I've never made a request like this on LJ before, but I've seen others do this sort of crowdsourcing before with spectacular results, so here goes:
I'm looking for someone to create a pretty, high-quality map of my fantasy world THE CRESCENT MOON KINGDOMS.
Basically the situation is this: My first novel, THRONE OF THE CRESCENT MOON, comes out in February of next year from DAW Books. For those who don't know, it's the first novel in an Arabian Nights-tinged heroic fantasy trilogy. (To get some idea of the flavor of the world, you can read prequel stories here and here, and read my blabbery on the novel itself here.) I'm quite proud of it, and am of course hoping that it makes a splash. But splashes don't depend on the text alone. Packaging matters. In some respects, I'm in good shape there: THRONE will be a hardcover release with some very cool blurbs and cover art by an *awesome* artist (more on whom a bit down the line).
And, because I have always been a fantasy map nut, it will have a map.
Now. DAW's in-house person can provide a very serviceable, basic, black-and-white line map. I love my publisher *to death* and have zero complaints about their plans for the book. But. Truth be told, I would love for the map to move beyond utility and help contribute to teh splashery first impressions. Truth be told, I'm fantasizing about something more like this:
And there are for-hire folks out there who do this sort of work. But they ain't cheap, and here's the grisly catch: I am flat flat flat broke right now (twin infants, recent relocation, no teaching gig at the moment, etc.). So my ability to fund this is pretty limited. Thus this reaching out to the crowd. As a newbie-ish writer, I know how crummy and insulting the 'Hey, we're not paying anything, but the work is *exposure*!' thing can be. On the other hand, DAW will be pushing this book as one of their major fantasy debuts, and it *would* be a pretty nice bit of exposure for a less established artist. In addition, I could likely scratch together *some* token funds and/or work out some sort of barter. I teach creative writing at the university level and, for a genre newbie, have had some decent success in SF/F publishing. So I could happily offer my services doing a ms. critique or some such. And I'm open to other creative, equitable arrangements.
If this sounds like something you have the skills and inclination for, or if you know someone who might be up for this, please hit me up at saladinahmed [youknowwhatgoeshere] hotmail.com. Thanks!
ETA: WOW, the People Of The Internet are amazing! Less than 24 hrs since I posted this, and I've had a SLEW of responses from talented folks. I'm in the process of looking at portfolios, websites, etc., but the decision is not mine alone - I have to have a discussion w/ my publisher as well before I ask anyone to start putting hard work into this. Please bear with me - I'll be getting back to everyone individually within a day or so. And, to everyone who's written, posted, or spread the word, THANK YOU!!!!
ETA II: Just to clarify, though I've had a slew of responses, the call is still open - please do contact me if you're just seeing this for the first time!
ETA III: Thank you all *so* much for your rapid, generous responses to my call! I'm frankly astonished by how many talented, creative people wrote me expressing interest in this project. I'd had visions of tumbleweeds blowing through my inbox as I waited for responses. Instead I find myself in the awkward position of being both and beggar and a chooser.
In any case, after looking at a bunch of truly gorgeous portfolios and consulting with my publisher, I've narrowed the search down considerably, and have contacted my top choices. I wish all of the rest of you fantastic craftsfolk and cartographers the very best with your impressive creative and professional endeavors, and I thank you all for your time.
I'd love to make maps! I used to draw over my atlas pages to make up my own kingdoms. Maybe if I went through a six week intensive graphic arts course I'd come up with something that would embody mine aspirations - oh, and yours too. Alas, all my energies are focused on dance and music.
This is a great idea, and I really hope you find someone! I'm a complete sucker for a really good monochrome line-art window-frame map, but I quite agree that a full-colour one is an awesome thing to have in your book, and it isn't something that most authors and designers pay as much attention to as I'd like, these days.
If I had done any cartography in the last dozen years, I'd be all over this, but as it is I'll settle for putting up a signal amp post.
A friend sent me the link to this post via Twitter. It appears she got it from someone else on Twitter. I don't know where that person go it.
I am a professional cartographer. I am interested in adding more to my portfolio than just Flood Insurance Rate Maps (which I enjoy making, by the way). I am fortunate right now not to be hard up for money, as so many people that I know are during these economic times. And, I have tossed around ideas for fantasy maps for a long time. I did create my own fantasy land in junior high, and still have all the maps and stuff that goes along with it to this day (I kept working on it and it grew and grew during high school, as I was a horrible introvert at that time).
I am not an artist, however. A novel is a work of art and deserves an artistic map. There is a fine line between a good map and a work of art. In the two example maps you provided, I would say (IMHO) that the first one crosses the line into art (it is more picture than map), whereas the second one does not cross that line (it is artful, but more map than picture). I can do a lot with a map, but I can't really cross that line into art.
So, with that said, I think this is an interesting idea. If you aren't connected with a more experienced cartographer, or a more qualified artist, please feel free to contact me.
The illustrious Ms. Cooney gave me a heads-up about your mapping needs, I don't know if I can compete quality-wise with the map already posted above, I am a skin-illuminator by trade rather than a cartographer, but due to that I am not worried about money. What kind of time frame are you looking at? And what sort of size and medium would be workable for you? feel free to contact me at email@example.com if you wish.
Sam Kelly pointed me in your direction - I'm not a professional artist or map-maker, but I have done a small amount of map-making/illustration as a pastime. I quite like doing it and would be fine with exposure/barter in exchange as it's very much a dabbling-type hobby (with the caveat that I'd prefer not to take work away from people who are professionals, so disregard this is you've already reached a payment-type agreement with anyone). Example below:
My husband runs a fantasy cartography website. There is a mapmaking request section where you can ask someone to make you a map. There are lots of artists and industry professionals avaiable. With well over 20,000 members you're sure to find someone to help. www.cartographersguild.com