the curious case of jason deem - a long journey for a fantasy map
I said it.
I have never spent a single minute looking at one, and never saw the value of even having one until I started writing this series and realised my main character was going to travel a lot. I figured it'd be best to know where she was.
Having said that, I couldn't see the point of doing actual maps.
But people seem to like them, and I'd get asked for them all the time. Almost as much as I get asked for paperbacks. While paperbacks are a little out of my league at the moment (Amazon quality on their PoD isn't so great for Amir's covers), maps seemed ... doable.
However, I just couldn't find anyone I wanted to do the maps.
My first choice might have been Deven "Mistress of Maps" Rue, who is the closest thing to a Fantasy map-making fucking god of fucking amazeballs proportions. I can't get enough of her art. But her maps are a little too neat for my world. I just couldn't see it working with my grimdark violent creation. I needed something which more or less screamed BLOOD in big fucking letters of, well, BLOOD.
That's when I found this oddball map (right). It screams psychopathic in brilliant scratchy darkness, and I knew that's the kind of thing I wanted.
I wanted to channel its nastiness.
Unfortunately, no matter how I searched, I couldn't find the artist! I went all through DeviantArt and ArtStation, and just couldn't find it. Google? Nope. Nothing.
I started looking for the artist of this map some time mid to late 2017. And I just kept posting a tweet or a message in Facebook or wherever. Just saying: Hey, anyone know this artist?
And got crickets.
In December, The Cartographer's Guild gave me a few pointers, and put me onto one or two artists, but no one really seemed to have this kind of playfulness. Then, bored one evening, I posted another tweet and received the following joy:
This was swiftly given the reply:
This is an example of why I love the internet. Despite the attempts of several large corporate entities to control and regulate our existence on it, we can still work together to really make creative happen.
I was able to find Jason Deem via ArtStation, and then attacked him like a rabid lunatic with absolutely no idea of what a map should look like or what should go on it. Make some squiggles, I said. All good.
And there it is. Not squiggles. Art.
A piece of absolute pleasure which screams NYSTA for me in bloody violent psychopathic joy.
Thank you to everyone who helped me out on this. Those who tried to head me in the right way last year, even if you didn't know who the artist was. And those who finally cracked my puzzle.
I love you all.