When they interviewed me for the second time I was working on my 8th map illustration, the illustrated map of Spain. I was just half way through the Spain map illustration but because I wanted to show people something “new” I decided to complete the map before the magazine deadline so I put quite a lot of pressure on myself and got it done. Map illustrations take a lot of effort and time to create but I love creating them.
Below are some of the questions the asked me in the interview:
Why would you choose “map” as the topic to create your work?
The reason I started creating map illustrations was because of a commission project I got. After that project, I fell in love with creating map illustrations and this how I started creating more of these illustrations. I hope I can have more time this year to create more maps.
What kind of tool or medium do I use for your map illustrations? How long do they take to create?
I mainly use Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to create my map illustrations and most of my other illustration. I use pencil to draw the outline of the map then roughly sketch each element and location on the map. Then I will sketch each element that I will put on the map in a more refined style so I can illustrate each element in Adobe illustrator..etc. On average, with work and family commitments, I will take a month to create a map, from research to final item.
Time also depends on how big the country is and how many elements I will include. In the future I want to create city maps but for now I want to illustrate many more countries.
What’s the charming part of designing and creating a map?
I enjoy creating maps because I like to travel. Some of the maps celebrate happy memories I’ve enjoyed while travelling to those countries. Some of the maps I created for my dream destinations or the next country I want to visit. Creating map illustrates helps me to relive happy memories I had during my travels. It also helps me to “make sense” of a country that I have never visited before. My map illustrations project my happiness, my dreams, who I am and what I like.
What’s the difficult part of designing and creating a map?
I think the most difficult part of designing and creating a map illustration is time. You have to have time to complete a map illustration. Every time I think about working on a map illustration I feel very excited but also scared. My life is always really busy and creating a map illustration will consume so much time. You have to be patient as well. But like I said, creating a map illustration takes a lot of time and energy.
Which location’s map is the next?
I’m thinking of create a map of the whole of the UK because as of August 2017 I will have lived in the UK for 10 years. So if I have time I would love to dive in to create a whole UK map. But I also want to create a map illustration of Germany because I sell my illustrations on a German website “ArtboxOne” So I think a Germany map illustration could be quite popular. I really want to create map of Thailand soon as well. Because Thailand is one of my favourite country and my next travel destination if I can!
So those are all of the questions I was asked and it transpired they wanted to create a book called “Art Quarter, Panorama of Illustrative Maps” and they wanted to use some of my illustrations (which of course is great for publicity). They used my United States of America, Spain and Mexico maps and they look fabulous in the book. They also sent me a free copy which you can see in the photos here.