Hi there, CG. My name is Tim. I'm a graphic designer with 20+ years of experience, mainly in print advertising design. I've worked for a local newspaper for 20 years, supplementing my income with a little web design and some freelance advertising design.
Me and maps go back a long way. Even as a kid, I was fascinated with maps. We traveled a lot up until I went to college, and I collected maps from all of the states and points of interest that we visited. My favorites were the plastic mountain terrain maps of parks like Rocky Mountain National Park, but those were few and far between. Mainly I just had a lot of fold-up maps.
I drew maps of the area surrounding my home in rural Alabama, populating the maps with killer squirrels and dangerous snakes. I also buried "treasure" and drew elaborate treasure maps. My mom and dad are still finding my lunch money buried all over the yard. When I got into roleplaying games as an adolescent, my favorite part was drawing maps. I would kill you for a scrap of graph paper, and I took geometry in 8th grade mainly as a ruse to get my parents to buy me an entire pad of graph paper. After college, in the mid to late 90's, I got into making maps and texture hacks for video games like Myth and Myth II: The Fallen Lords. I developed some nice pattern files for Photoshop that I still have tucked away on a CD somewhere.
Even here at work, years later, I'm considered the "map guy"; whenever an advertiser needs a spotter map for their ad, or a special event or festival needs an area map for finding vendors and the all-important porta-potties. Most of these I build in Illustrator, with some Photoshop work. Lately, I've gotten back into roleplaying games, and since most games these days don't have a designated "mapper" like the old days, the mapmaking duties are all GM responsibilities. Since I'd like to GM some, and I'm interested in making my own maps, I gravitated toward this site and some others (Jon Robert's Fantastic Maps blog, Mike Schley's site, etc.) and I'm starting to work on my mapmaking skills, dusting off the old Wacom tablet and brushing up on my custom brush creation.
I've already talked to Jon (Torstan?) a little about my work with Photoshop's automation features. I've got some old Actions I wrote years ago that make some pretty nice cobblestone patterns. My main problem is that I haven't had to use them in so long, I've forgotten how they work! It's been years since I needed a seamless cobblestone pattern for anything.
So, anyway; that brings me up to date. I'm gathering info and inspiration and looking at making some battlemaps for my regular Pathfinder, D&D4e and Star Wars SE games. Beyond that, who knows?