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Submitted on
February 5
Image Size
5.6 MB


3,396 (40 today)
308 (who?)
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 1 day ago  Hobbyist Photographer
Great work :)
Milyusia Featured By Owner 2 days ago  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 3 days ago  Student General Artist
This is amazing! The materials you used to make such a fantastic piece is spectacular!
Ephixion Featured By Owner 3 days ago  New member 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. 
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