Whenever I travel, I look for the hidden gems of a place . Not just where to get the best chicken and waffles (although that is a bonus) or the best chocolate (we'll save that for another map project), but where to find the house with the garden gnome collection, or that fire hydrant with a face painted on it, or a cryptic handpainted sign, or an ancient window display full of c. 1970s portraits that has been untouched for decades.
My neighbourhood has enjoyed a ton of press over the past few years and has been featured in numerous travel guides. Everybody already knows where to find the best gastropub/sushi bar/cupcakery (is that even a word?). How about a map of the eccentricities, the quirks, and the secret pleasures of walking slowly and doing a bit of neighbourhood navel-gazing.
This is probably not a map for someone who has a check list of landmarks and wants to cover as much ground as possible . This IS a map for anyone who believes that the divine is in the details
Dear classmates, I feel I will need your help /expertise/guidance on how to :
-edit and pare down- I am a bit overwhelmed with how many things I have on my brainstorming list
-deciding on a format that will be best suited for this project
-Suggesting simple technology tutorials. I am a luddite. I will be hand drawing everything for this project but am interested in learning and finding tutorials on how to use photoshop, illustrator or any other programs you can suggest.
I can't wait to get started!
My friend Chris at Firefly Creative Writing started this cool map full of memorable kiss stories in the Toronto area.
First steps -I created a list of all the possible places I want to include in the map. Also made note of places I need to do a walk by of, for reference images, navigation notes, landmarks. Next, I plotted out the locations of known sites on a google map to help me plan routes.
Printed out the google map and got back to the fun stuff - pen and paper!!! I out a couple of different routes. Plan to walk them tomorrow and take reference notes and photos. Made a mental note to try and improve my handwriting ( I am remembering my highschool art teacher describe it as "chicken scratchings").
First hand drawn map! Quickie of the streets and places I frequent the most within a 10 min walk of home. I am realizing this map making process will be an exercise in editing - how the hell am I going to include anecdotes if I barely have room to write in place names? Starting to sweat a little...
More Progress and some questions:
I took Anne's suggestion and chose a section to focus in on. Less intimidating to tackle!
With a smaller section, I tried a horizontal layout just for kicks and made a rough draft with a brush pen. Fun to play with very loose lines and script.
Originally I thought i would like to have a magnified detail of each "treasure" locaton so that readers know they are in the right place. It wouldn't be a treasure hunt if I gave out the exact address for each location! I like the idea of a circle - reminds me of a magnifying lens and also riffs off of the drop pins used in google maps.
I took some ref photos and tried to select things that would read well when I inked them. Some were more successful than others...
I tried placing them directly on the map - as originally planned . I either have to increase the map size or shrink the image sizes. As everything is hand drawn, shrinking the circles will be tough unless i paint with a teeny brush.
Other option - take the circles off to the edges of the map and number them to correspond with the locations.
Some questions I'd love feedback on:
- Which layout do you like better - circle clues on the map or off to the sides.
- Should I go bigger? Because I am doing this low-tech, I was gravitating towards a smaller size that i can copy easily - that someone could fold up and put in their back pocket.
-Do you think I should "declutter" the map by simply drawing the path I'd like them to take - getting rid of streets that aren't on the treasure hunt route? It would leave me room to add more illustrative details but give the reader less context for their surroundings and no choice but to follow my lead. Is that a good thing?
--- new stuff ---
So, decided to declutter the actual map and leave the details off to the side with text "clues".
Trying to decide if I want to use a pen for fine line drawings and text or brush pen. For legibility, pens would be better (especially considering my scary handwriting) , but I do love the looseness of the brush for the illustration clues.
-Does it look strange to have both types of ink - fine line and brush work combined?
-Now that the illustrations are living off the map, I could shrink the size of the streets and increase the footprint of the map to cover a greater area. OR I could give myself more room for text and embellishments around the border, make my printing larger and neater!
Will try and have more to update before the peer feedback session . Thanks for your help!
Re-inked a map and tried shading to make the streets stand out more.
Thought about how I might handle small streets vs. major arteries if I decide to do a giant map, or try to squeeze more info into a smaller area:
Started folding the map to play with format and might make a second map of another section of the neighbourhood to put on the back . Two maps in one!
Current version is aprox 12 x 18" that would fold down into a 4 1/2 x 6 " rectangle.
Questions I'd love some feedback on:
-Do you still like the idea of the round shaped images or would you prefer to see a more complete image. The idea was to give a visual clue to know you were in the right place, instead of an exact address and of course, they will corresponde with a #on the map.
- Still unsure as to how to resolve how the map blends with the clues/text... blend the shading of the map right to the edges, leaving white areas for the circled images and text? Would you create borders around the separate elements instead eg. border for map, border around the "clues". Any other ideas?