In 2020, Watercolor Illustrated Maps 101 eCourse became the first TPK online course that centers around making a specific project. It’s been amazing to see how students pour what they learn into making their own amazing maps! Seeing student maps totally makes my day, especially because each map showcases a student’s personal style. Today, I’m sharing some of the maps that I’ve received with you. I hope that these maps spark your inspiration and compel you to create, too.
The Watercolor Illustrated Maps 101 eCourse teaches you illustrated map techniques via a shared project. Together, we make a map of Paris in the course. Here are two examples of how different students interpreted the Paris project. Notice how different these two maps are:
2. Austin Map
This map immediately caught my attention because of its playful lettering and fabulous color scheme. I love how Nicole was able to create a horizon. Her repetition of blue tones throughout the map really helps to tie everything together.
3. Port Stanley Map
Kim G. made this map for her daughter-in-law as a Mother’s Day gift. I love all of the little details, but the cream and black house especially commands attention. Kim did a great job of transitioning from lush greenery to beach, which is a difficult feat.
4. Gdynia Map
Kasia decided to create her hometown of Gdynia (Poland). In her map, the sea steals the show. The serene blues and deep green tones in this map have a calming effect. This is, without a doubt, a delightful map to observe.
5. Denver Map
I live 30 minutes from Denver, so I especially appreciate this map by Kelly B. Her loose, whimsical painting style is a delight to observe, and the animals in this map steal the show in the best of ways.
6. Paris Sketchbook Spread
Cathy M. put her own spin on the Paris map project presented in the course and made a sketchbook spread out of it! I love the contrast of her confident illustration style with gentle pops of watercolor. The groups of multicolored watercolor dots throughout the spread help to tie everything together.
7. Florence Sketchbook Spread
Laura B. used her map-making skills to commemorate a meaningful trip to Florence. I know from experience that making a map like this one allows you to re-live an adventure. The beauty of illustrated maps is you can include the big things — like seeing the Duomo — and simple pleasures like enjoying cappuccino and good olive oil!
8. Atlanta Wedding Map
Sally made this map for her daughter’s wedding. She did a fabulous job of repeating rose and blue tones, and the flourishes sprinkled throughout the piece help everything look cohesive. Flourishes add icing to an already beautiful layout.
9. Green Bay Map
In this map, Amanda H. shows all of a Green Bay couple’s favorite spots, from their first date to their engagement. Her use of red and brown tones throughout the buildings is easy on the eyes, and her flourishes make a beautiful border.
10. Paris and Long Island Watercolor Illustrated Maps
At 90 years old, Marge K. might be retired, but she’s certainly not idle: she’s now working on her third map! I love the spin she put on the original Paris map (that bicycle is fantastic) and her interpretation of Long Island, where she grew up.
11. Oxnard Wedding Map
Kim W. made this Oxnard, CA, map to commemorate a friend’s wedding. Notice how the bouncy lettering style and the bright colors capture the essence of the sunny California coast!
12. Relationship Journey Map
Antonine K. used her skills to create a map that honors her relationship with her husband. This map is so special because of all the little details, from their first date to engagement/wedding details and where they are now. I love the beautiful muted colors in this map and the judicious use of different writing styles.
13. Friendship Maps
Nora A. used her skills to make maps that commemorate her friendships. “During Covid I spend time at my desk thinking about the things I miss, mostly my friends. So I started making friendship maps. All of them have inside jokes and humor to them, it’s just my nature,” she explained. I think it’s so cool how each map has its own color scheme and stays true to the theme. More than anything, it’s awesome that Nora has latched on to the concept of map-making and creates personal, unique pieces that celebrate the important relationships in her life.
14. Maps for Mothers
Jane M. used her illustration abilities to create maps for her mother-in-law and her own mother. Both maps commemorate places that are special to the women in Jane’s life in a clean and crisp illustration style. I love the layouts here and the special details!
Lynn K. made this map for her mother as a tribute to a place that’s been special to her family for decades: Pawleys Island, SC. I love the precision and the beautiful colors in this map!
I hope that you enjoy looking through these watercolor illustrated maps as much as I do. Even if you don’t have time to take the Watercolor Illustrated Maps 101 eCourse, these student works are inspiring and just fun to look at. Those who are included in the list should know: I’m incredibly proud of you! Keep up the amazing work!
Thanks very much for reading, and here’s to many happy creative moments in 2024.