Artist Ed Fairburn Creates Unique Art Using The Flow Of A Map’s Features

We often hear people say that the beginning is always the hardest. Well, this is especially true for artists who dread the sight of a blank canvas. That’s why some artists prefer to work on unconventional canvases like discarded paintings, autumn leaves and even the human body. But for Ed Fairburn, paper maps are the best canvas to draw his portraits on. Intricately incorporating human portrait into topography, Fairburn’s unique map art depicts the harmonious coexistence between the two.

Once he has chosen a map, Fairburn starts by determining the suitable placement for his portrait. He then finds similar characteristics between his subject and the map and, at the same time, mentally sketches the possible results. Using traditional materials such as pencil, ink and paint, he thoughtfully alters the map’s topographical elements to affirm his figure. Doing so allows him to effectively derive facial features from mountains, lakes, roads and more.

Unlike most artists, Ed Fairburn uses paper maps as a canvas for his works of art

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ed Fairburn (@edfairburn)

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ed Fairburn (@edfairburn)

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ed Fairburn (@edfairburn)

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ed Fairburn (@edfairburn)

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ed Fairburn (@edfairburn)

 

The artist refers to his process as “topopointillism,” which he further describes as “a direct combination of topography and pointillism”

So, as with typical pointillism paintings, one could better appreciate Fairburn’s works from afar, as they may seem too abstract up close. Ultimately, Fairburn’s works aim to harmonize the landscape and humanity in one physical space without ruining either.

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ed Fairburn (@edfairburn)

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ed Fairburn (@edfairburn)

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ed Fairburn (@edfairburn)

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ed Fairburn (@edfairburn)

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ed Fairburn (@edfairburn)

 

Fairburn’s fascination with maps stems from the variety of paper types that they come in and their overall ephemeral nature

 

“I love the way in which maps age and show their use over time. In that respect, old maps are a very forgiving medium, unlike a crisp white canvas. It’s somehow welcoming, like a pair of shoes that have been worn in. You can’t really go wrong with the marks you make—at least not at the very start of a drawing, which is often the most daunting part for any artist.”

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ed Fairburn (@edfairburn)

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ed Fairburn (@edfairburn)

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ed Fairburn (@edfairburn)

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ed Fairburn (@edfairburn)

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ed Fairburn (@edfairburn)

Back then, Fairburn used to get his supply of maps from old bookstores, charity shops and other online marketplaces. It didn’t take long before he eventually became a map collector. So, these days, he often simply finds what he needs in his studio. Aside from having readily available resources, his vast experience as a map collector has also made purchasing maps way easier. According to the artist, he has reached a point where can “dismiss or investigate a map based on the cover alone.”

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ed Fairburn (@edfairburn)

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ed Fairburn (@edfairburn)

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ed Fairburn (@edfairburn)

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ed Fairburn (@edfairburn)

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ed Fairburn (@edfairburn)

 

Through his map art, Fairburn aims to depict the balance between the landscape and humanity without ruining either

Fairburn has also done several commissioned works for renowned brands including Nike, BMW, Fenwick and more. Keep scrolling down to see more of his amazing map art!

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ed Fairburn (@edfairburn)

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ed Fairburn (@edfairburn)

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ed Fairburn (@edfairburn)

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ed Fairburn (@edfairburn)

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ed Fairburn (@edfairburn)

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ed Fairburn (@edfairburn)

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ed Fairburn (@edfairburn)

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ed Fairburn (@edfairburn)

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ed Fairburn (@edfairburn)

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ed Fairburn (@edfairburn)

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ed Fairburn (@edfairburn)

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ed Fairburn (@edfairburn)

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ed Fairburn (@edfairburn)

Source: Ed Fairburn Website | Facebook | Instagram