It took a while for me to settle on this year’s creative habit. I first leaned towards a doll project. As a pushback against post-election ugliness, I wanted to do something that reminded me of childhood, something with an element of pretty, of sweet.
But, in the way of creative projects, signs revealed to me what I would do instead. Signs like ice at the edge of the beaver pond that Oskar and I cross almost daily. Ice that looks a bit like a topographical map.
If maps are on your mind. And guess what? They’ve been on my mind. Maps as a way of telling stories, maps as a way to remember, maps as family history and myth.
And so I am excited to embark on my 2017 Year of Creative Habits project: The Curious Cartographer*.
Here’s the goal: each week I’ll research and produce a map that tells a story from my life, my family history, world events, my imagination. To ensure my success, I’ve set up a weekly system, starting on Saturdays:
Day 1: Decide what story to map and decide on a map style.
Day 2: Determine any landmarks to be included and gather reference pictures. Make reference map if mapping actual places.
Day 3: Sketch landmarks.
Day 4: Draw map; add color.
Day 5: Add landmarks and any additional color
Day 6: Ink and letter.
What about day 7? I’m leaving myself a little wiggle room in case any of the drawing, inking, or lettering takes longer than I expect. My goal is to produce 52 maps this year, and I’m sure this system will change and be refined.
Want to see my first map?
Tell me about your creative projects for 2017, willya?
*Not drawn to scale.