Hey everyone !
Hello everyone ! I recently discovered your amazing community and I have been lurking about the tutorials section for a few days now. I am an 18 year old student in history (second year only), I live in Paris (France, yes, so apologies for my english it is far from perfect) and I have a strong interest in fictional writing and particularly worldbuilding. Until recently I didn't even think about making maps for the worlds I try to create, but after doodling a few sketches I started drawing maps by hand and found out it was really interesting. What I love about worldbuilding is the fact that you try to bring consistency to something you invent from scratch, and this need for consistency is even more present in fictional cartography. A friend of mine, who is a far better writer, started writing some kind of novella lately and I decided to join in by making maps of his universe. We have all kinds of hand drawn maps, some we think are really pretty, but we also think it's not enough. That's how I downloaded the GIMP and started trying to understand it, with the help of the awesome tutorials I could find here, with the distant aim of creating beautiful realistic maps and posting them here for scrutiny !
I didn't produce anything significant yet, and I don't plan on posting maps anytime soon, but I subscribed for two main reasons : first I was curious of course to see the finished maps (some of them are really breathtaking), and second I wanted to show my gratitude for the stuff I'm learning here. So if I can help in any way I'll be happy to do so, particularly if someone needs some english/french translation (maybe of tutorials)... I don't know.
Well, Sheoth, Let me first welcome you to The Guild, The Mappiest Place on the Web. :D
Secondly, I have to say that posting the work you do in the WIP (Work In Progress) threads is one of the, if not THE, best ways of improving your technique. We are a very friendly bunch of people here and the critiques, advice and suggestions you will receive will allow you to grow as a mapper by leaps and bounds.
Enjoy your stay.
Welcome to the Guild Sheoth, and I completely agree with Korash here; posting your tentative work-in-progress maps here is a great way to generate constructive criticism as well as to learn new techniques. I wish you all the best in your endeavor and if you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask.
Thank you for being so welcoming :) I'll follow your advice then and post some hand drawn maps. it's probably better to have some advice and criticism before I start trying to make them pretty using the computer :)