Wanderlust: La Dolce Vita

Wanderlust: La Dolce Vita - student project


After much deliberation, I've decided to do a map of my hometown in Northern Wisconsin. I did a little search on maps of the area and all I could find were very "normal" maps of the area. I thought it would be fun to explore a more graphic approach to the geography which is full (FULL!) of lakes. 

Minocqua is the closest town of interest to my house. This is Minocqua:

Wanderlust: La Dolce Vita - image 1 - student projectWanderlust: La Dolce Vita - image 2 - student project

Here is a map of the area:

Wanderlust: La Dolce Vita - image 3 - student project

The lakes I chose to draw are the closest in proximity to where I grew up. I added dotted line to show the roads I travelled most for the first 18 years of my life (seems like such a speck on a map, but it was my whole world for so long!)

This has gotten me thinking more about drawing maps for the area and selling them at local shops. So many things sold in the area have a very "northwoodsy" aesthetic to it and I have to believe that there are others like me up there that appreciate a designer's approach to things. The town also is a huge tourist destination in the summer—especially for Chicagoans. Surely there would be a market for this type of map.

Wanderlust: La Dolce Vita - image 4 - student project

I am still going to play with color. I'll update my board if I get that done before the due date. I love how the lakes look like continents.

I'd love any feedback!


PROJECT 2.2: Enlarge a small portion of a map.

I am still thinking of Rome for my final project, so this map is an exercise in exploring that city. I took the area of the Pantheon to do "A lovely stroll in Rome." Right now, the map is 8.5 x 11 while the text below would be folded underneath to reveal when needed for reference. I haven't printed it out yet and I have a feeling this would all change when it was printed out. 8.5 x 11 seems like a huge map for a small walk through a really big city.

I used the method Anne used for her Paris map on her blog—drawing over a Google map. I played a lot with different colorways, but ended up with more muted tones. I feel like there's a lot of blank areas which I go back and forth between liking and feeling like it needs a bit more "to see." However, having not been to Rome in almost 10 years, I can't remember smaller details. Guess I need to return soon!

I could see doing a whole series of "Lovely Strolls" of places I've been. Designing this map gave me a reason to travel to Rome in my head and that was fantastic.

Wanderlust: La Dolce Vita - image 5 - student project

PROJECT 2.1: Cut-paper map.

This is a cut-paper map of the imaginary city. I debated putting type on the map but opted against it. I like the idea of the viewer imagining what everything would be if it were his/her city. I also like the graphicness of it without text. 

I covet paper so it was not a problem to quickly gather some patterned and solid papers and start cutting. I fully admit that I used a paper punch and and Xacto and ruler for nice smooth shapes. The buildings are cut by hand and I sort of like their imperfectness.

Wanderlust: La Dolce Vita - image 6 - student project

Wanderlust: La Dolce Vita - image 7 - student project

Here is the scanned map. I much prefer the photographs of it because it keeps the textural qualities of the paper. The scanned version loses those details. I also haven't honed my Photoshop skills to get the color the way I'd like it to look. It's a bit intense:

Wanderlust: La Dolce Vita - image 8 - student project

I've also begun working on a zoomed-in Illustration of my favorite area in Rome. A map of Rome was going to be my final project, BUT I'm getting so much inspiration and so many ideas that it changes daily. I am having so much fun with this class. Thanks to everyone for being so inspiring!


PROJECT 1: Hand drawn map.

I chose to draw a map of my favorite spots in downtown Madison and my neighborhood. I wanted to start local with my first assignment. I also played around with using color for the neighborhood map. 

Wanderlust: La Dolce Vita - image 9 - student project

Wanderlust: La Dolce Vita - image 10 - student project


I am a freelance designer/stay-at-home mom who is looking to satisfy a major case of wanderlust by creating maps of places I've been. I've always wanted to create a map of Rome, my first European city that's always held a place in my heart. Having been to Rome about 5 times, many friends ask me for advice when traveling there. I thought it would be handy to create a printed map of "My Rome" to pass along the next time someone asks. And, if it looks really good, I'll have some artwork for my office. Win, win!

As far as level of detail, I'd like to keep it simple. I really love the simplicity of this map found on Etsy by PureGreen:

Wanderlust: La Dolce Vita - image 11 - student project

I am looking forward to getting inspired by my classmates!

Please take a look at my Pinterest board which is constantly being updated (especially now!)