This was super exciting for me as I couldn’t wait to get my crazy ideas onto paper! I started off by doing a very rough first draft of my island using a pink sharpie. I drew out the shape of Ireland and then began to add in little details, not worrying too much about the design, this was purely me documenting my initial thoughts. So this island is a fun island, full of activities and places of leisure for the residents to relax and find love in. There’s a beach, places to go on dates and there is also a scary lab for the scientists to work in. This was a quick sketch to see how much I could fit into the island, it was also good to decide where I would position everything. I then did a mind map of things that I wanted to have on the island so that I would have a better idea of how to start. I wanted to put a lot of cool things onto my map for the residents to enjoy so there’s a bar street full of pubs and clubs, an area packed with funky restaurants and even little hiking trails and footpaths for country walks. Brainstorming really helped me because it gave me a sort of checklist of things to include. My next plan of action was to find creative inspiration, so off I popped to Pinterest! I created a board and started adding illustrations that I loved the style of, focusing on colours, typography and composition. Click the image on the left if you’d like to be taken to my Pinterest page. Below are some of my favourite examples…I really love illustrations that have a bright, playful colour scheme. I also like map illustrations that are full of life and are cute, almost as if they’re aimed at children. All three examples below have a strong title for their islands which use handwritten styled typography. I also love the little iconic illustrations that feature all over these maps. They take key, symbolic imagery and use them to represent the places. I love how they are all super packed and full of information, making it exciting for you to dig into them and read all the little segments off the maps! They have compasses on their maps too and lots of patterns so I definitely want to use parts of these maps as inspiration for mine. I think having labels and words on my map like these do, will help my viewers understand what my map represents so I will add typography to mine too. I was walking around Ealing one day after university and I stumbled across such a pretty gallery just by Ealing Broadway that was exhibiting work by an artist called Jess Wilson and immediately I was blown away and inspired by her map illustrations! I just love the colours she uses: the pinks, yellows, greens and blues. I love all these colours because they pop out of your screen and are really playful and full of life. Her actual drawings are quite simple, she just draws the shape of the countries but the colours and textures that are added over the top of her drawings makes them look really lovely.She uses a variety of different patterns which turns a dull colour into something with more dimensions by adding movement and personality to the piece. This is the impression I want my map to give off so I feel that textures and colours are really important to focus on. I think her style is definitely up my street! Her typography is hand drawn and has a unique quirky style, the letters are all capitals and different sizes and scales. She also adds little curls to her Os which adds a personal touch. I will definitely be incorporating her type of style into my map.