Cartographers

After seeing the Magnificent Maps exhibition at the British Library earlier this year and receiving several commissions for feature-inspired maps, illustrator Adam Hayes decided to start a project. Getting in touch with friends, colleagues and his illustration heroes, Hayes invited other illustrators to create maps of places where they felt they belonged.

Kingsland Road by Adam Hayes for the Guardian
Kingsland Road by Adam Hayes for the Guardian

The result is Hayes’ blog Maps, which shows each of the work with a short interview with its creator. So far submissions have ranged from straightforward (and beautifully drawn) pictograms of real places, such as Josh Cochran’s map of Vancouver, to totally abstract pictograms, such as Nomoco’s textured map of Bach’s Concerto D Minor.

Josh Cochran's map of Vancouver
Josh Cochran’s map of Vancouver

J.S Bach's Concerto D Minor by Nomoco
J.S Bach’s Concerto D Minor by Nomoco

Hayes says, ‘There’s been a really varied response to the project. With maps you can document the information graphics of everything accurately or you can take it where you will.’

High Tea by Jess Wilson
High Tea by Jess Wilson

Similar to illustration in that it must be both functional and aesthetically pleasing, map-making appeals to illustrators because you can respond to a space in a personal way, says Hayes. The additional challenge for this group of illustrators was to identify a place that they felt they belonged – something which proved tricky for many of those involved.

Middle of Nowhere by Andrew Groves
Middle of Nowhere by Andrew Groves

Responding to that challenge, Andrew Groves created his own land, complete with snow in the winter, waves in the summer, tress and mysterious creatures. He says, ‘I’ve yet to actually go to a place where I feel I completely “belong” but I’m always at my happiest when I’m outdoors so I’ve created an small island that I think would be a great place to live.’

Hayes admits, ‘I’ve been struggling with my own project as I’m not sure where I belong but I’ve been inspired by Nomoco’s map [of a piece of music by Bach] which is a lot more secretive and keeps her own personality hidden.’

Pirates Deep by Matt Johnstone  shows his favourite childhood adventure playground
Pirates Deep by Matt Johnstone shows his favourite childhood adventure playground

Although only an online project at the moment, Hayes can see the project growing legs as the submissions come in. He says, ‘It deserves to become an exhibition or a book but at the moment I’m not looking in to that, I’m just looking forward to the maps coming into my mailbox.’

Past, Present, Future by Matthew Dent
Past, Present, Future by Matthew Dent

To view more Maps or contribute your own visit http://make-maps.blogspot.com.

Latest articles