Monday, June 23, 2014

Creating a Paradise Travel Map - Finished Art

This is the final installment in my Tristan da Cunha Paradise Travel Map series.

It may not be immediately evident by looking at it, but I spent a lot of late night and early morning hours working on this map...three months and 65 hours, to be exact. I started on it on March 23rd and finished on June 23rd. I must be a glutton for punishment to work on these travel maps in my off-hours since it's how I spend most of my on duty time, working on cartoon map projects. (

All of the text and header lettering were done by hand. Having taught myself to hand-letter in eighth grade has served me very well over the years. I drew the map on paper with Micron pens, then scanned it into Photoshop and colored in with a Wacom Cintiq. Prior to beginning the artwork, I spent many hours researching the island so that I could intelligently portray it graphically.

If you haven't been following my articles, some time ago I discovered a far-flung, remote, populated island in the South Atlantic. It was Tristan da Cunha. I found it to be such a fascinating locale that I was inspired to create a map of the island to add to my Paradise Travel Map collection.

One of the first things that I want to do with the map is to send it as an attachment to the editor of the Tristan da Cunha newsletter, plus some other prominent Tristan islanders. That should come as a huge surprise to them since Tristan is rarely if ever mapped at all because of it's remoteness. I have yet to see a single map of the sole settlement on the island, Edinburgh of the Seven Seas. My Edinburgh of the Seven Seas inset map may be the only such map in existence.  

I might point out that the map was created in CMYK so the colors are very gaudy onscreen. I wish there was some way that this problem could be corrected.

If you have any ideas for a Paradise Travel Map, I welcome your suggestions.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Creating a Paradise Travel Map - Part 12

This is the 12th in a series of articles describing my process in creating a Paradise Travel Map.

The map may appear to be completed. Actually, all the elements are more or less finished on the map, except for the island itself. There is still a lot of rendering to do on the island. I have painted in the base colors, and now I have begun the rendering process. I have been experimenting with how I will render the details on the map, especially the gulches. Every stream, with its accompanying gulch, originates on Queen Mary's Peak, the volcanic peak in the heart of the island that erupted in 1962, causing the islanders to take to the sea in fear of their lives.

There is one small area on the island that may be close to complete. It's the gulch area between the Queen Mary's Peak banner and the notation in the water saying: "Healthcare is free on Tristan". I've found it a challenge to accurately render the craggy gulches to my satisfaction. I think I am satisfied with this area, so I may proceed around the island, rendering all the streams and gulches accordingly.

I have derived immense satisfaction from working on this map, though it has extended out much longer than I had planned. I began the project on March 23 (2014) and I have been working on it off and on, late nights and early mornings since then. In the process, I have become fascinated with this tiny, remote, little known island nation. I have spent hours watching documentaries and reading everything I can find about Tristan da Cunha. It is truly one of the most unique populated places on earth.

Not that I would choose to visit Tristan da Cunha. You would have to be very motivated to actually visit the island. First, you have to get to Capetown, South Africa. Then you're looking at a week long boat ride halfway across the Atlantic Ocean to get to the island. Then, once you're there, you better be prepared to stay a while. Boats call on Tristan only about ten times a year, and there's no airport. So if you travel to Tristan, you must stay for several weeks until the next boat comes to get you. Oh, and don't get sick on Tristan. There's no air service to airlift you out to a hospital. There's no airport on Tristan da Cunha.

Hopefully, only one more update post, and the map will be complete.

To get a glimpse of what Tristan da Cunha is like, click here

If you'd like to see more of my cartoon maps, go to

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Creating a Paradise Travel Map - Part 11

This is the eleventh in a series of articles describing my process in creating a Paradise Travel Map. If you've been following my posts, you can see that I'm on the home stretch now. I just finished coloring in the two corner panels on the right, and I toned the background for the text banner on the right. I also toned in the art for Tristao da Cunha on the text banner.

All that remains to color are the images to the right of the island, and the island itself. Stay tuned for the next post, which will probably be the last one for this series.

To see more of my cartoon maps, go to