We Keep It Wild - Limited Edition Kanteen to Support Wild Places

April 2018 | Words and images by Klean

We’ve teamed up with our long time partner The Conservation Alliance, to create this limited run artist series Kanteen inspired by the threatened wild places we love.  $5 from each Keep It Wild Kanteen sold will go directly to the Conservation Alliance to help them in their work to permanently protect wild places in North America.

We caught up with the artist behind this Kanteen, Ian McWilliams, to talk about inspiration, process and the importance of keeping it wild.

Klean Kanteen:  Tell us about the mountain range drawing you did for this Kanteen.  What was your inspiration?

Ian McWilliams: I’ve had a connection to wild places and mountains in particular since I was young.  Drawing mountain ranges and wild landscapes is a fun way for me to tap into that energy I get from standing in a crazy, rugged, wild spot that I reached under my own power.  I don’t often sit outside and draw exactly what I see. Most of my drawings are done back at camp or at home after a trip.  I like to take what I’ve seen and morph it into a drawing that is based on a particular landscape but also has elements of how being in that particular place made me feel. I like to embellish the ranges I have seen and put my own style into it. Plus, realist landscape drawing is really hard for me!


KK:  Was this drawing based on a specific place you’ve been? 

IM: This graphic on the Conservation Alliance Kanteen started as a sketch I did after a trip to Moab Utah.  Whenever I’m out that way I'm always struck by the La Sal mountain range and how it just looms over the red rock desert of that region.  I love that contrast and think the La Sals are just a super interesting and unique range. So yeah, this drawing is based on those peaks and the amazing perspective you have on them from the area just east of Moab.

KK:  What does your process look like for creating a graphic like this? 

IM: Pretty much everything I do starts analog as a sketch in a notebook.  I like to work mostly in pen and ink because of the detail it allows but I use pencil from time to time as well.  This graphic started as a pen and ink drawing. I then digitized it and made some tweaks to make it a little less subtle so it would work well on Klean’s cool new Fresh Pine color.  I then added the Keep it Wild lettering to tie it back to the great work the Conservation Alliance is doing.  My hope is that people will look at the range on this Kanteen while drinking their morning coffee and be inspired to get out and really experience the wild places we have and start to look for ways they can help protect them, whatever that may look like in their own personal context.


Show us your Keep in Wild Kanteen in it’s element using #WeKeepItWild and be sure to head over to The Conservation Alliance site to learn more about the work they are doing and how you can get involved.  Thanks for the support!