06/11/14 By Heather Linder
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you choose? An exotic beach vacation? A mountaintop hiking adventure? A weekend with your favorite people at an old hangout?
Travel can fuel so much inspiration and imagination. There's nothing like experiencing a place for the first time to give you a whole new outlook on life.
This past summer, my friend Alaina and I road tripped from Chicago to Seattle. The sights along the way were breathtaking. Yellowstone National Park is truly one of the most stunning places I've ever been. But half the fun (okay, maybe 25 percent of the fun) was planning the trip.
We used Google maps to plot our way, marking hotels and points of interest along the route. It helped put into perspective just how far we were trekking.
Maps can be both functional and beautiful, and sometimes they can even become art themselves. Map Art by Jill K. Berry and Linden McNeilly is filled with 52 explorations in mapmaking, imagination and travel.
Take the "String Up Longs and Lats" project. This creative endeavor uses paint and water to create a map of your perfect place and then adds string to mark longitude and latitude in a 3-D way. The result is truly a work of art. It could be the perfect way to commemorate a special trip or daydream about a future escapade.
The book also highlights mapmakers and artists and shows just how inspired map art can get. Look at this three-dimensional map-based installation by artist Anne Marie Gee titled "Little Lucy at Sea." The paper has been "reborn" to sail to new destinations.
Maps give me both nostalgia and wanderlust all at once. I can't wait to fill my workspace with map-based projects of all the world I'd love to see.
So, where are you headed to next?
Heather is a journalist and writer living in Chicago with her composer husband and art-loving puppy, Lancelot. She's on an endless quest for the city's best coffee and is endlessly inspired by Chicago's magnificent skyline. Heather is a bookworm, aspiring chef, and NPR fanatic. She's in the process of teaching her beagle to use a French press and overcoming her fear of DIY.
Any fool can be happy. It takes a man with real heart to make beauty out of the stuff that makes us weep.
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