Monday, 16 November 2015

DIY Fantastic: NYC Holiday Map

This may be my longest running art project EVER. I dreamt up the idea on our trip to New York back in 2013. And I finished and framed it a few weekends ago. Yes, that's right, over 2 years in the works.

We'd had a frame AND mount ready and waiting for months - reflection of the impressive level of faith Mr Fantastic had that I'd actually get the thin finished. (I'd have long given up on me!!) But I have admit it was incredibly satisfying to sign off on a piece and then get it framed and up on the wall within an hour. Maybe this should be my new motivational ploy for all my art projects...

Back in NYC we ummed and aaahed about buying a city map for our walls. We saw some super fun ones at Brooklyn Flea Market. But getting them home in our carry on was going to be an absolute mission. So instead, I promised I'd whip us up a personalised version upon our return....

I started out with a general outline of Manhattan and the main districts and then started to fill in from there. I included little snippets of each of our favourite adventures in the city. We tried to remember all our little adventures, walks, dinners, concerts and memories from our whistle-stop tour and I worked them into a drawing with little illustrations and phrases!

I sketched out the outline of each district and the general shapes of each illustration in pencil and then dived in with a permanent fine-liner for the final draft.

Some of my favourite little snippets in the above and below include 'Giant fritto-misto' at Bianca's restaurant (aah-mazing!), our final day's shopping spree for gifts in Greenwhich Village, our 'crazy taxi ride' out to Brooklyn in a yellow cab (I am a super supporter of The Knowledge after that experience!) and the delicious 'Brooklyn Roast and breakfast donuts' we had when we FINALLY arrived!!

For the areas we left unvisited (there's only so much you can squeeze in in three and a half days!) I kept the districts simple, filling the shape of each district with their names. These spots will definitely be on my hit-list for our next aherm, anniversary, trip to the big apple (did I say that out loud?).

This has been a real labour of love, but I am so pleased with the result. The concept is super simple - the map base and the overlay of place names and drawings is something you could do for any trip, anywhere in the world! Although getting all that detail in the tiny sketches did take a wee while...

In fact, you could also do something very similar using memorabilia from a trip. Creating a map-collage using ticket stubs, cutouts from pamphlets and photos. Have you ever made any holiday inspired art for your walls? Looking for suggestions for our next big trip now!

p.s. for more Knicker Elastic art work and framing take a peek at these floral watercolours and our eclectic living room gallery wall. 

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