And now she’s back with her self-described, “hands down favorite piece yet:” Paris in Pen and Paper (more detailed shots on the other side).
O’Leary talks with The Jailbreak about her artistic process after the break.
*UPDATE: Karen just informed me that she sold this piece to a person in Australia.
Paris in Pen and Paper measures 30″ x 22,” and was drawn with a 0.25 mm blank ink pen on Strathmore watercolor paper.
It’s a one-of-a-kind piece and is available to purchase here for $700.00 $550.00.
Below is our interview with O’Leary. Enjoy!
The Jailbreak: What draws you to creating maps? It seems like maps haven’t ever really changed from their traditional form, yet you completely re-imagine them in new and artistic ways each time.
Karen O’Leary: I love the idea of a completely familiar object made new and even more beautiful. I was tired of seeing the Manhattan subway map and decided to create a new image. I’m not really creating a map, it’s more of a graphic image borrowed from a map.
The Jailbreak: What’s the process from start to finish of both the map cuts and the “in pen and paper” versions?
Karen O’Leary: The process is simple, it’s the initial concept and execution that takes time.
The Jailbreak: How do you stay focused when the process seems so tedious?
Karen O’Leary: The hours just fly by when I’m working on them. The pieces themselves continually inspire me. It’s tedious, but I know the end result is going to be well worth it!
The Jailbreak: How did you conceive the Paris In Pen and Paper project?
Karen O’Leary: I just love the graphic image that the city of Paris lends. I wanted to express the image in another form to emphasize the beauty in it. I like things that are simple and elegant. What’s simpler than a thin vertical line?
The Jailbreak: Describe your maps to someone who is blind.
Karen O’Leary: Imagine all the sounds and smells and feelings of being in a large city……then try to transfer that to paper without using words. Only by using a knife or a pen. These maps reveal the density and delicacy of a modern city with a single element and infinite subtleties.
“The subtle texture and depth of the repeated vertical lines reveal the individual fingerprint of the city of Paris in its simplest form: in pen and paper.”
*Click each image to expand