Introducing Wyatt Hersey, the artist based out of Chico, California behind some of the new designs on our Yellowstone 150th Anniversary collection. With a love of biology, birding, and fishing, Wyatt's love for public lands stems from the ways it connects him with community and is the inspiration behind his work.



What's your relationship like to the outdoors?


I have a deep relationship to nature and all the things living on our earth. I’m most deeply connected to the oak woodlands and montane habitats of California as that’s where I’ve spent most of my life. To me being in a relationship with nature means understanding the rhythms of the seasons, the birds, the timing of flowers in spring, the smells of the oncoming fall, and the sounds of winter. In the same way we get to know a friend, over time and with close observation, we can learn the idiosyncrasies and intimate details that make a place what it is.


Why is it important to you that parks are protected?


The parks are the true commonwealth of the country! In his most recent film, David Attenborough calls for 1/3 of the earth to be protected in order to preserve a majority of the biodiversity on earth. The national parks combined with the other public lands in this country account for 28% of the land mass! I think that’s amazing and hope-inducing for non-human life. The parks are also a sacred place for humans to remember their connection to the earth.



What was your first experience with art? What mediums did you initially work in and have those changed over time?


I grew up in a very artistic family—my dad is an illustrator and painter and my mom is a silversmith and multimedia artist. I’ve been making art since I was a kid, but got more focused with it in high school. I started out mostly drawing, but later got more into painting and printmaking. My practice is definitely rooted in drawing.


When creating art related to the natural world, what most inspires you?


I think what inspires me most is that relationship I talked about earlier. The sense of belonging, or the sense of community I get from the non-human world is a big inspiration. I love the shapes and colors of nature too, often I will see shapes in nature and bring them home in my mind.


In thinking about the art you created for Parks Project, what message do you want to send with your work?


I want to send the message that the earth and our relationship to it is sacred. I want to celebrate the fact that our public lands are very special. They are the true commonwealth of this country.



What's your approach to creating art? Do you have any particular music you listen to, a location you most like to create, or a time of day you enjoy working?


I’m a morning person for sure, so my best time to be creative and generate new ideas is in the morning. After a walk with my dog I love to get some coffee and cozy up in my studio with a podcast or some music playing. Music totally depends on the day but could range from mellow stuff like Devendra Barnhart or Jessica Pratt to more high energy like Fela Kuti, Little Dragon, or King Gizzard. If I have a project to complete I’ll happily get to work on that, but if I don’t have anything lined up I love to start the day with a little drawing. I’ve been drawing on my iPad a ton this year which has been great.


How do you think your art tells the story of our national parks?


My illustrations depict the landscapes, their denizens, and the humans there to visit. Vibey nature time.


What does “leave it better than you found it” mean to you?


To me “leave it better than you found it” means stepping into the role of stewardship and mentorship. Many of us are passive visitors when it comes to the natural world; the more of us that step into stewardship the better the world will be. I also think the “campsite rule” applies to our human relationships, if we all commit to leaving our community, friends, and family better off than we found them the more connected we will all be.


Shop our Yellowstone 150th Anniversary collection featuring art by Wyatt Hersey.


Parks Project | Yellowstone 150th Anniversary | Shop Collection
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