Just to say hi. I've been mooching around on the site for a while, and the stuff on here is absolutely inspirational. Thanks to you folks, I've discovered the joy of GIMP.

I was going to share my first original map in GIMP, but I can't seem to upload it. Anyway, I love some of the beautiful, realistic-looking maps on here, but I'm especially keen on the kind that appeared in fantasy gamebooks in the 1980s, like Joe Dever's Lone Wolf books. I have the artistic talent of a boiled vegetable, but I'm sure I'll crack it with the help of the awesome-sauce tutorials on this site. For my fantastic Lone Wolf-style map which you can't see, I leaned heavily on the 'Artistic Maps in GIMP' tutorial (by RobA, I think), as well as Arsheesh's 'Map Borders in GIMP', which is a work of art in its own right. Cheers, guys.

Out of interest, what have people studied that helps them with their mapmaking? Which helps more - geography/cartography or art/graphic design? Is it necessary to study to produce great maps?

Anyway, keep up the amazing work.