Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Lilla Rogers, Make Art That Sells, hometown map assignment!

I realized that I never officially posted week 4 editorial assignment from Lilla Rogers MATS class. This was a particularly challenging assignment to do in less than a week. We were to do a map of our hometown. Now I presently live in a typical New England small town, just 30 some miles west of Boston. I actually considered stretching the truth and just doing Boston, but ultimately I decided that doing a map of a city would be more overwhelming, especially since it has been done so many times already. I seriously doubt that little ol' Westborough has been the subject of an editorial map. 

The disadvantage of doing a small town is the seemingly lack of interesting subject matter, so I dove into the history books to get some material! Although he left here as a small child and his family's home is long gone, Eli Whitney, the inventor of the cotton gin, was born here! Also, in the 19th century, Westborough was known for sleigh manufacturing. Outside of that, I decided to focus on the hellish traffic circle (the rotary) in the center of downtown, with no less than 7 streets converging into it. To make traffic worse, nearby there is a low railroad bridge that despite multiple warnings, tractor trailers get stuck underneath it on a weekly basis. Fun! Since it is in New England, the epicenter of the Dunkin Donut chain store magnate, there is an odd, unhealthy abundance of donut/coffee shops. I counted 9 in a town of 18,000. Seems like a pretty high ratio, but maybe the sugary caffeine rush is necessary to navigate through the downtown traffic ;)

I have always wanted to tackle a map and despite the challenge, I was thrilled that this was the assignment. My class submission is the smaller version pictured below. I wanted to submit this to the wonderful site, They Draw and Travel, so I had to expand and reformat to meet their horizontal specs. There was a lot that I did not have time to do for the class assignment, so I took the opportunity to add more buildings, people and of course, the infamous railroad bridge. There are always more details I would like to have added, but this kind of work is really an exercise in editing it down to a manageable amount of info that gives the viewer a feel for the locale, without showing every last detail. I hope I achieved that!

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