Meet the artist: Honey & Rust

We came to Viscaya Wagner, the artist behind Honey & Rust, to bring her whimsical and laid-back illustration style to three of our Catalyst collection prints - Hula Hoop, Nori, and Popoyo.

We caught up with her to learn a little more about her process, her inspirations, and what's queued up on her studio playlist:

Can you tell us a little bit about your artistic process?

It really depends on the project, but with illustrations, or more personal works, I typically start in my sketchbook. I need that informal format to loosen up and just get the ball rolling - it helps me to not be too attached to what I put down on the page. Another way I like to loosen up is with cut paper; I just start cutting shapes and arranging them until things start to work. It's very meditative and freeing because I'm definitely someone who has a tendency to overthink things.From there I bring my sketches and concepts into the computer and fuss around with the colors and composition until everything feels good and meets the needs of the project.

What is the meaning behind Honey and Rust?

Honey & Rust was born out of an identity crisis of sorts... I came from a very creative, artistic family and both my mom and my dad have very distinct aesthetics that left me feeling lost and confused because I very much identified with both. My dad is minimalist and modern, and my mom is much more intuitive and organic. So my solution was to marry the two things and accept that I'm both! Honey is for my mother and rust is for my father.

Do you have any studio rituals?

I'm not sure I have many studio rituals, although the first thing I do is put on music or a podcast. I think that's what I love about being there though - everyday can be different. I get to experiment and play and start all over the next day!

Top tracks on your studio playlist?

This is ever-changing! But right now these are my go-to's:

Seabird - Babeheaven

Radio - Freak Slug

Green Rocky Road - Bria

Baby Blue Motorcycle - Charles Brand

Love that you brought some island vibes to winter accessories – what was your inspo?

I really struggle, as so many people do, with how dark the winter months are - last winter especially felt really cold and icy and long! So my hope with these patterns is that they can bring some playfulness and "warmth," so to speak :)

You’re a Vermont native but spent some time in Jackson Hole, WY and Brooklyn – why’d you decide to return to VT?

It was a really long, hard decision born out of COVID - as I'm sure a lot of people can relate to! My partner and I were living in Brooklyn when the pandemic started and really didn't have plans to leave anytime soon. But as things got really serious we decided to go back to VT and stay with our families while things passed... which is such a joke to think about now because we truly thought we were leaving for 3 weeks or something crazy like that. But as things kept getting worse we kept wanting to stay in Vermont where we could be outside and be close to our loved ones. We really struggled with knowing what the right path was but ultimately felt so safe and happy with the community here that we gave up our apartment and moved back full time. Coming home was always the end goal, it just happened a little sooner than expected! But such is life, as I'm coming to learn!

Maple Creemee or Vermont Cheddar?

How could you make me choose?! Gun to my head I'd have to say Creemee... but it pains me to choose!

Favorite Skida piece?

I love that Skida is ever-evolving and adding new things, but the past couple years I LOVE the High Pile Hats and the Country Mitt collab with Vermont Glove.