Maps On My Mind

Feeling Inspired!

As you may or may not know, I have submitted many illustrated recipes on the website It’s an awesome website with thousands of illustrated recipes, made by artists from all around the world.
And there’s an awesome sister website, which contains thousands of illustrated maps! It’s called!
Well, I LOVE traveling, and I drool over the awesome maps that are submitted on this website, by all sorts of illustrators. And then I think:


How do they DO this??

I have so many questions:
-How can you make sense of all the information that you need to provide in order to create an understandable map?
-How do you indicate north, south, east, west?
-How do you decide what to put in there, and what to leave out?
-How do you make sense of all the information you want to include?
-How do you tell the story you want to tell?


I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one.

The great news is: the new kourse in Sketchbook Skool will teach us EVERYTHING we need to know to create our own illustrated maps!
Nate Padavick will be our teacher. He is the founder of, and he is a map making expert. He illustrates maps for a living so he can teach us tricks and give us tips that will be very useful in our sketchbooks.

As I travel regularly, I would love to get into the habit of drawing maps of the places I visit. Adding the highlights of my trip or the places I’ve been. I try it sometimes, and often, I find it a little tricky because I have a very bad sense of direction.  Ask me directions and I’ll point you in the opposite way. I won’t do it on purpose – it’s just my inner compass that is kind of wonky, I guess.

Maps are fun!

In spite of my inner compass disadvantages, I really enjoy doing maps. And I love looking at them!
Just a few days ago I visited the national gallery in Ottawa, and I was mesmerized by a big map that was made by an artist whose name I forgot. Should have written it down.
His map was about Toronto, and how he misses her. He refers to Toronto as ‘her’, and at first, when I looked at the piece, I thought it was about a separation, about broken hearts. But then, as my eyes followed the time line I discovered it was about a city. He included very mundane things, like sports events, or things he ate.
It was a beautiful personal piece and I’ve never seen a map like it.
I want to make one too.
And Imagine the creative ways to use maps in your sketchbook!

You could make a map of:

-places you’ve been to
-places you’d like to go
-your thoughts
-a trip you made, and the things you saw
-your home
-your childhood home
-your neighbourhood
-best places to eat in a city
These are two recent maps I made:
I just came back from Canada, where I taught a workshop on sketch booking.
I was lucky enough to have a couple of days extra. Together with my friend Sophie, who invited me to teach the workshop for her team, I visited Ottawa and I visited Montreal.
In Montreal I met with a bunch of sketchers, most of them Sketchbook Skolars. So awesome to spend some time with them in real life!
We sketched together at the Bonsecours Market. I was left with some whitespace on the double page, so later I added a small map of where the building is. And I think that’s just such a fun little extra. It gives the drawing more context.
Then I still had a quite a bit of whitespace left, so the day I got back home, jet lagged and all, I filled that space with a map of all the things I did in those few days. It’s a little bit crazy looking, but I like it!

I’ve got maps on my mind

This is just a start and I can’t wait to take this klass with Nate. Not just to learn a whole new set of tricks, but also because it will be awesome to do together in the Sketchbook Skool community. I think this is one of those classes that will keep sparking ideas, and you can revisit it again and again.
And Nate is such a great teacher – it’ll be great hanging out with him during the klass!
‘Let’s Make A Map’ will start on Monday June 12.

Will you join me? It would be really awesome!

Prompts for A Drawing a Day in June!

A new month, a new round of daily drawing!

The 365 project, with daily drawing prompts is still going strong at Sketchbook Skool! Since the beginning of 2017, many people have been gratefully using the prompt cards, to stick with their creative habit.

So if you need a little push or some ideas for the upcoming month, here is the June prompts list!
These prompts are available for anybody who runs out of ideas or inspiration. It’s a simple online drawing challenge, that’s hashtagged #sbsadrawingaday.

You can follow the daily prompts, and interpret them any way you like, or just pick any to get started. Have fun!

Page 4 of 359« First...23456...102030...Last »

Upcoming Online Art Classes

Receive my newsletter

Please provide your Email, First Name, and Last Name to receive news, tips and inspiration in an email every 2 weeks.



Welcome to my blog20150601_selfie kopie

My name is Koosje Koene. I am an illustrator, art teacher and online entrepreneur.
On this blog you’ll find my latest drawings, journal pages, sketches, inspiration and draw tips!
I appreciate your visit, and please feel free to leave a comment!

Get my book!


Are you in Europe? Buy ‘Food Ink’ here
In the US? Buy ‘Food Ink’ here


check out thousands
of illustrated recipes!