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Thread: Is there a way to make money making "artistic" maps?

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      RjBeals is offline
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    Default Is there a way to make money making "artistic" maps?

    Just curious - as most of the cartography positions I've seen deal with GIS and research. I see some of you make maps for role playing game books. Do any of you make money making maps for like, school text books? or brochures? or like web pages or anything? I mean, we all have a lot of talent - there's got to be a way to profit from it !

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      mearrin69 is offline
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    Beyond RPGs there are, of course, videogames and literature.

    I've seen a couple of "pros" on here that have done things like visitor maps for theme parks and such. One guy posted a couple done in Illustrator along with videos showing the process (it was awesome to watch, BTW). I would think that sort of this would be pretty common - tourist maps, visitor maps, etc. Less artistic would be the folks that do escape plan diagrams, "you are here" maps, and that sort of thing.

    I'm not immediately calling to mind other applications. Anybody else think of anything?
    M

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      omaimon is offline
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    You might be able to offer custom world maps for Gamemasters running thier own campaigns. I'm ready toi pay $100 for one of Arsheesh's maps if I can ever get a hold of him. I just want the Photoshop vesion so I can change the names and alter the roads a bit.

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      RjBeals is offline
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    At least for me, i spend countless hours on a map, so I would need to charge like $1,000 bucks per map. I'm getting paid for the maps I create for the gaming site I'm working with - but I only produce like 1 map every 3 months or longer. It's more of a hobby with benefits I guess.

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      mearrin69 is offline
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    Hah. Agreed. If I multiplied my "real-world" hourly rate by the number of hours it takes me to make a map...the price becomes somewhat unrealistic. My Haibianr map would likely be in the neighborhood of $4k. I like it well enough but I have serious doubts that anyone else would think it's worth that! I'm getting faster though. I think I could make minimum wage doing maps these days...
    M

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      tilt is offline
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    normally if a company needs a map for a brochure or the like, they would just call their advertising agency - they wouldn't think of contacting a cartographer. So if you wanna do stuff like that, you should probably send samples to agencies. But I'm afraid that mearrin is right about the pricing, unless it was a very special product no-one will pay for all the hours that go into a map (unless of course you're a well known artist - then people will pay anything).
    regs tilt
    :: My art on Deviant Art :: My mapping blog tilts fantasy maps :: My work Catapult - Perry & Gehrke - EasyTruckIT ::
    :: Finished Maps :: WIP Cartographia - Breakwater -Market -Lands of Twilight -Battle City :: Competion maps Iron Giant ::
    :: FREE Tiles - Compasses :: Other Taking a commision - Copyright & Creative Commons ::
    Works under CC licence unless mentioned otherwise

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    Guild Artisan Aval Penworth's Avatar
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    I've mentioned this on other threads, but I think the tourist market is a viable way to make some extra cash from maps.
    Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work I go..

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    As with anything I do, business wise, since I have to market my cartography skills now, is to be 'proactive' about it. I don't look for jobs where people are looking for my talent - I may never find anything if I do, since I don't do GIS, CAD or that kind of mapping.

    I build me a website. I start contacting prospective clients RPG, board game, online/printed periodical - or tourism boards, ad agencies, department of natural resources, whoever it is I need to contact to see if I can fill a need, that might not realize they need until I tell them they do. Really, that's how I do anything. Now I do this in a friendly manner, but I am firm at what my offer is and offer quotes for specific work based on their response.

    I either get the work, or I don't. If I don't try, I'll never know the work is available or not, and its often surprising who actually needs and wants the work, if only someone mentioned that you could do it at all. It takes both networking and sending Emails through those contact pages on the various websites out there, getting involved in their online communities.

    Torstan (Jonathan Roberts) is very successful doing pro cartography commissions for Open Design Project and Rite Publishing, I see Sapiento agressively marketing himself on the various RPG forums out there. I've continued to do map commissions, while pursuing a direction more towards publication and game product printing/distribution. So we all pick our niche and pursue it. We don't wait for it to come to us - that will happen, but only after you let yourself be known in the industry, giving example after example.

    You have to 'sell yourself', because you are afterall the cartographer and that is a unique and useful talent in the right hands. But they'll never know, unless you tell them...

    GP
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      Jaxilon is offline
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    I agree with what GP is saying here. I think it really does come down to you making it happen. You could be the best ever but if you just sit in the corner and don't market yourself to the world, they may never know about you.

    I have been wondering lately if there is more money in the typical art venue than cartography. While I do enjoy creating maps, I have seen folks who are not very talented artistically but can manipulate software and make incredibly awesome maps. They will tell you they can't draw to save their lives but here they have amazing maps to show you. I guess I wonder if I should just pursue maps as a hobby and go for the more typical artistic world because I can draw.

    Either way, I believe you still have to work your butt off and advertise yourself if you want to really make serious money.

    It's also good to look at the average salaries for the type of job you are seeking. I just did a quick search, which hopefully is wrong, but it showed a Fine artists/Graphics artists, including sculpture at an average hourly rate at $ 15.55 (in USA).........I'm thinking !@#(% that's way WORSE than what I make now. Then again, that's starting out which isn't so bad.
    “When it’s over and you look in the mirror, did you do the best that you were capable of? If so, the score does not matter. But if you find that you did your best you were capable of, you will find it to your liking.” -John Wooden

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      tilt is offline
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    I have no idea of what people earn i the US in an average job, but personally I'd "settle" for a little less if I could do what I love

    when you look at the commision prices on DA (for those who list them) - there are some pretty talented people that charge 30-100 dollar for a drawing depending on color and details. The problem with both cartography and art in general is that its hard to make a name for yourself - there is lot of competition out there, especially if you go world wide.

    I remember when I read in a "what can you be" book back in school. If you were lucky enough to get one of the very few spaces in the art school, you still knew that only about 5% of the students actually could live of their art afterwards - most ended up teaching art in schools or just doing something else completely.
    But then again - just because the competition is hard, is no reason to give up before hand, just placing some facts on the table
    regs tilt
    :: My art on Deviant Art :: My mapping blog tilts fantasy maps :: My work Catapult - Perry & Gehrke - EasyTruckIT ::
    :: Finished Maps :: WIP Cartographia - Breakwater -Market -Lands of Twilight -Battle City :: Competion maps Iron Giant ::
    :: FREE Tiles - Compasses :: Other Taking a commision - Copyright & Creative Commons ::
    Works under CC licence unless mentioned otherwise

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