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Recent from the blog
November 11, 2015
Columbus, Georgia is known throughout the South as the city with the whitewater rapids running right through the middle of town. The Columbus Uptown Merchants Association contacted me to create a cartoon map to promote the whitewater rapids as a tourist attraction. We started the project with the idea of including a select number of key merchants in Uptown Columbus to feature on the map. Before we were finished, I ended up including every building, bush and fireplug in Uptown Columbus. It turned into an extremely time-consuming project before it was over, but it illustrates what a cartoon version of a dense downtown area can look like. This map should serve the merchants of Uptown Columbus for many years to come.
Things that might go unnoticed on the map: I spent a long time drawing and rendering the rocks in and along the edge of the river, as well as the pattern in the river walk where it crosses the river. There is also a lot of hand-lettering on this map. My cartoon maps always include my hand-lettering. I'm very grateful that I taught myself to letter when I was in eighth grade. It has served me well on almost a daily basis throughout my life.
August 12, 2015
This illustration wouldn't technically qualify as a cartoon map. It falls into the category of "busy illustration", another one of my specialties. I was contacted by Barrons Lumber Company, an east-coast lumber chain, based near Washington DC.They wanted me to create an illustration that would visually demonstrate the structure of their company. I went through a lot of draws and redraws until we finally arrived at this, the final product.
Client comments: "Wow.....fantastic job. It is amazing...way better than I expected. Please know that this map will be a valuable and treasured tool for our company."
April 16, 2015
One of my favorite aspects of the cartoon map business is discovering new towns around the country and learning about them. Twin City, Georgia is a quaint southern town situated next to one of Georgia's most unique parks, George L. Smith State Park (above). I enjoyed learning about the history of Twin City, as well as some of the unique historical characters and businesses in Twin City, like the O.A. Hall store. Client comments: "A tremendous success! The map is fabulous. It's just spendid. A wonderful job. We're so excited about it."
February 24, 2015
This is the second edtion of the Buckley Map. The first edition was published in 1999. If you compare the two, you will find a marked difference in the intensity of the color. The original was painted in watercolor, which produces a muted low-intensity hue. I produced several dozen maps in watercolor until I caught on to Photoshop. This new edition was colored in Photoshop with a Wacom Cintiq. Photoshop colors are ideal for coloring cartoon maps, because bright colors enhance the effect of cartoon maps.
November 18, 2014
I was contacted by Green Mountain Power of Rutland, Vermont to create an "Energy Trail" cartoon map for the town. Rutland is a leader among towns in America for alternative energy development. This map highlights the solar energy "hotspots" around town. The focal point of the map was intended to be the downtown district, so I caricatured all of the downtown buildings.
September 13, 2014
In January of 2013 I was contacted by Bernalillo County, New Mexico. They asked me to produce a cartoon map for them, similar to the cartoon map that I drew for the nearby town of Aztec, New Mexico. It is now September of 2014, one year and nine months later, and I finally just finished the Bernalillo County map project. The old saying: "The wheels of government turn slowly" certainly applies here. But my contact in Bernalillo County was very pleasant and easy to work with, which was a great benefit. This was a long-haul project with many weeks of changes, corrections, stops and starts. But it's always a good feeling to finish a complex project such as this one. I might add that what you see is only one half of the project. The other side of the map contains four smaller "call-out" maps that highlight areas of the city that require more detail.
I would be remiss if I didn't mentioning the big surprise that I received yesterday. I got a call from a man who lives here in the Puget Sound area of Washington State, near where I live. He had been visiting friends in Bernalillo County and he had just driven back to Washington State. He happened to be friends with one of the team members that I worked with on the Bernalillo County map project. They sent him back to Washington with a giant gift basket to give to me, filled with many items unique to Bernalillo County. I was thrilled and delighted with their thoughfulness. Special thanks to Catherine and Amanda, key members of the Bernalillo County team for their continued help and encouragement throughout the project.
July 22, 2014
My favorite cartoon map projects are, without a doubt, tropical island maps. I have always been attracted to tropical islands, and I love to draw them. Eleuthera is an island in the Bahamas, situated 50 miles east of Nassau. It is an unspoiled off-the-beaten-track island. This makes it a special hideaway for those who want to escape the throngs of tourists that flock to Nassau and Grand Bahama. Situated in the central portion of the long narrow serpentine island is the district of Governor's Harbour, a quaint village on the west side of the island. I was contacted by the owner of a luxury guest house in Governor's Harbour to create a map of the area to serve as a guide for tourists that visit the area.
If you would like to see take a 60-second tour of Governor's Harbour, click here.
May 17, 2014
This is my first cartoon map of a school district, for Stillwater School District in Stillwater, Minnesota. They wanted to find a unique and novel way to promote their school district. I think they made a good choice. My mother and father-in-law were particularly interested in this map because my father-in-law's parents lived on Lake Elmo, which is in the Stillwater School District.
March 30, 2014
Client comment: "It looks great!"
If you're planning on visiting the Bahamas on your next holiday, and you're passing through Freetown, you might enjoy taking a Segway tour from Segs by the Sea. With the Seg tour comes the illustrated map above that we created. It shows you the attractions to visit as you motor along on your Segway.
February 24, 2014
Client comments: "We are so excited, Bron! This looks amazing! I can't stress how happy we are with the map!
I remember studying the Tennessee Valley Authority in high school. Little did I know at the time that I would one day be creating a cartoon map of this renowned power plant and the surrounding countryside. The object of the illustration is to document the progress of their current construction project. My completed map was created in an "11 x 17" format and enlarged into a giant display poster, then placed at a point within the work area where the workers can view the map on their way to and from their job. As each phase of the project is finished, a car that I created is moved to the next "station" along the track until it reaches "the end of the road" and the project is finished. The poster allows the workers to visually moniter the progress of the project. Using Google Streetview, I was able to depict the terrain and environment in the area that surrounds the plant.
January 04, 2014
Spring Lake Park, in Willistion, North Dakota, is the site of the annual Christmas Lights Drive, a drive around the lake that is decorated with an elaborate display of Christmas lights. The Williston chamber of commerce asked me to create a map for the event.
The vast majority of maps that you see on my web site are drawn in eleborate detail. This is one of the simplest maps I have ever drawn, which was most fortunate because there was a very tight deadline on this project. It had to be completed and printed prior to the scheduled event.
November 26, 2013
Izaty's is a time-share resort on Mille Lacs Lake in Minnesota. They asked me to create a cartoon map of the lake so that visitors can see what is available to do and see in and around Mille Lacs Lake. I created the map in a smaller 8.5 x 11 format. It was then enlarged to poster size to enhance their community board.
November 03, 2013
It's always a pleasure to take a small, rural community and thrust it into the cartoon map spotlight. That's what I did with Oakdale, California.
Those who see the final results of a map on my web site would have no way of knowing everything that I went through to get to the final product. This map involved several sets of laborious changes before we finally arrived at the final result. The original request was for an area map that took in four lakes that were quite a distance from Oakdale. The idea was to make Oakdale the center of a regional map, in order to show the recreational potential of the area. But it was finally agreed that trying to cover such a large area and still get the required detail of the town would be an insurmountable task. So I removed all four lakes and recreated the map to focus on the town itself, which included a detailed inset of the downtown core, including all of the buildings. That was made even more difficult in that each building required a number.
What really ran up the time clock on this project was the number of personal additions. The Oakdale map contains almost everything and every person of notable interest in town, from the mayor to the Cowboy Santa. That's the mayor on one of the streets, out walking her five dogs. I was happy to learn that the people of Oakdale were thrilled with their new Oakdale Cartoon Map.
September 09, 2013
Rock Springs is a little town in Southwestern Wyoming. It has a history of coal mining and oil exploration. Rock Springs is also a rodeo town. The challenge I faced with this cartoon map was to cram a lot of information into a small area. They wanted me to draw all of the historic buildings in town, but by the time I drew the streets in, I could see there would be no room for buildings. Trying to fit buildings into a map area is a common challenge. But the bottom line was that they were very happy with the finsihed product.
July 05, 2013
Lake Coeur d' Alene is a beautiful lake in the mountains of northern Idaho. It's the perfect mountain tourist destination. It was a fun and challenging map to draw.
The Harrison and Trail of the Coeur d' Alenes map is the back side to the Lake Coeur d' Alene map that you see below. Sorry that the bottom half of the map is upside-down. That's how the map folds.
Our sales associate on this map is a high school teacher at a school on the shore of Lake Coeur d' Alene. He is also a businessman in the town of Harrison. He decided that it would be of benefit to the merchants to have a cartoon map created of Lake Coeur d' Alene on one side and Harrison and Trail of the Coeur d' Alenes on the other side. He sold all of the ads that you see on this map over the weekends during the school year. The map was recently released just in time for the summer tourist season.
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