I really love travelling, it’s one of my favourite things to do, so a couple years ago I started creating my own illustrated maps of countries I’ve either been to or want to go to. I’ve created two maps of Scotland, one of the whole of the UK, Taiwan (my home country), Mexico (desperately want to visit), the United States of America (fascinating country), Japan and Germany.
I’ve got quite a few more countries planned but I love creating these maps and hope to eventually visit all of them.
In my previous life as a chef, I travelled to France as part of my graduation from culinary school.
While we only went to Paris I absolutely loved the food, the culture, the sights, it’s easily one of the most beautiful and fascinating cities I’ve ever been to.
But going to France to really discover the rest of the country and not just Paris is definitely on my bucket list to do.
I travelled to South Korea a couple times when I was a child and I really loved it. This illustrated map shows some of my favourite locations and memories as well as places I want to go in the future.
My most recent map (finished 21st July 2018) is an illustrated map of Germany. I’ve only briefly visited Germany but I have friends that live in Germany and I also have quite a few customers from Germany but from what I’ve seen and researched Germany is a seriously beautiful country with a lot of things to see, do and eat.
This is one country I really want to visit in the next couple years.
I visited Spain in 2010 and went to Granada and Madrid. Madrid was cool but I absolutely loved Granada.
Spain is a country I’d like to travel around a lot more.
The UK has been my home since mid 2007, first in Birmingham but for the last ten years in Edinburgh, Scotland.
In this time I’ve got to known many parts of the UK quite well so it was only natural that I had to illustrate a map of my current home.
This map was a lot of fun to create. It took a while to research the USA but I found the country is full of all kinds of fun, weird, unique things and all kinds of cultures, foods, everything.
One of my favourite countries, I visited Japan a few times when I was a child and it was so much fun. Japan has so much culture and so many fun things to do, see and eat it’s unreal.
Another country I would love to visit, I love so many things Mexico whether it’s the food, the culture, the scenery, Mexican wrestling, anything, I love it.
Mexico is one of my dream destinations and this was a lot of fun to illustrate.
My home since 2008, I was actually hired to create a couple different maps of Scotland, one was a cultural map, showing things Scotland is famous for while the other was a food map.
Most people who think of Scotland and food think of haggis, neeps, tatties, tablet, tennants and whisky but Scotland actually has a really exciting food scene.
My home country. The first map was a fruit map and the second a general food map. Taiwan is famous for it’s food scene, we have some of the most incredible tropical fruits and the food with it’s night markets and super competitive scene is amazing.
Apart from my family, friends and the weather, one of the things I miss the most about Taiwan is the food.
My favourite TV show right now is Stranger Things. I absolutely love it. It’s creepy, charming, brilliantly acted, everything I like in a show.
So something completely different, I decided to create a map of Hawkins, the town in Stranger Things.
This isn’t meant to be a perfect replica but this is how I view it and this was a lot of fun to create.
It’s this fascination and love of travelling, as well of course as a love for illustrating, that gave me the impetus to create a series of maps for not just the countries I’ve lived in but countries that I would really like to travel to as well. My biggest map to date is the first above o the United States of America. I didn’t want to do a google maps style map but rather for all of my maps I naturally included lots of food elements but I also wanted to include elements that fun and a bit wacky.
For Japan as an example, there are geisha’s, money cats, Ken Watanabe (legend!), hot springs and various other things. I never knew before researching the USA how many awesome and perhaps weird locations there are. There are all kinds of buildings, foods, cultures and all sorts.
Scotland is also a really cool country. Most people think of Scotland as the highlands, haggis, kilts etc but Scotland has a really diverse foo culture as well as many awesome sights including of course the highlands, lots of castles and more. Taiwan, my home country, is famed for it’s tropical fruits but is equally, if not more so, famous for it’s night markets.
So creating these maps has been a lot of fun and as and when time allows I’m planning on creating a whole lot more of these maps including, to name a few, the whole of the UK, Germany, very likely Spain and my husband keeps suggesting Australia.
All of these maps can be purchased through my Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/IllustratedKitchen