Meet the Artist: KEEN Ambassador Jeremy Collins
Jeremy Collins is the creative force behind our new line of Live Monumental tees. These limited-edition shirts highlight the five areas of public land we’re trying to designate as National Monuments: Gold Butte, NV, Boulder-White Clouds, ID, Owyhee Canyonlands, OR, Mojave Trails, CA and The Birthplace of Rivers, WV. These locations represent some of our favorite outdoor places and we wanted a physical reminder that we could all proudly wear of the three million acres we’re striving to protect.
We tasked Jeremy with turning these five beautiful places into artistic renderings. Here was the end result.
As an artist, activist, filmmaker, climber, family man and all around rad dude, Jeremy certainly leads a busy life, but he recently took some time to talk with us about this project and why he was interested in getting involved.
KEEN: How did you first get started with creating art?
JEREMY: Same as everyone else—in kindergarten. I just didn’t stop.
When did you first get connected with KEEN?
I have been an ambassador for KEEN since 2012. I dig the kicks and all, but more than anything, I am inspired by what they stand for: the hybrid life.
What’s been your involvement in the Live Monumental campaign?
The KEEN crew came to me to tie the whole campaign together visually. This was an exciting element to collaborate on, finding a way to show all five locations as a unified story even though they are geographically so far apart. As soon as I understood the objective of Live Monumental, I was fully on board.
How do you typically approach a new design? Was this project any different?
I approach creative projects kind of like a boulder problem: analyze the sequence, find the problem and solve it. This project was great in that KEEN gave me a lot of freedom in my approach to the work. I believe, “Just do what you do, Jer.” was the creative brief.
What else are you currently working on?
I’m always outside seeking inspiration and energy for my brand Meridian Line. I have spent the entire summer roaming the American west with my family and creating on-location-art along the way. I also just finished the launch tour for my book and film called DRAWN.
How do you personally live monumental in your everyday life?
I try to leave the world a better place than I found it. That’s hard to quantify, but I guess I live monumental by waking up and fighting indifference and complacency. I would hope that by making art, I’m not just making the world more colorful, but making a difference. This has to do with my own curiosity about the world as much as it does my passion.
What’s your inspiration to get outside? Do you have a favorite outdoor space?
I’m inspired by contrast, line and color. I find this in the macro and the mega, from the subtle grain patterns on a pebble to the great monoliths that inspire me to climb them. My favorite outdoor space is being in the backcountry with friends who can laugh at themselves, climbing a big hunk of rock just above tree line.
Big thanks to Jeremy for his partnership and his dedication to this campaign. To learn more about what else he’s been working on, check out jercollins.com.
Also, for every Live Monumental tee sold, $5 will benefit the following nonprofits:
- Friends of Nevada Wilderness to help protect Gold Butte
- Idaho Conservation League to help protect Boulder-White Clouds
- Oregon Natural Desert Association to help protect Owyhee Canyonlands
- California Wilderness Coalition to help protect Mojave Trails
- West Virginia Wilderness Coalition to help protect the Birthplace of Rivers