Drawn won the 2015 Banff Mountain Book Competition Award for Adventure Travel, which put Collins' beautiful book on my radar. His story, a personal tale full of dreams and philosophizing, was a wonderful thing to experience.
Throughout the book, Collins grapples not only with the loss of his longtime friend and mentor, but also with the role of adventure in his family life. Does one embark upon adventures for, with, or inspired by one's family? How does one choose to continue having adventures while also being present as a partner and a parent? What does it mean to feed one's soul in the context of real responsibilities?
As a somewhat lapsed (but hopefully not for long) climber, a casual artist and writer, and a new parent, Collins' book spoke to me on multiple levels. His discussions of the soul were interesting, his musings on the role of art were enlightening, and his detailed descriptions of his ascents were inspiring. The fact that all of this is intertwined with his stunning artwork on the page (see photos below) made the book a true joy to read.
If you're a climber, or if you have been feeling that particular brand of restlessness that leads to wanderlust, or if you find yourself contemplating the kid if role you want adventure to play in your life, co wider picking up this book. It's one I'm glad to have on my shelf and which I know I'll be picking up again and again in the future.
One of Collins' sketches (of John Muir).
Collins' rendering of a grizzly bear.