I drew over 120 maps in 2015. Most made it onto the blog, a few didn’t. And I’m looking forward to another 120 or so this coming year – mostly to show up here, but a few for commissions, commercial works, and just to make gifts for friends. There are 500+ maps on this blog now. That’s a lot of maps.
(Oh, and the map I usually post on Fridays will be posted tomorrow, I’m using today’s slot to talk about this stuff).
That right there, in the middle of the photo? That says DL15 DEC31. That’s the last time I draw DL15 on a map. It is officially time to start drawing DL16 on my works. The map itself that appears up there won’t be making an appearance on the blog any time soon, however, as I drew it for the awesome guys running NTRPGCon to put into the digest-sized program they make for the Con every year.
My last little thing as I ring in the new year was finally accepting that this style of map that I post here… they are a style that I am actually finally willing to take credit for. It feels a bit egotistical to claim of it as “my style”, but there weren’t a lot of maps being drawn in this style in 2009 when I started posting them to this blog.
So this evening when I wandered into a Pinterest board that looks like a collection of my maps, I had to look twice and squint a bit to be sure there were maps from four different artists represented in this screen shot, and ten artists overall in the pinboard.
People routinely call this style of cartography “Dyson-style” as they talk about their new maps drawn in this style. It inflates the ego a bit when I read those posts.
The face of D&D cartography has changed in the last six years, and I am pretty confident that I can claim credit for part of the change, and I look forward to seeing where this goes over the next six.
I didn’t actually publish anything in 2015, instead focusing my work this year on improving my skills and working on my Patreon campaign (more on that to follow). But my goal this year is to change that. I want to release things this year. I would LOVE to release many things this year, but for now I’m keeping it reasonable – I’ve got two projects that are front-and-centre for release, and to keep myself from being overwhelmed, I’m passing one off to another publisher to do the art, layout and actual selling of the product instead of keeping it in-house and never actually finishing it like I so often find myself.
So expect to see “the Dungeon of Fuck You, That’s Why” coming out in early 2016 – using a set of my less “safe for work” maps and illustrated by Gennifer Bone. It’ll rock and then be followed up at some point (finally) by Snail Lords of the Salt Flats, my B/X D&D campaign setting.
The biggest changes in my cartography in the last few years can be directly pinned to my Patreon campaign, and thus to you – my readers who support me through Patreon. I draw these maps as a full time gig now, improving my drawing and cartography skills and producing maps for your games.
The support through the Patreon campaign has been incredible. Without it, I would have reduced my mapping to a couple a month this past year because I would have been out looking for and then holding down full time employment.
Over the year the level of support has slowly climbed and then dropped, and seems to be on a slow decline month after month now. That being said I hadn’t expected the campaign to be anywhere near the level of support it is at now – when I started it I was aiming for 100 patrons with a total contribution of $50-$75 per map. But if it continues on the current trend through 2016, I’ll have to start looking for “real work” in 2017.
So here’s where I remind you about my Patreon campaign, and how a few dollars a month from you can make a huge difference for me, and can keep you in maps for another year. Even if you can’t contribute financially, you can always tell other people about the campaign and the blog – let the world see these maps.