We met up with Mizu Ambassador Skye Walker to catch up with him and talk about his journey as an artist, his new Mizu x ALOHA Collection collaboration, and why he loves living here in North County San Diego.
Photo by @joeyhappyguy.
Let’s start with the basics. Tell us about yourself, hometown, hobbies, etc.
My name is Skye Walker, I’m an artist and muralist based in North County San Diego. I love surfing, mountain biking, traveling, good coffee, better tacos and even better friends. And of course, art... it’s my passion, livelihood and it’s what I pursue daily.
What draws you to North County?
I was born in Big Bear, CA and have been coming to Encinitas since I was a kid. While I wasn’t born in Encinitas, I always felt like it was home. After finishing college at Oregon State in 2002, I moved down to Cardiff-by-the-Sea and never looked back. This surf town gets in your blood and your heart and when I’m away, I can’t wait to get back. But the ocean was the big draw for me to North County. Just seeing the ocean every day is invigorating, inspirational and calming, even when it’s stormy. It’s comforting and also reminds me of how small we are in this universe.
What would your ideal North County day look like?
Getting up super early before the sun hits the water to check the surf is always an amazing way to start the day. Hopefully I’ll meet a couple amigos for a morning surf or body surf to get stoked. Then I’ll head to grab a coffee (shout out to Bump coffee in Cardiff) followed by an Acai bowl from Sambazon (order it with unsweetened acai blended with almond milk and add almond butter) you’ll feel like a million bucks after that morning. I’ve also been surfing Oceanside quite a bit, if you stop by Revolution Roasters and get their Almond milk latte- you won’t be sorry. Then it’s time to jump on the old computer at R&D CoWork space in Encinitas and sort out some upcoming projects. After some sort of healthy lunch (or fish tacos at Fish 101) it’s either a workout or a second surf (if it’s good) then back to work until the evening. Working for yourself does have its flexible perks, but you do end up working late or odd hours as you’re almost always working. It’s a hustle but worth it.
What are your favorite spots for inspiration?
The SRF Gardens for sure. It’s such a peaceful place to meditate, recharge and reset the brain. Also, just getting in the ocean can inspire 100 thoughts. I usually do both if I’m feeling like I have an artist block or just need a quick recharge to keep the day and work flowing. A little hot yoga at Yoga Tropics always helps too!
Favorite spots to eat or drink?
Nectarine Grove (veggie bowls and pizza there are my fave), Fish 101, Modern Times (vegan menu is pretty tasty) VG’s Donuts (2 glazed and one blueberry buttermilk bar and I’m stoked), Station Sushi and of course, El Pueblo - best late-night bean, rice & cheese burrito spot :)
Photo by @aquajedi.
Best places to rest and recharge?
I don’t need a lot of time to myself to recharge my brain. So just relaxing at my home studio is good for me... but also surfing, working out and hitting the SRF gardens recharges me. I’m trying to be even more aware of social media and my phone and purposefully taking breaks from it and going to do things and not bring the phone with me. Not easy when you get work calls and need to be in contact a lot... but you need to break free of the technical grip. Even an hour or two away from it a day is a breath of fresh air.
Photo by @bradleymichaelsmith.
Do you have any tips for avoiding single use products?
I’m not perfect. I’ve been compromised with single use plastics for sure... but I strive to always keep my Mizu Tumbler 16 and Cutlery Set in my truck wherever I go, so I’m always ready. When I fly I bring my M8 Bottle everywhere (and my cutlery in check on or a pared down version if I’m carrying on). It kills me that places still use single use plastics and people just use it without even questioning it - or even questioning the business as to why they aren’t providing an alternative solution. But, everything you seem to buy is wrapped in plastic and navigating that road is hard. I’m trying daily. I give water bottles to people as gifts too, it’s a nice reminder (and a great gift) to conserve and re-use. If I’m given a single use plastic cup or whatever, I’ll find a way to re-use it with paints, watercolors or as a stencil. If something is wrapped in plastic heavily, I will avoid buying it specifically for that reason, even if it’s something I want. This is a small part of a larger picture... but every little bit helps.
Photo by @iingrid_art
Follow Skye Walker on Instagram @skyewalker_art or check out more of his work on his website https://www.skyewalkerart.com/.
Skye Walker designed the hibiscus print of the new Mizu x ALOHA Collection Travel Set. Check out this collaboration with North County San Diego based Mizu and ALOHA Collection here.