Kansas City artist gains support from Kickstarter to fund film and book project

Posted at 4:30 AM, May 16, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-16 09:39:13-04

A Kansas City artist is receiving help from all over the world to fund a special project.

Jeremy Collins spent the last four years traveling and rock climbing with a team of people. They are making a film about their journey and people are using Kickstarter to support them.

Collins lives in Kansas City, Mo. and decided to head east, west, north and south from here. He went to China-Mongolia, Yosemite National Park, Northern Canada near the Arctic Circle and Venezuela, South America.

“Going in the four directions was just something definitive,” said Collins. “I just put together a plan and didn't really know how or when it was going to happen or how long it was going to take or what it was going to cost, but I knew that this was something that felt important to me.”

Collins’ journey started when he was attempting to climb Mount Fitz Roy in Patagonia, Argentina.

“There were 25 days of storms where we didn't get to climb and I had this feeling of failure,” Collins said. “But I was failing on something that someone had already done, on something somebody had already achieved.”

So Collins decided to do something else that would be a personal experience, something to enrich himself as a person.

“What I went into it with was I'm going to go in the four directions and I'm going to have an experience that makes my perspective richer, that makes my life richer and makes my art have some substance to it that it didn't have before,” he said.

Halfway through, Collins realized he wanted to share what he was doing with others. Not the climbing part, he said, or the part about making art. Instead, he wanted to inspire others to reach their dreams.

“It's not ‘I want to do that,’” said Collins. “It's, ‘I want to do what I want to do and I want to make my life shift to accomplish those things.’”

Much of his journey was out-of-pocket, though he did receive grants to travel to two destinations. Now that they are back in Kansas City, Collins’ team turned to crowdfunding website Kickstarter to raise money to produce the film and book, simply called DRAWN.

“Coming to Kickstarter was a very difficult decision,” he said. “Is this worth the effort? It's very vulnerable to stick yourself out there.”

They set a goal, to raise $50,000.

“We thought we would be fighting tooth and nail to the finish line to reach our minimum,” Collins said. “We had our minimum in less than nine days.”

Collins said the support has been overwhelming, with complete strangers reaching out to support his vision.

“Every one of those backers that you see on there has a different story of why they feel compelled to be involved,” he said.

The funding deadline for DRAWN is Sunday, May 18 at 9:47 a.m. CDT. To learn more, see the film trailer and to back the project, visit Drawn’s Kickstarter page.