MAPS & DESIGN
THE STORMLIGHT ARCHIVE®
I've contributed heavily to the art in the Stormlight Archive since the first book, The Way of Kings. With each book, my involvement in them has grown from contributor in Book 1, to art director of all interior art in Book 2. So, while my individual pieces of art have decreased with each book, my involvement with each piece of art--whether mine or someone else's--has grown.
The art and symbols in these books, along with my involvement with the Cosmere in general, is what I'm probably most known for.
Find products and posters with my art over at the store.
The mistborn saga® - The original trilogy
The Mistborn series is where I got my start in professional fantasy cartography. Brandon asked me to do the maps for the first book, Mistborn: The Final Empire, and since that time, my involvement in his books has grown. From 2002-2013, I worked a full-time job as an animator (and many other things) in the video game and computer graphics industries, and since 2005, I worked for Brandon as a freelance
artist. In 2013, he hired me full time as his artist and art director, and since then I've pulled way back on freelance, choosing instead to focus on Brandon's worlds and my own projects.
The Allomantic Alphabet is one of the most iconic sets of symbols I've created. I don't know if anything else I create will ever match it.
The mistborn saga® - wax & Wayne
The Wax & Wayne novels of the Mistborn world have a special place in my heart. Starting with Shadows of Self, I not only worked with Ben McSweeney on the art for the broadsheets, I also wrote most of the content in them. Getting to write an Allomancer Jak story as well as insert my own character, Nikki Savage, into the Cosmere was incredibly fun and satisfying. Additionally, I'm quite proud of the map of
Elendel, which will soon grace the walls of my office as Restoration-Hardware style map art.
While I didn't do the maps or symbols for the 2005 edition of this book, when we decided to make this our first leatherbound book, which came out in 2015, I went back and created new maps for this story. We also redid all of the Aon symbols from scratch, including adding some new ones. This also marks the first time I created final maps physically. I made notes physically, inked them digitally, and then used those
as a basis to finish them in a physical format. The originals are quite large and might be available for purchase, if I'm ever willing to let them go. Even though the process was a lot of fun, I learned that creating maps physically in final form is a lot more demanding than doing so in primarily a digital format.
I love this collection of Cosmere-related stories. It gave me a chance to branch out from continents and city maps into star charts, and that was incredibly fun to work with Brandon and Peter in fleshing out many of the known star systems in the Cosmere. I also toyed with creating these physically, inking each of them on vellum and scanning them into the computer. In the end, some of these were painted, while others
only stayed inked in sepia. I wound up using scans to create Illustrator brushes for the ink layers and just defaulted to coloring them digitally. The result was nice, but the originals remain unfinished.
WHITE Sand graphic novels
Another story that is close to my heart. I've worked a lot more in this universe than the single piece of art below would imply. I am enamored with Jian Guo's art style, and you can see that reflected in the map. I painted this one physically using a process similar to what I used on the Elantris 10th Anniversary maps. This is one of the originals my wife and I have chosen to keep for her office.
As we continue to flesh out the world of Taldain, we'll announce more of what my involvement is with this world and these stories.
10 year anniverary leatherbound books
One of my favorite parts of my job is creating 10 year anniversary editions of Brandon's books. At the beginning of his career, I created a print-on-demand fake leatherbound book of one of the first novels he ever wrote (still unpublished) and gave it to Brandon as a gift. Since then, we dreamed of creating beautiful collector's editions of his books, which we had the opportunity to start creating with the publication of
the anniversary edition of Elantris in 2015. Since then we've created anniversary editions of the Mistborn trilogy, Warbreaker, and The Way of Kings, which became the biggest publishing Kickstarter campaign in their history as of July 2020.
All are available from time to time on the store, though supplies are often limited.
Used on the spine of the Warbreaker leatherbound released in December of 2019
Skyward was a chance to try something very different stylistically for the science fiction maps. I looked to the styles of Italian Futurism to inform the world and maps of the story. I also did dozens of spaceship concepts before landing on the style of the poco ships we then used for the DDF pin. Later, Ben McSweeney used that design to flesh out a cooler three dimensional version of the ship, the style of which
was used to influence the ships in the rest of the fleet. In a fun switch, Ben's design for M-Bot then informed the cartoony M-Bot sticker, which I collaborated on with my daughter.
Alcatraz vs the evil librarians
In addition to the art direction of the interior art (illustrated by the amazing Hayley Lazo) for these new additions of Alcatraz vs the Evil Librarians, I had the chance to do a color map for the back of the dust jacket. The cover illustrations themselves are by Scott Brundage, whose art is fantastic, and I had the chance to art direct him on Books 3-5. I was also the cover designer on all the books and hand drew the series
title "Alcatraz vs the Evil Librarians" before scanning it into Illustrator and creating the word mark letter by letter.
This map was another I created first in oils before photographing it and finishing it digitally for the books. I later went back and finished the oils, painting on the lettering and framing the whole thing.
I've had the chance to create maps for many amazing authors. I particularly am happy with how the maps turned out for Tad Williams's The Last King of Osten Ard series. His first series in this world--Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn--is the series that got me interested in reading as a teenager, so to be able to go back and reimagine the world of Osten Ard is a dream come true.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of maps I've done for other authors. This is just what I had on-hand when I put together this website, so I'll try to update this section as I get the time to do so.
From The Witchwood Crown