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Thread: New in the Cartographer's world

  1. #1

    Post New in the Cartographer's world

    Dear Cartographers,

    my name is Irma and I love to draw, and I love fantasy.
    For quite some time I have this "fantasy world" in my mind, and suddenly I just wanted to make a map for that world.
    I'm totally new into map-making so I started to google, and watched/read tutorials, and I was like: "wow this is really fun!"
    In just a few days I became a huge fan of cartography and I couldn't wait to begin mapmaking myself.
    So now I'm working on a map with Photoshop CS6. Since I love to draw I try to draw everything myself.
    Because I really want to improve, and I have absolutely no knowledge about geography and such things, I thought I might need some advice, tips and critiques. So that brought me here
    I hope you guys can help me out a bit, and ofcourse I hope to see here also a lot of maps just to admire them

    I don't know if it's allowed to already show a picture in this post, but well I just want to show you guys what my "style" is right now.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	wip2.jpg 
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ID:	60874

    (It's a WIP btw)
    Last edited by IrmaZwart; 02-01-2014 at 04:01 AM.

  2. #2


    Hi Irma and welcome here at the guild!

    I'm new to maps and cartography myself so I probably can't help you with anything, but I would love to hear more about that world you mentioned! What kind of world is it, and have you been working on it for a long time? Is the land in the picture all there is or does that world have more continents?

    I wish you lots of fun mapping your world and hope you'll have a great time here

  3. #3


    Hi Lyrillies, thanks for the reply!

    Another "new one", that's great. Hope you'll learn a lot around here
    Well in the first place it is, ofcourse, a fantasy world. So besides human there are living many different kind of creatures, wich I am still designing. You see, I love to make up my own creatures and draw them.
    The world probably has more continents, but they are all quite vague, this is the one I'm totally working out. (Writing the history, creating new cultures for the different tribes, designing castles etc.) It's so much fun to do!
    For now this continent excists out of 9 tribes, some of them are quite agressive, others are totally into knowledge and wizardry, and others are just very plain and "peacefull" as far as human can be peaceful. The tribes are almost all human, they still be the "main creature" in my world.

    What about you? do you like fantasy, and do you also create your own worlds/creatures/cities?

  4. #4


    oh lovely, I like fantasy worlds
    so when you say most of your tribes are mostly human but you love designing many different creatures, are those creatures mostly animals? And I don't know if that is too far off topic for this forum but I would love to see your drawings one day! 9 tribes seems like a lot for that land btw, how big is it? And does it have a name? And how did you come up with the idea of creating a world?
    Sorry for bombarding you with so many questions...

    As for me, i see you replied in my thread, so I'll answer there - this is your place to say hello

  5. #5
    Guild Expert Jalyha's Avatar
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    Jan 2014
    Out of my Mind!
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    I don't think 9 tribes is a lot for a continent :s

    I mean, I know it's a big country, but the US.. If you look at native americans there were different NATIONS... Cherokee, Chippewa, Hopi, Chocktaw, Sioux, Iroquis, Hopi, etc... HUNDREDS of nations... and each of those nations had many many tribes... from dozens, to thousands

    So a single state (or a largish island) could have hundreds of tribes.

    So a continent could have many more.

    Right now I can see place for Northern tribe(s) the lake tribe(s) several mountain tribes... and that's only half the map

    You'd be surprised, with less "modern" populations, how many different peoples a land can support.

  6. #6


    Some of the creatures are based on human, others on animals. I'm not sure if it's a good idea to show them here, since it's a cartographers forum, and also I haven't "digitalized" them yet. But I am a member of deviantart on the same name as here, and maybe I'll upload some creatures there. I give you two links to 2 snake-like creatures I made:
    Watch out the trees... by IrmaZwart on deviantART
    Wormsel by IrmaZwart on deviantART

    I just have been drawing a lot from since I can remember, and I mostly drew fantasy, so I thought I needed a world for my drawing to live in

    About the 9 tribes in that land, I agree with Jalyha. I really love history, and that is very useful in creating a fantasy world. I live in the Netherlands, wich is that tiny small country in West-Europe. the Netherlands is smaller than the land I created here, but in history, the Netherlands (or republic in that time) excisted out of 7 different regions, each had their own rules and rulers, even their own money. So if that fits in a country that is too small for even mountains, then I think 9 tribes in my country will fit

    I also really like to work small, to be more detailed. If I had my tribes living on this huuuugggeee continent, then they would never be able to get in touch with eachother so easily. Also they would have enough room and so there wouldn't be any need for war or things like that, and war is a part of the history of my world

    Haha yeah quite some questions, I hope my answers aren't too long
    I'm note quite satisfied yet with the name of my world, but for now it's called "Waravos"

  7. #7
    Guild Apprentice Xeonicus's Avatar
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    Jan 2014
    Michigan, USA


    It looks like you have a knack for drawing. Nice to meet you. By the way, I LOVE your Wormsel drawing. It reminds me of a D&D creature you might see from the Far Realms.

  8. #8


    Hey, nice to meet you too!
    Thanks a lot, it's just something I really love to do
    I just saw your introduction post, so you like drawing too
    I've never played Dungeons and Dragons, but heard quite a lot about it. I searched on google to see what monster you mentioned, could it be a "beholder"?
    Looking forward to see your maps!

    Oh and btw, I loooove your avatar

  9. #9
    Community Leader Guild Donor Bogie's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
    Maine, USA


    Love the Wormsel drawing, I actually have seen it before on DA.

  10. #10


    Jalyha, that depends on the size of the place people live in - which is why I asked, because to me, this looks like a rather small place.
    But also, in fantasy world building especially when you have different species than humans, you just never know what a "tribe" really is - is it a smaller group of people like you assumed in your example of native american nations or is it just a term to distinguish between various groups of species? Because the next bigger group of a tribe doesn't necessarily have to be a nation - nation is a political category, species a biological and sometimes it gets difficult to find words to describe all the different identities and categorizations for the groups you can have in a fantasy world.

    And then add to that the very different perceptions of space those species could have - and it doesn't even have to be a biological difference (which might be a lot more extreme), but just imagine the difference in perception of space between a single group of nomads (small group, need a lot of space) and the german nation before Germany was even founded (hundreds of kingdoms and duchies and so, so many people in them, but confined to an area that's actually not that big) …

    Ok so to stop this before I talk too much (yeah already too late, I know ) what I wanted to say is: you never really know, and that is why I was asking
    And Irma basically did say they do not have enough room on that continent - cause if they did they wouldn't need to fight. And desiring your species, tribes, groups and nations to fight is a desire I can definitely understand! (Although there can be other reasons for war than the need for space but lets not get into that here)

    Apart from all this, Irma, I never felt the Netherlands were too small for mountains, you guys were just kinda left out when they were distributed... Doesn't change the fact that your country is beautiful!

    Oh and I really like the Wormsel, too! It actually looks rather cute with its enormous eye, but I guess its not a very cute creature when you meet it?
    The dragon also looks great, especially the head - very nice work

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