Thank you for visiting. My name is Kevin Sheehan - I'm the cartographer here at Manuscript Maps, which I founded in 2014. Maps are commonplace in today's world, yet many appear clumsy because they are hastily made on computers with concern only for basic function while ignoring aesthetics, form, and design. Combining my love of maps and my experience as a dabbling artist, my aim is to bring art back to cartography. Inspired by antique maps from centuries ago, all of my maps are drawn by hand, using traditional techniques employing dip-pens with calligraphic nibs. I even draw some of my maps on real vellum. Each original takes weeks or even months to produce, but I believe that by carefully scribing every letter and drawing every line and shape by hand, rather than relying on computers, my maps are elevated to fine art. Here I sell signed and numbered prints of my beautiful hand-drawn cartographic creations, but I also accept commissions for originals.
Cartographers of the past were artisans, and are a source of great inspiration for me. Often working alone, or in small workshops, master cartographers created beautiful maps that served both aesthetic and practical functions. I studied the height of map-making culture (AD 1200 to 1700) in my PhD, which was awarded by Durham University in 2014. Energised by my historical research, I have set out to create maps using the methods employed by map-makers over the centuries.
The time-lapse video below shows how I draw my maps: planning in detail with pencil, then drawing over in pen. This particular map of the island of Lindisfarne took two months to make from start to finish! But the result is definitely worth the time.
I am currently working on a map of Paris. Future plans include a map of wine regions of the world, theatres of London, a rum map of the Caribbean, a cheese map of the UK, a Champagne map, and world maps of teas and coffees. If you have any suggestions for future maps, please get in touch!