Vancouver photographer Ian Azariah took advantage of his downtime during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic to construct a dream camper that's turning heads pretty much everywhere it goes.
As he tells Vancouver Is Awesome, as lockdowns resulted in events being cancelled, that affected his ability to obtain photography work. He used the spare time he wound up having to bring life to an idea that "had been kicking around" in his head for years.
He invested a few thousand hours and a few thousand dollars into the creation, and had a lot of help from his girlfriend, Denise Birsan, and pal, Colin D. Watt.
The trio worked on the project inside The Ellis Building, an event space on Main Street which also had a lack of bookings due to events being cancelled.
They laboured from late March of 2020 until July 18th when they embarked on their maiden voyage in it - a trip that took them over 3,000 kilometers of highways in B.C. over a span of a few weeks.
Inspired by cedar strip canoes and wooden boats, Azariah came up with the design on his own and says that while it may look deceptively heavy, it's actually quite light. It's made of a 1/2" cedar frame with a fiberglass coating for added strength.
And while it gives off a retro vibe perched atop his Toyota pickup truck, he tells us that "I feel like I'm driving around in a Lambo because of where the price of lumber is these days"
When asked how he managed to build the thing with no formal carpentry training, he says he describes himself as a "self-taught, unconventional builder" who grew up building skateboard ramps with his friends.
To others thinking of taking on their dream project he offers the advice that "There's nothing saying you can't do these things. Any task is manageable over time, with perseverance."
Keep an eye out for this rolling wonder near Main Street and on the backroads, and check out Azariah's Instagram Stories to see the entire build shown in a series of time-lapse videos. Lastly, send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you've completed a project during the pandemic that you'd like us to know about. We hope to share more stories like this one.