This is a test statement. Let’s see what happens
To ask for a map is to say, “Tell me a story.”
Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer, by Peter Turchi
Maps have always fascinated me. Since grade school, I’ve been doodling them on scrape paper, the back of my tests, and even etching them on my desk – because, writing on your desk was the ultimate form of rebellion as a preteen, right? But, it was only a thing I did when I was bored. I was planning on going into political science for college, so what would mapmaking do for me there? What I didn’t plan on, and arguably for the better, was my sudden veer towards Graphic Design.
I wasn’t entirely sure what I was getting into. There was a semester of graphic arts in high school where we learned how to use printing presses and learned about typography. However, I didn’t know how far it could take me, and what tools and skills it would give me to take my maps off the napkins and scrape paper and immortalize them on the computer.
😭 Sadly, moving back and forth from college, from Pittsburgh to New York, from apartment to apartment, I’ve lost many of the sketches I originally kept and held sacred (As if I’d be famous one day – oh well hah).
Always–always start with a writing utensil and paper. I’ve yet to get an iPad Pro, so that too if you’d like. But paper is the best way to begin mapmaking.
I started my mapmaking tutorials on Medium, and you should check them out! I’ll also include more tutorials on process moving forward, so I won’t put much more here. But I will give a quick sneak peak of the Freestyle Method.
First, I think of an emotion. I try to think of that emotion as an ambiguous shape in my mind. Sounds kinda silly, but it helps. Think like a mood ring. Jagged peninsulas, I’m angry; soft archipelago, I’m calm. But don’t draw lines – not nots either. Think a dotted line with a little bit of length. See below.
Then, connect the lines. And don’t just draw lines from one section to the other. This is discovery drawing. Let the pen take lead you. This conclude the sneak peak into some of the process. Follow my on Medium if you’d like to stay up to date with more.
I’ll be honest, I’ve never been proactive with getting contracted work for my maps. I always do them for fun or personal use. But I am published, and a college history professor had asked me to create a map of Belize for his book, The New Orleans Sisters of the Holy Family.
It’s not a fantasy map, like I normally do, or anything earth-shattering (hah, pun), but it is published for what it’s worth.
Maps from my novel
I’d love nothing more than to share the maps to the novels I write, but until I’m published, I can’t risk it. But I can show you previews and snapshots.
Maps for fun
What I can share are maps that I do for fun. And map-related illustrations.