Land's End to John o' Groats
A hand drawn map covering this epic journey on a massive sheet of 70x100cm hand made Khadi paper, was one of my biggest and most enjoyable mapping challenges. Such a great story to tell.
"In 2017 I ran from Lands End to John O’Groats with a pack on my back and following trails as much as possible. It was a life changing experience and as I told stories in the first few weeks after I finished, I started to feel sad that it would all be forgotten and the memories would likely fade almost completely away. I wanted to find a way to be reminded of the journey and the little side-stories I experienced and heard from others I met on that journey. I knew of Owen’s art from the Centurion race memento t-shirts and once I saw that he took commissions I instantly knew he was the person who could help me to remember this run for many years to come. Owen was meticulous about the details as I jotted down notes and sent some photos to inspire the images, and he spotted and corrected where I’d already jumbled up memories with dates. As the process of creating the map progressed, it was quite an emotional experience to see it unfold as Owen created it and shared photos and video clips of the process. Every little detail on the finished art-work is just exquisite; from the tiny little motorbike at Dom’s Bike Stop in the West Country, through glorious peacocks and hairy cows up to the sweetest little cat I met in a B&B and the microscopic midges in Scotland. The detail is just incredible on all of the highlights and features. The cherry on the top came with the addition of the mythical beasts for each country of the UK I’d passed through - the scaly little dragon and very regal lion and unicorn really help to remind me of the enormity of what I did."
- Kate Driskell
In 2018, I created a series of 8 course maps for Centurion Running to appear on the finisher t-shirts for their series of 50 and 100 mile ultra marathon events in the UK.
"We commissioned Owen to create a series of maps for our 8 events after seeing some sketches of his online for races he had run himself. We loved the design, the feel of the maps, the attention to detail and particular the features that brought the race to light beyond that which a simple land map could deliver. We were looking forward to seeing what he created, but in the end he totally blew us away with his work. Each time we opened one of the new designs it was with a big smile on our faces. Any changes that needed making were always minor but Owen always came back to us in an incredibly short time frame with amendments and his communication was simply first class. From start to finish it has been a pleasure working with him and we will definitely be looking to continue working with him again in the future."
- James Elson, Centurion Running Event Director
The Monarch's Way
One of my favourite commissioned maps, both in terms of the process of creating it, and the end result. I spoke with Lee-stuart before I started, to get some insight into his adventure, and it left me in stitches. So many amusing stories and events along the journey, that made creating this map an absolute joy.
"I commissioned Owen to create a very personal map of my Fastest Known Time on the Monarch’s Way in 2018. There is a certain magic that is required to do something as wonderful as his maps and the time he spent speaking to me, reading up on the detail and route and researching the history and context of my adventure shines through in his ink. The map is entwined with the people and events on my 625 miles journey, with wizards and peoples initials hidden in the landscape to reflect friends that helped, and giant vintage sea monsters on the map to reflect the heavy flooding that dogged my first week. It’s the little flourishes that make these maps so deeply personal, and a closer inspection of mine will reveal telephone boxes as shelters, sleeping rough, a run in with the law at night and an accidental house party as all parts of the bigger map. In a world of ubiquitous T shirts and medals this is a truly wonderful gift for any runner with a story to tell.”
- Lee-stuart Evans
Another events company I've worked with over the past few years, creating artwork for everything from medal designs to event poster art and tshirt designs.
"It has been a pleasure to work with Owen on my projects this last year. Owen has incredible attention to detail. The more closely you look at his work, the more you see! Owen has created maps, medals and tshirts that my participants love, and I look forward to seeing more of his creations next year. Hopefully he can still fit me in as I now see he is booked up far in advance!"
- Richard Weremiuk, Beyond Marathon Event Director
The Comrades Marathon is an ultramarathon of approximately 89 km which is run annually in the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa between the cities of Durban and Pietermaritzburg. It is the world's largest and oldest ultramarathon race.
In 2018 I was commissioned to create a map for a 10 time finisher, and new green number holder of the Comrades Marathon, one of the world's most iconic running events.
Here's some inspiring feedback Michele sent me:
"This is by far the most treasured, precious and meaningful gift I have received- there is so much symbolism and achievement etched into each stroke of the pen that has created this journey map. From the age of 5 years old, I emphatically noted to my father that, 'one day when I am big, I will run the Comrades Marathon and complete 10 in a row.' The only proviso I had to honour to my dad, was that I was not allowed to run until I was 30 years old (allowing for bones to settle for endurance). In my thirtieth year, three days prior to my first Comrades Marathon in 2009, my father was tragically murdered. With great support and companion strength from my husband and despite the shock and grief, we completed our first Comrades that year. We continued participation annually for the following 9 consecutive events. Each race was different, but was an accumulative goal achievement to ensure I accomplished that promise made to a man who embodied resilience and great strength.
Upon completion of my 10th Comrades Marathon, my amazing husband presented me with a special gift- this hand drawn art piece exquisitely crafted by Owen. The detail and meaning of the journey of this race over 10 years, has been captured with such uniqueness and precision. This is a timeless piece of work, which not only holds so much treasure in its authenticity, but will always be a memento of the stark life contrasts of the loss and gain as one courses the route along life's map. Achievement and success are possible if one has passion, resilience and persistence... and the reward is a creative masterpiece made by a very talented artist."
- Michelle Davis