some questions about her creativity and cycling. Read below to learn more about her and her pursuits on and off the bike!
What was the first thing you recall making/drawing/creating that made you think you wanted art/design to be part of your life?
Creating has always been a part of my life. My grandma was a costume designer and my mother owned a puppet company. So as a kid I was always sewing.
My art classes in high school were really what made me love creating. I specifically remember a time that I got really into using egg shells to create mobiles. So I would carve an 1x1 inch hole in eggs and epoxy the shell to make them hard and decorate the outside by sticking a special object in the center. I have no idea where I came up with this idea but I was really into it.
What is the most exciting way that cycling and art have come together in your life?
Getting a scholarship with Savannah College of Art and Design, through their cycling program has definitely been the most exciting way the two parts of my life have collided. I’ve always wanted to go to art school. Right before this offer I was considering quitting racing to go back to school, so it really worked out perfectly. I’m able to continue racing and learn industrial design and sculpture techniques.
How has art/design surprised you?
I think it’s been a really great surprise to understand how to put myself in a creative space. People say creativity comes and goes but SCAD has definitely taught me techniques to reach into my creativity intentionally and that’s such a good feeling.
The most surprising thing recently, is my draw to bronze pouring. I’ve always been interested in metal but I never really dreamed of metal casting. The first time I watched it I knew I needed to try it. And boy is it a challenging process. But I just really love learning all of the different ways of making and materials. Every material and technique is so specific and takes a certain amount of knowledge to execute.
Where are your bucket list rides and why?
I really want to do that ride from San Francisco to LA. I’ve driven the Highway 1 before but I’d love to ride it. I also want to do the Kokopelli trail from Grand Junction to Moab and the Baja Divide.
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