Injuring Eternity: The Drawings of Jeremie Lamart
In our latest installment of Rider’s Lens, we take a look at the work of Jeremie Lamart, who also goes by the handle Injuring Eternity. Once an urban street artist, Jeremie is now a prolific illustrator of all things outdoors, including bikerafting, climbing, and bikepacking. Learn more about him and his work here…
Street artist turned adventure illustrator Jeremie Lamart (@injuringeternity) combines his passion for drawing with climbing, bikepacking, and packrafting. You may have seen his illustration used in Gysinge RTL, a bikepacking overnighter in Sweden we published a while back. We’ve been following Jeremie’s work for some time now and finally got a chance to catch up with him to discuss his drawings and illustrations. Jeremie’s drawings range from bike portraits—as seen in on his @bikerats Instagram account—to montages of adventures that blend literature and nature. Note that the cover photo is a drawing of the Salsa Woodsmoke I used to scout the Tian Shan Traverse in Kyrgyzstan back in 2016.
One of Jeremie’s more interesting motifs is his own logo, which depicts a black bear with the words Injuring Eternity. He borrowed this two-word epithet from the philosophical insight of Henry David Thoreau, “As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.” Unpacking this, there’s a lot that can be applied to either adventuring or drawing. They’re certianly both ways of “killing time,” but then again, the infinite knows nothing of time. Read on to learn how Jeremie approaches his art and his adventures, alongside an impressive gallery of work…
Words and illustrations by Jeremie Lamart
I grew up in a region where outdoor culture is almost non-existent. I was a city kid but I also was raised among books in a family tainted by the arts. I built my own culture around the idea of departure and exploration. When I was little, I watched way too many westerns; Indiana Jones was one of my heroes and I was already dreaming of big adventures in the Far North. At the same time, having grown up in a literary and artistic environment, I naturally oriented myself towards an artistic career. I studied arts, and for 10 years I mainly painted large-scale portraits that I pasted on the walls of cities all over the world—missions for which I very often traveled by bicycle.
One day, while traveling in the north of Scandinavia, I felt this passion for the great outdoors reborn, and I occasionally set out on long solo hikes for several weeks at a time. At this point in my life, I couldn’t understand if I could be an artist and an adventurer at the same time, so I stopped painting and drawing for a while. A few years later I began to document my adventures and started drawing again. Little by little I began to incorporate different ways of traveling into my adventures. Today, packrafting, cycling, and rock climbing are my main three sports and passions. When it comes to cycling, as far as I can remember I have always traveled by bicycle. For a decade I had a passion for fixed gears and when I started exploring nature more and more I had to adapt the kind of bikes I was using. Bikepacking is an obvious evolution for me, and making illustrations of it is also quite natural.
Making illustrations is storytelling. My drawings are very often accompanied by short narrative texts. My drawings tell my story, my personal experiences, my feelings, and my concerns. My drawings are like a diary. To fuel my inspiration, I need to travel, to experience things worth telling. With my drawings, I have the ambition to make readers travel, to put them in my shoes and share my own experience. I like to tell little details—anecdotes that make each experience unique. During these trips, unusual and unexpected things always happen, sometimes funny, sometimes not, but drawing these slices of life is also a way to put things into perspective and take some distance.
I am also very sentimental and I like to show the people I love and my feelings. For a long time, my artistic work was directly linked to my personal life and my family history. Today, I’m trying to be a little lighter and to be more down to earth. I’m also a gearhead and I love to draw the gear I use during my trips or that inspires me to travel, which of course includes bikes! I think an object can evoke so much more than its primary purpose. Bikes evoke the idea of freedom and long trips to exotic destinations. We get attached to some objects because they have accompanied us at the strongest moments of our life, or they are the necessary gear to live these experiences.
I always knew cycling is more than a way of getting around or just a sport; it’s a whole culture. I come from skateboarding, which has similarities to the world of cycling. It seems to me that bikepacking and outdoor sports in general are now taking the path that skateboarding has taken from the beginning. The fact of being a culture on its own with its particular codes: art is therefore part of it and I find the movement very inspiring. I don’t think, however, that I would have been so artistically inspired if I had ridden a road bike. I still need to be intellectually nourished and inspired by the elements of nature and exploration that make me feel most alive.
Above all, I want to have fun when I draw. I want to inspire and nourish my inner self, but sharing my drawings publicly is also part of the process. As I said before, I work above all for myself, to please myself. My ambitions are personal and maybe a tiny bit professional but only under certain conditions. I want to keep traveling (or rather start again as soon as possible) and live experiences that will nourish my artistic inspiration. I want to take longer, more committing trips with people who inspire me too. So, I want my artistic work to encourage my travels and vice versa.
From an artistic point of view, my goal is to always progress and try things that currently scare me, like writing a graphic novel or directing an animated short. I don’t live off my illustrations, I have another job that pays the bills (I’m a teacher) and it’s a relief because I don’t have this pressure to work for any project to get money. I like to collaborate with people or companies I believe in, so I’m only open to projects that can make me grow. For example, I just finished illustrations for the Bikerafting Guide by Lizzy Scully and Steve “Doom” Fassbinder. It was an amazing experience and very fun to work with friends.
Since I’ve been creating images, I have used dozens of different types of media. I have always loved this quote from Jean Michel Basquiat, who, when asked what his medium was, would often reply “extra large.” I painted a lot in large format on paper and canvas, carved linocut, screen printing, drawing, and now for practical matters, as I no longer have a studio, I draw mainly on iPad Pro. But I miss working in large format and in situ.
Drawing, writing, creating images, and documenting my experiences is one of my ways of expressing myself and communicating with others. Adventures, love, and experiences we have every day make us who we are. Whether on foot, by bike, up a mountain tied to a rope, or in a small boat on a big river, these experiences are stories worth telling and sharing. I try to be whole in everything I do. I’m not looking for recognition or success, just fulfilment.
I created this image a few months ago, just for myself, with no other purpose than inspiring myself to go on adventures. This illustration is special because it captures a few things that are really important to me. I’m an avid packrafter; I started almost a decade ago and every time I inflate this little boat I fall in love with the sport again. Packrafting, even more than cycling, took me to amazing places, such as Nepal and the Grand Canyon and truly changed my life a few times. Having a bike on my boat is the icing on the cake and it really calls for adventures. I’m very into human-powered exploration and bikerafting is an amazing way to go places, no matter the terrain. It opens new possibilities and a new way to look at a map when planning a trip.
This illustration is also a self portrait, something I don’t do too often but feel it’s sometimes good for self esteem. The semi-educational text about bikerafting is a way to convince people to go bikerafting; I always tend to think that if I did something cool and liked it, everyone should do it too because they’ll have as much fun as I did. And if I was able to do it, you should too! I like sharing, teaching, and inspiring other people to go out and explore. Because I believe going on adventures in nature always makes you a better person in the end: it’s good for mental health and it brings awareness to nature conservation.
About Jeremie Lamart
Formerly a street artist, Stockholm, Sweden-based Jeremie now combines his passion for illustration and adventure on his blog, Injuring Eternity. Jeremie enjoys climbing, cycling, and trips that blend multiple means of human-powered travel. He is also a co-founder of the Swedish Packrafting Association. His illustrations reflect these experiences in the outdoors and life in general. Find more at @injuringeternity.
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