Working in his Stacy studio, Todd Miska has become one of the world’s premier designers of hockey goalie masks, with clients including NHL netminders Miikka Kiprusoff, Evgeni Nabokov, and the Minnesota Wild’s own Niklas Backstrom and Josh Harding.
Not bad for a self-taught artist who claims a degree from the school of hard knocks. Miska, 42, has painted scenes for Dayton’s Christmas displays and for the movie The Mighty Ducks. He finally found his niche by accident.
He was a sign painter in 1991 when an employer from his teenage years, Dave’s Sports Shop in Fridley, asked Miska to paint a lion on a customer’s mask. He got two more orders from high school goalies who saw his mask at a hockey camp. Business took off as word of mouth brought players to miskadesigns.com.
Now his customers are 60 percent college players, 35 percent pro, and anyone else willing to shell out $575 to $800 for a Miska original.