I've been a cartographer for more than 30 years and have worked making maps for the City of Fayetteville for most of the last decade. I'm old enough that when I started in school we still drew maps with Rapidograph pens and cut patterns with an X-acto knife -- the craft of it always appealed to me -- but I changed with the times and in recent years have spent most of the day in front of a computer. Something gained, something lost.
I always liked pen and ink. I'm a hands-on kind of guy and am always drawing something, whether it's a doodle or my next furniture design. So when I finally started drawing pen and ink maps, I wondered why it had taken me so long.
Letterpress is a recent love. I'd already begun making hand-drawn maps and printing them on my inkjet printer when I saw the announcement of a letterpress workshop nearby -- a match made in heaven! The wonderful old presses were immediately inviting, and the quality of the product a perfect fit with my hand-drawn maps. I worked in an offset print shop in the 80's, so I wasn't a complete novice, but the vintage presses and tactile feel of the prints had me hooked as soon as I tried it. There's a great satisfaction to the simple process and human scale and speed of production, not to mention the gorgeous product.
Recently we've added digital prints to our offerings. This allows us to offer full-color prints in a variety of sizes, and much faster update cycles. We use archival pigment inks and print on acid-free paper to make a product that will keep its bright colors for a long time when hung on your wall.
Fayetteville, Arkansas has been my home for the last 35 years. I moved here in 1981 after living my first 30 years in California. Palo Alto, my home town -- or "Camelot" as Pati and I like to call it -- is kind of like the Garden of Eden: not a place you move back to once you've left. Not on my salary anyway.
Not that I've regretted it; Fayetteville is a great college town nestled in the Ozark Mountains of northwest Arkansas, with beautiful scenery, miles of bike trails, great music and theater, awesome public library, and a flourishing cafe, restaurant, craft beer, and nightlife scene. Its combination of feisty liberals and down-to-earth Arkies keeps it interesting and real.
Other interests include baking (I make a mean sourdough-sprouted buckwheat-oat-wheat-spelt-barley-raisin bread), rustic furniture making, gardening, biking, and hanging out with my wonderful family, which includes wife Pati, five kids --step and otherwise-- and three fast-growing granddaughters. I AM HERE CARDS now lets me create fun and accurate hand-drawn maps, which is what I always pictured myself doing anyway. Hope you enjoy my cards as much as I enjoy making them.