March 19, 2005

10: Laundry Islands National Park

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One of my childhood fascinations was maps. I loved atlases. Road maps. Park maps (like this one). Topographical maps. Maps from National Geographic. Those 3D relief maps at museums and interpretive centres. Even now, give me a map and I'll read it like a book. And like any other printed medium, there are well-designed and poorly-designed maps, the good (like the classic London Underground map) and the ugly (like a lot of state highway maps).

As a kid, I would draw my own maps. Usually they were highway maps of imaginary states or provinces. I would scan the atlas, newspapers, sports pages and my own collection of maps for names of towns, rivers and parks for my creations. And they would be inspired by actual geography; some of the larger ones – drawn over weeks on 3X5 sheets of paper with pencil, pens and various Crayola™ markers – look awfully similar to places like Manitoba, Hawaii and Chesapeake Bay. Once in college I tried again to see if I could still pull it off, and drew a map of a made-up province based on the park outside my apartment. The playground became a city. Snowbanks at the north end became a mountain range. And the skating rink was transformed into a large inland lake. I used it as part of my entrance portfolio to get into Red River College's graphic design program.

These islands are based on clothes scattered on the bedroom floor. The island at far left is a short-sleeved shirt. The main one is a pair of pants (still recognizable if you look close), underwear and a hoodie. There's a pair of socks off the southern coast. Place names were taken from Manitoba's highway map. I sketched the outline of the clothes and rendered the tabloid-sized map in FreeHand. Topography was then added in Photoshop from a scan of crumpled paper.


shannon said...

You are a work of art ! Great stuff! I wonder what the map would look like if you used your bathroom?

lew! said...

clever clever stuff.

i too loved the national geographic maps.
early on my mom would put new ones up she tought were cool in my bedroom.
I still do it today - right now i have the earth at night map from a NG in 2004. It shows all the lights human create across the globe.

lew! said...
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Loren said...

Looks like a great place to visit. However, can I have the laundry schedule. I wouldn't want to show up while the dirty luandry is still lying around the islands.

Allan L. said...

That's fuggin' killer, man.

ElizT said...

Love it.