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Thread: Map for a fantasy novel :)

  1. #1
      Ilunar is offline
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    Post Map for a fantasy novel :)

    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).
    Last edited by Ilunar; 02-06-2014 at 07:16 AM.

  2. #2
      ravells is offline
    Community Leader Gracious Donor ravells's Avatar
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    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.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Map for a fantasy novel :)-test-france-copy_04.jpg  

  3. #3
      Ilunar is offline
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    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

  4. #4
      ravells is offline
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    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

  5. #5
      Ilunar is offline
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    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

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    Professional Artist Facebook Connected Schwarzkreuz's Avatar
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    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

    {The Mapforge}


    Cartography Portfolio


  7. #7
      Ilunar is offline
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    Thanks, Vandel. Your artwork is beautiful and I'll certainly add you to my list. I will reach a dicision next week.

  8. #8
      Ilunar is offline
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    (This place is just brimming with talent! I wish I could hire you all! Brilliant stuff, folks.)

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      ravells is offline
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    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

  10. #10
    Professional Artist Facebook Connected Schwarzkreuz's Avatar
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    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?

    {The Mapforge}


    Cartography Portfolio


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