About 15 years ago, I made my first fantasy map. It was a map of the imaginary continent which I called Ezra. All I wanted, was a setting in which to write short stories. Not knowing of any existing mapmaking software, I chose to use a program that I knew how to use: MS Powerpoint.

A map as a tool

Sometimes we forget that in the end, a fantasy map – or any other map – is just a tool. A tool to use when writing stories, developing games or imagining worlds. And for that purpose, a map doesn’t need to be pretty. It gives an indication of where is what, approximate distances and a first glimpse of the geographical and political landscape of an imaginary world. But of course, just like with anything else, it also doesn’t harm to not have just a tool, but to have a pretty or even wonderful tool. So, recently, I decided to do a map makeover of the very first fantasy map I ever made. And here is the result:

A makeover of my very first fantasy map that I made 15 years ago in Powerpoint

A map as something to enjoy


Even though a map is basically just a tool, it doesn’t mean that we can’t appreciate it in a beautiful form. Once you have something that does the job and is good enough in functionality, it could be the right moment to think about enhancing your ‘tool’. After all, while the initial map was good enough for you to understand your fantasy world, it may not attract many other people. And to get people invested in your story, game or world, it’s important to make them want to dive into it. A good-looking map provokes curiosity, immerses the viewer and makes them want to learn more about the world they’re looking at. For a commission some time ago, someone provided me with a sketch of circles and text. The sketch worked for the person while making stories, but before showing the setting to the world, it was time to turn it into a more attractive piece to look at:

Hiragh swamp town map

If you don’t want to spend the time beautifying your map or feel you’re not able to do it,

you can commission a map makeover.

The input of a map makeover can be anything: from a very basic sketch to a highly detailed map that you made in Inkarnate or Wonderdraft. Or actually, you don’t even need a sketch. A written description can be all that’s needed to turn it into a great looking fantasy map.

Inspiration is everywhere

The input for a map of a fantasy world, continent or region, doesn’t always have to be a sketch or description. If you’re really open to it, inspiration can be found everywhere. Take the fire image above for example, which became an interesting fantasy setting with two continents, only connected by thin land bridges.

Another possible source of inspiration is our real world. I’ve already made fantasy map based on Japan, South Africa, Texas, Greece, Okinawa, Iceland, Scotland, Spain, New York, Colombia or this ‘makeover’ of Britain and Ireland:


Hiragh swamp town map

If you have some ideas but don’t know exactly how to turn it into a fantasy map, feel free to contact me and maybe together we can think of something great!

Start your own fantasy map commission whenever you’re ready

You don’t need to know all the details of your fantasy world (or region) to commission your own map. Especially with the Premium and Ultimate Packages, the commission will have a more collaborative nature with the unlimited feedback rounds.

If you felt like you’re not ready for a commission yet, but you keep getting stuck on bringing it further, then don’t hesitate to let me help you. Making use of my geographical background and vast experience in making fantasy maps (over 400), I’m sure we can get to a great and satisfying result!

Do you want to see more examples of Map Makeovers? Check out my YouTube channel!