Going Somewhere? 6 Ideas for Using Maps

Like many other things, paper maps are slowly becoming a thing of the past, as GPS guides us through new cities and countries. I haven’t used a paper map in several years, and so now more than ever they have a sentimental quality. Even if it’s a map of somewhere I haven’t been, it symbolizes adventure and exciting journeys. This is just one reason why maps are an attractive option to include in a journal. If you have any maps tucked away from your travels, you’ll want to read Jacqueline Newbold’s advice on how to incorporate them into your mixed-media journal pages. Following are six tips from Newbold, excerpted from her Cloth Paper Scissors (July/August 2010) feature article, “Travel Journals: Maps As a Starting Point.”

A watercolor sketch enhanced with a map, decorative papers, labels,
magazine images, stamping, text, and journaling, by Jacqueline Newbold.

6 Ideas for Using Maps by Jacqueline Newbold

1. Make copies of maps and prepare them with gesso before you leave on your trip.
2. Make a hand-drawn map of the area you’re visiting and incorporate little drawings of interesting points along the way.
3. Use a map as a starting point and add collected ephemera such as business cards, tickets, postage stamps, cut-out words and photos from brochures, wine labels, paper money, paper napkins, postcards, and anything else that catches your eye.
4. Use a map as a foundation for your journaling.
5. Cut a map into interesting shapes that can be folded out from the page to reveal your art.
6. Use different types of maps for different looks, such as nautical charts for marine scenes or hiking trail guides for nature paintings.

As you probably know, Cloth Paper Scissors shares endless inspiration like this. If you’re new to the magazine, check out the 2013 Collection CD—it includes six issues that are searchable, linked, and easy to take with you, all on a single disc.

Do you incorporate maps into your mixed-media art? Tell us about it in the comments section below!

Safe travels,

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