Check This Climber's Illustrated Journals for Major #Travelstoke

Art + Architecture
by Ailsa Ross Nov 22, 2015

THESE INSTAGRAMS from climber, illustrator, and storyteller Jeremy Collins are for everyone who’s ever looked out of their office window and asked, “What else is there?”

I bought Collins’ book, Drawn: The Art of Ascent — a visual exploration of summits lost and achieved, last weekend, and I’m so glad I did. Rich, soulful, and textured, the book contains the best advice I’ve read all year,

“Find the outcasts. Make them feel welcome.”

And I’ve been drawing mountains and bears and birds every night since. I hope Collins inspires you to get out there and do the same.

1. The view from up high in Canyonlands National Park, Utah

2. Painting Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, California

3. Drawing Bangkok, Thailand

Growing up my dad had this cedar box in his dresser drawer full of international currency- bills from Cambodia, coins from who knows where, and stamps from another planet as fas I knew. Colorful and intricate, they were mysterious to me- faces and symbols I didn't know and places I'd never heard of. Thing is, dad hadn't been to all these places- they were from his college "coin collecting club". I'd run them through my hands and wonder- what would it be like to collect experiences in these places rather than things? Adding one to the collection from the top of "Gold Mountain" (ภูเขาทอง) in downtown Bangkok amidst the chants of orange-cloaked monks, the ring of prayer bells and the reverberating hum of the city below. What do you collect? #drawnthere #Drawntonepal @gopro @keen @goalzero

A photo posted by Jeremy Collins (@jercollins_com) on

4. The woods of Portland, Oregon

Hey Portland. My, you're green. See you tonight. @keen @scoutbooks #portland #stayDrawn

A photo posted by Jeremy Collins (@jercollins_com) on

5. Collins put in a six-hour drawing session during a “rest day” from climbing at Vampire Spire in the Yukon

#tbt to the Vampire Spires, near the #arcticcircle in the #Yukon. Putting in a six hour drawing session on a "rest day" in basecamp. For me a drawing session like this is just as satisfying as a day of climbing… but my butt hurts SO bad afterwards. I need the perfect remote drawing chair that's easy to collapse and pack, keeps me up, elevated off glaciers and maybe has pockets for my drawing kit. Do those exist? In this valley we can see clearly where glaciers have melted away from reference photos of only 10 years ago. It's amazing to think a couple decades ago I would have been sitting on 50 feet of ice to draw here. We had grizzly, wolf caribou and mountain sheep sightings and even a few dirtbags. PHOTO BY @jamesqmartin #stayDrawn #bedarefuloutthere #exploremore @pegoodman #drawnthere

A photo posted by Jeremy Collins (@jercollins_com) on

6. A quick sketch of the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain

7. Collins developed a crowd as he sketched a devout holy person called Ram Bilash in Kathmandu, Nepal

वसन्तपुर दरवार क्षेत्र, (Basantapur Darbar Kshetra) is a cataclysmic explosion of people- on foot, motorcycle and bike. The temples and towers that populate the three block radius lie half in shambles with timber propped against each building holding the ancient rubble together. Piles of brick, dirt and shattered framework dot the landscape- a hint of the ongoing rebuilding. The earthquake did not level the square but it certainly changed the landscape. Otherwise, life goes on. The artisans and food carts sell their wares. The doorways of locals lie open; generous with their smiles and offers of namaste. And the devoted spiritual staples of the community provide a nucleus of faith amidst the debris and recovery. I found Ram Bilash-dash perched on the stone steps of one of the remaining intact temples. Ram is a sādhu, or "baba"- those considered devout holy persons in the community. The sādhu is solely dedicated to achieving mokṣa (liberation), the fourth and final aśrama (stage of life), through meditation and contemplation of Brahman. I spent some time with him and then asked if I could draw his portrait. After awhile a crowd developed around me and I felt… welcome. #Drawntonepal #drawnthere @gopro @keen @goalzero 📷: @nicgreece

A photo posted by Jeremy Collins (@jercollins_com) on

8. Indian Creek at sunrise, Utah

9. Drawing a classic east coast lighthouse on location in Maine

10. This drawing is the product of a one-hour session in Brescia, Italy

11. Collins says, “Drawing on location gives me a chance to be “clear and transparent when I’m exhausted.” Lake Minnewaska, New York

12. A peaceful spot to draw from at Cottonwood Pass, Colorado

When I was 15 I started working at a theme park drawing portraits for money. I'd sit there eight hours at a time, making people laugh, drawing and painting while making pretty good cash for a kid. Then I hit the road—drawing at fairs and farmers markets, and bat mitzvahs. I once got a flat tire at the Grand Canyon so I walked to a greasy spoon diner in town with paper and pen. Two hours later I walked out with 250 bucks for a new tire and gas to get me to Southern California. I had drawn every employee and patron of the place. Drawing was a means of survival for me. It still is, I guess, all these years later. Survival has changed its meaning for me though. I have a family, employees, a mortgage and responsibilities. I have to do more than survive… I have to thrive. I still sit and draw for hours at a time, usually alone or with my family. It's the only thing that's ever felt right. #stayDrawn 📷 @michaelpauljones

A photo posted by Jeremy Collins (@jercollins_com) on

13. Collins and his daughter draw and paint together in the City of Rocks, Idaho

14. The colors of a sunrise in Alabama Hills, California

15. Creating a splash at Laguna Beach in Orange County, California

16. The end of the line on a cross-country family road trip; this image was shot in Acadia National Park, Maine

I had a master list of things I wanted to do on our cross country trip. This was the very last one.

A photo posted by Jeremy Collins (@jercollins_com) on

17. Drawing an abandoned Anasazi home at Indian Creek, Utah

An ancient wave of stone rose above us as we tread lightly through this abandoned Anasazi home in the clouds. A mural of petroglyphs surrounded us- someone's masterpiece from long ago. We sat and observed in our sketchbooks for an hour deep in the canyon and high on the cliff. Anthony @artisanx_x sat next to me, pen in hand as we discussed what it means to be free and how art tells a cultures story for better or worse. Anthony is traveling with the ReWild crew- a group introducing previously incarcerated inmates to wilderness and true freedom. I came out to meet him and make some art together. Anthony told me "now that I'm free, I want to make art that means something; that makes an impact". I believe you will bud. Just don't stop. An absolute pleasure to get lost in the desert with you. Not everything worth seeing is on the map. #drawnThere

A photo posted by Jeremy Collins (@jercollins_com) on

18. Painting in 107 degree heat in Mojave National Preserve, California

19. I love Collins’ caption on this ‘image of an image’ at Mono Lake, California

20. “Hot days are good for sittin’ and doodlin’” at Arches National Park, Utah

Hot days are good for sittin' and doodlin'. Delicate Arch, @archesnps , Utah #findyourpark #stayDrawn #archesnp #drawnThere

A photo posted by Jeremy Collins (@jercollins_com) on

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