Wanderlust: a craving for travel, a sense of distant places, a desire to explore the world.
I was born with a major case of wanderlust. When I graduated from high school, I wanted to take a year off before going to college to explore the U.S. By myself. In my car. (I was only 17, so my mom said no way.)
I’ve always been a lover of maps, both as a cartographer and out of curiosity, wondering what life is like in other places.
- What does the air smell like?
- What do the buildings and cars look like?
- What does the local food taste like?
- What is the culture like?
- What are people talking about at the cafes?
Maps tell stories!
As my brother-in-law says, “looking at maps kinda feels like traveling in a way.” Since I don’t get to travel as much as I would like (yet), maps are a great way to dream about far away places.
Combine that with my love for illustration and you get my new obsession: illustrating maps, in particular, for places on my bucket list.
I illustrated the three maps pictured in this blog post last summer. They all have a consistent style, with lots of fun icons on the front to illustrate life and activities in that particular area. The back side offers a narrative about the place, which was a good way to practice typography sills, laid over a transparent background of the map from the front, along with a few icons repeated from the front.
I have been discovering many wonderful map illustrators and related websites these days. My favorite website is They Draw and Travel. I also love to do a general search for “illustrated maps” on Pinterest and Etsy. Some of my current favorites include:
Those who know me professionally know how much I love to illustrate maps. I really do! So one of my primary focuses in 2014 is going to be doing more maps. Here’s to dreams and exploring the world!