My Commission Book
I now have slots available from May for new commissions.
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Recently I had the opportunity to explore cartography. I'd done a couple of fairly simple maps before but this request was a bit more complicated than they had been, and it was for a book! - How exciting! The author Jacqueline Florence also happened to be a friend who served in the WRNS at the same time as me and was her very first novel of a trilogy. We were both so excited, but the pressure was on to do her proud.
I found researching cartography fascinating. She liked the Tolkien style as it fitted her novel perfectly and so we spent quite a lot of time looking at the landscape, features to be included, spacing and detail. She shared parts of chapters with me so I could get a feel for the story and decided that although she wanted the map in the book to be black and white, she also wanted a colour version framed for herself.
One of the things I discovered whilst doing this and another map for a different client (not yet published) is that the author is able to physically see the world their story is set in for the first time, and that timescale and distance isn't always as they imagined it to be. Maybe a map should be a work in progress until writing is complete?
As an artist, the relationship you have with your client is so important especially with work like this. I have only a blank sheet until I get details. As I talk to them on the phone, messages or email, images start to float around inside my head, and slowly build into a picture. I then go away and put them down. Then we chat some more and amend or add to what I see until we are both looking at the same picture. The most difficult jobs are when a client says "oh just do whatever you think" and gives me very little to go on. As I keep saying, my work is all about the detail, the little things that make it personal to the recipient.
I am now part way through reading my personal signed copy of Jacqueline's book, and really enjoying it so I am unashamedly posting the link to Amazon where you can buy it too!