A bit of in-progress work for a travel project— a bit of an arts and culture map via watercolor. I find it sweet and endearing. But then I would; I’ve been working on it for two weeks, and have become rather attached.
Can’t explain it in full, as it’s for a small audience, but I wanted to share just a sliver or slice of what’s been taking up some of my time and best efforts. To be repetitive, I’m so happy to be working at a place that makes use of these, the more vague or difficult to explain (on a resumé) of my talents. Overjoyed they want them, now they’ve seen the work in situ*, as it were.
This map, which I designed / illustrated for Pendergast in Amsterdam, went live on their website a week or two ago. I worked with them to articulate entryways to the neighborhood, highlighting routes for cyclists, cars and public transport.
In the midst of designing, I traveled to Amsterdam. We held meetings. I went to the restaurant a number of times— on foot, cycling, and on the tram. As I already had a solid representation in my head of this neighborhood that I was physically unfamiliar with, I never had to consult Google. The map works.
Additionally, having spent time in the restaurant and experiencing several dinners there was instructional (and delicious). When I returned those firsthand experiences were invaluable in the final process of interpretation for style, for vibe.
The aim was for a map both useful and attractive, incorporating the restaurant’s branding without sacrificing usability. In the final phase we decided to add icons of major landmarks to further aid those new to the area. I’m happy to say we’re all pleased with it.
When I woke I discovered my heart cast shadows longer than dreams in places where we moved as children, cured of fear, and never looked back.
Sometimes when I wake I write down my dreams, or the bits I can remember. If I wake with the territory intact, I map it. The drawings are invariably simple, as the tools of consciousness are ill-suited to convey that kind of shifting complexity*, but it’s fun.
I found some bits of writing from several years ago; notes for a project I never quite started:
The terrain of the interior is known only in the abstract. The places there are monumental and organic– even cities seem not altogether manmade.
I’ve never seen boundaries, or approached an edge of it. Unlike a world in the round, the interior has a precipice beyond which lies a void. Or it may be a sphere, inversed— the center of which now lies at the edges of everywhere, for the laws of physics apply only as far as they are known and believed true.
The map is drawn as each footfall hits the ground; comes into existence ceaselessly. It’s fluid. Stars by which to navigate wink into existence with every step— constellations formed against losing one’s way in the darkness (but are soon forgotten).
The interior is never in focus all at once. Places obscured for a time will likely be redrawn, subtly or altogether, by the next time (or if) they come back into view.
Edited to add: This is absolutely untrue; it’s what all of art is for, ultimately, but when time is of the essence, it can be true. Depends on one’s mindset, and one’s intention in the moment. These things percolate and eventually can at least come close to expressing the under-explored territories; that’s the goal, difficult as it can be.
For any Brooklynites out there who feel an occasional pang of disdain toward that slender, sometimes tiresome island across the river, this one‘s for you; it’s a gicleé print on 8″ x 10″— ready to go into a frame immediately. I’ve also reprised my darling, dear, disaffected Mythologicals series from 2005 into 8″ x 10″ prints, and they are for sale on Etsy now. Go buy some art!
A few months ago I received an email missive from one Bart, “an amateur mapmaker in an online Risk game, Landgrab.net.” He explained, “You can create your own maps and upload them to the site and play there against other players.” Said he’d found Calendria online while searching for maps to get ideas for games; for new lands to grab, presumably. Anyway, he kindly asked permission to use Calendria as a basis for creating a playable map thereof. Commence the Time Wars of 2010. See the map he created after the jump.
There were four of us in a pickup truck; two were visitors. We were across a gulf of water from where we needed to be, but were heading back to the other side soon. We decided to stop along the water’s edge to see the view before crossing– the sun was hitting the mountains and the water, simultaneously casting shadows and glitter.
Thanks to the folks over at “Under Consideration” for featuring the calendar-map on their design blog, For Print Only (FPO). Exciting! An excerpt:
“With one side featuring the intricate and finely detailed map, and the other a subtle and muted calendar peppered with old-style characteristics, this piece should keep your discovery level high as you encounter the minutiae and read the inspired copy.”
For the record (I’m adding this on January 5, 2010), I tallied up the hours spent on the calendar-map itself and on its attendant web site and the total was 225 hours between May and October; the web site hours added up to 20 of those.
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A NEW ONLINE GALLERY AND SHOP:
I have opened up a second shop on our trusty Esty; this one dedicated to paintings, printed matter– “and other nonsense of the highest order.” Click the image [or here] to go have a look. More items will be added steadily.
I’m just going to set this particular Breszny ‘scope down here on my tablet of endless what-not so it may serve as a reminder to me in the coming year, the year 2010– time to start building a masterpiece.
Big shiny egos with flashy tricks may be mucking around in everyone’s business, calling narcissistic attention to themselves as they pretend to do noble deeds. Meanwhile, I hope you’ll be doing the hard, detailed work that must be done to serve the greater good — quietly and unpretentiously improving people’s lives without demanding major tribute. That approach will stir up some sleek, silky karma that will come in handy when you undertake the building of your masterpiece in 2010.