View Full Version : An interview with me

04-10-2014, 08:30 AM
Hi everyone, one of my recent clients made an interview with me (first time!) and now it's up on their website. I'm not really saying anything interesting in it, but… if anyone wants to read, here it is:
Interview with Map Maker Gillis Björk | Grauwelt | Young Adult Fantasy (http://www.grauwelt.com/interview-map-maker-gillis-bjork/)
(And yes, the introduction paragraphs are a little exaggerated…!)

04-10-2014, 09:07 AM
Very nice, and a lot of what you said is stuff I'm always trying to explain to people :P

Two in particular...

We know you use a mix of traditional and digital media, do you have a preference for one over the other?

I don’t have a preference, no. They are useful for different things. It often feels like traditional and digital media are treated as opposites, but I think they are complementary; just like many watercolor painters sometimes use masking fluid or gouache to get a certain effect that the watercolors alone can’t achieve, digital techniques can enhance a traditional painting, and vice versa. I generally feel more comfortable with traditional media, though, because that’s what I’m most used to.

This one always bothers me. I see each different thing (be it watercolours, pencils, pens, illustrator, photoshop, etc) as a tool, and that combining them in different ways creates new techniques and aesthetics. I'm lucky enough to have a lot of experience with both "sides", so it feels natural to me to do both at the same time.

Do you have any schooling or training for cartography or art?

No, no formal. Cartography training would probably be incredibly useful, but I don’t have enough patience. I prefer to learn things on my own, a little bit at a time, when I need them, rather than the total dedication needed when taking schooling. And I don’t believe in art education, that’s just something you have to learn yourself in my opinion, with feedback of course but not with instructions. But I don’t really consider my maps art, so I that’s an irrelevant statement I guess… Moving on!

This so many times over lol. I have a degree in graphic design, and I learned absolutely nothing on the course - despite it being rated as one of the top design courses in the whole of the UK. Anything new (mostly techniques, plus a few concepts) I learned during the course were things I read about or discovered by myself in my own time, completely outside the course/coursework. The stuff they were teaching were always things that had been self-evident to me, so if I hadn't recieved a qualification from it then it'd have been an utter waste of time. Though actually, despite your total dedication point, I actually probably went in to college only once every two or three weeks - I got the top grades so my tutors weren't bothered about that! I'm sure people do sometimes learn stuff on courses like that, but in terms of art I honestly think it's more effective to experiment and participate in a community like this one to gain feedback and insight.

And trust me, your maps are definitely works of art. I'd put one on my wall if I had one :)

04-10-2014, 02:03 PM
The beginning of celebrity! :D

Very bright and good questions/answers. That's a good interview. And I second Raptori : you're undoubtedly a map artist!