My Artistic Influences

Swiss Topography, as described by cartographer Eduard Imhof, is the earliest and greatest influence on my work. As a geography student, I became familiar with Swiss topographic quadrangles. Today, my work is a minimalist variation of Swiss-style topography.
General Map of Switzerland
I patterned the basic content of The Essential Geography after the 1:300,000-scale General Map of Switzerland, made by the Swiss Federal Office of Topography (detailed here). If you removed the contours and rock illustrations from this work, the design would look something like that of The Essential Geography, with similarities in type-placement style and color scheme.
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Though Swiss-style topographic maps are geographical by nature, and have given the Swiss and other Europeans an informational foundation on which to build societal appreciation of geography, they focus on abundant detail and locational precision, rather than on geographic clarity through apparent simplicity, a distinguishing characteristic of my work.
 
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Raven One World
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Working as Raven Maps, Stuart Allan acquainted me with the idea that cartographers can be artists and cartography can be beautiful. (Raven's One World shown here)
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Yuletide Camellia
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Botanical painting: Inspiration for The Essential Geography's new terrain image came from a vision I had of my cartography draped over a terrain image that had been watercolor painted at the skill level of a professionally-trained botanical illustrator. To realize my vision, I pursued it tirelessly for four years. (Shown here, Yuletide Camellia by Jeanne Debons) 
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Painting: Chief by Robert Bateman
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Though originally inspired by botanical art, the work of Canadian wildlife painter, Robert Bateman, also influences the style of the Version 4.4 terrain image. Bateman’s work draws the eye to form and space, in part by emphasizing broad strokes. This was the ideal style for a terrain image draped with 1000's of type labels and countless miles of roads. (Shown here: Bateman's Chief).
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Oz Clarke’s New Wine Atlas features “unique panoramic maps of the world’s great vineyard areas,” hand painted by Keith Gage and Sue Gage. The oblique-view maps in the Oz Clarke atlas capture geographic character, and inspire me to do the same.
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