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Retro prints by Andrew Alfred-Duggan | © Andrew Alfred-Duggan
Retro prints by Andrew Alfred-Duggan | © Andrew Alfred-Duggan

The Toronto Artist Who Can Transform Your Life Into a Map

Picture of Emily Paskevics
Emily Paskevics
Updated: 9 March 2017

At the place where art meets geography, you’ll find the work of Andrew Alfred-Duggan. This Toronto-based professional city-map cartographer spent 15 years traveling the world in this profession, designing and working with maps of over 80 cities, from Helsinki to Montevideo, and his work has appeared in travel maps and guides and publications like Spacing.

In addition to other map and art-related services that he offers, including unique cartograms and funky retro prints relating to Toronto, Ontario, and beyond, Alfred-Duggan takes commissions for his Lifemaps project. These Lifemaps are unusual, highly personalized maps that imaginatively combine 10 (or more) favorite locations of personal significance – from cities, in general, to specific landmarks, parks, neighborhoods, restaurants, and other points of interest anywhere on the planet – onto a single page.

Lifemap detail featuring Paris, Montreal, Beijing, London and NYC | © Andrew Alfred-Duggan

Lifemap detail featuring Paris, Montreal, Beijing, London and NYC | © Andrew Alfred-Duggan

Imagine all the places that matter to you – the neighborhood where you grew up, your alma mater, the trip you went on where you first met your spouse, the city where your kids were born, etc. Now imagine these places magically woven together into what Alfred-Duggan calls “a cartographic celebration.”

The results are uniquely striking, with each 11×14-inch printed map encapsulating the personal geography of someone’s life. The maps create an intimate and detailed portrait of the places that have shaped your life, much like a visual diary.

A custom Lifemap by Andrew Alfred-Duggan | © Andrew Alfred-Duggan

Detail from a custom Lifemap by Andrew Alfred-Duggan | © Andrew Alfred-Duggan

And the Lifemaps aren’t only for individuals. For couples, a Lifemap can highlight their individual paths along with shared experiences on a single page. Locations can feature each person’s unique origins as well as the places they have traveled to or lived in together. Real-world points of interest can include the spot they met or the places where they now work and live. Additional conceptual points of interest can include their children’s birth years or other significant dates, as well as interests and hobbies.

Alfred-Duggan’s work encourages you to consider your life in terms of place, in turn, offering insight into the role that place plays in your life.

Retro prints by Andrew Alfred-Duggan |© Andrew Alfred-Duggan

Retro prints by Andrew Alfred-Duggan | © Andrew Alfred-Duggan