Hi, I'm Jennifer Carland, the artist at Carland Cartography. I have a B.F.A. (2003) and an M.F.A. (2007) in visual arts as well as a graduate certificate from the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University (2012).
After finishing my MFA in the Great Recession and working for the US Census, I decided to go back to school for Urban Planning. My classes fueled my imagination and I began to draw the neighborhoods where I lived. It felt natural to combine my training as an artist with my interest in built environments.
Initially started as an Etsy shop, Carland Cartography was launched when I started drawing local neighborhoods out of my small Boston apartment. The Boston Neighborhood Series was my first body of work and was born out of the desire to have a bold and abstract city map of my neighborhood (not cutesy shapes or hearts!). Over the past few years, I have continued to develop my work by creating artwork illustrating several other cities.
In 2015, I moved into the Western Avenue Studios, located in Lowell MA, about 30 miles Northwest of Boston. I was introduced to a few art consultants who have helped me place my work in several corporate settings - in NYC, Chicago, and a few other locations. In addition, I have licensed my work to Netflix for the use in two original series - Friends From College and Spenser Confidential.
In 2018, we expanded our reach from New England to Chicago and I released a new series called the Chicago Neighborhoods Collection in conjunction with our involvement in the Other Art Fair, which took place in the Mana Contemporary Art Center in May 2019.
In late 2020, we moved to Nashville and released the Nashville Neighborhoods Series
I create fine art prints of abstracted street maps. The artwork illustrates local neighborhoods as well as broad city views of various places in the world. I believe maps hold "invisible" information- they contain stories and memories that were created by the people who lived and visited there.
My goal is to make illustrated reminders of the places people identify with- such as the town they lived in as a child, or the place where they got married. Everyone loves to talk about where they live, where they have visited, and where they want to go next. Location is what binds our experiences together - our own experience as we travel from one place to the next, and our collective experience, as we share the physical world with one another.
Our prints can be tangible reminders of the locations that make your life story special.
Each piece is created by developing a series of layers, each layer being a unique component with its own intended purpose for the whole. The number of layers varies per piece and is dependent on the intended result, and is anywhere between 1-7 separate pieces.
Every layer is a hand-drawn painting or drawing that is built up independently, utilizing various artistic mediums (acrylic paint, colored pencil, watercolor, oil pastel, etc) in a way that makes them essential to every other part so that the overall artist's vision is coherent. The colors chosen are not representative of any statistic or data point - they are an emotional/artistic representation.All of our work is based off of real geography. We try to include all the major roadways and natural features, but keep in mind - it is abstracted. We aren't going for realism. :)
These layers are then each scanned and rendered as separate files which are combined to make a single final piece. This virtual file is then edited using digital illustration applications, merging the tangible world (drawings) with the new technology of our era. The final piece is then produced as a high-quality print.