Essays & Travelogues

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A Story of Karma

A Story of Karma

Finding Love and Truth in the Lost Valley of the Himalaya
edition:Paperback
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Road Trips

Road Trips

Journeys in the Unspoiled World
edition:Paperback
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Hand Drawn Vancouver

Hand Drawn Vancouver

Sketches of the City's Neighbourhoods, Buildings, and People
edition:Hardcover
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Excerpt

From the Introduction

I moved to North Vancouver aged seven. I was no stranger to moving by the time we arrived, so it wasn’t a surprise when soon after settling in, we moved again to West Vancouver. Or that I later attended high school on the west side of Vancouver, all the way over two sets of bridges.

My daily commute to school, an hour each way in the backseat of the car, was an education in the geography of the city. We passed through Dundarave and Ambleside, stalled in traffic at Park Royal, went over the Capilano River Reserve while crossing the Lions Gate Bridge, and then were momentarily surrounded by trees in Stanley Park. It was often a quick drive through the West End and Downtown, seemingly before anyone else was awake, then over the Burrard or sometimes Granville Bridge, through Kitsilano, all the way to Dunbar—only to do it all in reverse at the end of the day. Looking out of the window, I discovered that each neighbourhoood had its own unique architecture and population, and they became endlessly interesting to me.

Later, while studying Visual Art at the University of British Columbia, just past Point Grey, I spent more of my free time on Commercial Drive and Main Street. I taught art classes on Granville Island and in Strathcona, and even painted a mural in Hastings Sunrise. The more I explored Vancouver, the more my understanding of it grew.

After my undergrad I moved to Nova Scotia, where I wrote and illustrated two books based there. Returning to Vancouver after fourteen years of living away, I relearned the city in the process of making this book. Instead of visiting an archive, my research was conducted on the city’s streets, with pen and paper in hand. Sketching on location is a way of learning a place—not just its sights, but also its smells and sounds as the world continues its hum around me. I was drawn to places where community naturally forms, as well as the places that had left a mark on me, knowing that if they had survived the passage of time, they must be special to others as well.

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