By, Surabhi Ashok
Think back to any fantasy novel that you have read. Most of them open with a detailed drawing of their story’s world. This drawing is a fantasy map, which is essentially a guide to help the audience understand the landscape that authors or directors create. It is a visual of every important place a character visits or hears about in a story and the distance between them. A fantasy map, such as the one in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, assists in the process of world-building and helps make clear the history of a tale that may be confusing when first immersing yourself into it. That is why it is more likely to see a map when the story’s world is fabricated versus when the story takes place on Earth.
Fantasy maps can complement an already-made universe or can act as an original piece. For example, you could draw a map of the wizarding school Hogwarts from the famous book series Harry Potter, including intricate details that are mentioned in the story and adding ideas of your own. Or you could design a map based on an original inspiration like your own story idea or even a scenery that has room for exploration.
There has been a spike in the creation of fantasy maps recently, and it would be beneficial if you follow the trend as well.
Do you like to travel? You can use that experience of when you were able to view many different cultures, landmarks, and architecture and apply it to building a world of your own.
Inspiration comes from everywhere. You can utilize your creativity in the best way, since you would get to explore your favorite books, movies, and/or T.V. shows in great detail by making your own fantasy map. Another benefit of having creative control is that you can include your personal opinions about the universe that are not included in the official story, but you accept as true.
And if I still haven’t convinced you, ask yourself this question: why not create a fantasy map? With the extra time spent at home due to the covid-19 pandemic, you can pick up a new hobby and explore your interests.
Finally, remember that we are in an age where you can share your sketches online with like-minded people who appreciate your work and your attention to detail.
Unleash your potential, and go practice your fantasy map now!