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The Artist Behind The Prints: Heidi Lister-Hevesy

Words by Jen Arnold, Photos by Michael Hevesy

A Utah-based prints and textiles artist and rock climber, Heidi has built a reputation for her signature, hand-drawn, nature-inspired style featured on hundreds of iconic fabrics she’s created throughout her career.

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Over the past few seasons, Heidi has partnered with Stio on multiple one-of-a-kind creations, including our signature Whitebark Camo, Linear Foliage and Whims prints. For Spring 2024, we’re excited to introduce her two latest designs on our Men’s and Women’s Skycrest Insulated Snap Shirt. Her Bandana Patchwork and Whitebark Camo showcase her amazing talent as a visionary apparel artist. To shed light on the uniqueness of these two prints, we sat down with Heidi to learn more about her background, process, inspiration and her love of the outdoors and nature that makes her such a great partner for our brand.

Help us get to know you a little better. What’s your story and what paths lead to where you are today? 

Drawing and painting have been my passions since I was very young. I grew up in a small farming village in the English countryside. The population was and still is around 800 people. The flora and fauna surrounding my village provided neverending sources of inspiration for me as a young artist.

When I was 13, I won a national painting competition and later was awarded The London Royal Society of Art Bursary for Design during my BA (Hons) Degree. 

Using the money I won for the bursary, I took a trip to New York for a Textile Design show. I fell in love with the grit of mid-90s NYC—the vibe and lifestyle appealed to my love of punk music and alternative art. Not long after my trip, a friend sent me an ad she’d seen for a textile design position with a textile print studio in New York City called The Colorfield. I interviewed from London, got the offer, packed up my two small suitcases and moved to New York City, where I lived and worked hand-painting prints for large fashion brands. It was also during this time I discovered climbing, learning the ropes (literally) in the beautiful Shawangunk Mountains of upstate New York. With that, I had found my place in the climbing community and culture. 

Why textiles and print design specifically?

I became inspired to pursue a career in the arts thanks to the wonderful art teachers at my public school who encouraged us to be experimental and think outside the box. I took one textile design and screen printing class and fell in love with the art of printed textile design.

I’ve also experimented with many different types of printing techniques such as screen, block, lithograph and woodblock printing. The creative experience is endless.

What things, experiences, people or places have influenced or inspired your artistic style?

After a few years of working in NYC, I saved up enough to purchase an “around the world” ticket to  backpack for an entire year through Nepal, India, Thailand, Turkey, South Africa and the Middle East.

On that trip, I was especially inspired by the textiles and colors I saw in India and Nepal.

I also spent a lot of time backpacking around Europe when I was younger, visiting museums and art shows that drew me to pattern-inspired artwork. Egon Shiele, Sonia Delaunay, Yayoi Kusama, Frida Karlos and Jean Dubuffet had a big influence on the style of my work. 

How do  you feel your artistic perspective fits with the Stio brand ethos, and what inspired your past Stio prints ?

I think my artistic perspective fits with Stio’s outdoor lifestyle and overarching brand perspective because I understand the level of quality and craftsmanship their customer is looking for.

“I draw and hand-paint every print using paper and paint as my foundation. I want my prints to inspire a connection to the wilderness that encourages others to embark on their own outdoor adventures.”

Many of the hand-painted storytelling artworks I’ve created for Stio in the past were inspired by the rugged western landscape and particularly images that were native to Wyoming and the Jackson Hole area. With these custom prints, our aim was to create timeless, genderless prints that can be worn throughout all seasons.

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What was your inspiration for your two new Skycrest Insulated Snap Shirt prints launching this spring? 

The Bandana Patchwork print for the new Women’s Skycrest Insulated Snap Shirt was inspired by the traditional western bandana. Bandanas are multi-functional and boast an almost 300-year history. I approached the project by researching the history of this traditional western icon. My hand-drawn design nods towards the tradition, function and timelessness of these beautiful pieces of fabric and the patchwork idea was a way to show off many of the different traditional patterns. In order to give the print a “worn" vintage feel, I hand-printed some textures, which I overlaid on top of the patterns. This creates the look of a bandana that has a history with its owner and has been loved and well-worn.

For the Men’s Whitebark Camo, we wanted to tell the story of the Stio logo by using the iconic whitebark pinecone and foliage. The whitebark pine is a threatened species so this print brings awareness of the tree’s significance and conservation efforts through the artwork. I sketched my imagery in subtle abstract forms to evoke the feeling of discovery, as if one is peering through the forest on an outdoor adventure and seeing the whitebark pine for the very first time.

Tell us a little bit about your affinity for your particular medium: watercolor. And about your process for creating textile prints. In what ways do these two things come together to make your art so unique?  

I use watercolor inks because I love the unpredictable aspects of this medium. The inks are incredibly versatile and the results when they dry on paper are always fascinating. They create such organic textures, which are always unique and reflect natural elements. 

“Computer-generated designs typically don’t have that same hand-curated feel, which I think is what makes my hand-painted watercolor prints so appealing.”

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What are your favorite hobbies or activities beyond painting and hand crafting custom prints? 

Climbing is my passion. The climbing community has given me so much. Rock climbers are pretty unique individuals who generally love problem-solving and thinking outside of the box. In the last 20 years I’ve learned how to lead trad lines and climbed many multi-pitch routes in California and Utah.

I’m now based in Utah and recently fell in love with the local limestone sport climbing crags outside of SLC.

How do you describe your relationship to the outdoors? 

The outdoors is my lifeblood. Being outside, immersing myself in nature and climbing with friends regenerate my mind and body.

What things in the natural world are most reflected in your signature creations?

I tend to gravitate towards rock-inspired prints. Maybe it’s part of my love of climbing. But the textures, colors and diversity of rock types on this amazing planet provide endless inspiration for a textile designer and climber like me.

We’re so grateful to not only get to know Heidi a little bit better on a personal level, but to also share her story and inspiration with you. Stay tuned for the release of Heidi’s other exciting prints launching this spring.

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