Name: Rosie Collins
Location: North Wales, UK
Languages: English, Welsh written and spoken
Education: Bachelors degree
Materials: MacBook Pro, Wacom tablet, Adobe Suite, traditional materials
Hello, my name is Rosie. I am a cartographer and illustrator with over 12 years experience working on a freelance basis creating precise and attractive maps for publications.
After leaving school with 11 GCSEs, I completed a BTEC in Art & Design, achieving a triple distinction as well as an A* Fine Art AS level. In 2012 I graduated with a first class degree in BA Graphic Arts (Hons) from Liverpool John Moores University.
Around 2008, I began helping my father finish map commissions as he made his transition into an exhibiting oil painter. Soon after, I took over all the incoming cartography work and began to develop my style and skills with the support of my father. Since then, I have had over 75 maps published in the UK as well as numerous private commissions.
Raised by two talented artists, I found myself engrossed in art and design from a young age. To this day my parents continue to be a huge source of inspiration and I owe much of my career in cartography to my father, Martin Collins. With numerous walking and travel books under his belt, he now prefers to paint but his legacy of hand drawn maps has continued with myself.
I approach every job differently depending on the brief and my own evaluation of how to present the information.
Most jobs begin with collecting source materials from online maps and my own atlases, measuring out the area to be mapped and roughly placing labels. Research into historical events, country borders, battle grounds and towns is undertaken to ensure my own information matches up with the brief. I like to gather similar maps to refer to as I work and for inspiration on how to present the information.
Some maps I draw over a light box using fine-liner pens on layout paper, whilst others are more suited to vector graphics on my Wacom tablet in Adobe Illustrator.
Typesetting is an important and time-consuming part of cartography. I ensure all locations are marked accurately whether they be modern day or historical. The overall visual presentation and legibility of the maps relies heavily on the labels being placed and spaced correctly. I work mainly in Adobe Photoshop for this step, printing out drafts to-scale as I go to ensure sizing, fonts and scale are correct.
I also spend a fair amount of time on geographical details and illustrations for certain jobs. Texture fills such as marshland, coastline and desert, as well as drawn mountains and forests can really assist the viewers understanding of the map. Some more technical maps may only require solid or dashed borders and basic fills, whereas other jobs call for illustrated ocean monsters, tall ships, mountain ranges and castles.
No two jobs are the same, and every map I create is from scratch and completely unique to that brief. I enjoy every step of this creative process, especially seeing the final result printed!