September 23rd, 2019

archipelago: an atlas of imagined islands

Hey, as of this week, 70 of us have a new book out! It's called Archipelago: an Atlas of Imagined Islands and published by Thames & Hudson.

Editor Huw Lewis-Jones approached us as illustrators with this brief:

The commission is simple. Draw the map of an island. An island of your own imagining...

A fantasy island. Yours to create. A heaven or hell, tropical paradise or icy waste, wild beasts, sea monsters, remarkable peoples…close by or remote, past, present, or future…whatever you fancy…perhaps a combination of all these things, who knows...

It is your kingdom. Your island state. Or maybe it’s an island you’ve just discovered. Really, it could be anything you like, within reason, as long as you’d be proud to see it published in this kind of special gathering.

A simple, beautiful map of an imaginary island.

So we did! I based mine on the island of Islay where my dad grew up, but imagined a silly history for it based on animal shenanigans. While I was drawing the map, I was actually on Islay, looking out a window across a field to a massive woolly sheep who was endlessly teasing and persecuting a cow in the same field, and these ideas fell into place.

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