One thing i must say about the French Rooms, and it is to both Roy and Stella Bolton's credit, is that it features many of the classic Art Nouveau works and admittedly on occasion my eyes were wandering in their direction. I found it slightly amusing because it was the Art Nouveau feel i was veering towards in my designs for the illustrated town map. Also, many of the Art Nouveau artists had the opportunity of decorating various towns and cities throughout Europe. I noticed this in the streets of Prague. Even in Glasgow, Rennie Mackintosh's work can clearly be seen by those with an artistic interest. I should not imply that designing orientation panels for the town of Bushmills is the same, but it is certainly an honour nonetheless. Any artist would want his work incorporated into his hometown, and indeed his own country. I have to laugh at myself at times because my mind is fired up and rearing to go, imagining all sorts of ways in which the town could be improved and i can hear my lady, with a smile, saying "Concentrate James, the MAP first". As they say, behind every successful man there is a woman. Maybe there is some truth to that.
I believe it was ever since that time that i enjoyed learning about other countries. I also became interested in the stories of the voyages to discover America. My favourite book is called
New Worlds: Maps from the Age of Discovery by Ashley Baynton-Williams and Miles Baynton-Williams, a heavy brute of a book, but has maps going all the way back to the 1400's. In it you can find the very first maps of what is now the United States. Interestingly enough, you can even find mythical lands like Frisland and Hy-Brasil included in very early maps. Another good book is Atlas of Exploration, published by Philips. Ever since i have enjoyed seeing maps of different places in the world. Why? I could not honestly tell you, as i do not really know. I thought it fitting however, when i was asked if i would like to illustrate the map of my own hometown
So far the designs seem to be agreeable to all. I'm aiming for something that inspires, fires up the mind and senses. I am glad the Brighter Bushmills Group are agreeable to the idea of having a more Giant's Causeway themed Park and Ride orientation panel at the top of the town, but as anyone who creates work in a group setting, designs can change over time. Over the years i had designed a portfolio of Giant's Causeway related imagery with the intention of it being used by the National Trust. I think some of these designs could lend themselves well to the Park and Ride orientation panel. We're thinking for the other two orientation panels we will use both a "Bushmills Distillery" and a Salmon Fishery theme.
All in all a good start