I like illustrating maps because the process of illustrating a map of a country, city or area always makes me feel like I’ve gotten to know this place before I visit. Of course I believe I will learn much more about a place if I can visit in person but it’s ok to let the imagination run sometimes.
For this Mexico Map Illustration I started by finding “things” I wanted to drawn from each of the states in Mexico and then I listed them in my sketchbook. I tried to keep at least two things for each states but sometimes there were more. Things that could be included were food, local agriculture, souvenirs, buildings, traditional dance, customs and famous people from the past. For example, if someone talks to me about Mexico I will automatically think of Day of the Dead Festival, Frida Kahlo sugar skulls, lucha libra and nachos but my process teaches me an awful lot more about the countries I want to illustrate.
I never knew before this project Mexico is a popular spot for archaeology as Mexico has a lot of dinosaur fossils in the ground. There is also an interesting food called tomatillos that looks like green tomato and is covered by a layer of skin. I just love this process and the fact I can develop my knowledge of something through my work. How fun is that?!
Below are just a select few of the “element” illustrations I created for my Mexico Map Illustration.
I really hope I got everything right as I don’t know any Spanish so if I made any mistakes please forgive me. Some of the buildings I illustrate might not be the typical tourist attractions but I just loved the colour and the shape of the buildings so I can’t help but illustrate them. Also I want to present a “bright and positive” image of Mexico so I didn’t illustrate anything related to crime. Some of the information I got from the Wikitravel website states that certain parts of Mexico are quite dangerous for tourists but just like many places around the world there are good parts and bad parts.
This map is a little bit different compared with other maps I have illustrated but this is exactly why I like working on self-initiated projects like this. Projects like these give me a chance to experiment with different design styles and explore different layouts and all kinds of possibilities. Who knows maybe next time when I illustrate a map it will be in an entirely different style and design again.
But one thing I really hope to do in the near future is to change my computer. I use an iMac and it’s now four years old and it really struggles with the latest versions of Adobe Illustrator. My husband’s iMac is seven years old this year and while he does 90% of his work on a Macpro laptop when he does use his iMac we make each other laugh with our constant swearing at our computers.
But the point is I almost didn’t manage to finish this map because my computer is now so slow with creating images like this. So lovely people, if you like my art please get in touch and buy my map so I can have some money to buy a new computer so I can create more work like this.
If you’re interested in purchasing a print of this map you can buy it here from my Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/289454619/mexico-map-illustration-uk-shipping?ref=shop_home_listings