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Terrestria by Simanion Terrestria by Simanion
Medium: Ink (Copic Multiliners 0.1, 0.05), watercolour, coffee
Size: A2

Finally done! This work was a commission for a friend, whose only direction was "your version of a world map". Initially I was planning a more abstract painting or drawing. But I really love ancient and medieval maps, the way they were so impossibly detailed and whimsical, often with huge sections of the world remaining mysteriously uncharted.

I did a lot of research, looking at what must have been hundreds of examples, all wildly different. I actually went to an exhibition of some of the world's greatest maps and was truly inspired there. What fascinated me most were the bizarre mythological creatures conveniently slotted into the unexplored waters, as well as the sometimes absurd surrounding detail and the "almost but not quite" shapes of the countries. They were generally pretty eccentric – much more interesting than our boring contemporary maps.

So I took all that away, and started thinking about mine. Because I could never just do a straightforward map, I decided to contextualize mine within a kind of hypothetical alternate history. I invented a language that seems to sit somewhere between Tolkien, Shaun Tan and astrological symbols. Unfortunately I don't have the skill to translate it. The idea was that this map was produced by an ancient extraterrestrial race with esoteric knowledge of the planets and stars. Perhaps they arrived on Earth travelling between dimensions, mapped what they saw and then left before they were able to finish.

I spent approximately 4 hours a day for a month on this map. I certainly didn't take the easy road and so it owned my life. But I'm really happy with how it turned out :) Hopefully it translates on screen.


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Solrac1993 Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Great work :)
Milyusia Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
WOW! That's amazing! That's more than 100 hours! The details are also great and the creatures are interesting.
CourtneyLuv7 Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2014  Student General Artist
This is amazing! The materials you used to make such a fantastic piece is spectacular!
Ephixion Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow. This is absolutely incredible. Great job! It looks so realistic
bakkeby Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2014
Man, hats off.

I can't really fathom what went into planning and executing this, but the end result is truly amazing.

The only critique I can give is that from an artistic point of view it might have looked better if you had chosen another (perhaps fantasy) world instead of basing it on the crust of planet Tellus. That, of course, comes very much down to personal taste.

Anyway, you humans are awesome.
ValerieJoyLauria Featured By Owner Edited Sep 19, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
WOW!!!!  I wanted to do a Critique and rate it perfect, but I would need 100 words to do that, which I can't.  This work is magnificent...gave it a 10 on GWatched.
segura2112 Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Beautiful, reminds me of the Piri Reis map (google it if you don't know what I'm talking about). Thank You
electrifried Featured By Owner May 11, 2014  Professional Interface Designer
Wow this is incredible - the detail and colouring are sublime. Inspiring work! 
Simanion Featured By Owner May 11, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you very much! I'm glad you like it :aww:
shananaginz Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is...simply incredible. Wow. The fine details and cute creatures combined with an old-world feeling is just incredible. 
Simanion Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks so much for your awesome comment, it makes my day! :hug:
Randy-J-Cushman Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2014  Professional General Artist
just wow!  over the top!
Simanion Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks Randy!
joannamalecka Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
im a huge fan of ur artworks!! :D 
mythfits Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2014
A real gem! 
Elena-JF Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2014
wow...amazing. love acknowledging the time and patience taken for a piece like this.
mirrymir Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2014
I would love to see this in person, although over all aesthetically pleasing. A few more whirlpools in the more open areas of the waters would help add a bit more shadow depth to the waters, but this really is brilliant artwork - your dedication definitely shines through. 
Meltin Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Very well done! :clap:
Sara-FE Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2014   Traditional Artist
That is the most beautiful drawn, most interesting map I have ever seen. Wow. Stunning work!
Sans-sommeil Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2014   Traditional Artist
You're incredible one. I do expect miracles from you. But everytime I see them ..I'm left speechless anyway.
And it's not just me! Poor pole-star is crying because you shine as bright as it.. (*-*)
Sasha0219 Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2014
this is incredibly amazing! your love and dedication definitely shines though, as it always does. but omg the deeeeeetails! you are a god.
MariniMartini Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
awesome! love it :)
erikakochanski Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2014  Professional Writer
This is beyond incredible! :clap:
Rouge-Fox Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2014  Student Writer
Looks similar to one my father owns and is just as awe-inspiring
alan0w0 Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow, amazing detail !! 
isischneider Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014   Photographer
incredible work.
LatifaDraws Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Lemures87 Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
sooo cute :D
jerryhankins Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Excellent! Great work
frostyshadows Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2014  Student
this is gorgeous! your effort definitely paid off
bunnybandito Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
How awesome is this! Looks like it was worth the 4 hours a day. This is great, and it really captures the old medieval look, especially with the inaccuracies in the map, it looks like it could be a few hundred years old! Great  job.
Fajralam Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:wow: what a beautiful details!
MitTeam Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
very very nice , so amazing :D
BastardPrince Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2014
fantastic :)
Mediart4u Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Amazing work... +fav 
asharpsilence Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2014  Student General Artist
Um this is like the most beautiful thing ive ever seen
Arsenal-Best Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2014
Wonderful work!
The details around the world is really flabbergasting! :shocked:
One can possibly study it as long as it took you to paint them and still discover new details not noticed before.

Also your letters are very well done and have a great authentic feel to them.

Only one thing: I think most of those mythical sea-creatures seem to me too symmetricaly placed on the map (space between them seems to be almost the same distance everywhere). That does give one (for lack of a better description) an impression of having been a bit lazy concerning the spacial arrangement and from what I remember, on ancients and medieval maps, they were placed a bit more random, but I can be mistaken of course.

But apart from that, sheer astonishing mind-bogglyness!
Bravo! :clap:
steveoxley Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Absolutely fantastic Simon. If you get the chance, catch the Mapping Our World exhibition at the National Library of Australia. It is mind blowing.
Dogviolet Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2014
Simply amazing! The colouration, small details like the compass and lettering make it look very authentic (to me, anyway) and the overall detail is mind-boggling! And I love the effort you put into the language and research. Amazing!
TurquoiseSubmarine Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Fantastic creation! Pure magic and beauty! I love deviantART! :lovely: 
KirstenRowe Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is outstanding!!!  I love maps, and your details are endless!  I could spend an hour staring at this!
Aranov Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
OH MAN old maps are the BEST! I LOVE their inaccuracies and whimsical sea monsters. :heart: This is gorgeous. It's a really fantastic interpretation of that tradition, and ALL THOSE DETAILS in the border are amazing. There's so much to look at!
Jade-Kitten Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2014  Professional General Artist
I am in love with this map!
Simanion Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
I'm glad you like it!
SilentGuardian35 Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2014
Okay, I'm totally speechless^^  I work as a surveying technician and i've seen a lots of maps, but yours is - just like mariyaolshevska said - incredible!!!
And i also love ancient or medieval maps :D
All these details and this language, it's wonderful!
This map is perfect... :la:
Simanion Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Wow, what a fantastic compliment coming from a surveying technician - thank you very much!
SilentGuardian35 Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2014
You're very welcome!
Your fantastic work deserves it. :la:
Tell me please, do you sell it?
Symstract Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Truly gorgeous! 
Simanion Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks! :peace:
Wordgirlserenity67 Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2014
Nice map!
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Submitted on
February 5, 2014
Image Size
5.6 MB


313 (who?)