Saturday, July 2, 2011

Painting, Inking, Mapping, Daydreaming

Hi all! My name is Alison, aka paintandink, and your host, Cartophiliac, has graciously invited me to be one of the contributors to Cartophilia.

Like many of you, I imagine, I have loved maps as long as I can remember. I blame National Geographic. When I was a kid, I papered my bedroom ceiling with maps from National Geographic. I would lie on my bed, staring up at those maps for hours. I dreamed of going to faraway places and I also dreamed of making maps, of working for National Geographic. I hoarded maps. I pored over them. I started writing to consulates and travel bureaus, asking for more maps.

That quote in this blog's banner?

"I think that the constant study of maps is apt to disturb men’s reasoning powers" - Lord Salisbury

He's got a point. Maybe I should have gone outside more, but in my mind, I was having grand adventures. And I was lucky enough to have real adventures too. From which I brought back maps as souvenirs. When my dad took me to Ireland at 14, I brought back a poster of a hand-drawn map that I still have today.

It's wrinkled and banged-up.

I still obsess over traveling and maps and still collect maps, haphazardly - big maps, small maps, ripped-out-of-magazine maps - although my maps aren’t taped up on the ceiling these days. They’re sorely neglected, as a matter of fact. Rolled up. Folded in boxes. And I have a lot of maps from a road trip stuffed in a drawer. One of these days, I'll frame the good ones.

In the meantime, I'll tell you about those, and the other fun, weird, quirky, interesting maps I find.

I'm still bringing them back as souvenirs, too. This is a crime map of Edinburgh's Royal Mile. This one deserves its own post.

I did not become a National Geographic cartographer, but almost 20 years later, I have become a mapmaker. Using dip pens and India ink and watercolor, I’ve spent the last five years making treasure maps, fantasy maps, custom maps of real and imaginary places, abstract maps, and travel art.

I’m excited to be part of Cartophilia. Thank you, Jamie, for the invitation.

You can also find me at my own blog, The Explorer’s Notebook, and my artwork at the Interimaginational Institute for Fantastical Exploration and Cartography (that is, my Etsy shop).

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At Saturday, July 02, 2011 , Blogger aquariann said...

Wondrous guest post, Alison! Reading about what inspired you to draw your imaginative maps was fun. :D

At Saturday, July 02, 2011 , Blogger Cartophiliac said...

Yay Alison! Welcome aboard!

At Sunday, July 03, 2011 , Blogger paintandink said...

Thank you both! I'm excited to be here.

At Sunday, July 03, 2011 , Blogger Thatsaabguy said...

Yay! More contributors! :-)

At Friday, July 08, 2011 , Blogger dhkendall said...

Alison: I completely understand your backstory. The following quote from Frasier is me to a tee:

Niles: That was the same period where you insisted on wearing the wax earplugs and the slumber mask.
Frasier: Well I had to, what with you underneath the covers with a flashlight looking at the National Geographic.
Niles: I was looking at the maps.
Frasier: That's what makes it so scary.

At Tuesday, July 26, 2011 , Blogger DENNIS BOLT said...

I had/may still have that exact same Ireland map from a trip to Irealnd in 1980 when I was a kid. I loved that map-thanks for reminding me of it. I'm a designer, illustrator and map lover and those travel maps are a real inspiration.

At Wednesday, July 27, 2011 , Blogger paintandink said...

Dennis, that is so cool! It's a great map - after all these years, I still see things I've never noticed before. And it's a huge inspiration in making maps, too.


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