The Art of Painting Goalie Masks with Morgen Schinnour

More often than not, goaltenders are viewed as a different breed from other players. While some people are convinced all goalies have a bit of weirdness in them, and others think they’re downright crazy, its obvious that it takes a certain mindset to want to don big pieces of equipment and stand in a net, waiting for bits of rubber to be flung at you at high speed.

This month, we talked with goalie and airbrush artist Morgen Schinnour from Lethbridge, AB, who does custom painting on goalie masks and who has painted the mask of Brynn Tarnowsky of the Calgary RATH as well as this year’s masks for the goalies Bobbi Mattson, Amy Clarkson, and Jasmine Leblanc of the Senior National Team. Painting masks has been a hobby of Morgen’s since around 2007, until 2014 when she began to turn her hobby into a business. Beginning in 2007, Morgen got her own goalie mask custom painted, piquing her interest about the process. After that, she entered the 2007 IIHF World Junior Design a Goalie Mask contest, and was one of the winners out of roughly 1500 Canadian entries. She says “when I saw a mask that I designed on tv and winning gold, it kind of sealed my fate. I’ve always loved art so eventually the two collided when I realized that I could put art onto a goalie mask!”

Morgen went to SAIT for Graphic Communications and Print Technologies where she honed her skills in design, but all of her airbrush skills are self taught. She told us that the biggest challenge in the painting process is the airbrushes and whether or not they will cooperate on any given day. “You have to make sure the pressure is perfect on your compressor and that your paint is the perfect consistency. Even the temperature of the room becomes a factor sometimes. When one thing is off your whole day can become very frustrating.” The hard work pays off in the end however, and Morgen says that her favourite part of the process comes at the end. “When I get to peel off all my masking tapes and vinyls to see the finished product. At this point I really get to step back to appreciate and admire what I just painted!”

2015 was a phenomenal year for Morgen, who managed to paint over 50 masks, including masks for NRL and Ringette Canada goaltenders. “When Bobbi Mattson from the Team Canada Ringette team got a hold of me I was thrilled and slightly shocked! I was trying to not get my hopes up just in case the plans fell through but once she confirmed that the masks were on their way it was just the best feeling in the world!” Once the masks arrived, it was down to business. “I got all three masks on a Sunday and finished all the painting on the following Saturday,” Morgen says, noting that it was likely the fastest turn around time she’s had in a while, especially considering there were 3 masks to paint in total.

When asked why she thinks goalies like to get their masks painted, Morgen shared that while some goalies prefer team based designs that match their teams colour and logos, she believes that most goalies like to have their masks painted because it helps reflect their very unique personalities. “As we all know, goalies are a somewhat different bunch of people, so it’s nice to have the freedom to show our personalities on our masks.”

A painted mask might show the world who a goalie plays for or where their allegiances lie. It might reflect their different personality or things that they value. For Morgen, what began as the desire to have one of these custom masks became a hobby that grew into a business. A job requiring lots of patience and hard work, no doubt, but not at all boring. As Morgen says, “now I get to do what I absolutely love to do, every day!”.

For more information about Morgen’s business, you can visit: http://www.schinnydesigns.com