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A map for Christmas

2020 December 26
by Matt

Despite everything, my wheels mostly kept turning in 2020, including professionally. A diverse mix of projects and clients included the newspaper, aspiring and current officeholders, local government, grassroots activists, the solar industry…

It’s a delight above and beyond this that one of my final paid commissions for the year was a true one-of-a-kind Xmas gift. One little boy in Cleveland Heights was persistent and consistent in declaring “a map of the backyard” his top priority request.

Well why not. Yesterday I was gratified to receive the report that “He wants to hang it in the dining room.”

This was an interesting project in multiple ways beyond the basic novelty.

I created the map based on walking around the space, taking photos and sketches. Plus a liberal degree of imagination because the backyard has spent much of this month beneath snow, including the day of my recce. I have drawn many maps over the years, certainly, but the hand-drawn approach which I felt this called for was a bit of a leap in the dark. The final “deliverable” was a digital file, fortunately, which permitted a hybrid approach. FWIW I drew about five ivy leaves with marker, scanned them, then patiently copied and pasted them into a large ivy patch; several copies of this became all of the ivy on the map via rotation, flopping and trimming the edges.

Anyway, Merry Xmas my little(ish) friend; glad you approve.

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