The most frequent question that I am asked about my career as an illustrator is “How did I get into producing illustrated maps?”

My usual answer takes me back to when I was sixteen and trying to decide what subjects I would take for A level, not being an academic or a mathematician I choose what I thought would be easy and interesting subjects, Art, History of Art and Geography. After A levels, I then spent six years at art college, learning to draw, paint, illustrate and create prints. Then when I became a professional illustrator I found a niche for myself doing something that no one else was doing at the time, I was good at it and most of all it was something that I was really interested in since school days. So there in those three A level choices is the answer to why I paint illustrated maps in a traditional style

Up Market, Down Town or Country Retreat

Are you selling a £26 million grade 2 listed country estate in rural Royal Berkshire with a Capability Brown landscape, or maybe you are marketing a development of 9 apartments and 5 town houses ($16.9 million each) in Manhattan’s uber cool West Village or possibly you have to rent out 100’s of apartments in a $239 million development of two 47 storey tower blocks with wonderful views of New York from Fort Lee in New Jersey? My illustrations have helped to sell or rent these properties not only finding people new homes but making a few people loads a money.

Smell and taste the World

One of the great things about creating and painting maps is the research that is involved, allowing yourself to travel a neighbourhood, a city or a country, discovering the best bits without having to suffer airport security or even leaving your desk. I can imagine not just the way a place looks, but also the the weather, the foods, the tastes and smells, while also listening to the languages.

French Crime Thrillers (no sub-titles)

I love a crime thriller, a murder mystery, a whodunit, sub-plot or red herring, a good/bad cop, a murderer, victim, a silent witness, a motive, a stalker, the shaven head alcoholic cop. I love the anticipation, the suspense, excitement, anxiety and surprise. I hate not guessing who the killer was or working out the WHY. I love to turn the page and get into the mind of the suspect, is he the killer?

Fat Lad at the back

One of my hobbies, or maybe fitness activities that I really enjoy is cycling. Donning my lycra at a weekend to swoop down and struggle up the hills of Kent and Sussex, is one of my favourites thing to do, but none of my adventures come close to those of Tim Moore, travel writer, humorist and cyclist extraordinaire.

Crafted Beer Maps

A subject very close to my heart - and belly - is beer. So maps for a book called ‘The Best Beer in the World’ would be right up my street and into the pub on the corner. It is a project I could not get enough of and even after several late night doing research I was happy to research again the following evening. Thanks to Ryland Peters & Small Dog ’n’ Bone books for allowing me to follow my passion and the always sober author Mark Dredge for his thirst quenching inspirations.

Chicago, Chicago I will show you around - I love it

Chicago is the third largest city in the USA and nestles on the shores of Lake Michigan. Known as the windy city, it is famed for its architectural style - the Chicago School and architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright, who helped to create its iconic skyline. Chicago has its famous and infamous residents like Ernest Hemingway, Al Capone, John Belushi, Walt Disney and Barak Obama. Chicago like most cities is more than the sum of its parts with interesting and diverse neighbourhoods like jigsaw pieces fitting together to make a whole.

Beautiful Britain, Beautifully Mapped

Britain Magazine, is produced for Visit Britain by Chelsea Magazines Co. to promote the best in British travel, heritage, culture and style. Their markets are mainly Europe and the USA. Each issue is full of stories about history and legends, tourist information, places to visit, eat and stay accompanied by beautiful photography and illustrations. Some of the articles require maps and I regularly produce two or three maps for each issue.