The Omey Island Map + Guide + DVD. A whimsical interpretation of a real place in Galway.

Each commission is different so whether it’s a shop relocation or a village trail we can create something unique.

Waterford city map highlighting the 6 venues of an art trail.

As well as being works of art, our maps are practical too, they identify landmarks and will get you from A to B!

A simple map to give directions from Mooncoin to The Art Hand for a birthday party.

We can also produce maps that can to be used online. With the help of a web designer these maps can be zoomable and interactive. Features on the map can be clickable, linking the viewer to relevant videos and photographs. This can be useful for story maps and phone apps.

Close up showing digitally overlayed symbols on a hand-drawn map.

The maps are drawn by Sean Corcoran. He is an award-winning artist and the artistic director of The Art Hand. He is passionate about maps. Sean is a contemporary artist that uses his imagination, creativity and sometimes his humour to breathe new life into the traditional craft of cartography.

Detail from a drawing of the Quay in Waterford.

His maps have been published in all kinds of printed formats from festival guides and art trails to postcards and posters. Several of his maps have been featured in Map Art Lab, a specialist map book published by Quarry Books in America.

He often incorporates his maps into his other art projects including sand art and mosaic.

A mosaic map of Bunmahon in County Waterford. Collaborative school project.

The base image including the road layouts are initially drawn and coloured by hand on paper. The main components like buildings, attractions and landmarks are illustrated separately.

The buildings are drawn separately and superimposed onto the background.

Sean is an accomplished digital artist. He then creates a layered digital file where all these elements are brought together and can be adjusted independently. Wording and arrows are then added.

Detail from the cover of The Copper Coast Map and Guide.

This means that the maps can easily be altered for subsequent needs. This is great for annual events and different themed maps of the same region as in the following examples;

Year one of the Promenade Festival in Tramore.

Year two of the Promenade Festival in Tramore using the previous template.

We are happy to include business locations on our maps. A simple way to do this is to use a series of numbers on the map that relate to a listing that is included elsewhere. This is a great way of getting businesses to contribute towards the cost of the map. Key sponsors can  be included with more dominant illustrations.

Here is the first ever map by Sean Corcoran showing directions to The Salvage Shop in Waterford city.

Detail from a drawing of the Quay in Waterford.

We can create simple concept maps like the one below to assist with event planning and management.

Discussion document for the Promenade Festival in Tramore.

Conventional maps are orientated with north at the top. Our maps however are drawn so that the viewer has the best chance of quickly finding their bearings without having to use a compass! This often means that we place stronger emphasis on features like rivers, the sea or a dominant landmark.

Postcard to highlight the relocation of a business in Waterford city.

This makes it easier for the user to navigate the area. For example when we create maps of Waterford city we usually position the river Suir along the bottom whereas the river is actually to the north of the city.

Close up of postcard to highlight the relocation of a business in Waterford city.

The artworks themselves are often printed as large posters and as framed photo prints that can be used as special presentation pieces. An Taoiseach Enda Kenny being presented with the Copper Coast Map.

Scale does not exist on our maps. In order to relay the necessary information within the often limited output size of the map we do not use an accurate scale. We use artistic license to convey distance and scale. Maps drawn with a bird’s-eye view are a perfect example of this.

The Copper Coast map + guide is over two foot wide yet it folds down into an A6 plastic sleeve.

Below are some close up details of some of our maps;

We can do all the necessary research and we can provide accompanying text, guides, photographs, videos and DVDs where necessary. We can also advise on printing and web options. If you already have the ground work done we are happy to work to your brief. We like to keep our clients up to date throughout the process with regular proof meetings.

So if you have a story to be told or the history of a region to be brought to life please Contact Us and we can discuss a few creative options.

Section of a drawing of the Quay in Waterford.