A new year, and the snow is here. Luckily, so is our Winter Wonderland coffee. This coffee is a beautiful blend of washed and natural process Ethiopia coffees from Suke Quto farms, a farm in the Guji region that maintains its volcanic soil through organic recycling, shade trees, and root residue from coffee. We knew we wanted to package this coffee with equally innovative art, so we turned to Seattle-based artist Stasia Burrington and asked her to illustrate something inspired by the phrase “winter wonderland." She knocked it out of the park with a fantastical and cozy winter scene, hot coffee and cats included.
We interviewed Stasia to get to know a bit more about her work and life as an artist. Read on for the backstory on her technique, inspiration, and workshop cats.
What sparked your idea for this year’s Winter Wonderland illustration?
The last few years I’ve gotten really into foraging, mushrooms especially, and when I was told the coffee I would be creating a label for was “Winter Wonderland,” I immediately thought of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. As a big lover of books, fantasy, coffee, and mushrooms, this cozy scene of an Alice-like girl in a fun wintery setting made perfect sense.
As an illustrator, what’s your method when starting a new project?
I do super rough sketches in my notebook and then tighter sketches digitally. I only recently (last year) acquired a tablet and love how easy it is to make large changes digitally.
What’s your artist origin story?
As a kid I was really shy and always occupying myself with drawing or crafting. Mama’s an artist, so creative stuff was encouraged from an early age.
You list coffee as one of the art forms you love. What did you enjoy about your collaboration with DOMA Coffee?
It’s been really great working with DOMA Coffee, mostly because of the flexibility and freedom I was given with helping to design the label. This project felt like I got to exist both in the worlds of current, adult-artist me and the child-me who could spend hours making art in “play mode.” This project was very fun and enjoyable and gave me an outlet to play in a way that not all work does. I got to draw/paint stuff that I’m already super into, and I’m really proud to have helped decorate bags of yummy coffee beans!
Do you have a certain winter woods hiking experience that inspired your art for this label? What do you hope a viewer might get from the scene you have created?
I grew up in part in Montana, where we get lots of snow in the winter, so as kids we did a lot of sledding, ice-skating, and snow-fort building. I only got serious about hiking a few years ago, here in Seattle where we don’t get too much snow and I don’t trust my city-car to handle wintery mountain passes. But I did go out today on a successful winter chanterelle hike. And I had my coffee thermos with me. Only thing missing was the cat.
I hope viewers get a sense of cozy homeyness from this label, along with some dazzle and awe from the magical snowflake-sprinkled forest.
Speaking of cats—they appear often in your art, as they do in our Winter Wonderland label. Do you have some real-life inspiration at home?
Yes, Kiki, age 11, and Momo, age 10, are my studio mates. I work from my home studio, and they definitely keep it from getting too lonely. I do have a lot of cats in my art, even more since I started vending at cat conventions a few years ago (imagine: all sorts of cat-paraphernelia you can demo and/or buy, like space-age litterboxes, fancy foods, exotic cat toys, catios [cat patios], cat photography, cat art, and even cat adoptions. So much fun!) The cat on DOMA’s Winter Wonderland label is loosely based off Kiki, who is ever-curious and underfoot.
Where can we find more of your work?
I post mostly on Instagram, as @stasiaburrington. I also have a website (www.stasiaburrington.com) and a shop on Etsy (www.stasiab.etsy.com) where you can find prints, tarot and oracle decks, stickers, enamel pins, embroidered patches, and original art.
Thanks, Stasia, for your beautiful work for DOMA Coffee!