Be curious, be adventurous with Lást Maps: Thomas Moore

Be curious, be adventurous with Lást Maps: Thomas Moore - Interview | The ART.gallery by Elizabeth Souflis. "Each hike is an adventure and this is mirrored in each map. It’s really refreshing to hand draw each map and take things back to basics."last maps interview

Each hike is an adventure and this is mirrored in each map. It’s really refreshing to hand draw each map and take things back to basics.

One of the greatest things Instagram has to offer is a huge showcasing of talented creators. Artists from all around the world, pen artists, watercolourists, painters, sculptors, street artists, with just one simple click on FOLLOW button will enrich your news feed with beautiful designs and imaginative projects.

That’s how I met Thomas and his adventurous project called: Lást Maps.

The Lást Maps is a quite new fruitful project full of imagination, curiosity and positivity. As the project’s name itself indicates, Lást Maps consists of a variety of hand-drawn maps of world-renowned hikes. In Ancient English “lást” stood for footprint/track. At the time a number of beautiful designed idyllic sceneries in New Zealand are available, while more and more coming up including renowned hiking routes in the UK, Canada etc (hopefully Greece will be in the plan too).

Bring your adventure home with the most unique and unexpected souvenirs. What really caught my eye was that the maps don’t include only routes, but also wildlife and special must-see points of geological interest.

Those routes will make you wanna travel now to the featured place, go out and reconnect with nature, grab your camera and go explore, while the minimal designs of the mountains will make you desperate for a similar nature-related tattoo…

 

Meet Thomas and his adventurous project Lást Maps

*    *    *

Hello Thomas! I am really happy to host you and your project here at The ART.gallery! Welcome!

Thank you so much, it’s awesome to be featured with The ART.gallery.

Who’s the mind behind the Lást Maps? Is it your personal project?

Lást Maps is very much a personal project that I created. I do all the design work myself, along with marketing and everything else, it’s been a big learning curve but I am loving every minute. Having said that I get some help from some inspiring close friends too. Angelique Jones has helped to shape the brand’s direction and Lara Cornell is our guest photographer, shooting behind the scenes. They are both very talented.

What’s the story behind this project? I know that you got inspired by great ‘sources’ like Tolkien; tell us more ‘behind the scenes’ stuff… How did you come up with this idea?

The idea behind Lást Maps was born during an overnight hike on the Routeburn Track in New Zealand. The hikes in this country really blow your mind, they are staggeringly beautiful. Peter Jackson chose New Zealand as J.R.R Tolkien’s Middle Earth for his The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and whilst you are walking through some of these wilderness areas you can really feel that magic.

I’ve always loved maps, particularly old maps, and halfway through this hike, the idea for this project hit me. I knew exactly what I wanted to create and so it grew from there. I had been frustrated by the lack of original souvenirs from beautiful places such as these, and I knew these trail maps could really work.

What’s different about the Lást Maps?

Everything. The maps blend fantasy style cartography with hikes that people travel from all over the world to do, and I think it is the only brand to cover a lot of these areas, particularly in New Zealand. The maps feature important wildlife, often endangered, which brings another brand new element to each trail. I set out to create maps that captured some of the magic of these trails, personalizing each one to fit the vibe I felt whilst walking them. Each hike is an adventure and this is mirrored in each map. It’s really refreshing to hand draw each map and take things back to basics.

I’ve always loved maps, particularly old maps, and halfway through this hike, the idea for this project hit me. I knew exactly what I wanted to create and so it grew from there. I had been frustrated by the lack of original souvenirs from beautiful places such as these, and I knew these trail maps could really work.  

Be curious, be adventurous, explore… “Bring your adventure home.” That’s a great line you are using for the Lást Maps

It fully captures what we are about, and also what we offer. Like I mentioned earlier, while you are travelling to new places, you take lots of photos and make lots of memories. That’s the most important thing. However, sometimes you want to bring something more home with you to remind you, inspire you, and keep you dreaming. These maps make that possible.

Is this project a way to reconnect humans with nature? 

This project is very much rooted in helping people reconnect with nature. Getting out and doing a hike, whether a multi-day adventure or your favourite local walk, does so much good. It’s instant nature therapy. You disconnect with your stresses, and this helps you to re-connect with what’s fundamentally important. I hope the project helps to inspire people to get out on a trail more often. It also allows them to bring home something that reminds them of those epic moments, and the importance of exploring new places.

All the designs I’ve seen so far are black and white. Are you thinking about adding some colours?

This is a very good point. I love working with pen, and black and white has always been something that really sung to me. I like its simplicity, and the tone it sets, and this works particularly well on maps. Old maps of the ancient world were also drawn in a similar format. Other illustrative work I do sometimes involves colour, but the maps are definitely set to remain in black and white (unless someone requests a commissioned piece with colour). 

What’s the process of creating a new map? I guess that it requires observation, studying and a lot of walking maybe?

It definitely involves a lot of walking! I am not sure whether doing the hike itself is essential, it just so happens that every map I have drawn so far (and plan to draw) I have experienced first hand. Observing the details of each place is really important, because although each map covers a large area, the details, particularly the birds I select, are based on what I see on the trail.

The next step is a lot of sketching, the storyboard equivalent for a map. This is when I consolidate everything and turn a hiking trail into something that is aesthetically pleasing. It is also when I usually overdose on coffee. Drafting the map usually takes a while, up to 15 hours, but I’m a perfectionist and have to achieve what I see in my head.

Getting out and doing a hike, whether a multi-day adventure or your favorite local walk, does so much good. It’s instant nature therapy.

At the moment New Zealand is completed… what’s next?

There are so many epic places we want to cover! We have launched with the first three New Zealand maps, and we have another five that are planned and ready to draft soon. I really want to bring Lást to the UK, so the next map release will be of The Three Peaks, the UK’s three highest mountains that people regularly try to conquer in a 24-hour challenge. This is due in a few weeks.

We have more maps planned for the UK, Canada, Spain, and Tanzania. To name just a few! We are getting lots of messages about hikes people want to be drawn, which is really exciting. The list keeps on growing. Watch this space.

What’s your personal favourite hiking route?

This is a really difficult question! There are two contenders for this. The Routeburn Track in New Zealand will always be one of my favourite hikes, it’s the birthplace of Lást and one of the most incredible walks I have ever done, carving through the Southern Alps.

The Berg Lake Trail up to the base of Mount Robson in Canada’s British Columbia takes some beating though. This multi-day adventure is so varied and jam-packed with epic views and wildlife. The endpoint of the hike looks out over a deep blue glacial lake towards the Canadian Rockies highest mountain.

Closer to home I get my daily nature fix walking around a little nature reserve that lead’s on to the South Downs Way. That rolling English countryside will always put a smile on my face.

Mount Robson in Canada’s British Columbia

You recently launched your brand new website; I met you through your Instagram page where you have a lot of fans even though your project is quite recent. Where can we find your designs? Do you ship worldwide?

Instagram has been a really great platform for talking with people who are interested in the maps, and who have questions about their favourite hike being drawn. I also use it to showcase anything I am working on in the sketch book.

The best place to find my designs is at lastmaps.com. All maps are available for people to purchase from there and it is the best place to get in contact with us for commissions and collaborations. I am currently in the process of setting up an Etsy store too, which will launch towards the end of April. We ship worldwide, so the maps can be delivered right to your door no matter where you live.

Thank you for presenting your project! We are really happy to feature talented people like you. We wish you the best of luck!

Thank you! It’s been a pleasure. 


Find him on:

Official Website

Facebook

Instagram

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WP to LinkedIn Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com