UK Map: Iconography

Continuing on from my previous interview about the UK Map, I decided to delve a little bit deeper into some of my favourite bits and pieces from it, starting with one of the UK’s most iconic costal destinations, ‘Skegness’ and why I decided upon it being the perfect destination to place one of the UK’s favourite dishes, that being Fish and Chips:


B: So its in Skegness, but why there? was it something that you placed there because it fit there? or because you felt it was the most iconic place to place it? Its a very seaside area, which there is plenty of UK-wide.

H: Isn’t it something you can find anywhere?

B: It is, but the thing I think people associate that with is the coast generally, its a very British thing but its also something that comes from there.

H: Sure, i mean after all its fish! There could have been many places I could have put it but I mean here It was just really in terms of composition. I just thought well, theres this space and I also like slightly overlapping things, ensuring that things are all just next to each other is important to my work, making it a more three dimensional visual so that more depth is achieved. Theres also an element of continuity i wanted to achieve with Margret Thatcher near Lincoln Cathedral  which is parallel to the Fish and Chips and Vinegar, with the little Union jack sticking out on a toothpick from the chip infront of the lady holding the bowling ball. I kind of wanted to give people the visual tick to allow them to understand that theres a method to it, ensuring icons are surrounded by icons that work together in context.

B: So it was not only you felt it was the appropriate place but that it works in the context of everything thats around it, you like it there.

H: I think so! I mean nobody would question the placement of Fish and Chips at Skegness in terms of accuracy but in terms of the layout I think it just made sense there. I knew thats the spot where i wanted to have it, it was just about stringing together the narrative in a way that makes sense.

B: What would you say was your favourite bit of the south coast? Excluding London.

H: Initially I’d like to say Cornwall because theres a lot of little different things going on when it comes to scale and interest. I’ve always quite liked Bournemouth, with the iconic pier sticking out which makes it in a way really striking, but then you have more naturalistic things going on that don’t resemble landmarks and more reside to small towns and places with broad yet british visual elements, sloping streets, cobblestoned paths which actually works quite nice with the topography which is on the map which was an interesting thing to touch on.

B: Anything else that peaks your interest along the south coast?

H: Theres something similar with Clovelly, which is a fishing village in the North Devonshire coast, it gets very steep towards the sea which works very well with the topography again here so I placed the village with houses representing the place looking down onto the sea, so its on the map but yet it almost works like a photograph. Its similar here with St. Ives in Cornwall, Newquay and even somewhere like Broadstairs when you could put also little street scenes and even depict beaches here. Ive done something similar in Wales, which hasn’t been scanned yet unfortunately due to not being able to use the computer currently.


B: would you say that Wales was quite a tricky area for getting the density of drawings?

H: Not so much, I do have quite a lot of things at the moment for Wales waiting to be applied in, Wales has so much topography going on so maybe I don’t even need to be so generous as theres a larger emphasis on mountains and greenery there. Scotland is also another area which is similar here, containing smaller amounts of Iconography but a lot of emphasis on natural shape and details.




Stay tuned for a second part on this topic coming soon, talking more about Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Midlands!


Interview: More on my UK Map

I recently had a more in-depth chat about my UK Map and its progress, as well as its whats being included in some of its cites and also what its going to be used for once its finished, read below to find out more!



I: I guess first of all, ‘why?’ go sort of as far back or as recent as you like, just say where this pieces idea came from.

H: I think I can say that that this is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, because I think it was something that even goes back to the time before I developed my interesting cities, buildings and cityscapes, as a child long before getting in touch with architecture and studying architecture I always had this fascination for maps especially illustrated ones, so I just fancied doing something different and for a change, something different to the cityscape. I had done this view of the world before which was great fun and everything in a way comes together there, my fascination for maps and for geography and nature, science, programmes and even documentaries, I can in a way call upon all of this and then put it in. Similarly here with this map, so many different things and aspects wanting to bring in and kind of show the richness of this country when it comes to historic buildings, landmarks, little quirky things, favourite sports, people, famous characters, really specific characters and people in the map also. Its also nice to have something here in the gallery and in the shop which is also a wider appeal so its not just only about one city but its something about the whole country.

I: So would you say it was not only something thats designed to give people a better perspective of the outside of London, but also a means for you to learn? Because I get the sense that you are largely about discovery.

H: Yeah! I mean there theres always the opportunity to do a lot of research, basically I could come up with a lot of things that I already knew and then I think yes… these things must be included. You know that Canterbury has a cathedral, and York has a cathedral and then you don’t need to think too much when you consider what you need to illustrate that place but then because the map wants to be filled, it was good to be able to do research and come up with a lot more things, different things and all those funny little aspects which maybe the rest of the world associates with the UK.

I: Is it strange to have to limit yourself so much when you have created things in the past that are so dense, and kind of only capture a certain part of a city? Was it hard to sort of pick 6 or 7 things and shrink them down or…?

H: Maybe it was not so difficult because on one hand yes, maybe its slightly limited when its one particular place like London, compared to the big cityscapes but of course, I mean if you look at the map and the complete map then it may be unfair to call it limited.

I: So in terms of I guess the shop aspect, is it something you are only going to offer as a jigsaw and a print? Or maybe like with other things you current offer perhaps edit? Is this going to be something you really want to have as a whole and exist as larger products?

H: Yes, I think its something that I need to make tests and really check out if it works with crops and parts of it, or if its really like the map of the world in that its something that only works in one single piece and it more restricted to larger scaled items. Using it for the gallery and the shop, I would say that on the one hand of course I’m maybe well… something like this I would have enjoyed doing it anyway even if there was no commercial aspect at all, this is very much what I would love doing what I used to do before already as a child, I think i maybe would not have spent as much time and energy without the commercial aspect because I mean it is now really quite a long term project, I don’t even remember exactly when I started doing it! So of course it is in the back of my head, the idea of the commercial use makes me spend the time and effort needed but I enjoy very much…

I: I mean obviously its not something that we want to touch on too much but I think considering the fact that you’ve got other pieces, say for example London Looking West, that was what you came up with first (points to full colour version) and you made a change to exclusivise it (points at pastel version) is that something you would maybe do with the map? Would you say the topography and things are important? Meaning you wouldn’t change it too much?

I: I still need to do the test to see if the topography works better like this (points to current work) atlas-like way of depicting topography or if it needs to me a more monochromatic background maybe with different shades as opposed to colours, but other than that I don’t think its necessarily an image that would work or id want to do in lots of different variations in terms of colour, it could maybe work in a pastel version, but other than that I mean, I think to do this as just a line drawing is really something that lives from being colourful and vibrant, very vivd and very kind of happy and cheerful. Its like the map of the world in that its just the colour version and thats it, because it doesn’t lend itself very well to other styles.

I: Coming away from that side of it quickly, Northern Ireland, you said you were going to start looking into that, hows that gone? What are you looking at?

H: Yeah! I mean I think its not all all here (points at current image), its all stored in the studio but I think its going to be a normal mix in terms of there will be some iconic buildings, maybe you could also call it the next best secret? In the sense that you wouldn’t really know without already googling it and I had to do that with Northern Ireland, but they you discover quite impressive things, especially the Game of Thrones connection thanks to a large portion of it being filmed there. I found this thing, I think its called the ‘Dark Hedges’, theres this kind of road to the right you got these impressive trees with lots of branches on it, and I’ve also incorporated the characters, I thought about what else does the world associate with Northern Ireland but I think people will still remember its problems and troubles with its history, which I didn’t wish to dwell on unless it was historically driven, So thats why I’d rather have things such as a monument in Londonderry (points to image), which is this sculpture of two guys and they reach out to each other which I found to be something nice in gesture. Eventually Northern Ireland will be filled, but its proving actually really educational for myself in terms of doing the research and then to come up with more ideas.

I: One last thing, what is the plan once this is complete? What would you like to achieve with it in a personal way to the artists side purely, Is there a desire to do a launch somewhere?

H: I think yes, because now we do have the space downstairs, so its no longer a problem to have a little event, and not just have it placed upstairs with no introduction so yes, its something we wanted to do with different images before but never had the space, but because now we have a place to put them its definitely something we plan to do. The nice thing about this is also that it has a much wider potential to also work in other places, you know if you have our London themed things its a bit limited to its location, same with the other cities but they are made for their markets. Something like the UK, same as the map of the world was a chance to do something with universal appeal, so something like this as a puzzle especially I think would translate well as something all people would want from all places.

‘Our Wonderful Planet’


Our Wonderful Planet started life as a sort-of commission in conjunction with iSpy events, who specialise in training events for the airline industry of which I attended three times in the past. I did a separate illustration for them that was used not only for the background of the stage for the event but used for other purposes also. In the third yer that I attended the event itself, I was asked to do an illustration of the map of the word to which I very much agreed! It required me to include 40-something planes of all the participating airlines circling around the globe, meaning there were lots of different ways to incorporate logos and company sponsors. I was keen to ensure that I had an elect for every participating country and their airlines and that was the pieces initial focus, not everything thats here was included. It was essentially a slimmer version of the map you see today. Once the original was used for its purpose we decided to fill in the blanks effectively and create a piece that would be perfect for the Arty Globe shop, not only in terms of editionless and mounted prints, but also to have as a wonderful jigsaw puzzle, both of which it offers and are proving very popular!


As a piece it grew naturally, and I was keen to ensure that I didn’t just have one type of iconography that I drew, as i have a passion for the world in a general sense. So the geography, nature, science, culture all ended up featuring and it really was just a case of putting it all in! Africa ended up being very animal heavy as its well known for its wildlife, other continents also featured a lot of animals but mixed with a lot more landmarks and cultural things such as Matchu Pitchu in Peru, South America.


I did a lot of research particularly for the food aspect of this image, and discovered that a lot of the food that we consume in the UK is taken from all over the world. No tomatoes, peppers, corn or even chocolate as we don’t have the climate to grow it ourselves!

I often get asked what my favourite continent is, wether thats to draw or just how it looks as a finished product in relation to the finished image, and its hard to really decide! I would have to say however that my favourite(s) are definite South America and Africa, particularly South America as it always has been the one that fascinates me the most on a personal level however if I’m honest I can’t really say why. I think its the fact that even thought its next-door, its so far removed from what North America is thanks to the topography, types of landscapes and iconography on offer, like the snowy mountains of the andes to the rainforest int he amazon, the tropical seas in the north to almost the Antarctica with snow and glaciers in the south. I just find it a very fascinating continent. I also really really like Africa because as I said previously, its the most wildlife rich all of the seven continents but also most recognise able amongst children who seem to respond to the particular image the most, instantly recognising the elephants, lions, zebras and monkeys that are inside the continent shape.

Since the creation of ‘Our Wonderful Planet’, we also were asked to turn it into a huge Mural at Greendale Primary School in 2014 for their school hall! As you can imagine the children loved it as did the staff, and is now a permanent fixture there. You can see some of the press from the launch below:


An image like this is great to reflect upon whilst I work on my UK map, which follows a similar drawing style thanks to its mixed iconography and topographical features. I will update you with how thats going next week, so follow me to stay in the loop!

Small Update! From The Drawing Board 17/03/2016

This is short and sweet! But heres a quick post showing how dense the East of England and Central London has gotten thanks to the inclusion of all the little famous icons I’ve been working on, we still are yet to reach the colouring stages here but as you can see I’ve come on leaps and bounds!

If you have any ideas for that I could possibly squeeze in thats currently missing, don’t hesitate to comment on this post and I’ll see what I can do!




My Interview with Arty Globe

I recently did an interview on our ‘Arty Globe’ blog about the recent opening of the ‘Hand Drawn by Hartwig Braun’ show centred around my drawing process.

Heres what I said:


First of all, how was the opening?

I remember it as a very nice evening because there was a constant flow of people and it was never empty. As soon as the first people started coming in there was always someone new and there were even people who then said well now… they had the feeling that they had to even vacate downstairs to let more people in! I noticed how many people there were, but of course because I was constantly engaged with conversations and talking to people and answering questions my vision of the night was a little bit blurred.

It was certainly bustling for a good few hours! How was the response for you personally?

It was nice, I mean there wasn’t a huge amount of questions thrown my way because the exhibition itself was designed to answer questions in itself, of course people still did take the opportunity to come over to me during the evening and ask me certain things.

Were there any comments in particular that really stuck with you?

Yes, I think mainly the question which comes up also now that people ask me well… “What do you use?” you know, what media do I use and what research do I do? I’ve even had people ask me if I take a helicopter and go up and view the perspectives I draw myself and fly above London or other places when in-fact I merely just analyse lots of arial photographs, along with viewing London from higher places where possible. Words such as ‘Impressive’ and ‘Mind-Boggling’ which I’m assuming is down to how they’re witnessing the process develop and the different steps in the space is also always nice to hear from people.

People are well aware of its purpose to them but tell us a bit about why you wanted to have this space in the first place? What does it mean to you?

Its just very nice also to really show things, originals, drawings and sketches which until now were hidden away in the studio which were unseen by the public, which is personally something I like to see as a viewer of art myself. Being able to see the stages of the process and the development of something quite rough to refined is something I’m interested to see so being able to show my process in the same light is something I’m very happy and proud of. Every single piece of work isn’t made from perfection its moulded into it in stages.

What is your favourite part of the downstairs space? What are you most proud of?

Well its always difficult to say if you have favourites! All the finished pieces are a bit like children in a way, it’s hard to like one more than the other. However the big framed originals such as the London Looking West due of its sheer size and also as its one of the newer pieces with the most developed style and technique make it a favourite of mine. It’s hard not to view it as the centre-piece of the exhibition and I do feel extremely proud of it now in its framed state and not just on my studio table! Its able to be appreciated in the way it should now and not just stacked together loose.

The drawing-board collage that you see as soon as you come down the stairs is also something I love because I find that It really has something with those super imposed different sketches where you can see the different phases and something really coming to life it makes for impressive viewing to me and is nice to see as a whole piece, its also epitomises everything that we wanted to show downstairs in a single installation.

Whats next for you and your finished pieces? Is there scope for an external show?

I would say two things. we have this space now, so I’m thinking whenever a new major big piece is going to be finished that we can use the space somehow to unveil it in a special way moving forward. Reshuffling the pieces into he show itself is something we also would like to do from time to time but having an external exhibition somewhere in a new space is certainly the current dream wether that be a localised space displaying my latest ‘Greenwich’ image in the spring or maybe even somewhere further into the centre of London showing a variety of finished works and line drawings!

From The Drawing Board 14/03/2016

Currently I’m still plodding on with the castles! Most notably Bodiam Castle in Sussex and then Leeds Castle in Kent, I’m also of course working on Windsor Castle too! I’m also separately working on other well known and non-historical things like the ‘Cerne Abbas Giant’ of Dorset and even travel themed illustrations of Heathrow airport as well as Gatwick which obviously feature a lot of planes (something which also features a lot in my previous works in the skylines!)

I’ve also focused on some famous coastal towns and cities, such as Broadstairs and Margate which inspired me to also draw not only the Turner Contemporary Museum but also create a drawing of Mister Turner painting the sunset because as we all know he had a bit of a love affair with the area. Things such as this were really important to get into the image for me because I’ve focused so much on architecture not only here but also within my previous cityscapes, so I’m always happy to find different iconic associations that are more figurative. I’m also doing the Gherkin again, as it turned out to not be the right scale and also needed refining and I’ve also been working on some medieval half-timbered houses in Ipswich.


I think its safe to say that the south coast is definitely almost there and more or less covered! Currently my next focus is to bead further into East Anglia with my next city focus in particular being Essex.

Here are some close-up’s of how London is looking as well as Scotland which has also taken shape considerably!


From The Drawing Board – UK Map: Dogs

I’m still going full steam ahead with the re-appropriation of my UK Map and whilst working on the Cathedrals (as mentioned previously) was fun and interesting to explore, I felt it was time to incorporate some animals int the mix and not just focus on the architecture.




As I say, I really wanted to include things other than only buildings on this piece, not just a map of iconic landmarks and structures in the UK. A famous saying popped into my head one day, that being: “A British home is not complete without a dog in-front of the fireplace” which lead me to think “okay, dogs need to be included”. I started to investigate breeds of dogs which are maybe more typically british than others, then proceeded to narrow down what i found into a select handful to draw. Of course the first thing that comes up with are the Corgis and their royal connections, (I don’t know if they exist outside of this country!) they definitely have something national and iconic so I will definitely include those, these are also things I have drawn before based on the Queens Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012 but obviously for this purpose I will leave the queen out, with the dogs themselves placed somewhere next to windsor castle I think.


The other breeds I came up with to also include are the Bassett, which is a breed that was great fun to draw based on its comedic grumpy features. I’ve also started working on what is possibly my favourite breed of iconically British dog which is the Beagle which is steeped in history but also controversy due to its historical connection to fox-hunting. Lets not forget the British Bulldog, hugely iconic on name alone but also reflective of strength and courage thanks to its stocky and resilient physical appearance and political connections during war times, this is a breed however sadly no longer exists.



Two I haven’t drawn yet but am currently working on incorporating for the future are dogs that are representative of our northern contingent, those being the Scotch and Yorkshire Terriers, bringing the grand total of dogs to feature on this re-imagination of my UK map to 6.

Outside of dogs, I have a list of animals which I wish to incorporate within the whole of the map, these include…


  • Farm Animals (Cows & Sheep)
  • Wildlife (Including Foxes)
  • Birds (Pheasants, Guinea Fowl, Grouse, Puffins, Parakeets)


All of these will be touched upon in the coming weeks, so keep following or hit follow if you haven’t already to keep up with my posts!