Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Art Journal Tip: Map a New Adventure!

Where have you been? Where are you going? Today's prompt from Art Journal Class, My Favorite Tips is all about making--and using--a map in your art journal.

For this exercise you can use any kind of map: old atlas pages, leftover vacation maps, cut-outs from travel, airline, or food magazines, or maps you just invent--often the very best kind! You can also find some great maps online; all you have to do is download, print, and voila--instant art journal pages.

Drawing a map into your art journal can, like all art journal techniques, be a combination of art, writing, and anything else that pops into your head. Some different types of maps you might want to work with can include:
  • A map of where you currently live.
  • A favorite place you lived in the past.
  • Your childhood room, play area, or classroom.
  • A vision quest.
  • Where your pet travels every day: a known or imagined route!
  • A vacation locale; either one you remember or are currently visiting, or one you've always dreamed of seeing.
  • One or more settings from your work-in-progress or from a book you've already published.
  • A fantasy world. Again this could be inspired by literature, perhaps a book you've read or are reading.
  • Your writing space or art studio.
  • Your garden--both the one you have and/or the one you want. (An added benefit to a landscape map is that it can help you decide what to plant when the season's right.)
  • How you got to where you are in life; and where you want to go from here.
  • An actual, real-life map--one you like just as it is, or one you alter, adding your own notes, illustrations and warnings: "Here be monsters!"
Once you've included a map in your journal, you might like to take the topography a step further and/or share it with a wider audience. Some ways to do that are:
  • Actually turn a map into an art journal. Cut or fold it into a "book"; lightly gesso the pages so the map imagery still shows through; sew or staple the pages, and you have an instant journal. If you have too many thin pages, you might like to gesso some together to give them added strength. Makes a great gift too!
  • If you decide to illustrate your WIP journal or notebook with a map, why not just go ahead and add the map to your published text? I did this with The Great Scarab Scam, my Egyptian mystery for young readers.
  • How about adding the same map(s) to your book trailer too?
  • Scan your illustrated map and turn it into a transfer for a T-shirt, tote bag, or cushion.
  • Turn it into a greeting card.
  • Or a party invitation with full directions on how to reach the party.
  • Cut up a copy of the map like a jigsaw puzzle and paste the pieces in various places throughout your journal.
  • Frame it as a "treasure map" to put on your wall for daily affirmation and help in accomplishing your goals.
  • Sell it! Local historical societies or tourist boards might love having a colorful and whimsical map directing visitors to important sites.
  • Include an illustrated map with your next holiday group letter.
  • Encourage your children or students to make their own maps. A fun and educational activity for everyone!
Tip of the Day: A great way to use either an existing map or one you've created yourself is to use it as a collage background. This is especially useful for those pesky fold-out vacation maps that never seem to fold back into shape again. Happy mapping--happy trails!

1 comment:

Karen Pierce Gonzalez said...

I really like this idea. Using/creating a map does generate a different perspective. Will try it this weekend ...