Before coming to Duluth, I looked at a few maps trying to get a sense for the basic geography of the city and surrounding region. I was able to pick up a few things, but there was an unexpected problem — I couldn’t figure out Duluth’s shape. No matter how many maps I looked at, I couldn’t quite wrap my head around the general silhouette.
So, last night and today, I’ve asked a handful of people to “Draw Duluth,” including a couple friends as well as a few strangers (if you’re looking for a technique to make new friends, this is a good/weird way to introduce yourself to a rando). The helpful and interesting results are as follows:
-I’ve heard a lot of “Duluth is 30 miles long and 3 miles wide” type comments. The above is an elegant and simple reflection of that.
-These are fairly meticulous in terms of neighborhoods and detail because I asked them to do maps of Duluth. Both also give water a fair amount of space. (If it helps you make sense of it, I believe the drawing on the right is rotated 90° counter-clockwise.) I think between these two and the first one, I got that “shape” issue is settled.
Now, for the following two, I was a little more sketchy/careless in my directions, asking something more like, “Draw Duluth.”
-Differently executed drawings, but very similar topics/spirits — looking back at the city of Duluth from the harbor with the hills in the background. I guess this gives an idea of a non-geographic “shape” of Duluth in how people think about it.
Even further down that road, check out the next two:
-Pretty self explanatory, I think, and a little broader interpretation of my vague direction of “draw Duluth.” And finally, what I believe was a sketch for the napkin drawing above that I don’t think I was meant to see but am posting anyways:
-A disembodied arm, either toasting or bringing a half full (half empty?) pint of beer to the invisible holder’s mouth. Some part of Duluth drawn, for sure.
P.S. I am incredibly impressed at the quality of all the drawings! Right?