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e: mark@marksonpaper.us

shortcut maps

What Are Shortcut Maps?

Did you ever wish that a distant person or place were right around the corner or just down the road? Do you sometimes imagine that your best friend or favorite place were twenty minutes away by car instead of a six hours away by plane? While I can’t move the earth and the sky for you, I can do the next best thing: make you a Shortcut Map that shows the world as you would like it to be.

A Shortcut Map is a paper map, meticulously made by hand from existing maps, that presents the world as you imagine it. At first glance, a Shortcut Map looks like any old map you might have found in a glove compartment or a world atlas. Look more closely, however, and you’ll be amazed, amused, perhaps even comforted: a Shortcut Map shows the world as it would look if our imagination had its way!

A Shortcut Map might show the quick route between where you live and another place across the country, ocean, or world. It might map the geographic course of an important relationship, or document the journey someone took to get where she is now. A Shortcut Map can shorten distances or chart passages—new or old. Whatever your circumstance or desire, I can make the Shortcut Map you need.

How To Use A Shortcut Map

There are many ways to use a Shortcut Map. Here are a few possibilities:

How To Get A Shortcut Map

First, pick the places—two or more—that you want me to connect on your own Shortcut Map.

Second, choose the approximate size you would like your Shortcut Map to be. (See chart below.)

Third, contact me by e-mail, phone, or fax to arrange for me to make your Shortcut Map.

When we agree on the specifics of your map, I will send you a quote with the total price and date of delivery.

A History of Shortcut Maps and Bio of Mapmaker

I made my first Shortcut Map in the early 1990s, when two friends of mine got married. I wanted to give them a unique and personal wedding gift. I decided to map their lives by splicing together maps of the cities and towns where they had been born, lived, met, and where they were going to live together. The Shortcut Map was born!

Since then, I have incorporated maps in my artwork as a way of playing with, examining, and questioning our notions of place, history, and memory, and how we represent the world. My materials are paper and maps, my tools are scissors and glue; my technology is a combination of imagination and meticulous handwork.

Approximate Prices (unframed)

  Small (6" x 8")   US $180
  Medium (11" x 14")   US $270
  Large (30"+ x 35"+)   US $660

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