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Is it a map of just a pretty picture....

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by , 12-26-2013 at 01:40 PM (2233 Views)
Once again I find myself in the claws of artistic crisis. I have been away from mapping for some time now and find myself both bereft of motivation and for the first time also of inspiration. To add to that, I have discovered that I don't really make maps. Let me explain with a couple of pictures. Here's one of a recent work that I completed


Now I am happy with the way it turned out. It fits the story I am trying to tell and it looks pleasing, BUT is it a map? Well lets take a closer look, Yes it has a scale and a grid so that you can figure out how big the space is and what the general scale of the objects are. There isn't any kind of compass to show you which way the scene is oriented nor are there any call outs of the various elements or any to show where the rest of the larger object is in relation to this scene. (In this case the larger object is a ship). I find myself looking back on much of my work and discovering that I have in essence created pretty pictures and "digital dioramas" as opposed to maps. I do enjoy the "photo-real" and artistic mapping style but in the end maps need to convey information or they are essentially useless. So I'll leave it to you. Is it a map or just a pretty picture?.....


Here is an image of a map that I did quite a while ago. While it is not all that artistically pleasing, it is a map it has no scale and no compass but up is north and it's really just a player handout of sorts so the scale is unimportant. It does feature prominent objects and directions to other places. A map it is. Somewhere in there I hope to find a balance between art and function.
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Updated 12-26-2013 at 04:41 PM by jtougas

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