Hello, from an Amateur Fantasy writer/map-maker!
Hello, my name is James Swinney. I have, for several years now, been writing fantasy stories--though I've yet to complete one :). Mostly, however, I'm fascinated by the fact that, as a fantasy writer, I get to create my own worlds and furnish them and make them come alive. It all started when I read the Lord of the Rings and saw the beautiful maps in the back; I fell in love. I immediately put pencil to paper and drew my own. It was terrible, of course, but it was the beginning of what was to become a hobby of mine. I'm still an amateur, certainly, and I am by no means good at making maps, but it's something that I enjoy, and that's all that matters, right? Anyway, after browsing this website for a while and seeing some of the most beautiful art I have ever seen, I decided that I had to sign up.
I've been thinking recently about getting into making maps on the computer. I read that most people on this website use either Photoshop or GIMP, so I downloaded the free one and I'm working through one of the tutorials.