Making Memories: A map-making course on Skillshare

Here’s something I’ve been meaning to post about for awhile –  the lovely Anne from Pret a Voyager conducted a beginners map making class on Skillshare called Learning to Communicate Places Beautifully, where she taught basic skills and concepts about maps and their creation.

The course is technically a design course, but you don’t need any prior design experience, and I liked that it was pretty basic and straightforward and you had the option of going analogue or digital depending on your preference. Also, the schedule is pretty flexible since it’s an online course which you can finish on your own time, and while I’m a proponent of the free courses on Coursera, the price point for Skillshare courses is quite decent at around $20 (look out for the occasional discounts!)

(added 29/04/2013: Here’s a list of Anne’s favourite maps from the course!)

In the course, we did a couple of exercises exploring the idea of maps and map-making, and you realize that a lot of thought goes into making a good eye-catching map.

Here are a couple of my maps from the course:

This was my first attempt to map out a place in Singapore – it marks out some of my favourite spots in the Kampong Glam area
here’s a very rough sketch of my Mishap Map idea, where I mapped out places I’ve visited by anecdotal experiences
mapped it out on google maps for starters because drawing takes time

And while I do want to draw it out prettily eventually, I’m going to stick to Google Maps for now! Here’s the actual interactive google map with links to the stories.

View Mishap Map in a larger map

Besides getting the chance to work on my own art, I really enjoyed the gallery section where you can see other people’s work! There were some really creative ones, from someone drawing a map on a banana, to paper cuttings, to a map that follows the path of the creator’s dog. One in particular that I loved was Jessica Stuart-Crump’s which is a beautifully illustrated map of Morocco with Moorish motifs. Her other design work can be found on her website at Fauxnouveaux.

The finished product – Thanks Jessica for permission to use pix!
Close-up – she used commonly found Moorish motifs to illustrate the different areas. Absolutely stunning!

If you’re interested in enrolling the class, Anne is teaching another 3-week course starting 28th May 2013! It’s just US$20, sign up here: The course material will remain available to you even after the course is over, though I do recommend trying to complete the course work when Anne is conducting the course because she provides lots of great feedback about your work, I swear she somehow managed to reply EVERYONE who submitted a project or commented on a forum!

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