Ever since I was a child of five I’ve been fascinated by looking at the world from above. I loved model villages and model railways in particular, my favourite place being Bekonscot, a model village created in 1929 near Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire – a magical miniature world. There is no doubt that this was the first and most enduring inspiration behind my map-making. After leaving Bath Academy of Art I explored a few avenues of illustration before I focusing entirely on maps. I felt that I had really found my true passion. In a way it fulfills a deep psychological need of knowing where I’m going…I like a beginning and I like a destination. One little boy asked me whether I had ever drawn a map to Heaven; maybe that will be my last map.
I have been lucky enough to have been commissioned by a number of fantastic clients, including the Times, the Radio Times, Daily Telegraph, to explore and illustrate cities and locations all over the world. Each map and project still gives me a thrill; it’s always a joy to create something new. I illustrate using traditional drawing methods; my trusty Rotring pens are my constant companions, and, although I do use the computer for colouring and creating digital files, my passion still lies in the actual mark making of pen on paper.
The five illustrators I have chosen have inspired me on my journey through creating and map-making. Projection and perspective are a fundamental part of my maps. The process requires not only drawing skills, but also the ability to work with light and shade. That 3D quality is vital to make them come alive and come off the page.