Creating art from something everyone sees…David Imus and maps

Every once in awhile an artist is rewarded for something that others may view as mundane.  It’s the combination of utility and craft that together creates beautiful art.

Maps are all around us.  When you look past their ubiquity, you can see art.  One of the most famous examples of this is the NY Subway map, and the beauty and perspective provided by maps was the subject of one of my favorite episodes of “The West Wing.”

I have a large map of England from 1814 in the foyer of our home that always serves as a great conversation starter:



This evening I read an article about a new map that covers the seemingly mundane in a beautiful way. The Essential Geography of The United States of America by Imus Geographics was recently awarded one of mapmaking’s highest prizes for how he represented cities, states, attractions and geographic features.  Imus Geographics is one man in Eugene, Oregon who through hard work, 6,000 hours over two years, bested National Geographic, Rand McNally and all the others.

Just because others may look past what you want to create, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your best.

The Essential Geography of The United States of America (image from



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