I’m not only a fan of zines and comics, but I also absolutely obsess over maps. I find them beautiful in themselves and of course extremely useful. Maybe they also remind me of treasure hunts and pirate stories. I used to draw maps of unknown places I was visiting so I wouldn’t get lost but now I mostly use professionally printed maps designed by others. I’ve build quite a map collection over the years, and even though I use them mainly for practical purposes, some of them are true artworks which have decorated my walls.
Map Art Lab: 52 exciting art explorations in mapmaking, imagination, and travel by the sisters Jill K. Berry and Linden McNeilly is an ode to creative cartography and also encourages you to make your own map-based artwork. It contains a lot of examples of artistic cartographic projects to undertake. These start with drawing compass roses, legends, and sea monsters. They go on to make use of story-telling, travel experiences, and fantasy to re-decorate and re-invent wooden bowls, scrolls, board games, portraits, journaling, postcards, and jewelry. Examples of suggested techniques and materials are dripping ink, stencils, pop-ups, transparent layers, tye dying, stitching and embroidery, mosaics, and collages of upcycled materials. There is plenty of variaty, experimentation, beauty, and fun in the pages of the book!
Map Art Lab is suitable for teachers to use in their art classes but also for anyone of any age to find new imaginative ways to express themselves. Each map project includes the materials needed, clear instructions, and inspiring pictures of the end results. I haven’t started making any of their map projects yet, but I think they will come in handy as inspiration for future zines and artworks. If you’re not map-obsessed yet, you will be after browsing through this book!