Inspired by Climbing: Illustrating with Abbey Lossing

Abbey Lossing is a senior at Syracuse University where she is majoring in illustration. Growing up in Columbus, Ohio she says, “It was a good place to grow up, but by the time I was applying for colleges I was ready for a change of scenery and needed some topography.” At Syracuse she joined the outing club, and with a similar story that sounds the same to many of us, she was introduced to climbing and hooked. “Every weekend I would leave to climb in the Southern Adirondacks or The Gunks,” Lossing says.”When I would get back on Sunday, I’d spend all night catching up homework.”

For the last two summers she has packed up her Subaru Forester and boyfriend and traveled across the country climbing at places like Devils Tower, Squamish, Smith Rock and Ten Sleep. “Climbing has allowed me to see so many beautiful places, and meet so many wonderful people,” Lossing says. “It is these experiences that have had the greatest impact on my art.”

Her art is certainly a spectacle worth sharing. Below are a few examples of her work. You can find more of Abbey’s illustrations on her tumblr blog.


The title of this print is “The Approach.” Walking up to the base of a mountain to hike or climb to its summit can be an overwhelming and humbling experience. The summit is always in sight, and to me it always seems so untouchable. This print is and Intaglio Mezzo-Tint. (For this process I prepare the surface with a piece of copper and burnish my drawing onto the surface using the dull end of a needle, then I can put ink onto the surface of the plate and transfer the image to paper.)


This piece was done as part of a series of illustrations that I created to depict an Alaskan version of the story of Cinderella. I created this piece digitally.


The title of this print is “My Summer Home”. It was inspired by the first summer I spent on the road climbing. My summer home was wherever my tent was pitched. This print is also an Intaglio Mezzo-Tint.


The title of this print is “The Mountaineers”. I went ice climbing last winter and I liked how the brittle ice contrasted with the soft fullness of the snow. I wanted to illustrate two climbing partners silhouetted by the white forms of these mountains, with contrasting patterns representing ice and snow. This print is a Lithograph. I used a grease-crayon to draw onto a special type of stone and then was able to transfer the drawing onto paper using the stone.


I have Tibetan prayer flags hanging on my porch, their colors and the way they blow in the wind has always caught my attention. I’ve seen pictures of the base-camp of Everest and I think all of the flags with the backdrop the mountain make a beautiful image. I wanted to illustrate a stylized version of this landscape. I created this piece digitally.


Comments are closed.