Commonly Asked Questions

Seeing as how I get asked a lot of the same questions for interviews and such, I'd like to address them here so I have a link I can point people to before being sent a set of questions.

Commissions

Can I commission you to make me a map?

I am currently accepting work on a per-project basis depending on my schedule. Message me after reading all the facts below regarding commissions to talk about your project. I reserve the right to decline any projects for undisclosed reasons.

Pricing/Project Length

All maps take roughly 2-3 weeks to complete:

- Small modular battle map: $500 (single area)
- Interior map: $1500
- City/town map: $2000
- Regional map: $2500
- Continent map: $3000
- World map: $4000  

Contract Provisions

All work requires a contact stating the scope of the project, any deadlines, compensation, & include any NDAs necessary.

I request a complimentary item of the end product the map(s) will be featured in (so I can share it on my social media).

A discount for the item and/or with your site for my patrons if possible.

I also request to retain the rights to sell prints, posters, digital downloads, & prop map versions of any commercial work I create. This doesn't mean you cannot sell them, just that I can too.

What do you need from me to create a map?

Though I'd love to read all about your world, I simply don't have the time to do that. I prefer even crude drafts to give me an idea of what you're looking for but brief descriptions are also very helpful. Always include a rough draft that indicates scale, biomes if not clearly marked, labels, and any significant information needed on the map. Also, include how you intend to use the map to help determine what type of project this is.

A few notes before you commission me...

1. I'm a professional cartographer and I love my job, so please let me do it. Trust me to create a map instead of wanting to dictate every detail.

2. I draw in one style only, exactly what you see all my maps in. If you want a different style, please hire a different cartographer.

Commission Me

If you want to hire me for commercial work, click here to fill out the contact form and I'll do my best to respond. Please provide as much detail & links as possible to help me better understand what you're looking for. 

Collaboration & Licensing

Can I show your maps on my streamed game?

Yes! Feel free to show my maps during your streamed games! Just make sure to attribute me as the artist should anyone ask about the map.

I want to use your maps on my products, how do I go about doing that?

First, if you need something specific and/or exclusive, see my commercial commissioning rates above.

Second, if you're looking to feature my maps on your products, here's generally how it works:

1. Message me with links to your website, what products you want to feature my artwork on. I'll get back to you as soon as possible.

2. If we decide to collaborate, I will send you a contract to sign.

3. You can sign up to my Patreonor website membership to help budget your royalties. I have a collaborative tier available.

4. OR you can also pay a flat licensing fee plus royalties quarterly if you feel you won't make much on the products at first. 

Are there any products you won't allow your maps to be featured on?

Yes, you cannot sell my maps as stand alone prints, in prop form, or in digital format as stand alone products or in a collection. If you want to do that, see commercially commissioning me above.

I make wood products, can I have your maps engraved on them and sell them in my shop?

Yes and no. To be certain, message me with links to the products you want to use my art on. I do my best not to have my collaborators in competition with each other, so if you want to feature my maps on a dice tower like Wyrmwood's, the answer is no. But if you have something else unique, let's discuss!

Can I use your maps on 3rd party or Print-On-Demand products?

No. You and/or your company must make the products entirely in-house. 

Map Making Questions

Can you make [fill in the blank] map?

I cannot make a map from any fandom as it's copyrighted. I can make original maps only unless the company who has the rights to product products with that map hires me to do so.

How did you get started in cartography?

I started by creating maps for my own D&D campaign years ago. I never thought about selling them or offering commissions because I was so use to the homebrew crowd that seemed to do all their own maps, that I figured why bother.

Did you always want to make maps?/ How did cartography end up being your career?

No, as a matter of fact, despite learning lots of other art techniques, it was by chance that I started creating maps for a living. I shared a prop map I made for myself of Skyrim in 2011 and the next thing I know, I'm being asked to create maps for other people. I ended up in such demand that I realized I should possibly consider doing this full time.

Do you consider [insert any natural phenomena that affects the landscape of a planet] when making maps?

No. That's the world building stage of world design and usually occurs well before a map is made.

How long does the average map take to make?

There is no "average" map as each has very different needs & level of detail, but maps usually take 2-6 weeks to complete. 

What materials/brushes/programs/etc. do you use to make your maps?

I used to use Photoshop to draw everything using a single brush for the line work and a second brush for coloring. I draw on a Wacom Cintiq but I am now working in Escape Motions' Rebelle software.

Why did you pick "Mistress of Maps" as a title?

I didn't, it was given to me after numerous people saying I was a "master cartographer" and feeling it was mis-gendering me, so "Mistress of Maps" became a title.  However, I did try to resist it at first due to the alternate meaning of "mistress" and knowing how people on the internet would react.  But one cannot always choose such things and I eventually gave in. I'm happy I did and actually get very few comments regarding it. 

What advice would you give to someone starting cartography?

Have fun. Seriously, there's no magic secret to map making. If you want them more "realistic" like mine, basic Earth sciences help with that. If you are just doing it for yourself & your TTRPG group, just have fun, don't worry about what's "right" or "wrong" and practice, practice, practice.

Map Use Questions

Can I have the map I downloaded from your site printed at a print shop?

No, I do not allow my maps to be printed by third-party printing shops/services. I offer affordable prints at comparable prices.

Can I print the maps on my home computer?

Yes, you can print them on your home computer for personal use.

Can I print the maps on my home computer and give them to my players?

Yes, you can print them on your home computer for personal use and to give to your players as long as you aren't selling them nor distributing the download file.

Can I send the map file to my players?

No, you may not.

Can I upload the map to my preferred VTT?

Yes, as long as you aren't making the file available for the public to download/use.

What are your use/distribution limitations?

All my maps are available for personal use only. None of my maps are available for distribution other than stated above, neither in part, whole or as a collection. Maps are not for resale. 

Can I use your map for a commercial project/product?

You would need to purchase a commercial license from me first. Contact me with what map you're interested in using, what format you wanted to use it (products, TTRPG show/book, etc.) and any helpful links. I will reply with the licensing fee & contract.

Critical Role Questions

Can I purchase any of the maps you've made for Critical Role from you or anyone else?

No. ONLY Critical Role sells the official maps of Exandria.  If you find them being sold anywhere but on the Critical Role website (unless they announce differently) then they are not official maps & are stolen works. 

Digital versions are available through Roll20 and D&D Beyond ONLY (unless Critical Role announces otherwise).

How did you end up creating the maps for Critical Role?

I created a gift for Matt Mercer at the end of campaign one, a map of Tal'Dorei. He already knew of my art as we followed each other on Twitter. While talking about how to get him the map safely, I stated that if he ever wanted a map from me, please don't hesitate to say so. He piped right up with stating they were starting the new campaign and he'd love to have something he can hand to the players...the rest, as they say, is history.

How much information does Matthew Mercer give you when you create a map for him?

Matt gives me a rough draft showing all the key features of the map (such as mountains, coastlines, bodies of water, etc.) and I'm given freedom to fill in the details depending on the biome.  I will only suggest revisions if needed or if something might work a bit better in a region.  I also offer up geographical information if a particular land/water feature would indicate things like drastic weather, choppy waters, earthquake or other activities.

Do you hide things in the maps?

No, I'm professionally hired to create these maps & will not add things unless requested. I feel strongly that doing otherwise is me just being selfish as a fan and wanting to change things because of my own personal reasons. 

How long did the maps take you?/How long do the maps take to make?

I technically draw each map twice. Once for the prop version and again for the digital/poster version.  That means that Matt has a one of a kind physical map and the posters are slightly different. Because the prop maps are usually rushed, I don't have the luxury of noting the time and the digital versions are created during my "off hours" so I don't get behind on other work.

What paper do you use to make the maps?

Custom made 140 lb watercolor paper that goes through a different process depending on how Matt & I decide the feel of it should be. 

Can I commission you make me a map like the ones you did for Matt?

No, all names, places, designs, maps, drawings, paintings, physical maps, digital versions, posters, prints, products, and graphics you see of the maps I made Critical Role are copyrighted by Critical Role exclusively.  I cannot provide you with anything from the maps nor any portion thereof regardless of how small or insignificant you feel it may be.  

I have a question about the maps of Exandria

I want to stress that maps are representational.  Again, REPRESENTATIONAL.  They are here to help tell the story of the characters of Critical Role, to give a sense of where they are in the world, and to invite you to explore it along with them.  

That said, they are NOT drawn in "real time" meaning, they are drawn in the past and therefore do no reflect any changes on the world that the current characters are creating. There's no tree in any house in Rosohna because the map is from a time before there was one there and EVEN IF it wasn't, why would a map maker put that there to begin with?  They wouldn't.  Just like they don't make note of your house's landscape, only the general shape of the property lines & house.

These maps are for fun.  Don't expect them to be perfect, don't look to them to be exact, don't worry if something doesn't quite fit with a description.  Just as in our world, maps aren't perfect and many cartographers take liberties with their designs as long as it conveys whatever they need them to.  In our case, these maps are meant solely as an artistic rendition of the world we're exploring with a general idea of where it's predominant features are in relation to others.

Lastly, the maps are representational and don't depict every river, lake, or body of water in the world of Exandria, nor every hill, road, house, tree, forest, etc., just the most predominant ones.   

Did you or Matt make/design/add this mistake/error/incorrect issue/unrealistic geographical feature/etc.?

No maps were published without the approval of Matt Mercer (and others for the official books) first, so if it's there, we're all ok with it.  I'm sorry something about the maps bothers you.  I hope you can look past it and just appreciate the art & story while accepting we're only humans and imperfect.  If not, please feel free to disregard them and make your own versions for your own campaign.

I want to make a project using your Critical Role map(s) and would like your permission/approval?

The maps I create for Critical Role are a part of their IP (Intellectual Property) click here to read their content policies.