Female Map Designers
Here at the Hive we absolutely love seeing fantasy maps! In fact you could say we’re more than a little obsessed over them.
We wanted to highlight all the wonderful female map designers and cartographers who work so hard to bring an author’s fantasy world to life!
A little thank you to all the publishers and authors who contributed quotes and images to this list and gave us many designers to highlight.
This is by far not a complete list, and please let us know if we have left anyone out and we’ll happily add them.
Soraya Corcoran is an author and part time cartographer based in the US. She has worked on a full range of different styled maps including black and white, sepia, full colour maps and urban maps. To see examples of her gorgeous work please visit her website below and Twitter account.
Here’s a Quote from Trudie Skies:
I came to Soraya twice with crazy ideas for maps. The first was a kingdom map for my YA fantasy series, Sand Dancer. I wanted a map shaped like a sword, and Soraya politely explained why that might not work so well and she guided me through a fantastic design of my world. Not only is Soraya talented at drawing maps, but she’s a true cartographer, and understands how landmasses, mountains, and rivers are formed, thus shaping how they would realistically look on a map. I ended up making a few tweaks to my book to account for her advice!
Second, I came to her with an idea of making a clock map that would represent twelve domains for my gaslamp fantasy, The Thirteenth Hour. I wanted something that was part time table for a magical portal, and also part map. I half expected this idea to be too much, but Soraya loved it and jumped on board. What she designed completely blew me away! I’ll definitely be calling on her again for all my maps.
Diana Sousa lives in Portugal and works as a freelance designer, illustrator and comic book colourist.
Diana created the map for The Alchemy of Sorrow, An SFF anthology of grief and hope bringing together 13 exceptionally talented authors, from SPFBO finalists to bestsellers to rising voices.
Here’s a quote from Virginia McClain who worked on the anthology:
“Diana Sousa brought to life the surreal landscape of Grief & Hope for our anthology and it was truly wondrous to see the way she brought our ideas to life. She is a truly talented artist and I recommend her to anyone who needs an evocative fantasy map for their work.”
You can see a full range of her work here:
Francesca Baerald is a freelance artist and cartographer. Her work includes both black and white or full colour maps for fantasy worlds, cities, and even for video game worlds.
You find example of her designs right here:
Nicolette Caven is an Illustrator based In London, UK. She specialises in hand drawn maps of actual and imaginary worlds for book endpapers. She’s been a freelance illustrator for thirty years. Nicolette works with publishers such as Harper Collins, Penguin Random House and the Tolkien Estate.
She has worked on maps for The Shattered Sea trilogy by Joe Abercrombie, and The Daevabad trilogy by S.A. Chakraborty.
Here’s a quote from S.A. Chakraborty
“When I saw Caven’s design I loved it and thought all the little details, which were inspired by historical maps, were great.”
You can find out more about Nicolette’s work here: Website
Gemma Nicole Dawn Sheldrake or as she prefers to be known as Petitecreme which is her collective online name. Here’s a quote from her website:
“My style has a feminine colourful appearance and I enjoy producing character designs, environments and comics. I mainly enjoy producing pastel coloured illustrations and dark contrasting comic stories.”
She currently works full time as a Graphic Designer for Rebellion Publishing and has produced maps for Flames of Mira by Clay Harmon and Black Coast by Mike Brooks.
Flames of Mira map:
You can find out more about Petticreme’s designs here:
Audrey Simmons aka Audasaurus Rex!
Audrey is a cartographer who’s created maps for these female authors:
–By the Skies by JE Mueller
-Book 3 of the Hunger Pangs series by Joy Demorra (Not published yet)
-Book 3 of A Gexalation Tale series by E. Paige Burks (not yet published)
–Titanholm by Rey Clark
More recently she has worked on the map for Indian mythology retelling by Geetha Krishnan (to be published later this year)
Audrey is also an author, she designed her own map for Child of the Moon.
You can find out more about Audrey and buy her work here:
Nola is a writer, illustrator and self confessed nerd! Although she doesn’t currently seem to have a website you can check out her Instagram page where she shares her work: Instagram
Deven Rue is a freelance cartographer and the official cartographer for Critical Role, Beadle & Grimm, WotC, Steamforged Games, and Wyrmwood.
Here’s a quote from her website:
“I love creating maps and world building. I spend a lot of time developing stories, histories, lore, etc. for the maps I create that usually don’t see the light of day but occasionally are just too much fun not to share.”
You can view or purchase Deven’s work right here:
Cheryl Bowman is not only a cartographer but she also works on fantasy language construction. You can find out more about this by visiting Cheryl’s Instagram and Twitter page.
Cheryl has created maps for H.M. Long’s Hall of Smoke series.
Here’s a quote from H.M. Long:
“I love working with Cheryl on my maps! While being rooted in the patterns of real landscapes for believability, her boundless creativity always comes through in a way that honours the immense possibility of fantasy worlds. She is both talented and insightful, always putting so much thoughtfulness into her designs and asking insightful questions that help me get to the root of what I want and need – even if I haven’t been able to put my finger on those details yet myself.
I’ve ordered 4 maps from Cheryl in a simpler style for the Hall of Smoke world, and 4 more intricate ones for a future project – yet to be revealed!”
Logan is a self published author who has designed her own maps for her portal fantasy series called Into Ebanmoor. There are currently four books published in the series: Offspring of the Throne, Burden of Birthright, Rising Loyalties, and the fourth book which was released in May is called Unlawful Alliances, which are all available on Amazon.
Here’s a quote from Logan:
“I decided to try drawing my own map, and while I’m not an artist, I found that I was able to create a decent idea of the urban environment. I hand drew the map first, then cleaned it up and added text using digital software.”
You can find Logan here:
Kieryn Tyler is an in-house designer for Angry Robot, and has worked on several of their author’s maps including the maps for Stephen Deas’ The Moonsteal Crown and The House of Cats and Gulls.
Here’s quote from Stephen Deas:
“As a roleplayer, I’ve had a soft spot for maps for as long as I can remember. Maps can inspire as well as guide, especially when there are empty spaces that need filling with… something. Trouble is, I’m not much of an artist, so It’s a special delight to see someone who knows what they’re doing take my scrawls and turn them into something polished and professional.”
You can find Kieryn on Instagram.
Priscilla Spencer is a producer, writer, photographer, and cartographer. She has worked on many maps for Jim Butcher’s novels including the Codex Alera and also Seanan McGuire’s October Daye series.
You can find Priscilla’s work here: