This is a reflection on 2019, following on from the previous entry, How do you finish a map?, which concerns the early months of the year – drawing the cartouche, finishing the map, and getting the piece scanned. This moves deeper into a year that had constant twists and turns... from Tokyo to Tacoma, natural science illustrators to The Washington Post.
So by April, the artwork was finished and digitized. All that was left was to determine how to print and sell a huge oversize hand-drawn map of North America, while based in Australia, having never done anything like it. The way forward was not immediately clear.
Contract work for The Washington Post
So I had plenty to do. But life goes on, and other opportunities came knocking mid-year.
In April, I was contracted by The Washington Post to draw a series of maps and illustrations. They had an upcoming piece about scientific locations across the Lower 48, and figured my style would be a good fit. I first engaged with WaPo in October 2018, when I gave a presentation to their maps and graphics team while visiting DC. My good friend from the carto world, the extraordinarily talented Lauren Tierney, invited me to visit the Post and I was honoured to share my map with their team. I love the work they do, and the piece sounded great, so contracting for them was an easy decision.
Guild of Natural Science Illustrators, Brisbane
While it's a US-based organisation, the conference drew many Australian illustrators. Those of us in Aussie were so grateful the GNSI made the trek across the Pacific. It was fun, inspiring, educational and delightfully quirky. The GNSI folks are amazing. It was one of my favourite weeks of the year and I was honoured to be able to speak about my work with this talented and welcoming crowd. I very much plan to go again.
A trip to Japan for the ICC
No sooner had I returned to Melbourne than I was boarding a plane to Tokyo. I was off to attend and speak at the 29th ICC (International Cartographic Conference, of the ICA). Partly this was for the conference, but mainly it was because… Japan.
Coming next is a blog about the final months of the year, in which I got much closer to the goal of releasing prints, took a trip to the USA for NACIS Tacoma, and got thrashed in the rugged backcountry of New Zealand.