My Story - Jennifer Carland, Artist & Owner of Carland Cartography

My Story



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.


Carland Cartography was launched back in 2012 with the help of my partner, Remo. He is a photographer who works in marketing and has helped tremendously in the promotion and growth of Carland Cartography. Originally from South Africa, he has been traveling the world for years and his journey from Africa to America via Europe has been a big influence in my work. I find it interesting how our location on the globe shapes our identities. Location is important. People love to talk about where they grew up, where they have lived, where they have visited and where they want to go next.

Initially started as an Etsy shop, Carland Cartography was launched when I started drawing local neighborhoods out of my small Boston apartment. Over the past few years, I have continued to develop my work by creating artwork illustrating several other cities.  My work has been shown in several exhibitions and festivals around New England, including ArtBeat, SoWA, NEOM, and stART on the Street.

My work has grown with me as life has changed. When I first started drawing my Boston Neighborhoods Series, I didn't anticipate continue working in this subject matter. But, the more I made the more I wanted to make. Through exhibiting around New England, 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 Wonderland. 

In 2015, I moved into the Western Avenue Studios, located in Lowell MA, about 30 miles Northwest of Boston. I participated in several local events and had a solo exhibition in the unchARTed Gallery as well as a pop-up shop in Mill NO 5. 

In 2018, we expanded our reach from New England to the Midwest. Last year, I released a new series of Chicago neighborhoods and in 2020, I hope to have a new neighborhood series completed - of Nashville TN. Look for that series to be released later this year. If you are interested in meeting me at an in-person event, click over to my blog to see what is happening.



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 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 scanned and rendered as separate files which are combined to make a single final piece. The final piece is then produced as a high-quality print.




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