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Submitted on
February 5
Image Size
5.6 MB
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2400×1653
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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.

~Simon

Follow my page on Facebook: facebook.com/simanion
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:iconvaleriejoylauria:
ValerieJoyLauria Featured By Owner Edited Sep 19, 2014  New member  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.
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:iconsegura2112:
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
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:iconelectrifried:
electrifried Featured By Owner May 11, 2014  Professional Interface Designer
Wow this is incredible - the detail and colouring are sublime. Inspiring work! 
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:iconsimanion:
Simanion Featured By Owner May 11, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you very much! I'm glad you like it :aww:
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:iconshananaginz:
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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:iconsimanion:
Simanion Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks so much for your awesome comment, it makes my day! :hug:
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:iconrandy-j-cushman:
Randy-J-Cushman Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2014  Professional General Artist
just wow!  over the top!
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:iconsimanion:
Simanion Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks Randy!
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:iconjoannamalecka:
joannamalecka Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
im a huge fan of ur artworks!! :D 
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:iconmythfits:
mythfits Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2014
A real gem! 
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