I thought I’d start the new blog off with a good old map. This one is of Peru and is the latest to add to my map collection, and it’s currently my favourite.

A little bit about my time in Peru: I visited in 2014 with the most awesome flatmate for 3 jam packed weeks of exploration. And I mean jam packed – we spent each night in a new town! A lot of sights were taken in from giant sand dunes to snowy peaked mountains, and we were rather proud to survive a 3 day hike which reached the dizzying heights of 4400m! Wowzers.

I’m sure I’ll be telling little tales from the trip as time goes by, but today I wanted to share the various stages I went through to reach my final illustration.

I knew straight away I wanted bold colours – the textiles that are hand woven are in the most amaaaazingly vibrant colours, all from naturally dyed alpaca and llama wool. So this definitely had to come across and was my starting point.

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The next step is then to add the locations, see what we actually had going on . . . but I soon realised there was too much text (we’d just visited too many places!) so this had to be whittled down.

I’ll admit that getting the location icons right for this map was a lot trickier than most – I tried to not just draw the famous buildings of each city (as I have done with my other maps) but to add in other ‘to-dos’ – like paragliding in Lima, sand-boarding in Huacachina and condor spotting at the Colca Canyon. But it was no good. My heart wanted to draw the architectural delights so I wasn’t going to try and stop it!

This was the first map I’ve done of a whole country, previously they have focused on individual cities – London, Marrakech, New York – so I got to play around more with landscape and add in some rainforest, some cacti, a bit of tree and a sprinkle of mountains. Oh what a treat!

All there was left to do was to throw in a couple of fancy pants llamas and et voila!