My first map illustration of 2019 is a map of South Korea. Over the past couple of years I’ve illustrated a few maps and I’ve learnt a lot from the process of illustrating each map but after the map of Germany I feel like I’ve found an illustration style that I’m really comfortable with.
My map illustrations always focus on delicious foods from each country I illustrate. The way I start researching for my map is I will draw a “base map” first. I do this by finding a reliable state/region map of that country and start tracing the outline in Adobe Illustrator. Then I will find out that country’s main mountains, rivers, special terrain, main cities, neighbouring countries etc and I’ll put these on the base map.
After I have done this basic process then I can start searching for what goes on in “region” or what’s popular in each capital city. Sometimes it’s hard to find things that I want to put in each “region” but it will be easier if use the capital cities as keywords to my research.
A lot of the information I found for each map are from Google Maps, Wikipedia or websites like Culture Trip. These kind of big name websites contain information I find a lot more reliable. I know some people might question “why don’t you buy some books or go to the library to do your research?” and while I would love to do this, it would simply mean more time researching and less time illustrating. I have a constant busy schedule and this map project is less for money and more about fun.
People who follow my work know I don’t create maps very often because of the amount of time and energy I have to invest into each map is a LOT. I mainly use this kind of project to practice my design skills and drawing different motifs, icons and objects.
I’m a big fan of Korean food and I visited South Korea when I was 12, which was a very long time ago. I love kimchi, Korean BBQ, seafood pancakes and spicy seafood tofu soup! You can see I’ve illustrated so many delicious Korean foods for this map! The reason I illustrate this South Korea map is because one of my shop customers asked me nearly a year ago if I will illustrate map of Korea? I said I can definitely illustrate one but I can’t promise when I will be able to complete and then I only have time to complete this map after 11 months. We were talking about if we should illustrate whole Korea map but then I tell him I prefer to just illustrate a map of South Korea because I’m afraid I won’t be able to find enough good information material to use for North Korea part of map. Plus I don’t really like promote or associate my illustration with the country which is not kind to his own people or potentially harm other people. So for this map I only focused on South Korea.
I create maps for the countries I like and I want to pass on my joy and the love towards that country to the viewers through my map but just like any tourists in the world sometime I got the wrong information or sometime I make mistakes and have misunderstandings with certain things or certain cultures. I’ve never said my maps are 100% geographical correct or my map is for educational text book and going to teach you something you are going to use for your university exam. I’m not a geography expert and I’m just a person who likes food, travel and drawing so if I made any mistakes with my map illustration I just hope people be kind to judge.
Please also note I receive a lot of messages asking which I don’t illustrate the surrounding countries. This is a map of South Korea alone. Same goes for Germany, France, etc, they are maps of those countries and not it’s neighbours.
If you’re interested in purchasing this map print or postcard you can have a look at the shop on my website. All the postcards and prints are high quality and I hope you love them as much as I do.