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Recent from the blog

Bernalillo County, New Mexico

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 the following year, 2014, and after one year and nine months, I was finally able to finish the Bernalillo County map. That's how government works. The old saying: "The wheels of government turn slowly" is certainly true. But my contact in Bernalillo County was very pleasant and easy to work with. That really helped to ease the frustration of the ball being in their court for weeks or months at a time.When you work with government agencies as I do, you have to learn to be patient. This was a long-hail 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. 

I might mention that what you see is only 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 can't close without mentioning the big surprise that I received yesterday. I got a call from a man who had just driven up here to the Puget Sound region of Washington State, where I live. He had been visiting friends in Bernalillo County and he knew one of the team members that I worked with. 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.

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Governors Harbour, Bahamas

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

 

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Stillwater Minnesota School District

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. 

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Segs By The Sea, Freeport, Bahamas

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. 

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TVA Watts Bar Nuclear Power Plant

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. 

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Spring Lake Park, North Dakota

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. 

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The Village at Izaty’s

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. 

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Oakdale, California

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. 

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Rock Springs, WY

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. 

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Trail of the Coeur d’ Alenes

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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Lake Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho

July 04, 2013

Lake Coeur d' Alene is a beautiful lake in Northern Idaho. If I would have had time, I would have enjoyed visiting this particular destination to do the research, but I normally am not able to visit the far-flung areas that I map due to time restraints.Through the wonders of the Internet, I'm able to create maps for numerous locales around the world without leaving my studio, venturing no further away to draw my cartoon maps than my local Starbucks. 

Our sales associate in Coeur d' Alene is a high school teacher who is also a local businessman in the town of Harrison on the lake . He got the idea of doing a map to benefit the lake merchants, so he contacted us. He sold all the ads that you see over weekends during the school year. The maps was ready for the summer season.

I especially enjoy working on lake maps because they are always visually appealing, due to the interplay of the blues of the water and the greens of the land...and all the fun things going on in and around the lake.  

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Baltimore - Veolia Energy Map

June 06, 2013

Veolia Energy is a large multi-national energy company, 50,000 strong, with energy plants in 35 countries. I have been working with them for about three years. I first produced a map for their Philadelphia energy system, showing the routes that their steam pipes followed through Philadelphia's streets, supplying steam energy to their hospitals.

Next, they called me to create a map of Boston, showing their steam energy routes as well, steam pipes which led to world renowned hospitals like Brigham and Womens Hospital and Boston Medical Center.

Now, just completed is a map of Baltimore for Veolia. The most recognizable feature on this map is probably Oriole Park and Camden Yards.

Though I'm known for my cartoon maps, I enjoy working on the occasional conventional map as well. You'll never find my shiny little cartoon cars on a Veolia map. They like their maps to be all-business, free of any of my zany touches.  

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Dye & Frisbie Wedding Map

April 16, 2013

I get frequent calls from wedding couples requesting that I create a cartoon map for their wedding. Wedding maps are the perfect touch to make a wedding a little more unique and special. The map includes the location of the church, the reception, the hotel, and anything of interest to the wedding guests. The couple tells me what they want on the map...and their wish is my command. I had never heard of wedding maps until my cartoon map business went national. Then wedding couples from all over America started contacting me...and my wedding maps were born. This wedding takes place in Winchester, Virginia.

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Saramaccan Village

February 19, 2013

I've drawn many maps over the years for magazines and books. This is the first one that I've posted on my cartoon map web site. I see by examining the illustration that I colored it with markers. This illustration was created in 2000. In 2002 I began using Photoshop. Now I color all my work in Photoshop using a Wacom Cintiq. 

I began my career using Dr. Martin's Dyes as a coloring medium. After many years of Dr. Martin's dyes, I moved to watercolor, then colored markers. Now the only time that I use a wet medium for coloring is when I'm teaching my watercolor floral Painting in Paradise workshops. 

 

 

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Aztec, New Mexico

December 20, 2012

Aztec, New Mexico is a desert town in the Southwest, renowned for it's Aztec ruins, which are located on the north edge of town. It's also famous as the site of a purported UFO crash in 1948. I enjoy drawing Southwest desert towns. They add a flavorful mix to my cartoon map catalog. 

A few words about drawing caricature buildings as part of a cartoon map: experience has taught me that including buildings on a map often creates space problems. Because buildings occupy so much space on a map, they can cause a map to become distorted. Such was the case with the Aztec map. I agreed to draw all of the restaurants in Aztec and include them on the map. After drawing them all, I attempted to place them on the map. But I found that there were too many buildings to fit into the alloted space. So we had to scrap the buildings and substitute them with circled numbers. Using numbers connected to a directory always solves the space problem on my cartoon maps. A good example of how it works is the above map. Yet I understand why clients request that I draw the caricatured buildings. We all agree that they add much to the perspective aspect of the map. 

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