First of all, hi to all of you! And thank you for the wonderful site you've all created! :D
Now, a few words about myself...
So, after months since joining I've finally decided to delurk :P. Probably not a good idea just now, since at the moment I’m in the middle of my exams, but… ah, well… I just couldn’t wait any longer ;) I found his forum while searching for maps on the Internet, the map that brought me here was one of Clercon’s, I think :) (Love your maps btw ;)) Let’s just say that at first I couldn’t believe my eyes, so there really are people out there who are as crazy about maps as I am?! It was too wonderful to be true… Multiple searches through the forum showed that it was actually even better. You are all so talented and creative! Since I got here I picked up a lot of new ideas, tried even some mapping in photoshop, using wonderful tutorials I found here (before that it was mostly pen and paper for me)... Unfortunately I don’t have much to show on that front - yet ;) I just have to pass all my exams and then I could hopefully start mapping for real :P For now I have to satisfy myself with scribbles I make in my notebook during some of the more boring lectures. Between taking notes and trying to understand the stuff, there is usually enough time to draw something decent. The map I’m attaching at the bottom is one of such endeavors.
I probably should have started by saying why exactly I love maps so much. Well, I loved maps my whole life (almost^^), but my fascination with fantasy maps in particular grew when in primary school I read Tolkien’s books. However, maps of imaginary worlds aren’t the only ones I admire, any kind of map makes me want to study it at great length, to see every detail of it. Old, historical maps are the ones I especially like. XVI, XVII century city maps I could look at forever and hope that one day I will be able to create something remotely similar ;) I like also writing and inventing stories, which very often emerge out of the maps I draw. The map sort of starts a life of its own, I wouldn’t be surprised if with every map we draw, a new, parallel reality were created. ;P There is one particular world I’m trying to built, but it’s taking me a lot of time and I don’t think I will have anything worth showing any time soon. Every time I try to draw a map of it I’m dissatisfied, and it gets abandoned. I suppose that’s another thing I should say about myself. I don’t think that I have ever truly finished any map O_o One of the things I hope to achieve by coming here is to finally finish something...! Well, we’ll see how it goes.^^
About the map: Just a random something that started from the mountain range. Then the rest of the map sort of grew around it... No signs of human habitation, I guess it’s because I wanted to practice different terrain features and did not want to become frustrated with poorly drawn city icons. Because I used a common pen, with which I take notes, there are some ugly splotches here and there. I also did not use pencil to make a sketch, so some mistakes were unavoidable... Well, that’s that. Yet another unfinished work. No names or anything, I’ve got difficulties coming up with those too, name generators are of help sometimes, but more often real world languages are an inspiration for me. I actually wanted to wait till I have something more decent to show, but decided that there is no use in waiting anymore, let them see what my work looks now ;).Hopefully it will improve with time... If you have any comments, then, by all means, get to it :).The one thing I know I have to practice are shadows, I tend to put them in wrong places. :/
I did not want to write such a long post. Doubt anyone will read it :), but I had to sort of clear my mind^^ Finally I wanted to thank you all, I already feel welcome here :D The community is great and I do not think that I have ever felt such a need before to become part of something “virtual” ;)
Lastly, it would not be fair not to say thanks to Djekspek for his Step-by-step tutorials and torstan for his Assorted tips and tricks, both threads are great and some of the geographical features on my map were heavily inspired by their awesome mini-tutorials on how to draw things (as well as their actual maps)^^. Actually, I want to thank all of the great cartographers out there, your work was, and still is, a huge inspiration for me. I hope you will forgive me for not calling you all by name - the list would go on and on and on... ;)
Again, sorry for the length of the post. I’ve got a tendency to do just that – write too much. :/