Inspired Design: Artist Collab - CamelBak & Wyatt Hersey
Giving Back & The Beauty of the Outdoors
Our drinkware is where the wild things are celebrated and supported. CamelBak partnered with Chico, California artist Wyatt Hersey to add his powerful color palette and contemporary folk-art style to our most popular Horizon drinkware. This limited-edition design of Horizon drinkware is inspired by a shared vision to preserve our planet’s wild places and wildlife. Each vessel features a vibrant land or sea themed piece that celebrates the beauty of life on earth.
To help give back to our wild places in these even wilder times, we will be donating a percentage of the revenue for every vessel sold to support The Conservation Alliance. Since its inception in 1989, The Conservation Alliance has helped save 73 million acres of wildlands and protect 3,576 miles of rivers. The Conversation Alliance contributes to grassroots conservation groups that advocate for community-based campaigns to protect threatened wild habitat and support outdoor recreation.
Want to discover more about the artist behind the wild designs? Continue reading to learn more about Wyatt Hersey!
Why did collaborating with CamelBak feel like the right partnership for you?
I've been a CamelBak user for about as long as I've been hiking, backpacking, and exploring the public lands of the west, so it was a natural fit. My first - ever field pack was a small CamelBak backpack that lasted me almost 6 years of heavy abuse and ever since then I've used the reservoirs with every backpack I've owned.
My backpacks have gotten me over steep passes in the backcountry, through long days of bushwhacking in the Sierras while working as a bird biologist, and they've accompanied me on countless road trips exploring the greater Western United States. I think CamelBak was also naturally a good fit because they're not only dedicated to helping people recreate safely and enjoyably, but they're committed to protecting the environment.
Can you tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind your design? Can you tell us a little about this collaboration? What inspired it?
The inspiration for the "Ocean Dwellers" piece was born out of a need to protect our northern seas. The orca is one of the most iconic animals from that bioregion and was an easy choice when it came to thinking of an animal that represents our need to protect the seas and its denizens. The design features kelp, seals, crab and forage fish, all of which are important parts of the complex web of life that creates the ecosystem of the Northern seas.
For "Our Shared Home”, the idea was to depict a land where people and animals are living in harmony. This piece includes many of the iconic groups of animals living in North America, with beaver as the centerpiece. I chose beaver for this design because they are becoming more and more a cause for excitement in the restoration/wildlife world. Their ability to engineer their environment is incredible, and their most powerful impact is to conserve water.
The beaver’s dam slow streams while raising the water tables, allowing groundwater to recharge more quickly, while their ponds slow water flow, filtering sediment from streams and tempering effects of large water events. All of these are important services beavers are offering us and the earth and they are all going to be more and more important as our climate becomes more extreme and water becomes a less stable resource. Surrounding beaver are meadow plants, a bird, coyote and two hikers, all of whom are living on the land together.
I'm really excited that this collaboration is benefiting The Conservation Alliance. Organizations like CA and The Nature Conservancy are on the front line of our fight to keep our planet hospitable for future generations. As David Attenborough said in his recent expose "A Life on Our Planet", if we can conserve 1/3 of the earth's natural ecosystems, we can continue living sustainably. It is without question that groups like The Conservation Alliance are doing some of the most impactful work when it comes to protection of land for the sake of biodiversity and for the well-being of our species and each other.
How do you give back to nature?
For the past 6 years or so, I've been a bird biologist in the summers, working to deepen our understanding of birds and our changing environment there, as well as advocating for more wildlife friendly land management. The organization I worked for was heavily focused on climate change and "climate smart" restoration projects, meaning projects that account for the future changes in climate and the ways we can help the land and the non-human life thrive in the days ahead. I also worked as a nature mentor, mentoring youth from ages 4-16 at a school in Chico, CA. Passing on my passion for the outdoors is one of the most empowering and spiritually meaningful things I've ever done in my life.
I have moved on to creating art full time now and I plan to continue giving back through donating my design skills to organizations in need, spreading the message of the importance of the natural world and it's right to life, and hopefully helping people realize that a connection to the natural world is our birthright as a species.
What was the genesis behind your love for the Outdoors? And how does this tie into your artwork?
I grew up in Fairfax, California where there is a huge amount of open space and access to nature. The initial genesis for my love of the outdoors began while growing up as a child in nature. I was fully awake to the real-life magic that is all around in the forests and streams, due to my own explorations and the mentorship of some amazing environmental educators. My feelings of deep connection to nature as a child were my north star in my search for meaning in life, and it's lead me to where I am today. Growing up with creative parents, I've been making visual art since I was kid and it was only natural that nature became the focal point of my work as an artist.
Check out more of Wyatt Hersey’s designs @wyatthersey