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Ilunar
02-06-2014, 08:13 AM
Hi there, Cartographers! :)

My name is Vidar and I’m a Norwegian RPG developer and aspiring fiction writer.

I would like to commission a map for the novel I am currently writing. The book is a murder mystery set in a European Bronze Age analogy setting, and the map would cover an area analogous to the Mediterranean Ocean (although divided into two smaller seas rather than one big ocean).

I have a hand drawn sketch that I add to as the need arise, but the artist doing the actual map will have great freedom towards style, look, and geographical details. My basic idea is a simple b/w drawing that will fit onto one page of a paperback copy of my novel, or perhaps stretching across two pages (although I do not like it when details are lost in the fold between pages). The map should at least strive for realism (geographically knowledgeable artists prefered). Everything is negotiable.

Quality: Professional/semi-professional (a sample map or portfolio would be good).
Deadline: None as of yet. My current plan is to send the manuscript off to the publishers late this year, so there is lots of time before the artwork needs to be completed.
Copyright: Negotiable. I would like copyright for the map. If so, the artist would retain the right to use the map for his/her portfolio and other non-commercial purposes, as well as for commercial purposes agreed upon in writing (which I would give easily). The map would also likely form the basis of future maps (accommodating geographic expansions, different styles, in-setting developments, etc.), by either the original artist or other talents brought in later. Alternatively, I would agree to grant the artist the copyright in return for full use of the map for commercial and advertisement purposes (in any media).
Payment: Negotiable. Would $60 for a small one-page pocket book b/w or grayscale map be fair? Later color versions in a more ambitious style would of course fetch much more. But yes, payment is negotiable.


At a later point, I will likely request further versions of the map for webpage banners, posters, and other purposes. This version would be in greater detail, in full color, and possibly also in a more striking style (perhaps done in imitation of ancient map-making styles?).

Furthermore, I might also commission two additional simple b/w maps for the novel, one for the local region and one for the city where most of the story takes place, preferably by the same artist.

In other words, future commissions for the same artist are very likely indeed.

I am looking for a talented artist who is easy to work with. If you are interested, please send me a PM or ask questions here in this thread.

Best wishes,
Vidar Edland

PS: I have yet to contact a publisher about this project, and it is possible that the future publisher of my novel will want to have their say on the matter. Copyright might have to be sold off to the publisher at some point. If, for whatever reason, the map would not find its way into my book, I shall find other uses for it. The artist will of course be paid for the work nonetheless (assuming payment is negotiated).

ravells
02-06-2014, 01:17 PM
Hi Vidar ,

As this is based on real, rather than fantasy, locations you have my interest and I would like to help you with this project as this is an area I'm currently working on and I would far prefer to make a map that has value to someone than a test piece. My portfolio is in my signature. Please drop me a line on ravifelicity -at- yahoo dot co dot uk if you would like to chat further. Please also see below a style I am working on at the moment (it's simple pure black and white, which should be good for print where this is the cheapest and most useful option) which might work for your local maps.

Ilunar
02-06-2014, 01:51 PM
Hi ravells,

I am very interested in your work, although I must specify that my map is not OF the real world/Mediterranean Ocean, but a Fantasy analogy of it. I hope for a RL level of realism, but my map would clearly be a fantay map. (It will probably be about as close to a real world Mediterranean as Westeros is to a real world Great Britain). Are you still interested in helping out?

(In any case, I will make my dicision in about a week).

Best wishes,
Vidar

ravells
02-06-2014, 03:16 PM
Hi Vidar,

It's not ideal - I'm interested in doing a map which has LOTS of towns and cities on it (real world maps tend to have these, fantasy maps tend not to). If you have say, over a hundred towns and cities on your map, then I'm in. If not then I'm afraid, it's not really what I was looking for as the style I'm working on needs lots of labels.

best

Ravi

Ilunar
02-07-2014, 04:45 AM
Hi again, Ravi,

I agree that fantasy maps typically have too few settlements on them, however most fantasy maps are also Medieval in character and therefore depicts rather advanced and crowded times. My map is for a Bronze Age-ish setting, and as archeology shows us there were very few towns in those days, and even fewer cities, especially outside of the Levant, Aegean Region, and in Egypt. In Europe proper, people lived mostly in scattered farmsteads or in clusters of farmsteads. There were also a few hill forts scattered about the place, fortified cluster of farms + often a chiefs "palace", which I guess could sort of constitute a “town”. What's more, my novel is set in a world that is coming out of centuries long dark ages, which included a minor ice age, and there simply aren't too many people around anymore (i.e. slightly post-apocalyptic).

All that said, my world will have a lot more towns and even cities than there were in the Bronze Age, and it will have even more sites of ruins of past settlements (which were destroyed in a major war lasting several centuries). If that is acceptable to you, I’ll add you to the list of prospective artists? (I’ll make my decision on who to hire next week).

Best wishes,
Vidar

Schwarzkreuz
02-07-2014, 08:17 AM
Please have a look into my Portfolio, I have done several Maps for Novels and you can see them in my Portfolio linked in my Signature.

Regards,
Vandel

Ilunar
02-07-2014, 08:26 AM
Thanks, Vandel. Your artwork is beautiful and I'll certainly add you to my list. I will reach a dicision next week.

Ilunar
02-07-2014, 08:27 AM
(This place is just brimming with talent! :D I wish I could hire you all! Brilliant stuff, folks.)

ravells
02-07-2014, 02:36 PM
Actually that does sound like fun. I would be delighted to be considered, thanks!

Having said that, Schwarzkreuz had talent by the bucket-load - so you would get an excellent map from him!

best

Ravi

Schwarzkreuz
02-07-2014, 07:17 PM
Hi Ravi,
Thanks fir your kind words. But honestly I never read before one of us asking for a realistic labeled Map before. Its a hell of a Job already, to label ~50-100 Names in a extended Fantasy Map but on a realistic Map thats be around 800-1200 Names! You realy looking for that kind of task?

- Max -
02-07-2014, 07:31 PM
50-100 names a hell of a work? Hehe

Ilunar
02-08-2014, 05:29 AM
I did a quick count on my map sketch, and the place name count (including cities, regions, mountains, and seas) currently stands at about 70 names. This is still very much a work in progress however, and I am sure the place names will swell considerably as I continue to work - especially when I start exploring other regions in my next book. Also, I would be happy for the map artist to suggest settlement placements and such on the map, especially if the artist has a good understanding of geography and settelemnt patterns and so on :)

Schwarzkreuz
02-08-2014, 09:53 AM
@Max: Sure you know, you are much faster Labeling than I do :P

@Ilunar: I am experienced to do proper settlements and cowork with authors to improve their Mapideas. So that shouldnt be a problem.

ravells
02-08-2014, 09:23 PM
Heh, the style I'm doing needs labels in the hundreds to look like the map I'm modelling.

Chashio
02-11-2014, 02:50 AM
Heh, the style I'm doing needs labels in the hundreds to look like the map I'm modelling.

Not hundreds within the area of a standard sized novel page-spread surely? Along with the rest of the map features?

I recently read a fabulous couple of books with a map labeling only the most important places, destinations, capitals, and truly massive terrain features... 10 or 15 at most... while all of the passing-throughs, side-trail deviations, and smaller points of mention were given place of reference within the story itself. It was well done, and I imagine it was easier in many regards for the writer of the story. Just something to consider.

Lingon
02-11-2014, 03:47 AM
I agree with Chashio. A map in a book is different from a stand-alone map; it needs to leave much more to the reader's (and the writer's) imagination, plus there is not a lot of space to work with. The main purposes of a book map should, in my opinion, be to catch the attention of a potential reader picking up the book and to provide some reference points during the reading, without revealing everything.

Ilunar
02-11-2014, 05:15 AM
In the case of my book, the map at the front (or wherever) should be fairly simple - detailed enough to be interesting and to help the reader reference stuff, but it doesn't need to be crammed with detail. A more detailed, color version, for the use as posters and advertising etc., will be commissioned later (or possibly be developed along with the first one?).

Question: I am also contemplating a map of the local area featured in my book and/or a map of the story's primary city. Have anyone had experience with such additional maps in a novel? The story isn't very map-driven at all, although visual cues (especially when detailing a fantasy world) can be helpful in 'getting it'. Comments?

ravells
02-11-2014, 06:34 AM
A map in a book is different from a stand-alone map; it needs to leave much more to the reader's (and the writer's) imagination, plus there is not a lot of space to work with.

Thanks guys, I had never thought of this, but now you mention it, it makes a lot of sense. I would also add that the book is never (or very unlikely) going to mention hundreds or thousands of locations, so it is pointless putting them in the map - they just become visual clutter. All the map should contain is what is mentioned in the book, with maybe a bit more if there are sequels in mind which will mention those places, or where there is some other very good reason for it.

Ilunar: Many fantasy novels I have read have city maps and area maps. It's not unusual.

Also, I fear that the style I'm currently working on will not be suitable for your map, so, by your leave, I will remove my hat from the ring. I would like to try your city map though, if you wish.

best

Ravs

Ilunar
02-11-2014, 07:14 AM
I fear that the style I'm currently working on will not be suitable for your map, so, by your leave, I will remove my hat from the ring. I would like to try your city map though, if you wish.I have an impressive list of interested talents to choose from, so this is no problem at all.



Here’s a few notes on the city of Freeport where the story takes place (for those of you who might be interested:
The city will be a mixture of Bronze Age simplicity (thatched roofs, one or two-roomed, wattle-and-daub houses) and Iron Age architecture (including stone and mud-brick constructions, often 2-3 stories high, several rooms, timber or flagstone flooring, frequently with internal baths etc.).

Think of a setting analogous to Western Europe Bronze Age (i.e. Celts or Proto-Celts), but one where an advanced Iron Age culture (approximately Imperial Rome?) once existed, although the world has since slid back to simpler ways. Still, the memories of older (i.e. more advanced) architecture and craftwork survives, especially among those of wealth and power, although in a limited way. Also, the wealthy and powerful aspire to Eastern (i.e. fantasy-Greek, fantasy-Roman, and even fantasy-Levantine) culture and architecture. So there should be a weird mix of cultures, techniques, and styles.
To sum up, those of power and wealth will live in dwellings like ancient Pavlopetri (http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/pressoffice/files/2012/06/Pavlopetri-The-City-Beneath-The-Waves_final_681550.jpg) while the lower classes will live in simpler, typically Bronze Age, dwellings (http://www.oocities.org/zobrien/BA/celtvillage.jpg, http://www.artbarnett.com/images/celticvil.jpeg, Bronze Age Village Museum (http://www.pfahlbauten.com/lake-dwelling-museum/bronze-age-village-unteruhldingen.html)).

More specificaly, Freeport is composed of two large ditch-and-embankment encolusres, connected by a wide road which crosses a river via a stone bridge. Furthermore it is a costal city, although the harbor lies outside of the enclosure proper. The city has a population of some 8000, and lies at the head of a deep fjord surounded by towering peaks.

Did that make sense?

Lingon
02-11-2014, 04:52 PM
No problem Ravs, glad you found it useful :)

About the city map, Ilunar, I'd be up for that one too.

Ilunar
02-16-2014, 10:05 AM
Dear Cartographers,

I would like to thank you all for your interest in my project. This is a very pleasant place, brimming with incredible talent, and I thank you for welcoming me so warmly.

I have now decided to hire Max for my first map project, but I hope to work with several of you people in the future.

Thank you again for your interest.

Best wishes,
Vidar

PS: I couldn't figure out how to change the thread from "[Paid?]" to "[Taken]". If someone could point me to the right procedure, that would be great :)

- Max -
02-16-2014, 10:19 AM
I did it for you ;)

Ilunar
02-16-2014, 10:23 AM
I did it for you ;)
Thank you, Max :D