Edinburgh Art Festival 2014 is in full swing, running from the 31st July to the 31st August in galleries, museums, art spaces and public places throughout the city. The UK's largest annual celebration of visual art is one of a billion reasons to visit Scotland's capital this summer.
Drawing Edinburgh as a functional map, rather than as an anything-goes illustrated cityscape was tricky. The city is a jumble of winding streets, alleyways and bridges that can easily confuse.
My starting point was to draw a mostly* accurate street plan using Google Maps and some good ol' legwork. I then plotted the venue locations and added a few key landmarks. This outline made sure that, even if the details of my final illustration didn't exactly match reality (and they didn't), the map'd still work for navigating the city.
Rather than trying to tackle the whole map at once, I broke the layout down into smaller sections using Photoshop. I made a couple of fill patterns to show the main areas ('grass' and 'buildings'), printed everything out and improvised the linework over the top. Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '99, buy a lightbox. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, a lightbox would be it.
After scanning, jigsawing the pieces back together and colouring, the job's a good 'un. You can pick up a free copy of the map from participating venues around Edinburgh. There's also an awesome social-mediarific version over at edinburghartfestivalmaps.com (cheers Andy!).
Also, also, also, in addition to the map, I've put together a range of merchandise for the festival. A natty tote bag, card wallet, exercise book, badges, a range of postcards and a alternative colour print of the map are all available from the Edinburgh Art Festival kiosk from 10am to 6pm on George St. (between Frederick Street and Castle Street) and at the City Art Centre next to Waverly Station. I've not had a chance to take proper photos of the merch yet, but I'll post them here and/or on my Instagram when I do.
Big thanks to Jessica, Helena and Andy for all their help and patience.
* A street or two got squashed a little to make room for some of the less central venues.