About Steady Hand Maps (SHMaps)
Can I be honest with you? I LOVE making maps. I love researching an area and getting to know all the little things that give a place a heartbeat. We all know it’s not just that skyscraper or that one restaurant, it’s the experiences you have in and around places. It’s the smells and gritty details. It’s where you can find the best cup of coffee when you only have a few minutes or that great mural you pass by every day on the way to work. It’s the curve of a certain old tree and the shade it provides on a hot sunny day (or how it shelters you from the rain). It’s the little things.
How It Started
Hi, my name is Jen. I started making custom maps for people entirely by accident. A friend of mine who had previously worked with me on one of my exhibitions had moved on and was working for a real estate developer. They were looking for a unique, custom city map and wanted a local artist. For some reason, she thought of me. Up to that point, I didn't realize I was a map maker. I was an artist and used drawings as conceptual tools in larger installations, performances and public pieces. But, I was excited to do it and cranked out 40 hours worth of drawing over one week. She loved it but the developers did not. I was heartbroken. Instead of wallowing, I produced a limited edition paper map print set of the rejected map and it nearly sold out. That map became the lead-in to future custom map projects.
What I Love To Do
So here I am, a maker of maps both paper and digital. I get excited to find out something new about each area I work on. It allows me to explore new regions or get to know better the areas I thought I knew. I have the privilege of allowing these custom maps to be educational and experiential tools. As far as I'm concerned, there can never be too much detail or too much information. You should be able to find something new nearly every time you look at them.
What Do You Need?
No area is too small or too big. I've even created a map of a single street corner. I mean, exactly HOW closely do you really look at the area around you? You can always find out more. That's how I want to help. People love having an entry point into a new place. Or, they love seeing the place they live in celebrated. These paper maps can be displayed under a frame or folded, written on and stuffed into a pocket. They need to be loved.