our story

creative by nature

Life is energy– pure creative energy

We want to pump up the creative energy for lovers of the mountains & sea.

MtnSea is a lifestyle brand based out of the Niseko-Iwanai area of Hokkaido, Japan. We make original art, limited edition prints and some sustainable fashion options.

why?

In and around Niseko, we are in the midst of much change to the physical environment, the stories we tell, what we see and how we connect.

We live in one of the snowiest resort areas in the world and are an emerging global tourist destination that is seeing rapid new development and investment. We are also positioned at very low elevations and the famous powdery winters are particularly susceptible to changing climatic conditions. Lastly, we've been hit hard by COVID, hurting livelihoods built on the tourism industry. In short, there's a lot going on and it's a good chance to reflect on what's important to us.

MtnSea's focus is on the natural order of creative expression - on canvas, in the elements, on a board(s) and shared with others. Our art and apparel pays credence to the idea that at Niseko's heart, beats a simple and creative lifestyle. We believe in co-operation over competition.

Connection to people and place, and enjoying the outdoors makes Hokkaido special to everyone who comes here. Our art spreads that message as we share and give thanks for the ride.

Niseko Eco Project logo

5% of any profits go to the Niseko Eco Project

NEP is a non-profit, community group focused on improving the long term livability of the Niseko region. We want to make sure the diverse community and their values and concerns are heard and that short term monetary gain for a few isn't the only determining factor for our collective future.

NEP: "We are an environmental movement aiming to encourage positive change by pressuring our local town councils into taking immediate action, to avoid tipping points in the climate system, biodiversity loss, and the risk of social and ecological collapse."

Community initiated, community powered, community funded. Check it out here.

designs that capture the chaos & flow of chasing waves & snow. hokkaido born & inspired.

Inspired by the likes of Lincoln Design Co, Volcom, the surf and skate magazines we grew up reading, the endless winters, bright summers, the animals, the ocean and mountains of Hokkaido; a plethora of talented artists and many creative friends trying new things around the world.

what?

The MtnSea brand was conceived over seven years ago. It all started with a desire to make t-shirts with designs that captured the vibe of the Niseko area, and that we wanted to wear. That first winter we sold our designs at local bars and stores out of a backpack and we've been at local markets and businesses displaying and selling art and clothing since.

With COVID still in effect it has provided time to launch the brand online and hopefully spread a bit of stoke to our friends stuck in other parts of the world who are missing Hokkaido.

We look forward to working with people and organisations within the local community as well as online.

Artists, writers and makers please get in touch if you connect with what we do or need a platform to share your work.

The beginning- first Tee.

A great little video of our backyard from Billabong and Iwanai Resort.

bring forces together to make something new, even if it's just small.

HOw?

Working out of a little home studio and with COVID locking us down, we've had time to think about what we are doing and our next steps.

Print-On-Demand is currently the most sustainable and viable way for us to share our clothing designs. We are researching and evaluating the environmental footprint of various means of garment production, printing and distribution from cradle to the grave and will share our findings and experiment with different ways of operating moving forward (For a basic start read here).

"First make it work then make it better"

We have new designs to be released over the coming weeks and months as well as new paintings and prints.

Some of our plans:
• Organise a local community beach cleanup this autumn with other keen community groups, and businesses and individuals.
• Collaboration with a local skateboard maker.
• Offering local art/design classes for kids/community.
• Continue to freely donate time, design expertise and energy to positive community initiatives (some past projects include NEP- brand identity design, and Hokkaido Splitfest - brand identity, graphic design and marketing).
• Keep it real and have fun.

Man walking along Hokkaido beach with surfboard
The MtnSea studio space
MtnSea brand image advertisement.
Luke snowboarding in Hokkaido