For the love of maps - map commissions

My intrigue and inspiration from maps has intensified this year. When i am in my shed creating my maps - particularly the prints, I go into a world of exploration. Looking at the patterns and connections in the land that I couldn’t have appreciated while on the ground. I feel like I am starting to understand a place in a different way. This is quite a personal process, so it is hard to know how others will respond.

That makes it all the more inspiring to know that others are finding something to inspire them in the maps too. Its been the print maps that have been most successful - there is something about them that seems to appeal to people. Perhaps it is the simplicity, or the aesthetic of black lines and gold, or the representation of a place and an experience in a different way, or that I love doing them and that comes through!

This has been particularly pertinent in my commissions work. A number of people have asked me for maps that are meaningful to them. I take the area that they are interested in and explore the maps. In my own work I do maps of places that are meaningful to me. So it is really inspiring to hear people’s stories and create their maps. I also get to learn details of coastlines and regions that are less familiar.

The maps are drypoint etches where you make marks on a special board, apply ink and put it through a press.  These are black or indigo.  I then use metallic paint to highlight the places or journeys that people want to focus on.  These might be birth places, places where people have met or an amazing journey or experience.

The map shown here is a map of the Slovenian/ Croatian/ Bosnian coastline. It was commissioned for a wedding anniversary.  The gold marks represent the places where the couple were born - one in Slovenia and one in Bosnia and there is a gold line that connects the two cities. It is a drypoint etching in indigo (dark blue) ink on somerset paper (27 x 33cm). I loved exploring the number of islands along the Croatian coast as I did it and the distances that the couple had conducted their early romance over. It’s also wonderful to hear what a unique gift it is and see it being enjoyed on people’s walls.

So 2018 was definitely the year of the map and I think that 2019 will be too. I am in the process of doing some new work that pulls together all the maps I have done of the Alaskan wildernesses to conclude that series. I am also doing new maps of more urban areas that are meaningful to me, and who knows where the commissions might take me.

If you have your own map that inspires you and want to find out more about my map commissions check out the brochure (under collections): https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5a428fa029f187de5f713331/t/5c600f7e71c10be188efe911/1549799618386/Map+commissions+brochure_stephaniedraper_2019.pdf