The Ashur Depiction
Ah, now I can finally put it to rest. I don’t know where I’m going to go from here, but I don’t think that this is the last of the maps. Maybe more cities are in the works, but I will definitely try to depict them differently.
Since this was, essentially, the first time I have done something like this, I did a lot of experimentation. Hopefully, it isn’t that obvious to you. It’s very obvious to me…There are also a lot of things I strongly dislike about this map, so I’ll fix those next time. In the end, the point of this map was to do two things:
1. To show that detail and impressionism can exist simultaneously.
2. To depict a world I saw vividly, by creating a physical manifestation of it.
Looking back at it now, I think a lot of interesting things can be taken from this project.
First, it’s amazing to me how many different stories, ideas, and secrets are possible. There are thousands of things going on at the one point when this city was captured. People are coming in for census, talking, stealing, paying their taxes, playing in the hundreds of wells, being entertained, gardening, swimming, fishing, hunting, cooking, baking, killing, running, laughing, crying, memorializing, picking flowers, guarding, shopping, selling, tanning, burning, getting angry, sleeping, waking up, worrying, et cetera et cetera et cetera…Some of these were deliberate, some of them I just found. Still, some of them are happening, simply because I put one or two “dots” on the map. Each one represents one person and really only God knows how many of them are on here.
Second, I realized how difficult it might be to be God. For me, I just had one city to think about, care for, and create. And did I do any of these things well? Absolutely not. Many of these people are probably starving, because there isn’t enough farmland. Ashurbibi has to import most of its food. It would quickly go into debt and fall, if it weren’t for nearby allies.
Another thing I realized is that it’s very hard to draw straight lines without a straight edge. I started this map before I had ever taken any official math courses. In the end, I thought it best to preserve the immature and cartoonish feel of it. But next time…
Why did I start making maps in the first place? It all started with a few doodles on church bulletins when I was about four or five. I was fascinated with bird’s eye views of battles, cities, and scenes. After that, it quickly spilled over into my daily life. I started with one piece of paper, filled it up, then had it spill over into a few other pieces of paper. This turned out as the “City of Narere.” Don’t mock the name. I was nine.
When I finished Narere, I soon saw a world emerging. So, I drew about three or four world maps, unsatisfied with each one. I still need to think about what I want the continents to look like. On each world map, though, one city stood out. It was Ashurbibi. I liked the name (at the time) and it was at the center of the world. I began writing a story about the world and it always came back to Ashurbibi. So, I wrote a story about that. Some information on that can be found here.
Finally, I started a map of Ashurbibi. It was suppose to be sprawling, messy, dirty, and a depiction of both the physical depiction of the city and a depiction of the city’s personality. If you look closely, you will see a lot of inconsistencies, sarcasm, and cheating. For example, near the entrances of the city, everything is nice and orderly. There are stadiums, nice shops, and houses of the wealthy. The farther you get from the entrances, however, the worse the city gets. That’s not a coincidence. The Ashurians, likewise, love to think of themselves as wealthy and noble, but deep down inside, they are cheaters. At the same time, the city really looks like how the map shows it. They really have cheated like that and they really are paranoid.
I don’t know what I’m going to do next, honestly, but for now I’m done with Ashurbibi.
I found this interesting. Never knew anyone else had the same obsession, er, interest. I don’t know if I’m going to do this for fifty years, but it’s cool, or frightening, to see what might happen if I did: