Lincolnshire Fantasy World Map creator Chris Pearce quit his job at Aldi to create Lord Of The Rings style maps of real places
A digital artist who has created Lord Of The Rings-style maps of real places has turned his attention to Lincolnshire.
Chris Pearce, 36, has painstakingly recreated the county with special attention to myths and legends to give it a Tolkien feel.
It’s a far cry from the life father-of-one Chris envisioned for himself after leaving university and moving through the ranks at Aldi.
“I was destined for a life of stacking shelves,” Chris said. “I never thought this would work.”
Creating his fantasy maps is now his full-time job, with copies of his artwork being sent all over the world.
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But he fell into his new role by chance.
About four years ago, Chris, then a manager at Aldi, decided to unleash his creativity by writing a fantasy novel. As he progresses through the plot, he realizes that he needs a map to help him maintain the order of the complex world he has created.
He turned to Photoshop where he made his map.
“I was happy with the process,” Chris said. From there on, it took on a life of its own.
Encouraged by his wife and colleague Fiona, he decided to map Teesside in a similar style and so praised by the response he went on to create larger maps covering England, Scotland and Wales.
“The novel has been put aside,” Chris said. I thought stacking shelves would be my life and I’m so happy with the change it’s made. I love all the weird folklore.
He started out selling maps as a side business, then decided to move into county maps – he had about eight maps left to do in the now-determined Lincolnshire.
Each county map can take about a month to create. Initially, Chris works on creating basic shapes, cities, hills and the coast; He then asks people who live in the area to help make it true to the local legend, seeking advice from online forums, message boards and Facebook groups. People across Lincolnshire responded in large numbers.
“I can go to Google but I won’t get the weird details,” Chris said. “It depends on local knowledge, and people have actually been successful with that.”
His Facebook post about the Lincolnshire version of his fictional map received more than 1,500 comments.
From that, it takes another two weeks to dig deeper into the information and add those landmarks and legends. It’s a time-consuming role but it’s paying off for Chris and his family.
About two years after he started creating and selling his maps, he quit his job in retail because the feedback on his work was so good. This coincided with Chris and Fiona preparing for their first child as well.
“I thought it would only appeal to the geeky crowd, the Lord Of The Rings fans, but it’s not,” Chris added. “People buy it for elderly grandparents, people who have moved away. There’s a wide range of buyers.”
He sells the maps through his Etsy shop Fantasy World Maps in three sizes: A3, A2 and A1, with prices starting at £18. It has made over 7,500 sales and has a 4.8-star seller rating.
Chris takes care of his 15-month-old daughter, Robyn, during the day, and turns his attention to creating maps during naps and when she’s asleep at night.
With only a few provinces remaining, Chris now began to think about what could come next – perhaps a fantasy atlas. Or maybe the novel that started it all will be dusted off and completed. He wrote about 100,000 words before his map stopped.
He had already prepared maps of the neighboring counties of Nottinghamshire, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire.
(tags for translation) Quirky