Greetings, everyone,

My name is Justin D. Russell. I'm an illustratour, cartographer, and writer of fantastic themes. I'm a young freelancer with many questions I hope you all will have at least some of the answers to. In any event I am pleased to make your acquaintance.

For starters, I attended the University of Cincinnati's D.A.A.P. (Design, Art, Architecture, and Planning) program before diving into life at the Columbus College of Art and Design, in Columbus, Ohio. I've always been fascinated by fantasy. First, it was comics, of which I was at least mildly interested for most of my pre-teenage life. I was never content to sit idly by and read my favourite stories. I would frequently write and illustrate my own.

My true calling arrived when a few friends invited me to join their gaming group after I spied the DM's personal campaign folder drawing of a wizard stuck into the clear sleeve of his binder's cover. It was Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition. I cannot begin to explain to you how this turned my world upside down. Larry Elmore's illustration of the dragon slayers at the beginning of the book stole my breath away. I remember begging my Mom to take me to the local Border's to get the book (then new on shelves). When I read the example of play, I remember thinking, '... People [I]play[I] this!? This is [I]awesome[I]!' I drew our characters, filled out lots of character sheets that never got used, and generally had a blast. Like comics, only more so, I was soon dissatisfied with just playing. I began writing my own campaigns, making my own unique worlds and races, and I haven't left Middle Earth, since

cartography is a chief love of mine. I've been doing it for a very long time, but only seriously within the last few years since embarking on my professional career. I'm new, and need some assistance. Do any of you make a living, or at least sell, your map making skills? Have any of you had any luck with illustrating other people's worlds? How did you go about it? I plan on reading many back posts to get some of these answers and learn more about you all (and, of course, look at amazing maps. I perused the featured work, and was completely blown away by what I saw. I believe joining this forum will be a wonderful experience), but I would also very much enjoy any feedback any of you would be willing to give. I'm eager to make some new friends and talk shop, here.

If any of you would like to see a sample of my cartography, I have many on my Facebook page: Epic Werkes Studio (the name of my business). There is a photo album entitled: 'Maps'. I'll also upload at least one sample of my work, here. It's the world of Rassilon, the land of Triple Ace Game's Hellfrost setting. It's about a year and half old, maybe two. I'm currently working on the other 'half' of the world.

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I do all maps by hand, only a little computer editing. I am fascinated by traditional media. I do all my own lettering, now. Putting those expensive typography classes to use

Any feedback, 'hello's', and just general hoopla, is very much appreciated. Nice to meet you all! I look forward to becoming a regular part of this forum

Many regards to all,