In the Studio: Map Making
Owen and his family recently bought a 12 ft x 8 ft Studio Apex garden studio from our showsite in Shepperton. When we discovered he intended to use the space to practice cartography we leapt at the chance to commission him to create a map of places of interest in the neighbourhood.
We love to see how our garden buildings are used and styled, so we were delighted when Owen agreed to document his creative process in photographs and a time lapse video. We think you’ll agree the end result is simply stunning!
In the Q&A below Owen explains how long-distance running inspired his map making venture and how his garden studio is helping his business to grow…
What inspired you to be a map maker?
It came about a bit by chance initially, when I drew a fun map of a long-distance running event I’d completed in Cornwall at the start of 2017. It went down well with friends online, and I soon realised how it could be fun to do similar illustrated maps of other people’s races and journeys. This is the biggest thing that inspires me, talking to people about the epic adventures they’ve been on, and having the opportunity to illustrate these for them is a privilege and has been a lot of fun.
Have you always worked from home?
I’ve spent the last 20 years or so working in IT for various companies, mainly in offices but with some occasional work from home in recent years. This was all from the dining table until recently!
When and how did you decide to make a garden building into your creative space?
I’d spent the last couple of years drawing and painting in my spare time, and when we realised that the artwork had the potential to be a full-time thing for me, we knew a dedicated space was going to be essential. Making maps is not something that scales well in a busy family home. The last thing a client wants to find on their artwork is last night’s dinner!
How did you hear about Malvern Garden Buildings?
We searched the web for nearby places to source garden studios, and Malvern popped up. We had heard about it previously as we live locally and close to another Squire’s Garden Centre.
How did you decide on which garden building/ finish to have?
We came along to the centre to have a look at some of the ones on show, and with the help of Alison at Malvern, found the one we wanted. The style and finish were a group decision with my wife Kate and the kids!
What’s it like working from your garden office? What has been your family’s reaction to it?
It’s been wonderful. Of course, it helps to have built it in the summer with plenty of sunshine to light up the place. We all love it, there’s a desk and space for the kids to study (and a beanbag for the cats!), so it’s nice to be able to share it with them.
How did you find making the map for a mini travel guide to Shepperton and area?
I really enjoyed working on this map, it’s an area I’m fairly familiar with from my runs along the river. So, it’s been nice to have an excuse to illustrate the area.
What other commissions have you done, or would you consider?
I’ve worked on all sorts of running related maps for people, mainly routes in the UK, such as the Monarch’s Way, South Downs Way and a few in Snowdonia, plus a few further afield in the Alps, USA and South Africa.
As I’ll soon be doing this full time, I’d love to branch out a bit into other types of map, perhaps some long-distance car and motorcycle journeys, or golf courses, and my dad thinks I should start mapping people’s train commutes. He quite likes trains…
Accompanying music © 2019 Tom Delaney. All Rights Reserved.